Posts Tagged ‘runabout’

Sea Ray 300 SLX bow rider at the NY Boat Show

2012 Sea Ray 300 SLX

Sea Ray makes a bow rider that is 32’ 2” in length with its extended swim platform or 29’ 6” with the standard swim step platform. It is a 9’ 8” beam boat that can still be trailered but only with a fairly simple to get permit. The single engine boat typically weighs in at 7,700 without trailer, or anything in the holding tank, water tank, or fuel tank or boat and crew supplies on board. Figure on a ready tow down to the highway weight of around 10,500 to more likely, 11,000 lbs. It takes a good size tow car or truck to tow it. But, what a beautiful runabout!

The single engine choice is a big block 380 Hp 8.2 Mag ECT gas engine with a standard grade Bravo III out drive. The 430 H. O. 8.2 engine or the 525 Hp engine version of the 8.2 is not offered and the 700 SCi (another version of the 8.2 block with a supercharger included as standard) may not fit. These higher Hp engine power choices would require an upgraded stern drive from Mercruiser. Only an inboard outboard drive system is available with the Sea Ray 300 SLX boat model.

The twin engine choices are several. They are small blocks from chevy marinised by Mercruiser in either a 5.0 block size or a 5.7 block. The 5.0 is rated at 260 Hp and the 5.7 makes 300 Hp. That is 300 Hp for each engine for a total of 600 Hp in an about a high mid-twenties length hull.

What further separates these twin engine choices is the separate option of Axius and Axius Premier joy stick control systems. With this, just a single finger joy stick controls the direction and speed of the Sea Ray 300 SLX at lower speeds.

See this Sea Ray boat at the New York Boat Show.

2012 Sea Ray Bow Rider

Sea Ray bow rider Helm Station

New York Boat Show for runabouts and cruisers

Cobalt Boats, a fiberglass power boat for 2012

The 105th edition of the granddaddy of all united states boat shows runs Jan. 4 – Jan 8 at the Jacobs Javits Convention Center with the main show entrance at 11th avenue and 34th street in NY City. The driving directions address would best be expressed as 655 W. 34th Street, NY, NY 10001. Parking is handy at down or around the block or take a taxi from the train station.

Cobalt boats, a favorite fiberglass power boat brand of mine, is offering one of their 2012 models at less than $40,000 as a show boat special. Another one of their boat show specials is a two foot larger model at a price that is way less than $50,000. Its closer to the mid-40s than a flat $50,000. Yes, the prices for their even larger power boat models go up even higher, but Boat Show Specials are displayed throughout their generously sized display booth. Look for the Cobalt Boats booth display over on the right side of the convention center and a little more than half way back from the front door.

Chaparral Boats is also featuring special boat show pricing on their bow riders, cuddies, and cabin cruisers.

Chris Craft, the famous boat builder that has a boat building history as old as pleasure boating is also at the show.

Grady White Boats has several new for 2012 model year center consoles, walk –  arounds, and fishing / family bow rider boats at the show.

Ski boat and wake boat noted boat builder, Correct Craft Boats, has a special price offering on two of their most popular models at the boat show, also.

Cobalt Boat 2012 fiberglass power boat

Wooden Power Boat, a racing runabout

This one is a 1954 Chris craft. An ideal mahogany classic two cockpit runabout. With a big flathead Chris Craft she gives a great ride at normal antique and classic boat speeds and a real thrill when the throttle is opened up even more.

Specs on the boat is 18’ 11” in length and she has a beam of 6’ 1”. Her overall weight runs in the 2,100 to 2,400 lbs. area. Chris Craft built 503 of them in a production series from 1948 to 1954.

She is not a bow rider and one must change which cockpit to sit in at dockside, as this power boat is a true runabout and not a utility. She is almost all deck, engine room, two rows of seats and little, if any, walking around room in the cockpit areas.

I got a ride on a Pennsylvania Lake in a similar boat that belongs to a friend that was also lovingly restored and its ride and handling during that fresh water cruise was really a terrific experience. That one had an extremely special Chris Craft engine rebuild by an out of state noted engine builder of classic engines.

