Words and photos © Chris (Seabuddy) Brown
Stephanie Rayan from VA. re-powered her Dorsett cuddy cabin model last winter and won three awards at the 2015 Classic Boat Show. Stephanie likes to use her boat, even as far away as cruising in FL waters. Thus, a modern engine made sense for her style of enjoyment of classic boating. Typical for her, she named her new motor. (her boat is named Sunburn) The motor is called Neverude. This engine was also repainted to color coordinate it to the boat’s gelcoat.
Sunburn is an outboard-powered 1960 Catalina model. The boat is perfectly restored. As an added plus, Stephanie displayed her entry in this popular classic boat show in-the-water-and-ready-to-go with great details like an “iced” drink cooler sporting the memorable “Coppertone girl and her dog”, along with games, and functional items like a spotlight. The boat was a show-stopper that brought smiles and sparked conversations among many show-goers as they walked the docks of this 17-acre show.
Sunburn is now re-powered by a new outboard. This provides good power for the 16’ 8” LOA Catalina model Dorsett. The boat is finished in Pennant Red, one of the five colors that were offered in 1960 by the boat builder. This classic small cruiser boat sleeps two down below, out of the weather. Raymond Loewy, noted designer of a few early 50’s Studebakers as well as the Avanti cars developed the design for this and other boats for the Dorsett Plastic Corporation. Loewy used a 6’ 6-1 /2” wide beam for the 17’ model.
This fiberglass boat company started making boats in 1955, first calling them Endura Craft boats. By 1958, the all the boats were marketed as Dorsett Boats. In 1960 the company was sold to Textron, Inc., which kept the Dorsett name. By then they were selling about $3,000,000 in boats, which were made in three boat-building plants, located in nearby Cambridge, MD as well as in California and Indiana. In 1964 and then in 1968 the company was sold again. The Dorsett Boat name ended in the 1967-1968 timeframe.
Sunburn, Neverrude and her skipper were a hit at the show.
Words and photos © Chris (Seabuddy) Brown
A black hulled single engine Cigarette swept its classes first time out of the barn. While she was up against a fast Nova/ Allmand 19, the judges all agreed that Lotus was the clear winner. Everyone was pleased that the number of off-shore fiberglass boats in attendance was on the upswing at this year’s boat show. Each show of the 57 diferent clubs have a slant to their show. It looks like this Mid-Atlantic Father’s Day Classic Boat Show / Festival is beginning to get the go-fast in rough water boating crowd.
Lotus is not a race boat, just a high speed, wave splitter cruiser/day boat for a young married couple and their dog. The boat is re-powered with a replacement, updated big block 496 cu. in. Chevy engine with EFI, for the ease of starting and shifting. The newer engine takes away show award points, but the ease of use of the newer intake system makes for a better boat, day in/ day out.
What does not take away points is the black hull finish. This boat has over 1,200 hours of sanding to get that flawless finish, up from a production boat building level of finish. She was finish sanded to over 2,000# grit paper. It is a AWLGRIP finish that one sees now.
The deck, cockpit, and the wood trim also took lots of finish work. Basically, it is several layers of epoxy. The cockpit dash was also updated with new instruments and other details. However, the vinyl seats and trim are several years old. There is a longish vinyl pad under the foredeck. It is out of the weather and in a pinch, one could overnight in this limited cabin.
Figure on a 45 MPH cruise and about a 70 MPH top end as powered in this 1972 24’ classic GO-FAST cruiser re-do.
This very nice Evinrude powered classic is what Seabuddy images when he thinks of a Barbour boat. Crafted in wood, mostly outboard powered, and under 25’ in length. Some inboards were in production, but they do not seem to have been collected / restored anywhere near as much as an outboard powered model. I also think of Barbour as a company of the 1950s-1960s, sort of near or at the end of the wooden runabouts era.
But, I would be wrong. This North Carolina boat company goes back to the early 1930s and it closed in the mid-1990s. World War II changed from a small builder to a large one with up to 1,200 workers. War contract work did it. Towards the end of the company’s business history, they built and serviced some of the ferries for the state of North Carolina’s ferry system. These were made of steel.
In wood, Barbour made runabouts and small cruisers for recreational boaters. The metal boats were the aforementioned ferries, tugs, research vessels, fire boats, troop transport vessels, fishing boats, and barges. Some of these were big boats. They made a 155’ tanker and 56’, 63’, 82’, 95’, and 100’ boats. Much of this steel production work started in a big way in 1957. It was the re-invention of the company that Herbert Barbour founded in 1932.
I like these restored wood runabouts, as Seabuddy’s first water ski boat was a wood one ( a made in NJ brand named Sea Mac) with a 40 HP Evinrude outboard. That boat got re-powered up to an 85 HP Mercury. I was a teen and that boat was my freedom before I got an car driver’s license at the age of 17 in NJ. I had taken the Coast Guard Aux course before the age of 10. I have boated a long time.
