Posts Tagged ‘classic boat’

Chris craft center console Catalina 34 coming

triple engined outboard center console

rendering

Chris Craft joins the triple engine center console choices in an upscale, “Mega Yacht” type tender style, rather than as a pure fish boat. She is offered with 900 Horsepower in triple outboard engines with joy stick controls from either Mercury Marine or Yamaha. Expect the boat to be introduced 10.30.2014 as a 2015 boat model. Specs will be 34’ with a beam of 10’ 10” with a 21 degree deep vee bottom. The beam allows for a double sun lounger with arm rests, triple helm chairs, and a L-shaped bench across the transom that allows walk-thur access to the swim platform without removing seating cushions. A Glass Cockpit style of engine and electronic controls all displayed in two big, side by side 15” screens will be the way to go at the helm station.

A special optional feature is the “summer kitchen” with grill, inverter, refrigerator / freezer, sink and storage areas. What a way to entertain on the water! This should prove to be popular.

Note that Chris Smith built his first boat ( for hunting ducks) around 1874 at the age of 13 in Michigan. Speedboats/runabouts, and racers soon came along after that. By 1927 Chris Craft was the largest maker of wooden mahogany boats. Chris’ son, Jay, took over before W. W. II and did an outstanding job of running the family business. During the war, they build 10,000 small boats for the war effort. 1959 saw Chris Craft with 5,000 employees in over 10 plants. Hansen then took the reins and made the cover of Time magazine.

After World War II, Chris-Craft recommenced commercial boat production with renewed vigor. By 1959, Chris-Craft had 10 factories and more than 5,000 employees. Leadership of the company passed to Chris Smith‚Äôs grandson, Harsen. When interviewed by Time magazine, he attributed Chris-Craft’s success to the family rather than any individual within it.

After some hard times under various owners, Chris Craft has now had steady ownership and good management.

chris craft center console 34 fiberglass triple engined outboard

One of several top choices

Classic boaters, should we all have a classic Ferrari?

Instead of a classic boat, that is.

ferrari GTO classic car

sister car to the sold classic car

 

$52 million was a recent sale price for a certain model classic Ferrari. That is an approximant 50% increase in sales price for that model Ferrari since another one sold roughly six months ago. How much did your classic boat go up in price?

 

Seabuddy chose boating and classic boating when I was about 14 years old. I could drive a boat on Barnegat Bay, but not a car on the roads of NJ. Being able to drive something with a motor made up my mind. By the way, I never have said I am smart.

 

Is your Riva model selling for more than say, $750,000 this year? Your rarest model Chris Craft (they made 4 of this one over the two years of 1929 and 1930) for $250,000? Your wood Century Arabian selling for more than $75,000?

 

Note, even a Glasspar G-2 sports car has only gone up about 250% since 2006. A Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz went up about 3 and a 1/2 times. Do not ask Seabuddy about 1967 Corvettes.

 

By the way, Mr. Ferrari could only sell 36 of this model Ferrari when it was new.

 

Here is a side story. Rumor has it that Bob Bondurant sold his Cobra Daytona coupe to fund the start of his high performance driving school. Anyway, his racer Daytona Cobra Coupe recently sold for $8.5 million. Just think. If he had just waxed that car, rather working daily at showing movie stars and rich folks how to drive fast and safe in the hot Arizona sun for all these years, HE WOULD HAVE MORE MONEY.

 

 

1928 Racing Hydroplane, Uncle Charlie & me

Ever put a 40 Horsepower 1960 Evinrude Lark on a 1928 Hydroplane that was raced with a 22 horsepower outboard?

For two weeks, it was the fastest thing on the Barnegat Bay. That boat and outboard motor combination beat everything!

race outboard power early 1920s #seabuddy

sister ship to the racer I rode on the deck of

My Uncle Charlie would sucker any one into a race against this pre-war racer by holding back as we came side by side. Once the other boat was convinced that our and their boat was wide open, he would simply roll the engine mounted throttle wide open and took off! We had them by a mile every time. Never lost. Our 40 horsepower outboard  11’racer was the terror of N J.

I was a strapping young teen of 13 years of age this summer of boating fun and he was my bachelor uncle that sucked my dad into paying half for his and mine hobby of boating. We had a 15’ wood Sea Mac runabout, but that water ski boat did not even do 30 MPH. We wanted 60 MPH!

