Boat Hat x John Wayne's Wild Goose

As part of John Wayne Enterprises growing initiative for Made in America products from local craftsmen, we have partnered with Boat Hat for Wild Goose inspired hand-painted patches and hats.

Founded by Dougie Mann in Newport Beach, CA, this is the 3rd collection of Boat Hat’s painted patches.  Working closely with Ethan Wayne and the John Wayne Enterprises team, Mann dug through the archives (and Ethan’s brain) to tell a little known visual story that would explain the feelings and lifestyle aboard John Wayne’s converted mine sweeper, the Wild Goose.  This boat is the place where John Wayne could truly be himself and partake on the adventures he loved so much.

As we launch the Boat Hat x John Wayne collection, we sat down with artist and founder Dougie Mann to learn more about his inspiration.

HOW WERE YOU FIRST INTRODUCED TO JOHN WAYNE?

My dad is a big John Wayne fan, as a result I grew up watching his movies. He was a regional manager for the Chart House restaurants, his regions were Colorado and Hawaii – as a result, we used to drive a lot together – across country to and from Colorado and to New Mexico a lot – In his Ford Van were 2 VHS’s that were always there – El Dorado and Nevada Smith (starring Steve McQueen) – I watched those on repeat on a mini TV VCR combo that plugged into the cigarette lighter.

CAN YOU TELL US A BIT ABOUT THE BOAT HAT PROJECT?

Boat Hat is an ocean hat company.  What distinguished Boat Hat is the back of the hat design – an overhand knot with 2 grommets. It is the same knot and sliding idea as those old friendship bracelets. Also, the primed canvas patch with embroidered frame. Both of these elements were designed on Balboa Island.

We team up with artist friends to curate meaningful, high level, patch artwork collections. The first collection of patches was done by myself, and the second by Kelsey Brookes. This, our 3rd installment in our curation is the second collection by myself and has been carefully collaborated on with Ethan Wayne to try and give a glimpse of life aboard the Wild Goose with his father, John Wayne.

Boat Hat comes from the same tireless, simplistic, clean, and practical core as John Wayne’s Wild Goose came from.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO CREATE A COLLECTION AROUND JOHN WAYNE AND THE WILD GOOSE?

John Wayne is why I like boats.  Without seeing the book ‘On Board with The Duke’ – I would have never been as big of boat fan as I am now.

My love for boats did not come completely naturally – I grew up primarily surfing – also, I am a minimalist kind of surfer – always subconsciously looking to to use the least amount of gear possible – no leash, no massive quiver, no wetsuit, no towel – a big accomplishment was riding my beach cruiser to the beach in trunks with my board under my arm – putting my bike on the beach – and jumping and surfing – then coming out, hopping back on the bike wet and riding home – no towel, no shirt, no bike lock – it’s a weird obsessive thing about me.

As a result, boats were always something that seemed too cumbersome, and definitely not minimal – it took taking trips to Catalina on my step-father’s Pacifica – it was one of the first cool fishing boats I had ever been on – to start to look at boats in a different light. ‘On Board with the Duke’ was in my state room – I was transfixed.

He sold that boat a few years into our relationship, and the next time I saw the book was on board the boat of my future in-laws boat, DIXIE – I could not believe it – not only was I in love with this smokin’ hot chick, but her dad was a John Wayne fan! If I played my cards right, my fate was sealed!

Slowly, I began to evolve my thinking – maybe boats were worth the effort after all…

Then my pal Charlie bought a Grand Banks and anchored it in Coronado at stingray point, he was NAVY SEAL and all his pals were doing the same thing – there was a floating community of elite fighters drinking Bud heavies into the wee hours of the night on their awesome boats. When I saw that, I finally understood that boats were one of the coolest things on earth.

Now – my father-in-law has a different boat – a 31’ Rybovich called Cracker.

Being fortunate enough to be around these boats has shown me just how cool boats are, the responsibility and ownership it takes to properly maintain and operate one, as well as the incredible lifestyle it provides if you take the time to understand it.

Thank you John Wayne.

WE ENJOY PARTNERING WITH YOU BECAUSE OF YOUR MADE IN AMERICA COMMITMENT.  CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR CREATIVE AND PRODUCTION PROCESS?

Each hat is canvas made in the US by a Martexin Waxed canvas.

Manufacturers of the hats come from a few different sources – here in California by Seasoned USA and Knickerbocker MFG in New York.

All grommets are made by Challenge Sailcloth – they are all brass spurred grommets that will last forever. All holes are punched, all grommets set, and all knots are tied originally on Balboa Island, now on the Newport Peninsula by myself, or someone I can buy with a beer (or two).

WHAT DO YOU THINK JOHN WAYNE REPRESENTS TODAY?

For me the Duke represents everything that makes America great – every plain, mountain, ocean, desert, and river – he sought, with every character and pastime in his life that he committed himself to, the most pure definition what that character or pastime was supposed to be.

The Wild Goose is how he defined the ocean and I think this is the most authentic role of his career.

THE BOAT HAT X JOHN WAYNE COLLECTION IS AVAILABLE NOW AT BOATHAT.COM AND STORE.JOHNWAYNE.COM

Candice Moore