She is a new wooden inboard speedboat. Hand crafted by one of the few boat yards that still do this “creation work” as compared to “restoration work”. Although the shop does both types of work. http://cdacustomwoodboats.com/process/
She was created under the personal direction of Jim Brown the wood shop manager and who is a master craftsman He has been building wood boats full time since 1991. He provides expertise in every phase of wood boat construction, from the creation and design of a project through the lofting, building, rigging and finish steps of the process. He has a team of wood craftsmen at The Resort Boat Shop to create the award-winning Coeur Custom line of boats and offer restoration for antique and classic boats. His e-mail address is email@example.com
Seabuddy loves the engine hatch on this luxury speedster on the water. Twin 400 Horsepower rated engines are under there. It is a very unique way to access the powerplants. Jim also builds single engine boats and in different lengths. He has even crafted a sailboat or two.
Here is the boat builder’s comment on this 34’ inboard runabout “Pure is an example of the “pure” definition of Gentleman’s Runabout. She is hand-crafted from imported African mahogany and Western red cedar; cold molded using vacuum bag technology to produce excellent weight to strength ratios. This amazing 34’ runabout is powered by twin 6.2 liter small block engines that rate 400 HP each. The purposeful design of the hull give her amazing lift, maximizing power and achieving a quick plane and smooth, powerful cruising stability. The Alexseal Blue Hull sides add to her unique attractiveness while providing added durability. A custom signature stainless steel windshield with special bent safety glass, Livorsi gauge package with custom dial faces give Pure a distinctive look no other boat possesses.
Pure is, from stem to stern, one of the most sturdily built, luxuriously fitted and handsomely powered hand-crafted wooden runabouts we’ve ever created”.
Seabuddy’s photos show a 1947 Red and White Racing Runabout (one of 205 painted and colored this way). Some 503 of these 18’ 11” runabouts were made between 1948 and 1954. The balance of these models was stained and varnished finished.
These post war 19’ Racing Runabouts was loosely based on the 19’ Special Race Boats of 1936 and 1937. Chris Craft had made some 51 of those. These earlier ones were 2” longer in length and an inch wider in beam. These were also paint finished according to Jerry Conrad’s Chris Craft The Essential Guide book.
This boat is being restored by Jerry LeCompte’s http://docksideboatworks.com/. He showed the boat at the St. Michaels Classic Boat Show and his research is part of my write-up. He does great work. I have seen his boat’s decks still tight and show quality several years after he did his restoration magic.
Back to post WW II Chris Craft boats. War production was over but good mahogany wood and other materials were in short supply. This boat was cedar planked and came with a plywood deck by Chris Craft according to LeCompte. Thus, she was painted, not stained and varnished, as the cedar wood did not look right bright finished.
It would be smart to point out, that by this post World War II era, the Christopher Smith family had been through several tough times. They built boats to feed their family. They had shown strong growth and good profits at the boat business up to the early 1930s. The company made $308,000 in 1929 and then $51,204 in 1930. Chris Craft then lost money making boats until it went into the black again in 1936, with a profit of $213,131. The model offerings had been cut down during this time. Now, 97 models were cataloged for model year 1937.
Then the war hit. Production went on a sort of cost plus and some profit basis. Anything over that was turned back to the government. At a high point, a record 602 boats were shipped to the military in one month. This was a record despite material shortages in armor plating, engines, and brass castings.
Chris Craft did not even mention any specific construction materials during this post war period. They never knew what they had to substitute in any boat. Lumber has been mentioned as the longest lasting shortage.
The old photo is courtesy of the Mariners Museum in Newport News, VA.
She is big! 48’ long with a beam of 10’ 6” and sixteen tons in weight. Power is a single screw Packard 4M-2500 engine, a supercharged 12-cylinder engine. This runabout speedboat’s top speed is 60 MPH.
Brooklin Boat Yard did the latest restoration. Prior restorations/upkeep/maintenance and a repower was done at Mayea Boat Works and on the St. Lawrence River at the Antique Boat Museum. She was built in this same area of the 1,000 Islands as the Antique Boat Museum is located in at Hutchinson Boat Works or http://www.hbwboats.com/.
Built in 1948, she has had several owners. The last owners donated her to the museum years ago. Google search “ Pardon Me” or “World’s Largest Runabout” or read pages 76-77 of Robert Speltz’s book The Real Runabouts from 1977. Seabuddy has a signed copy of his book dated 1980. Mr. Speltz has now passed on.
