Posts Tagged ‘antique classic boat show’
One of the most recognizable “wow” boats ever offered for sale is the Cobra by Chris Craft. Chris Craft made this one model its image boat in the mid-1950s.
Ever since Chris Craft figured out how to make money in a nation-wide depression economy every year since 1936, they then wanted to be THE boat builder for every man, woman, and family in the world. In a very wide mix of boat models, one boat model was selected to lead in its lust factor.
The profit from other models would cover whatever this one would cost. This one was the one that should turn heads on the water or at a boat show. Women remembered it. Kids stopped in their tracks when they saw one and talked about it. Men wanted it.
For the underwater hull shape, Chris Craft used the same naval architectural lines of one of their existing boat models as the running surface. They had already sold 503 of those hulls.
To that underwater running surface they crafted a sleek, stretched, curvy bright finished planked mahogany boat that started at the bow as high, wide, and bold and then tapered aft to nothing. Next, Chris Craft took out the back seat. Then they added a “Chris Craft” gold fin. Finally, they added alligator upholstery touches. Like seabuddy said, it is a “wow” design themed boat.
She was a 20’, 10” boat with only one seat, so naturally they put a big, loud, and bold 200 horsepower Hemi Chrysler in most of them. A few Chris Craft Cobras topped that engine with an even more powerful 285 horsepower Cadillac Crusader from Detroit car dealer Cal Connell. Only ten of the 55-56 boats built had Chris Craft six cylinder engines in them.
Figure on 45-50 MPH speeds out of a Hemi powered boat. Add another five MPH for boats powered with the dual four barrel Cadillac 285 engine.
A classic fiberglass hot rod go-fast sport boat from the 1950s this time. She is one wild looking, curvaceous fiberglass catamaran powered by two “Tower of Power” six cylinder 100 horsepower Mercury Marine outboards. She is now fully restored and is ready to tear up the lakes of the nation’s waterways.
Early fiberglass classic examples of hot boats are rare. Seabuddy has never before seen one of these boats before this year’s Sunnyland ACBS boat show. Let alone, a ready to blast off example of one restored with the power and set-up that matches the 1959 Mercury Marine test report specs. See my photo here from that report. She is not over-restored, just a late 1950s rig brought back to as first-sold condition by an expert fiberglass boat loving owner.
Mercury got 43.9 MPH out of this boat in their Lake X boat test report published in 1959 when loaded down for a four person weight loading. 46.9 MPH with only a driver on board. These performance numbers were after setting and propping the engines in the best position on the boat, including the tilt pin hole (no power trim on these classic engines). Remember, those Boat House Bulletins? Many boats were boat tested in fair, actuate boat tests using Mercury Outboard power that covered a broad spectrum of power boating.
A Samoan boat model built by the South Seas Boat Company of Lake Helen, Florida is a 16’ 10” long fiberglass cat with a beam of 94”. Think of a boat-only weight of 728 lbs. To that, add the weight of the engines, rigging, fuel, gear, batteries, and passengers. This one heart stopping boat in my book!
Classic Chris Craft modified wood raceboat from Lake Dora, Mount Dora, Tavares Antique and Classic Boat Show 5th report
Sleeper is an antique and classic planked mahogany wooden runabout that has been modified into a race boat by Harold Bauer. She has a 1955 to 1966 racing career over which she was regional high points champion 4 times. This is a boat that raced against Curt Brayer and his Dancing Bear and Forest Johnson and his Prowlers in the F Service Runabout class.
She is a hard riding, porpoising, but fast race boat. While top speeds were over 70 MPH, her crew reported peeing blood after a race. Powered by a 95 horsepower straight shaft inboard by Chris Craft when she was built in 1931, she was re-powered as a racing boat Chris Craft. First Buick, then 390 Ford engines got the boat’s speed up. These engines were moved aft within the hull, a Casalle V-drive installed with a jack shaft to a Borg Warner transmission, a Cary two blade propeller selected, and the two cockpits relocated into forward dual cockpits with bucket seats for both the driver and the riding mechanic, a fuel tank was located under the fore deck, and the hull was fiberglassed. So seabuddy labels her both a wood and a fiberglass antique and classic boat.