Chris Craft offered this wood power boat model in either a natural wood stained and highly varnished hull and deck or as a painted red and white finished powerboat. Most came with the seating areas finished in a Chinese red or red hue, but blue was a choice, as I understand it, but not in all of the model years the Racing Runabout was built post WWII.

The photos are from Moores Marine,  that did this runabout’s restoration. Great workmanship and attention to detail is shown in the work coming from Moores you can see.

This one is a 1954 model Chris Craft

early on in the restoration work

Chris Craft, “par excellence” boat builder and its newest Boat

Chris-Craft will introduce its newest member of its storied family of launch style power boats at the Miami International Boat Show, February 16-20, 2012.  The boat buying public will get its first detailed look at the boat show. Look for it, its a stunner!

The new power boat is 32 foot long and it is both a bow rider and a sleeper. The new boat is the largest boat model of its type in Chris Craft’s model line-up.

All the folks at Chris Craft including Chris Craft President, Steve Heese, welcome boat buyers to take a long look at their newest offering at their Miami Boat Show display along with their other show boats. Heese is quoted saying that “the Launch 32 is the logical next step for the active boater that still wants a bowrider but also wants the option to overnight at a moment’s notice.”

Sunning space, an open cockpit, a sleep-in cabin, and a on-board head  as well as all the creature comforts that a first class boating experience demands awaits your family and friends aboard the new 32’ Chris Craft Launch.

Chris Craft boats are driven by active boaters. These boaters value high style, sleek-like proportions and a very practical configuration for their boating adventures. Thinking of long excursions or champagne cruises? Take a long look at a Chris Craft made boat. They very well may have the right boat for you for 2012. I have been on their boats and studied their operations inside the Chris Craft boat building plant in Florida. The value of a Chris Craft is well deserved in this writer’s opinion. The story of Chris Craft may be the story of pleasure boating, and both are a glorious one.

Do wood power boats always work?

Let me tell you a story about: John Hacker, the noted race boat and runabout  boat designer; Ernest Wilson, Harold Wilson, and Harold’s finance and later, wife, Lorna, a famous boat racing family; the Gold Cup races and its boat class; Greavette Boats of Gravenhurst, Ontario, Canada; and Harry Miller of the famous Miller car racing engines fame. They were all involved in a Gold Cupper named Miss Canada II a racing boat.

Miss Canada II, the Gold Cup class race boat, was designed by Hacker for the Wilsons, at their request. They also engaged Miller to design and build a 1,000 Hp. engine  that met the rules of the racing class. The boat was built by Greavette and the Miller engine was shipped there for installation. The engine never did run at Greavette and it and the race boat were shipped off to Lake George, NY, which was the race site. On race day, the engine broke before the race started. Thus the boat and the famous Wilsons did not get to race. After repairs, the engine did work for three laps at a later in the season race, before it broke again. Thus, that year’s racing season went  past without Miss Canada II ever finishing any race, let alone winning a race.

The following racing season, the Greavette boat, Miller engine, and the racing Wilsons did get some competition laps in, but did not win a race as pieces of the boat interior broke up, and the boat, while fast, was found to be too lightly built to stay together long enough finish a race. Thus ended the second season of boat racing for Miss Canada II.

After more work over the following winter on both the engine and boat, she started her 3rd racing season. The next summer, it was found out that the boat strengthening work done by the boat builder had changed the handling balance of Miss Canada II and she was deemed too hard to handle to win races and allow her driver and mechanic to stay alive while doing so.

The Wilsons ordered a new race boat from a different boat designer, for the next year. Miss Canada III, as the new boat was named, was a race winner.

Mr. Ford’s Typhoon; a great Wood Power Boat

Edsel Ford needed a boat, and not just any boat, to use for commuting to and from his MI home and his huge Rouge River Ford automotive plant located on the Detroit River. He decided on a wood power boat for his needs, a custom 40’ triple cockpit mahogany runabout. One with a powerful engine.

The new wood runabout was named after her engine, Typhoon. A Wright Typhoon dirigible engine made 600 Hp. from her 12 cylinder, 2000 cu. inch gas engine. and that made the boat something that Ford’s doctors fear for his health. On their advice he put Typhoon up for sale, just four years after she first went into the water in 1930. Howard Hughes was one of her next owners.

