Restoration shop shows off restored WWI launch |

Restoration shop shows off restored WWI launch

by Kurt Hildebrand
Rick Gunn/Nevada Appeal Bruce Peters sits inside the 90-year-old Wascana at Mills Park on Tuesday. Peters helped restore the launch.

When she was built, the Wascana was a yar launch, her dark brown sides and sleek shape slicing through the blue waters of Maskoka Lake in the early years of World War I.

On Monday, the 90-year-old launch gleamed in the Nevada sunshine, reflecting the years of restoration work done by Manuel Mundschenk’s Carson City shop.

The Minett launch was built at Brace Bridge in Ontario, Canada, for Judge J.W. Hannon. The Wascana was named after an Indian tribe in Regina, Saskatchewan, where Hannon sat on the bench.

A launch is a motorboat with an enclosed bow and an open passenger compartment. Yar refers to the craft’s speed and agility through the water.

In honor of her rebirth, Mundschenk, Bruce Peters and Dewayne Walker towed her to Mills Park to take pictures.

Mundschenk, 82, is working on four boats, but the Minett is by far the oldest.

The launch was flying Canadian colors on Tuesday, in honor of her homeland, and the banner of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, of which her first owner was a member.

Mundschenk has lived in Carson City since 1992, having moved from Kings Beach. He purchased the launch in Canada in 1983, where it was found in storage by Elliot Maynard of Toronto. The boat was complete with engine, name and all the original hardware.

Mundschenk estimated it took more than 5,000 hours to restore the classic boat.

The engine is the original 23-horsepower Kermath, restored to operation.

Mundschenk said he has had the boat in the water only once, and that was before it was finished.

“It is purely a question of time,” he said. “We plan to enter it in the Lake Tahoe boat show.”

The show, the Concourse d’ Elegance, features wooden boats and is put on by the Tahoe Yacht Club Foundation. This year it will be held at Carnelian Bay Aug. 6-7. Call (530) 581-4700 for information.

Now that the launch is finished, it will be sold, Mundschenk said. Anyone interested may call him at 888-9318.

“It’s the pride in restoring the boat,” Walker said. “It’s time to move on to another one.”

Contact Kurt Hildebrand at or 881-1215.