The boat also had her structure strengthened with extra bracing, while her chines were really widened (see seabuddy’s photo), and a cavitation plate was added for stability and control. This Chris Craft racing runabout is not a Chris Craft Racing Runabout model, she was a standard production pleasure boat modified by her owner.
Classic Wooden Boat powered by a Classic Outboard Sunnyland Show Report Mount Dora, Traverses, Lake Dora Four
Not! This a new boat built by Aristo Craft and powered by a new four stroke 40 horsepower Yamaha customized with a 1960 Evinrude Starflite Cowl. The boat is made with the old tooling and materials and in the old way. The motor is a modern one fitted with a hand crafted engine cover that matches the needs of a four stroke on its inside and shows the lines of an old vee block two stroke Evinrude on its outside (public) shell.
An Aristo Craft Torpedo is a wood 13’ 9” by 5’ outboard fun dual cockpit classic ribbon grained mahogany runabout. It and its sister ship, the Typhoon, were made by the Atlanta Boat Works since about 1946. Wood boat construction was replaced by fiberglass boats around 1959.
Using the same boat building plant, the manufacturing tools were changed, the production lines were ajusted, and the boat models were completely changed. BTW, The famous fiberglass model was a 19 foot inboard outboard (I/O) model often shown with a hardtop. Seabuddy remembers those boat ads, too. It was a roomy family runabout, not a sportster runabout, which is what I would label the Torpedo model boat. Fiberglass boat production ended in 1980.
Now, Bill Turner, son of the company founder, Claude Turner, will make you a new one. He makes them one at a time. His wood Torpedo updated only where the Coast Guard rules require changes. Your boat is built on the original jigs. And with the same aluminum hardware which is cast and hand polished to match what was done in 1956.
Here are a few seabuddy photos of an early Slickcraft outboard powered boat built by Leon Slikkers from the Sunnyland classic boat show. . He is the founding family member of Tiara Yachts and Pursuit fishing boats.
Mr. Slikkers made boats as early as 1946, when he worked for Chris Craft as a cabin cruiser top joiner. He stayed with Chris Craft until about 1955. Chris Craft boat production was often plagued by strikes at this time, so Leon built his own boats when C-C was having a work stoppage. He built 10 outboard powered boats as early as 1952.
His first factory was below his home in 1955. He was building classic molded plywood outboard powered runabouts at this time. He made about 35 fiberglass hulled boats as well as plywood boats starting in 1955. By 1960 Slickcraft only made fiberglass boats.
He moved his plant several times and stopped living above where the boats were being made now. His factory was 29,000 square feet in size in 1962, and went to 42,000 by 1965. Mr. Slikkers made his first inboard outboard boat in 1963. It was Mercury powered.
He sold out Slickcraft to AMF. He built sailboats to respect his non-compete. Those sailboats were called S2 (S2 stands for Slickers second company). He started Tiara Yachts in 1976. He started Pursuit fish boats in 1977. Both brands are major players in the pleasure boat market today.
Fred McCarthy, Sea Mac, wooden boats, Jersey Yachts, fiberglass sport fishermen, Real Ships, steel yachts
Meet the only production boat builder seabuddy knows that made boats out of wood, fiberglass, and steel (each of these different matieral boat building companies were at different times in his life) over a lifetime of messing with boats. Here are (left to right) Fred McCarthy, Etta McCarthy, and seabuddy in front of a Sea Mac wooden classic boat at Tuckerton Seaport, NJ in 2012. This photo was taken at the Philadelphia Chapter of the ACBS Antique and Classic Boat Show in this past summer.
Sea Mac wood boats were mostly an outboard powered 14’ deluxe runabout water ski boat. This boat used Philippine Mahogany lumber stock covering boards and hull framing with marine grade plywood being used pretty much everywhere else. Then; forward steering, remote controls, a windshield, and two rows of vinyl covered padded seating made for a Bill Deed designed water sports boat that handled lake, bay, inlet, and ocean waters very well.
The prototypes were tested in 1954 with a 20 horsepower outboard, but most Sea Mac wooden boats used a 40 Hp. engine with a few being repowered with a “Tower of Power” 70 Hp Mercury Marine outboard. This boat was tuff and many boats outlasted more than one motor’s life span on its transom. Once, this sporty runabout was a prize on the TV show, “The Price is Right, in the 1961 show season. The company also built 8’ prams in New Jersey. The Sea Mac boat brand disappeared in around 1963.
