Archive for the ‘Shows and Events’ Category

ACBS Classic Boat Show and Festival Award Winners #1

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.

 

19’ Racing Runabout

wood boat photo chris craft post war

1947 Red and White Chris Craft 19' Racing Runabout

 

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.

 

restored chris craft 19' racing runabout

Red and White Chris Craft Racing Runabout

 

The old photo is courtesy of the Mariners Museum in Newport News, VA.

 

mariners museum chris craft photo

photo courtesy of the Mariners Museum

$364,000 Center Console 35’ – Part One

New boats are selling in smaller numbers than in the past. Sales forecasting requires a boat builder to account for their direct costs as always, but today one must divide company overhead over far less units. This new boat market demands a new pricing model, which makes for a state of the art boat, but with each unit shouldering a high percentage of the overall company’s basic cost of business per boat unit expected to be sold. Administration, advertising, and keeping-the-doors open expenses add more money onto each boat – than ever before.

When Seabuddy was the fifth largest Wellcraft boat dealer in the world, the new boat business was different.  All of us in the marine industry were eyeing the coming shorter work week and more time for fun on the days off from work. So, we had long conversations on how boats should try beat out other recreational choices for the consumer fun dollar.

But the home builder’s got us. They built bigger/fancier houses and that made the shorter work week impractical. Heck, it even put Mom to work to afford those houses. Then there was always a series upon series of more issues that pounded boat pricing and made a new boat higher priced.

Some came from within the industry. The first outdrive boat engine was only 80 horsepower. Now what is an acceptable power level? Bow rider seating and a walk-thru windshield to access those cushy seats added costs. Boat builders added better quality.

Some price increase pressure came from government. California banned many bottom paints, requiring research dollars to invent new ones. The EPA wanted cleaner engines. Safer fuel tanks. Anti-siphon valves.

This boat is a 35’ 6” Center Console with a 10’ 10” beam that weights roughly 7 tons. She goes 0 to 30 MPH in around 11 seconds and its top speed is right at 55 MPH.

Well, the boat business is back to where it was in the 1920’s. Boats seem to be affordable to the rich only. Question. Do you agree?

Classic Wooden Jersey Speed Skiff

wooden pappy seaman  jersey speed skiff race boat

restored classic wooden Jeresey Speed Skiff

 

A Jersey Speed Skiff in 2013 is either a vintage racer or a APBA modern race boat. What is the difference? To the casual eye the APBA boat has a roll cage and the Vintage or classic does not. #Seabuddy may be old, but not old enough to first-hand tell the full length story of Jersey Speed Skiffs.

Along the jersey shore since the 1800’s, men beach or inlet launched a human-powered (row) boat to ocean and bay fish from. Then a sail rig was added and the popular way to go fishing in New Jersey remained a small boat. Think of a flat bottomed, cedar-wood planked boat using ribs to help define and stiffen the boat shape. Some cousins or early examples of a JSS boat were the Sea Bright Skiff, the Pound Boat, and Utility Skiffs.

In 1922, Harold “Pappy” Seaman built a 16’ long one with a Gray Marine Engine inboard engine. That started the powerboat JSS class idea. His boat went 21 MPH. Fiberglass replaced wood in the 1960s. Bud Bender is the man known for fiberglass Jersey Speed Skiffs. Seabuddy met Bud at a past St. Michaels Antique and Classic Boat Show and Festival in Maryland. Today a skiff can break 80 MPH or more and they use a Chevy V-8 for power.

BTW, many of these early boats fished during the week and raced each other on Sunday. Pappy was from Long Branch, built some 102 skiffs, and the base of the sport seems to have stayed there in Long Branch, but with boat races up and down the east coast all summer long in both Vintage and APBA racing. The next Vintage Event seems to be at the Long Branch Ice Boat and Yacht Club on September 21, 2013 in New Jersey.

My photos are of SUDS, a restored, Pappy Seaman built, 1951 Jersey Speed Skiff. She is a 50 MPH boat. SUDS is powered by a 180 HP, 244cubic inch Fireball Graymarine 6 cylinder racing inboard engine.

She is a planked wood, no plywood anywhere boat. She has White Oak ribs and stem, and White Cedar hull planking, firewall, bulkheads, interior seating’s, and decks. The wood is held together by some 1,752 hand-peened copper rivets and 1,488 slotted screws. The boat was last in the water until the summer of 2012 in 1983. The restoration took 2,312 hours of labor.

