It’s Time To Play Whatiz It?

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The boat, not the jag!

Thanks to fellow Woody boater Paul Harrison for sending in this What Iz it boat that was on Bring A Trailer yesterday, which is really on Craigslist, which is also on The hulltruth, and now of course its on Woody Boater soon to be on Facebook and no doubt Tweeted out and placed on Instagram. And ya know what? No one is going to guess this one. Why? I don’t know, I just gotta vibe. Why the vibe? Well, this thing is so freik’n cool, that if there were two out there, we would know about it.. And we asked Texx, who asked Brian Robinson, and according to Chad, and Fritz, The ‘aluminati’ have been talking about this boat for years… so, we are asking you!  Our fellow Woody Boaters Mr and Mrs or Mizzzzz, or Sir Smarty Pants. Bring it on! Happy Saturday.


Here is the image from the Hulltruth, the boat is located in the Sacramento Area.


According to the folks over on the Hull Truth Forum, the boat was located somewhere in the Sacramento, CA area in 2009. Nobody (including the – then – owner) could identify the designer of the boat, other than it had been some sort of harbor boat. They also refer to the craft as possibly being designed as an art deco period boat. A few people tried to make a possible connection to it being related to vintage Airstream Trailer roots – but nothing confirmed. It is a cool looking boat, and like Chad says “would require a major-league polishing job…” If the Bring a Trailer ad is correct, the boat is now located in Auburn, CA (just east of Sacramento) with the Jaguar car in the opening garage shot. – Texx


32 replies
  1. Texx
    Texx says:

    The always observant (and often warped imagination) of fellow Woody Boater Chad Durren also noted that old aluminum boat looked like it was frowning – hoping for a new home in the transom shot. Do old boats have feelings?

  2. Steve Moreau
    Steve Moreau says:

    Wow Texx your are right that is one cool looking tin can! I would love to see it in person. Hope we can keep in touch with its where abouts. And yep I know old boats have feelings hell mine even talks to me when I go by it “Stevie when are we going to start my paint and varnish job I want to get back in the water” it tells me. What don’t tell me that I have the only talking boat!

  3. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    I think the Airstream connection is just subliminal since there is some reference to Airstream in every picture in this story.

    Aluminum boats can be a lot of fun! (Yes, I have an image for that statement)

  4. Chris B
    Chris B says:

    I believe it was built in the early 1900’s for Caractacus Nemo, the grandson of Captian Nemo as a tender for the Nautilus. She was use extensively to shuttle the elite of the time for extravagant parties below the surface. this help to raise the funds needed to keep deep sea exploration going.

  5. Jim Staib
    Jim Staib says:

    It’s a mid 1950s Romany 2500. Built by the Romany Company in MI. They produced the boat and a couple travel trailers to compete with Airstream before the Romany Gypsies complained and they had to change the name to Avion. They never built anymore boats but continued to build trailers.

  6. Kentucky Wonder
    Kentucky Wonder says:

    I agree with Dave. Those are very similar, but probably not the same boat. There are differences in the windows and around the open area at the rear. They are so similar, that they have to be sisters from the same builder.

    • briant
      briant says:

      It is the same boat – both the one outside and the one next to the Jag in the garage. Photo angles are just playing with you. Count the number of attachment / supports on the front grab rail – both have seven on each side. Highly doubtful that they would space them differently on two different boats, yet stay with the seven attachments.

  7. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    How about we digress? THE CAR….wow….the JAG? neat.

    Model A in the background.

    Wasn’t that boat in the Wizard of OZ??

    John in Va.

    • Paul H.
      Paul H. says:

      John – Funny, the guys commenting on the BAT feature were more interested in the boat than the car! Agree though – the XK-120/40/50 were wonderful cars.

  8. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    I agree – definitely note the same boat unless it was shortened to fit in the garage. I wonder if there was someone playing with the idea of early “canyon runners” with that design – (Colorado River, Hells Canyon, etc.).
    It would be interesting to see what the full underside looks like, how the drive and steering was set up. Interesting.