Jersey Yachts and/or Jersey Boat Works were sport fishing fiberglass boats 28’ to 47’ in length. Many of the boats crafted were the popular 31’ and 40’ models. Besides changing over from a wood boat builder to manufacturing fiberglass boats, Fred took his new company from single outboards to twin inboards for power. And then, later, he took it from gas engines to diesel power as the boats got bigger. I think of Fred McCarthy’s Jersey Yachts fiberglass boat building business as alive from 1964 to 1988.
Real Ships, which was given its company name by Etta, started up around 1993, after several years of living and cruising aboard a yacht by the McCarthys. They build steel hulled, ship-like yachts from 61’ to 76’ in length. These are typically Jay Benford / Fred McCarthy designed 40 to 80 ton long range displacement cruisers, built one at a time.
I was aboard a wonderful classic yacht at the invite of the yacht’s owners this past weekend. Here seabuddy wants to share with you the delightful two hours I had aboard a 42’ classic wood cabin cruiser in Tuckerton, NJ. In doing so, seabuddy will point out for you some points about cabin cruiser layout. During this visit, I had an opportunity to see and feel first-hand the usability of the interior of the yacht; its main salon, galley, and staterooms. I also moved around and socialized within the exterior of this classic; the bridge area as well as the aft cockpit. Remember, I was a simply a newly welcome guest on someone’s private home afloat and yet I was welcomed to poke around to my heart’s content and then dialog about construction treatments, layouts, finish, maintenance, fuel burn, and the cruising horizons of this yacht during this year. Did I ever say that I love the Philadelphia Chapter of the ACBS Boat Show in Tuckerton? Weather I did or did not, let me say it again, Boy, do I love the ACBS!
This 1961 Preserved Classic Yacht is an excellent example of what made a Matthews Yacht very desirable among cruising yachtsmen. First, let us look at the living room or main salon. It is open, filled with bright sunshine with views outside, and has a bigger sense of space than the square footage that you walk on. The Galley and dinette are at another level, but the main salon ceiling line stays at one, full height, even over these two lower level interior features. This gives a grand vista at eye level anywhere within this main living area. Next, the yacht has a proper, fixed dinette alongside the galley. Other designers may want to squeeze in a third stateroom where the dinette is located, but the functionally of a dinette cannot be over-stated in a boat used for cruising.
Matthews Company Yachts were 100% crafted in wood from 1890 to 1969. Then, there was a switch to yachts using fiberglass hulls from the Halmatic Company in England. These finished hull forms were shipped to Matthews Yachts in Port Clinton, Ohio from 1969 till the Matthews business closed in 1975.There these English fiberglass hulls had decks, deckhouses, engines and the cabin interior added to the hull. The yacht I was aboard was an all wood boat.
Notable high points over the years for the Matthews Company. It made a 16 horsepower custom 35’ gas powered boat that set the record for an Atlantic Ocean crossing in 1912. Matthews built as big as a 110’ diesel powered yacht over the years. This one was designed by the famous naval architect, John Wells. They also built several 110’ Sub Chasers for the war effort. Matthews Yachts also built at least one 50’ wooden yacht for the notable Ringling Bros. Three Ring Circus family for their personal use while on the west coast of Florida.
Century Boats led the styling of runabouts as utilities both in wood and in fiberglass. This is a 1977 Arabian with its high style use of fiberglass, chrome, and vinyl that sets an image of exciting luxury on the lakes and rivers of our waterways. This is an inland performance boat. She is not a deep vee and is known for pulling water skiers, tubing, and stylish dockside dining events. Give this boat the throttle, hear the exhaust speak with a rumble, and take off with little bow rise as she pushes you back into your seat.
Century made exciting boats from its beginning in 1926 as an outboard race boat builder along with making some other craft, like fishing boats and sail craft. For almost all of the time the Century Boat Company has been in Manistee, Michigan. This was the location, not Milwaukee or Panama City, that most of the nautical style leader designs were invented.