#Seabuddy’s photos are from the Pt. Pleasant ACBS Boat Show. Historic photos from the web and other places.

 

Pappy seaman jersey speed skiff 1951 planked wood

Cockpit- note the firewall is planked, not plywood

 

wood restored classic jersey speed skiff

front cockpit

 

old wood from jersey speed skiff wood classic

sample of the old wood

 

Suds race boat pappy seaman

old racing photo of SUDS back in the day

 

jersey speed skiff in a racing turn

This is the way a Jersey Speed Skiff turns

Custom, not Restored G-3 Glasspar

Since this is an inboard powered G-3 and Glasspar never made any G-3s with inboards, #seabuddy calls this a custom classic fiberglass boat. She is a 1960 Center Deck model G-3 that was on its way to the dump and she was rescued from being ground-up. Now she is an award winning show piece. Folks that like original boats, motors, and trailers will not like this boat.

Skip took all his knowledge of working in the marine industry for a very major south Florida boat builder for many years, his boat racing experiences, and some styling from G-3, Chris Craft, and drag racing boats to mix them into a vee drive inboard that stops traffic in a big Classic Boat Festival like nothing else. Folks at the shows say, I could not even image such a craft, let alone build one.

G-3 Glasspars are outboard powered boats. Most were sold with 40 HP. The top outboard power for a G-3 is 60 Horsepower. This boat has about 425 HP driven to an under-the-boat prop and rudder combo via a v-drive. She has hand crafted wood touches here and there as Skip owns wood boats, too. She has Chris Craft styling, too, as Skip owns one of those, also. She has control cavitation plates from a race boat. Skip owns  a Jersey Speed Skiff race boat, as well.

#seabuddy has seen G-3 Glasspars offered for as little as $300 for just a boat. What is she worth? Skip says “Not for Sale” after a rumored $25,000 offer.

I did not ride in this one, but #seabuddy did plug his ears when she fired up on the grounds of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, MD. She is one loud boat with a real lumpy high lift cam inside that Buick Aluminum V-8.

 

g-3 glasspar custom inboard

custom wood transom and race boat cavitation plate

 

g 3 glasspar custom classic fiberglass boat

shifter for the v-drive

 

g-3 glasspar classic fiberglass boat custom marine

special trailer, sponsons, and custom engine hatch

 

g-3 glasspar fiberglass classic boat

note the sponsons that mark a G-3 Glasspar

 

g-3 glasspar fiberglass custom classic boat

custom hand made engine hatch

 

wood accented foredeck G-3 Glasspar classic fiberglass boat

special added wood accent on skip's G-3

 

buick V-8 aluminum v-drive in G-3 Glasspar

Buick aluminum inboard engine installed in outboard boat

 

custom seating cockpit

custom seat and dash cockpit

 

money shot fiberglass classic boat g-3 glasspar

Custom G-3 Glasspar

 

#seabuddy and friends

#seabuddy and friends at the Boat Show Awards

Classy Speedster in a Get ‘Em Wet

A few classic wood and classic fiberglass boaters got together on a wonderful wooded shoreline lake for boating fun on a recent Saturday. The group of nine classic boats drew from several ACBS Chapters and ACBS Marque groups, as well as other boating affiliations. We all had a full day of fun on the clean, clear lake water in NC.

There #seabuddy Chris Brown was reunited with his favorite boat during his Jersey shore youth: a classic G-3 Glasspar. While he has counted 58 boats since age 8 in a life filled with boating, he remembers the low-slung rocket of the waterways Glasspar as his favorite. Quite frankly, he’s taken right back to being 14 years old again when he is on the water in a G-3! The photo in this write-up may show a grey-haired gentleman, but in #seabuddy’s mind, he is just starting the transition from being a boy into becoming a man when he is at the helm of a G-3.

And, what a G-3 he got to drive! The boat was ordered in 1959 for delivery in the spring of 1960. It has been in that original family since. A true one-boat, one-family ownership record. She has used up three outboards over the years of water-skiing fun, but the bright red gelcoat finish shown in the photos is original. The seat and her rare, factory option rear-cockpit kneeling pad are both original, as is the windscreen and most of the hardware. Bill Tritt, the inventor, designer, and boat builder of Glasspar G-3 boats built a far nicer, more durable boat than many. This one has had exceptional care, and the 50-year life of its original bright finish is beyond belief.