  9. Denis D
    Denis D says:

    I disagree, I would be very surprised if that is not the same boat. If you look at the position of the Jag to the boat, it appears you are looking at a quartering front shot of the boat which makes it appear shorter as opposed to the Jag which is a square on side shot. It appears the owner has started to clean up the aluminum and has removed the rear railing otherwise everything looks identical to me. Great looking boat and definitely uses some design features strictly for aesthetic value.

    That funky paint job on the Jag kind of goes with the ambiance of the boat. Having restored a 120 and a couple of 140s, I have to say that this is the first time I have seen a paint job ruin the classic beauty of the design. It makes me want to get to work on restoring my current 140 Drophead but I have to finish the boat first 🙂

    Denis D

  10. David Bannerman
    David Bannerman says:

    If it’s an Airstream, their corporate offices in Jackson Center Ohio could provide details.

  11. Nautilus Restorations
    Nautilus Restorations says:

    It’s the same boat. The Jaguar is way forward in the photo. Everything down to the rivets matches the older photos. Judging by the size of the Model A Ford coupe in the background and assuming that deck is right at the height of the chine and a 6′ tall person can stand at the helm, the overall length works out to be 34′. If a 6′-4″ person can stand at the helm, call it 36′. Anyway you call it, I’d love to own it. Naturally, it’s nearly 3,000 miles from me.

  12. Steve Moreau
    Steve Moreau says:

    I say same boat the seams and dents in the rear spray rail look the same. I would think late 50′ to early 60’s. May be a long star or alumicraft. Long star did make some small cruisers. I found a alumicraft on ebay that was a barrel back. I didn’t have the heart to send it to you guys in fear someone would have a heart attack.

  13. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    mostly off topic: That Jag:
    awful paint to be sure. Lady I stay with for one night during every Tavares/Mt.Dora event has an original in her garage…and wants to sell it…she having just bought the newest version for a ton of $$….just as classy as a wooden boat though!
    Spent the night on the cruiser last night…going boating!
    John in Va.

  14. matt
    matt says:

    Well Charles has it! I am always amazed.. This is the story on Bring a trailer that Paul Harrison found!

    I spoke to the man who owned this boat & here is the story:
    The boat was built right after WWII in Troy Ohio by the Hobart Bros- who made welding equip, food service equip amongst other things.
    They decided to try the boat business as they invented stainless steel welding equip and the hydraulic hammers that form stainless steel.
    The boat was completed and launched on the Miami river- which runs through Troy and on it’s maiden voyage water washed over the stern and swamped (sunk) the boat.This was the beginning and end of the Hobart Bros. boat venture. It was sold to someone who used it on Grand lake- which was the man made headwater for the Erie canal in St Mary’s OH.
    At some point the boat ended up behind a barn and the man I spoke to (Mike) had a friend who sprayed fields and noticed it- as it was otherwise hidden from view. He told Mike about it, Mike found out the man who owned it was in prison for murder but upon his release Mike bought the boat from him. This was approx. 18yrs ago.
    Mike was contacted by the Troy OH historical society about restoring the boat and putting it in a Hobart museam with Hobart doing the resto/welding etc. but this plan fell through. Dismayed Mike Ebayed the boat for $3500 and it went to Iowa.
    It was Ebayed again shortly after and went to Sacramento CA where it is now. The people who now own it recently contacted Mike for the history/provenence and are thinking this is a $100,000 boat- and are over the moon with it..

    I’m sure we haven’t heard/seen the last of this boat.
    Interestingly Mike is crazy about Merc outboards from the fifties and has a mess of them. He comes to Hershey every year and we made plans to visit.
    Here is the Wiki Page

  15. Mike Smith
    Mike Smith says:

    It was sold to someone who used it on Grand lake- which was the man made headwater for the Erie canal in St Mary’s OH.
    Am I confused?

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