Early classic collectible inboards were often a Sea Maid model and the small (14’) outboard racer that is still highly sought after, the Thunderbolt. Century stayed with boats under 21’ in length as that made them different from Chris Craft, Garwood, and Hacker Crafts that built boats into the mid-30s LOA. Note always known, there is another reason for the under 21’ production policy. The plant in Manistee had a limitation on what could be gotten around inside it and out the door!
The Arabian represents an important design for Century as it was made in both wood and fiberglass. Some say it was designed deliberately to help with the boat building material change over during those years of the 1960s and 1970s. The design is credited to Robert Rioux, now deceased. He certainly led runabout styling with this model Century. Part of this high-style comes from Century’s use of automotive pieces for several parts like the steering wheel, windshield, etc.
This 18 foot boat is a beauty. She is one of only 28 boats made in this model in 1932 by the famous Gar Wood boat building company. That makes her a rare piece of wooden boat building history. She is one of just five of these boats left still around in the world. That fact makes her super rare. Her condition then makes her even more of a sought after rare classic boat. This is as nice as it gets in an under 20’ classic boat.
It was in 1911 that Gar Wood got the racing “bug”. By 1916 he had bought a well-used Chris Smith made Chris Craft race boat. At that time Chris Smith was calling his company the C. C. Smith Boat & Engine Co. Wood also became the largest shareholder of Chris Smith’s company. He and Chris Smith split their boat building interests in 1921. Gar Wood then created the Gar Wood Company to build his pleasure and race boats. His first boat building plant was in Algonac, MI. At this plant was the start of the 33′ “Baby Gar” Runabout that was then and now so famous. That small almost custom boat building shop was supplemented by a bigger plant in Marysville, MI. Gar Wood in his Marysville plant made a 28’ runabout and a 22 footer starting in 1930. The Baby Gar thirty three foot runabout was still being made in Algonac along with a 40’ cruiser. It was in 1932 that this 18’ twin cockpit (or split cockpit) runabout shown here was introduced.
If this boat was a nice but not the best restored copy and perhaps re-powered with a more modern engine she seems to be able to bring around a $50,000 price today. This one; with its very high level of a truly total restoration, all correct parts, it’s level of fit and finish that must be seem to be fully appreciated, may very well bring more along the lines of a $250,000 price if it was to be a classic wooden boat for sale.
Jim Wynne first showed his (or Charlie Strang’s) new out drive with a Volvo engine at the New York Boat Show in January of 1959. This was the beginning of the modern stern drive. One of the first boats that Jim used to promote that stern drive was a wood 18 foot boat made by Woody Woodson. Wynne had success on the race course with that boat. Seeking a lighter boat to go with his small Volvo engine and now Volvo-Penta Aquamatic I/O he designed a 17’ boat in wood that he called the Wyn-Mill II. That boat but used a deep vee hull with a low profile and therefore was lighter than the Woodson made boat. He won eight marathon racing records with his new boat powered by an out-drive over the next few years. Most of the boats that he beat used far more horsepower than what Wynne had in his Volvo engine and Volvo stern drive powered 17’ boat. Jim by now worked for Don Aronow and he was a boat builder. One of his companies wanted a small sport boat to zip around and they thought that by using the Wyn-Mill II as a starting point for a new boat with a 110 Hp. Volvo gas engine and its Aquamatic drive. They did not splash it, as the final production boat had differences like were the strakes were located and they also shortened it to a 16’ 71/2” long with a 7’ beam and 24 degree deep vee hull bottom fiberglass boat. These Donzi boats were designed to be small, light, and a fun ride. This boat was originally called the Ski Sporter Donzi and later the Donzi Sweet 16. With the Volvo engine and out drive its top speed was in the 41 to 43 MPH range. Both Jim and Don were racers, however, and when Volvo did not come up with their own small block V-8, they got Volvo and Holman Moody Marine to match up one with their 16’ boats. For background, John Holman liked boats as his hobby while Ralph Moody was into airplanes. They got Dinny Phipps to run the H-M marine business out of Miami, FL. He led the marine engine program with a 300 cubic inch six cylinder engine and 289, 302, 351,427, and 460 cubic inch V-8 engines and perhaps other engines as special orders. These motors often made more power than the Aquamatic Volvo drive could handle, however, and they offered vee drive and inboard versions as well as the I/Os to cover all the bases. Holman Moody also became a US distributor for the Volvo stern drive. Seabuddy photos.