The current engine is a 60 HP, later model Mercury outboard—the top outboard power rating for a Glasspar G-3. Most were run years ago with a 40 HP Lark Evinrude and collectors often still go with that motor at Classic Boat Shows. To fit the engine to the boat, a bass boat style jack plate was used, rather than raising the fiberglass on the transom. No currently manufactured engines of the right HP fit the transom height of this boat, so something has got to give in this area to keep the boat on the water.

After riding in the boat as a passenger in this light-weight (385 LBS) bullet on the water 13’ 7” long classy speedster, I got lots of time behind the wheel. #seabuddy grinned like a kid pushing down on the throttle! Many thanks to my friend for his very generous offer that put me at the controls of his G3, an absolute jewel on the lake.

g 3 glasspar and seabuddy

I am driving a 1960 G3 Glasspar fiberglass classic boat

 

g 3 glasspar john

Boat owner behind the wheel of the 1960 G-3 Glasspar

 

milling on the lake

Milling on the Lake awaiting others at the launch ramp

 

glasspar outboard cabin cruiser

Our G-3 is passing the owner's wife in her boat, another Glasspar!

 

g 3 glasspar 1960 mercury outboard power

Another photo of me in a G-3

 

g-3 glasspar 13' fiberglass classic boat photo

#seabuddy having fun!

Lake Dora, Tavares, Mount Dora, FL Antique and Classic Boat Show Report, Nautique, Correct Craft, Ski Nautique

This is an 18’ 10” Wildcat model 1967 Correct Craft. She is a center engine (engine box in the middle of the cockpit), shaft-drive, inboard powerboat. Her power is a 318 Chrysler V-8 that makes 235 horsepower. There is seating for five, two in front of the engine box and three on a bench behind the engine at her stern . Her bottom is essentially a flat bottom with a very gentle arc athwartships across her running surface.

classic fiberglass correct craft inboard boat center engine box boat photo

Restored classic 1967 Wildcat model Correct Craft inboard ski boat

This Correct Craft Wildcat is a ski boat. She was displayed with water skis and accessories as if she was ready to go. The owner did a nice job with her presentation at the Tavares classic boat show. Correct Craft, Ski Nautique, and Nautique are names that are imbedded in water skiing history. Correct Craft was founded in 1925 and has been the keystone builder of boats for water skiing competition and water ski shows. Correct Craft “owned” this segment of the industry for years, without competitors. Seabuddy recalls here a personal conversation he had with Al Hegg years back about his Century boats and about how hard a time he had getting his Century water ski boat models legalized for water ski competition.

Causing Correct Craft to rise to prominence in water skiing was Cypress Gardens, which opened in 1936. Known as the “Water Ski Capital of the World”, Cypress Gardens was home to many of the sport’s landmark firsts as well as over 50 world records. But it was best known for the Cypress Gardens Water Ski Show, which featured Correct Craft ski boats.

Founder W.C. Meloon started using the Correct Craft brand name for his boat building company in 1936. The Ski Nautique name was added in 1961 when they began producing fiberglass water ski boats using a mold they brought from Leo Bentz. Nautique’s boat bottom shapes really went wild starting with the 1989 models where stepped chines, spray relief pockets, along with a variable planning hull dead rise became standard on their ski boats. Just stick your head under an example to fully inspect a modern ski boat bottom shape.

While this classic boat was made in the Orlando, FL plant, Correct Craft’s current manufacturing facility, started in 2005, includes two private lakes used to test their boat designs. In 2009 Correct Craft celebrated a milestone, having built 200,000 boats in its history

Tavares Antique and Classic Boat Show, Lake Dora, Mount Dora Report, Riva, Boats for Sale

Wood Rivas seem to seabuddy to reflect Italian passion, smart boat building, and a vision about what a good boat should be. They reflect timeless design, imaginative colors, and top shelf material choices. They are also expensive boats. Usually they ask and bring more money than other production boats. There was one paper of one for sale for $149,500 from a very well respected broker. That one boat-for-sale listing was for a 22’ wooden runabout boat. She was said to have a 220 horsepower 327 Chevy/Crusader/Riva engine. It was an example of the most desirable model of the Riva Ariston series. It was also offered as a well-maintained craft.

Is it worth it? Who knows? Boats are not basics like potatoes. No pleasure boat is. My boat is my hobby. And I do not have the coin in my jeans for a top shelf boat that is a classic wood Riva power boat.