My Dad’s other brother had the 1928 racing two point hydroplane that had been taken on trade for a car repair bill.  That boat had been in the family but had not been in the water since before WW II as the no one could get its racing 22 horsepower outboard motor to start.

And, we had the 40 Horsepower shiny Lark two-stroke that ran!

Charlie came up with the idea of putting the running motor on the smaller boat and us going faster.

The Hydroplane was not water ready, it leaked and had dry rot. So Charlie and I slopped some fiberglass resin over the canvas covered racer’s bottom. It was Charlie’s idea was that the canvas weave would be an effective substitute for fiberglass cloth. We used both cloth and resin on the hull sides as there was no canvas there, just peeling paint

Another problem was it was a single person cockpit boat and there were two of us. So, I was assigned to lay out on the foredeck and simply hold on for the thrill ride that Charlie controlled from the cockpit.

The boat was fast, but way overstressed and far too gone for it to last. Each ride resulted in a stick or framing piece crumbling. We just threw them overboard as they came up. My deck was racing thin and so it collapsed. I then rode on the uprights, similar to a bed of nails, with just the padding of a PFD throw cushion in the worst spot. My body had many bruises, which I hid from my Mom.

period correct 1928 race boat and race engine

#seabuddy next to the sister ship 1928 racing boat & motor

Each night, we had to tie up the motor to the pier, to keep its power head above water. We let the rest of the boat sink nightly, and bailed her out when we went for a challenge race. After two weeks, our speedster was too far gone. The steering was always pulling out from the frames, she leaked very badly, and I was so sore from bouncing on the uprights that I just could not take it anymore.

Seabuddy’s photos are of a sister ship, age correct, but it is a smooth-bottom runabout  style, without the boat bottom step that the hydroplane had.

wood classic race boat outboard johnson powered

the cockpit only fits one person, and not #seabuddy as a teen

 

1928 racing boat with johnson 22 HP outboard motor

#seabuddy saw this sister ship to a teen remenberence

 

1928 racer with Johnson 22 HP outboard engine

I never got to drive the boat, Uncle Charlie did that, #seabuddy just held on for life

Arena Craft and the Chris Craft Cobra

There are four stories here.

classic 1950s restored fiberglass inboard ski boat Arena Craft Barracuda

seabuddy photo of restored classic fiberglass Arena Craft

 

custom tandem boat trailer wide white walls

Look for ripples in the boat's finish, there are none

First, the boat in seabuddy’s Photos.

This particular restored example has as a level of superior finish and detailing as seabuddy has ever seen on a new or restored boat. Please study the photos and look for waves or wallows in the finish or any reflections. There are none.

This ArenaCraft is a 19’ 6” Speedboat that was 5 MPH faster at top speed than the 20’ 10” Chris Craft Cobra of the same era with the same horsepower Both boat builders made their racy designs with a 6’ 9” beam. Most say that the Arena Craft handles better, also.

Both models were built with a full-width, single seat cockpit design. C-C mad their boats from wood with fiberglass touches in the deck design and ArenaCraft made theirs out of a fiberglass hull and deck molding with some wood and Hexcel stiffeners. Both were made to fit into a proposed racing class for Family Racing Runabouts.

Chris Craft was the largest boat company in the world with lots of dealers and sold far more boats of its model than ArenaCraft.

It is possible that this is one of only two of this boat model ArenaCraft that have been restored.

bow photo image restored fiberglass classic arena craft 1950s boat

close-up of the bow

 

arena craft runabout classic restored fiberglass runabout chris craft

close-up of amidships and the beginning of the fin aft tail

 

classic restored dan arena craft fiberglass 1950s boat inboard boat runabout

Lighted Tail Fins make a 1950s statement

 

transom classic restored fiberglass 1950s era ski boat v drive marine

transom, note the racing chines

 

cast name plate dan arena craft inboard runabout boat image photo marine

close-up of classic model name plate and exhaust pipes

Second, who is Dan Arena?

A boat designer and boat racing driver who competed head to head within the Gold Cup and Unlimited boat racing classes against Harold Wilson, Guy Lombardo, George Reis, Bill Horn, and Bill Cantrell, to name a few.

He is credited with designing the first Unlimited race boat to win with a modern power source.