Hutchinson Boat Works or Hutchinson Brothers built boats along the St. Lawrence River since about 1908. The business continued under new leadership after the brothers passed on. They now sell boats, but they were a wooden boat builder originally. They also offered wood boat repairs in oak, mahogany, cedar, and teak. While they could build and repair all styles of wood construction, most of their boats were lapstrake style or “clinker style”, like a Lyman boat. Pardon Me is not a lapstrake design. She has the double planked mahogany construction method.
Pardon Me was designed by Hacker and built by Hutchinson for Mr. Locke of Oak Island in the Chippewa Bay area of the 1,000 Islands (summer home) and MI (his winter home). She did not handle well and never has been used much in her history. Her sheer size, transmission shifting, handling around a pier, engine cooling, and her massive engine torque were some of the reasons for this lack of use. Call it fine-tuning, trouble shooting, or tinkering, problems have continued over her history since 1948.
She is now back at the Antique Boat Museum in the Thousand Islands for the upcoming summer months.
The Bertram 31 boat designer, C. Raymond Hunt, also designed this 56’ yacht in 1962-1963. .She was built in 1964 at the Wharton Boat Yard, which is now the Jamestown Boat Yard, in Jamestown, Rhode Island. Designed and built for her original owner who cruised her, up and down the East coast.
She is a wood boat. Stem and keel are Honduras Mahogany as is the carvel and double and triple diagonal planking and four massive stringers, all glued and screwed together. Although it should be noted that an installation of a longitudinal girder system was later added to stiffen her hull for a re-power and higher speed abilities. This re-build was extensive, as Seabuddy understands that some 25,000 man hours were billed. Ten years later another major restoration of an additional 15,000 man-hours were spent to more than “spruce” her up.
Her current engines (twin Cummins 593 Hp diesels) give her a 29 MPH top speed and a cruising speed of 24 MPH.
The yacht sleeps six in classic design and a high degree of comfort. She has a great sheer line and a low profile hat turns heads when she comes into a marina. In seabuddy’s opinion, she shows her pale yellow far better than other boats. Particularly if her varnished transom is in your view of her. A further note, she now has had a swim platform added in one of her rebuilds/restorations.
The wide side decks and the16’ beam tend to make the boat seem somewhat on the “tight side” for big men. But, the speed with this power reflects her light weight and Hunt design hull for performance. Sight lines and views from the main salon/pilothouse are great, however. Her 22 degree deep vee bottom from amidships to the transom gives a ride and the handling one expects from a C. Raymond Hunt yacht. But, she can be a “wet” boat in some sea conditions. Also, a Hunt design from the 1960s era does not have wide chines to reduce deep vee roll at slower speeds at sea.
C. Raymond Hunt was a prolific designer. He/ Fisher/ and Hickman did the Boston Whaler 13 in the 1956-1958 time period.
Hagley Gunpowder Brandywine River Here is how a boater gets an outing while the boat is on the hard. A section of the Brandywine River in Wilmington, Del holds a marine history experience as the river falls in such a way that industry harnessed the waterway for gunpower production. Seabuddy visited the Hagley Power Yard that the DuPont family has restored. It was the US start of their family businesses.
Back in In 1813 a Frenchman, Mr. du Pont, chose the banks of Brandywine River to start his black powder mills, the Hagley Power Yard. He chose that location because of the natural energy that the water here provided the power for the mill. Local trees produced the charcoal used in black power production. Sulfur is also needed and it came in from France and Italy. Then the Saltpeter also needed came from India via English ships. These ships used the nearby Delaware River to get the raw materials in and the finished product out and onto the rest of the world (for instance, Africa, South America and Australia). Du Pont’s black powder factory became the largest black power maker in the world.
Thus they made one of the the building products of canals ( please see my book … http://www.amazon.com/Cruising-Guide-York-Waterways-Champlain/dp/1565542509 ) rail roads, the mining industry, tunnels, and roads. They also made 40% of the gun power used by the US Army and Navy during the Civil War. By the way, these mills closed in 1821.
There are multiple historical buildings to see here, the main home, and a very good look at where and how the du Pont Company moved onto other businesses. Women’s nylons, paint, Kevlar by du Pont which “helps [boat} hulls reinforced with Kevlar® be lighter yet tougher and more damage-tolerant, and perform better under hydrodynamic fatigue loading”. Cobalt boats use it.
Allow lots of time to see it all.
Pizza by Elizabeths. Simply put; it is world class. A do-not-miss meal. The décor and food is special. The place celebrates women named Elizabeth. They have gluten free pizza crusts as a choice, as well traditional crusts. Seabuddy had a meatball, tomato sauce, mozzarella, provolone, and parmesan cheeses pizza named the “Hasselbeck”. My wife had a “Claiborne” with basil pesto, chopped tomatoes, she deleted her cheese, with perfectly done chunks of chicken added at her request for her pizza. 4019 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, DE 19807 (302) 654-4478
Winterthur Home / Garden Tour. The “Garden Club of America awarded Henry Francis du Pont their Medal of Honor, proclaiming him, One of the best, even the best, gardener this country has ever produced.” Seabuddy would like to see these gardens in late April.