Typhoon, now destroyed in a boat yard fire several years ago, was a monster. Designed by George W. Crouch and built in the Henry B. Nevins Shipyard in City Island, NY, she was forty feet of double planked highly varnished mahogany that reeked of speed on the water.

She was always a fast runabout.  She was repowered several times to go faster. The original Typhoon was replaced with an Allison aircraft engine and  then a 650 Hp V-12 Hall Scott was installed. Another replacement engine was a 1,500 Hp Packard.  As a side note to the replacement engine story line, the 1,500 Hp engine weighted less than the 650 Hp one. She also underwent several restorations before she burned and there were several periods of time in her life span were she just sat around. She was a monster on the water!

Hacker Craft Wood Classic Boats Today

AHacker Craft underway on the Lake

Hacker Craft makes wood boats even today in the USA. They continue to believe that a wood boat offers the best qualities of ride and performance for a recreational boater to enjoy our waterways. Wood is not the path to the lowest price for enjoyment on the water, but for a hobby, how far up in importance is price?

With Hacker Craft being located on Lake George in upstate New York, the highest achievement of boating fun is often tied up at a nearby dock at the signature lake. Feel the experience of a fine wood classic craft for yourself if you are in the market for a boat. I did and must say, I was impressed with the ride and handling of a Hacker Craft inboard.

She rides level, takes a good chop very well, and gives a solid bite on the water for all on board. This is a signature boat – an excellent example of what boating can be about.

By the way, Neiman Marcus will have a Hacker Craft in its upcoming Christmas catalog this year.

a new Hacker Craft at the dock

Steinway “piano” boats

In 1888 William Steinway, owner of Steinway Pianos, bought the north american rights to the otto engine  of Daimler. Bill figured that his wood workers could build a wood boat and the engines fitted in such a boat would make for a nice package.

By 1892 he was building a 42 footer and a 50 footer. There was a recession in 1893 and the boat building activity suffered. Then Bill Steinway died in early 1896.

The company then only continued along  for a bit as a non-on-going pace.

Daimler then pretty much threw out what he in engine making and selling and made a deal with a Mr. Jellinek, made a new deal and added the name of Jellinek’s daughter, Mercedes.

about 4.0 mil for Mecum Auction Results for Todd Warner Boats Collection

They will have more boat events upcoming. I’ll keep you posted.

Sucess at Annapolis Boat Show

2010 Annapolis boat show

The simultaneous starting of a couple hundred engines and sounding of boat horns marked the close of the 39th annual United States Powerboat Show in Annapolis Sunday evening.  A weekend of glorious weather followed the first day of rain, and people came out by the thousands to tour these magnificent boats.  Attendance more than doubled the rain-soaked 2009 show and rivaled the numbers of 2008, making this one of the best attendance years in the event’s history.


“This industry needed a shot in the arm and a signal that the worst of the sales slump is behind us,” said Paul Jacobs, General Manager of United States Yacht Shows, producers of the event.  “Large enthusiastic crowds, along with the many boats being sold over the four-day event could be a sign that the recovery has begun.  We certainly hope that is the case.  It felt like a far more positive mood among sellers and buyers than the past two years.”


Show Manager, Dee Newman, reported that “Boats of all sizes and styles were sold this year, according to our exhibitors.  Everything from runabouts to trawlers, and tugs to express cruisers shared in the success.  Many sea trials are scheduled to take place in the next few days,” she added.  “We are very happy for them.”


After two consecutive weekends of shows, the Annapolis Boat Shows crew began the daunting task of removing a city of tents and a marina of floating docks.  In just three days, 300 docks will be towed away and hauled out of the water for storage.  Sixty temporary pilings will be pulled from the harbor.  Two hundred and fifty tents, six hundred tent floors, and miles of electrical cable will be removed and put in storage for another year, awaiting next year’s extravaganza.  By Wednesday evening there will be no remaining indication that an event even took place here.  Only a fond memory of 90,000 people having toured hundreds of boats and over 1,100 exhibitors will remain; that and an estimated 60 million dollar economic impact to local business, non-profit organizations, and the state and local governments.