He added to what Ventnor did with the three-point hydroplane boats by flattening his boat’s profile and packing more air between the sponsons, which reduced wetted surface.

His prop and sponson innovations led the way from the tail-dragging Ventnor’s that always had their prop submerged while racing to his boats that sporadically rode on their prop as one of their three points, to Ted Jones’ race boats that always were a prop rider after Ted’s Slo-Mo-Shun IV.

His 1953 Hydroplane design was built later line-by-line by Les Staudacher, which resulted in the boat that set the fastest straightaway Unlimited Piston Engine Hydroplane record speed of 200.419 MPH.

Dan Arena had a stroke in the 1980s and died in 1995.

Third, what is ArenaCraft, et al, as a boat builder?

Dan Arena was a racer first and a pleasure boat builder second. Dan built one-off race boats back as far as the 1930s. He started building pleasure boats in around 1953. He formed the ArenaCraft Corporation in 1955. It seems that he made the transition from wood to fiberglass boats around then. He sold that business to Reinell Industries.in 1969 or so. All ArenaCraft after that date were made by Reinell, not Dan Arena.

Mr. Arena could not stay out of the boat business, so about a year later, the Dan Arena Company was born and started making boats. This was a low-production boat builder that primarily catered to Lake Tahoe water demands. Due to the high altitude of the lake a fast boat was simply not that fast on the lake and some capable in rough water ability was valued. Thus, many of Dan Arena’s boats were capable of speeds to 75 MPH at sea level when powered up. Such a boat usually had a v-drive 425 Horsepower Chevy engine. Howard Arneson threw a turbine in his and went over 100 MPH.

This was a family business, with his son involved in the business. Chris “Kit” Arena eventually ran the production floor at the Dan Arena Company after he started right out of high school with his Dad. There were a few exceptions as the woodwork was done by Lief Lund and the fiberglass Lamination was handed by Earnest Jackson after Kit had sprayed the gel coat. Chris also did the hand lettered “Dan Arena” logo. There were no cast name plates on Dan Arena Company boats, unlike ArenaCraft boats.

Fourth, what is a Barracuda?

Almost all pleasure boat models that Dan Arena had a hand in were named “Barracuda”. He liked that name. Both ArenaCraft and Dan Arena Company boats have Barracuda named boat models.

Barracudas came in 18’ this 20’, a 21’, and 23-24 foot sizes, at least. He made single, twin, and open cockpit runabouts. Boats with and without opening windshields. Some sported Corvette car windshields.

He also made cuddy cabin boats. His cuddies were deeper (higher hull sided) than his runabouts. Since the decks were molded and he often used the same hull mold for both models, it was his son’s job to scribe, cut down, and hand fit a cuddy hull molding to a runabout deck, among many other jobs in the manufacturing the boats.

 

internet photo of running dan arena craft 1950s era boat

internet photo of the boat running on the lake

 

 

1975 Taylor SS Restomod Fiberglass Jet-Boat by Hi-Performance Marine, Inc.

OK, here is the bottom line… 97 MPH best and 86 MPH with a full load. What else do you want to know?  Berkley 12 JE pump, 1,200 Horsepower using a gas/methanol blend and a couple of inches shy of 18’ in boat length.

big block chevy 1200 HP taylor ss taylorcraft 97 mph

That is an 8-71 Blower

These Taylor Craft SS boats came with a 455 OLDS, so out with it, and an after-market Dart block version of a Chevy BB displacing 509 cu. in. was dropped in. An 8-71 Blower and a bunch of hot rod parts make this power plant go for long distances at 6,000 RPMS. She will turn 7,000 RPMS to get the best speed. Pump slip, not rpms, make for the difference between the light load best and full load speed numbers. The tach was reading 7,000 at both numbers. And the pump is not stock.

A three yearlong restoration, a custom cockpit interior and a wild paint job with 15 coats of clear tops this project. She is a tow boat and river racer if you and the competition can stay out of the 200’ rooster tail from the pump.