Take a tour of the home any time to see its exquisite 175 spaces in which the du Ponts entertained family and friends in grand style several generations later than the gunpowder folks. The collection of objects is over-whelming. The web site says “These masterfully designed spaces promise to inspire, enlighten, and delight.”
Do all three of these in a very long “dawn to dusk” day at your own risk.
43’ 6” New cruiser/ bow rider with a 13’ 4” beam.
Four Winns says “opening up the bow, this new boat will satisfy the most discerning customer looking for the perfect boat to entertain family and friends.
“We challenged the design team to look at a typical 43’ cruiser style boat and find a way to create more useful space,” stated Christophe Lavigne, vice-president of Engineering and Design for Rec Boat Holdings. “The front of the boat, with limited useful space above deck, became the obvious target for innovation. The result is the open bow concept that does not sacrifice the living space below deck,” Lavigne said.
You must start in the bow on the Horizon 440, its most unique feature. Large enough to hold your kid’s soccer team, the bow is packed with storage, built-in cooler, plenty of seating including extra-long lounges and a hydraulic table that rises from the floor, eliminating the need for storage. For the sunny afternoons, an optional sun shade provides protection while island hopping through the Bahamas. A JL Audio 5-speaker sound system provides the perfect party lounge. The cockpit of the Horizon 440 is patterned after the legendary Vista series from Four Winns providing plenty of room to move around and entertain. The rear, U-shaped seating area delivers plenty of seating room and entertaining is a breeze with the full refreshment center housing a refrigerator, icemaker and sink. Optional cockpit air conditioning is available for the warmer climates. The captain of the new
Horizon 440 is well equipped with IPS controls, double-wide companion helm seating with electric, 6-way adjustment for the driver. The aft area of the boat is a true outdoor living room, with a grill, sun lounger and large swim platform.
When your family is ready to stop for the night, move down below to a very cruiser-esque cabin area featuring a full size head with separate shower, open galley area and comfortable sofa with 40” TV. You can bring all your friends along with plenty of sleeping room featuring a queen size bed, aft cabin and forward berth.
The Horizon 440 bow cruiser is powered with Volvo Penta IPS twin 500 or 600 horsepower.
Do you love bow riders?
Triple outboards from either Mercury Marine or Yamaha are on the newest Chris Craft sport boat.. This new 2015 Chris Craft runabout.is their entry into the currently hot and popular 34’ center console.
It has a fairly popular beam of 10’ 10” for this length; joining Regulator, Everglades, Southport, as well as Boston Whaler by being within 2” of them in its beam. But the very strong seller, Grady White boat is ¾ of a foot wider in beam. You will “feel” that difference on the water.
One may want to explore a much narrower (up to two to three feet narrower) of a high speed center console design (the 39’ 6” Cigarette has a beam of just 8’) for more boat speed. Seabuddy does not have any speed numbers yet for the Chris Craft 34’, but it should be in the mid-50s. Note, however, that some of the GO-FAST center console boats test out at up to 80 mph.
The only unit of this boat available, for the time being, is offered by Grande Yachts International, a major Chris Craft dealer. Seabuddy shows their boat in the water in a photo in this posting. This boat is powered by the three Mercury Marine outboards choice. Full production of this model is planned to hit the Chris Craft dealer network in spring, 2015.
While this new fish boat has special features to make it very easy to fish out of; the styling, fit, finish, and “stylish look” is pure Chris Craft. Chris Craft runabouts are designed, engineered and built in Sarasota, Florida. Chris-Craft says it has captivated those of us boaters with an appreciation for the finer things, with exceptional style, seaworthy functionality and attention to the smallest details.
Going on, they say… “There will is nothing traditional about the bow area of this boat compared to other Center Consoles today. The seating and sunpad conversion for sun bathing will be a simple process to convert it for whatever the occasion, boasting a double sun lounger with arm rests and drink holders.
You can expect 360 visibilities while navigating to your destination from the helm of the new 34 with ample space to manage all with the latest of a (Glass Helm) from Garmin. The true glass (not plastic) windshield offers increased visibility and provides comfort to the helm and two companion chairs against inclement weather.
Below the forward helm seating and console you will find overnighting capabilities with a nicely appointed berth and head. The use of this space is endless for the fisherman, scuba diver, and overnighter.
The cockpit provides all the accommodations for a day of fishing, with plenty of room to work your trolling rods, or a day of cruising with friends and family, with hideaway seating and the ability to convert to a complete wrap around configuration comfortable at any speed.”
Finally, Chris Craft says that the combination of power, comfort, and Chris-Craft styling in the new Catalina 34 will make this boat a “one of a kind” on the water.