Riva wooden boat factory photo running speed

Factory photo of Riva boats

A Riva is also a work of art in many aspects. Look at the hardware. Inspect the windshield. The grace in the shape of the control handles. Look at the fitment of wood if the engine room is open. Study the use of plywood and timber wood through-out the boat. A Riva boat can take one’s breath away if one really looks at it closely and in detail. A Riva looks like a handcrafted, one-off boat, but it is a production boat. A limited production boat that stands close inspect up to the standard of a custom boat is a show stopper.

riva ariston cockpit seat dash board windshield wood classic boat photo image

Riva wood boat with the cockpit seating laid into a sun bed

And, by the way, boating is seabuddy’s passion. I am looking forward to a nice summer on the water. Look for more info and photos from this RIVA book… and seabuddy thanks them for their photos.

riva classic wood boat

Riva Hull under construction in its building jig at the factory

 

 

 

 

 

Demo Yamaha outboard powered boats on the Chesapeake Bay at the Bay Bridge Boat Show

Go to the Bay Bridge Boat Show where Yamaha wants you to experience their outboard power on the Chesapeake Bay April 20 and 21. They have single and multiple engines on fishing boats, rigged, and docked pier side for no-obligation demonstrations for show goers. The experience is special to the Boat Show, and it is free. It is one of the best events of the spring boating experiences boaters can enjoy with their admission ticket.

Yamaha believes that its future customers will understand all the power and technology that they pack into their outboard motor product best on the water in a Yamaha powered boat. Get in line, this free event will be popular. Make your visit to this slip-side display your first stop at the show. See what is going on, it is a great opportunity.

To Yamaha, it is about what their product can do for you, not how much they can sell to you. If they demonstrate that they make a superior product that fills your needs, you will buy it when you are ready. It goes back to the days of show and tell…. Not monthly payments. Yes, everyone hopes that you will like what you feel and experience and that like (may I say… LOVE?) will translate into a sale, but here at the Boat show, the like comes before the sale.

yamaha outboard powered boat eight

Do you need this many Yamaha Outboards? Yup, it is eight outboards shown

11th report, Tavares, Lake Dora, Mount Dora, FL, Boat For Sale, Field of Dreams, fiberglass classic Century Boats, 17’ Resorter

This is one of about 134 fiberglass 17 foot Century Resorter examples made for the 1968 model year. Century was still within its transition from wood boats to fiberglass boats. They also made 61 wood hulled examples of this boat model at that time.

bow view classic fiberglass century resorter inboard boat photo image runabout

bow view, note the added-on wood spray knocker

Resorters are utility-style, walk around, single cockpit boats with a center mounted inboard engine that have a fore deck with a high windshield (most likely an automotive rear window, which was popular at this time) and a small aft deck. Seating was in front of the engine and across the stern. The engine box dominates the cockpit space while the transmission and straight shaft propeller drive with its separate rudder is hidden under the cockpit floor. This boat has a 210 horsepower Chrysler V-8.

engine box and rear seat century resorter photo boat image

engine box and rear seat in this Century Resorter

This is really a wood boat design that was re-tooled into a fiberglass boat. Over the years, Century often made 170-180 wood examples of 17’ Resorters each model year. So, at 61 wood boats for this year, one can see the wood boat sales rate falling off. BTW, Leon Slikkers (of Tiara Yachts and Pursuit Fish boats)  is rumored to have made the tooling for some of the fiberglass Centurys.  These fiberglass ones were only a year or two into production at Century Boats, at the time this boat was made.

Resorters came in different sizes, 15’, 16’, 17’, 18’, 19’, and 21’ over the years. Collectors champion among themselves for their favorite size as cockpits, seating comfort, engines,   and handling performance differ. Some mention a “Fun Factor” with certain ones. Others sight the freedom of movement while presenting a high style, one that all Resorter models Century Boats offer.

dash cockpit century resorter fiberglass classic runabout inboard boat photo image

Windshield and dash of 17' Century Resorter 1968

Century Boats started in Milwaukee in 1926 with a 14 foot outboard wood planked racer runabout with a step in its bottom. Next, a 12 foot outboard and a 17’ footer joined that 14’ model, named, Kid. Century moved its boat building plant to Mansitee in 1929. 1930 saw the first year of inboard powered boats. As far as seabuddy knows, the 15’ Palomino and Roan models of 1961 were the last outboard Century runabouts.

transom swim ladder 1968 century resorter 17 classic fiberglass runabout inboard

transom of 17' inboard runabout Classic Century Resorter 1968