The boat builder was the Taylor Boats that was located in Cushing, OK. That one was owned by Oscar Taylor. He started out rigging boats for himself, regularly ending up selling those to friends, and then made his own molds and complete boats. He did 16’ and 18’ boats mostly, with some longer ones coming later on. He had a boat rigging business for most of the early 1970s and still was making boats, but not continuously, into the 1980s. This 18’ SS model was the most popular. There was a Taylor Boats in California around the same time. Seabuddy entertained the idea of buying that company once.

taylor boat craft ss 18 classic fiberglass marine boat photo image

That finish has 15 coats of clear over it

taylor craft boat ss 18 1976 boat catalog photo image

A catalog photo of a one year newer model Taylor SS 18'

taylor craft ss engine hatch air brushed under side

Note the Air Brush Images on the engine hatch underside

hull inside engine room boat image photo

Air Brushing extends to inside the hull within the engine room

 

1971 Critchfield

This is a fully restored 15’ outboard boat that is powered by a 1970 Mercury Marine 1350. She is a show quality boat that represents the “top dog” type of outboard boat in Florida at that time. She is finished in her original color and sports all the right stuff in period correct rigging, steering, gauges, and seating. The owner did a very nice job, and she draws crowds.

fiberglass outboard boat photo image mercury marine classic restored

This boat is refinished in her original color

She is also a speed demon up and down the ICW route that runs along the east coast of mid-Florida, just south of Merritt Island and Space Coast. One ”flys” a vee bottom outboard like this, with the bow trimmed high, well out of the water, with as little of the hull in the water as possible. After all, air presents less resistance than water!

Critchfield was a racer turned boat builder. He first built boats around the late 1950s out of wood in Orlando, FL. He moved his boat plant to Avon Park, FL (near Sebring, FL). He was big in Avon Park. He had several models of boats and occupied a 110,000 square foot factory.

By 1973, it was over for Critchfield. He sold the operation, building, and his boat molds to Wellcraft Marine. They built 16 and 18 foot family runabouts of their own design in that plant. As a Wellcraft dealer, I was flown to this plant to see some of my boat stores most popular models in the early 1980s in their production home.

Wellcraft sold the Critchfield boat molds to Bill Farmer. Farmer later moved onto his Excalibur Marine boats in the 30-31 and 40 foot sizes. The Farmer 31’ was a Jean-Claude Simon (Cary Marine) hull. He sold the few first production 31’ to Chris Craft, where they met with dealer acceptance and Chris Craft then bought molds to make their own. He also sold a 31 boat to Reggie Fountain who re-did the boat bottom, changed the engine’s drive heights, re-worked the props to work with the new drive heights and stretched the nose and tail to make the mightily Fountain 35. That boat bottom was the foundation of Fountain Power Boats.

cockpit outboard racer 1971 restored classic

note the seating

 

bottom detail of outboard race boat classic restored

note the good amount of vee to the bottom shape

 

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

Gentleman’s Classic Outboard Runabout

chris craft james craft kit boat

She is a fun ride!

 

This is a Chris Craft – kit boat version. About 345 lbs. of speedboat in fewer than 14 feet. She is powered by a period correct Mark 55 Mercury Outboard of 40 Horsepower. She is just been restored in April of 2013 but this model was offered by Chris Craft back in the 1950s.

She is a great ride for the Captain and his passenger. Sporty, stable, and quick to maneuverer, this is a boat one launches for a fun time on the water. It is compact luxury craft that draws friendly smiles for her classic bright-finished good looks.

Her period correct Mercury Marine 4 cylinder outboard has been rebuilt by a pro and starts easily. It is the top power for the 13 1/2’ long boat. She is an opportunity to experience the classic wood boat life in a beautiful product of Chris Craft engineering.

In the restoration, this boat’s owner took advantage of all of today’s boat building materials. All the wood was sealed with Smith’s CPES and the joints of bronze and Stainless Steel bolts and screws were further strengthened with West System products. First class, top-of-the-line parts combined with a critical design eye and excellent skill towards making her a real beauty either on her trailer or out on the water is reflected the first time anyone sees her.

Boats like this Chris Craft were sold by them as complete kits in a box and this one was located already assembled, but in need of a complete restoration. That restoration took several years, not months. One just needs to see her now to enjoy classic boating at its best. She is the winner of the Best Outboard Boat at this year’s big Annual Antique and Classic Boat Society Show and Festival in St. Michaels, MD.

james craft runabout outboard boat photo image

She has storage under the rear deck

 

chris craft james craft kit boat model classic boat photo image

Note the level of finish inside this boat

 

chris craft kit boat outboard runabout boat photo image

Top level finish!

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!