We Interrupt Step Hydro Milking To Find Out More About A Carver.


1959 Carver Hartop with outdrive

While we have all been yammering about the rare Step Hydro fellow Woody Boater Grant Sinclair is going to bring us all back to reality and asks does anyone know more about this very cool time capsule 1959 Carver Hardtop. Like what is the model called? So, calling all Carver history people. Is there a Carver expert in the house. Calling Dr Carver, calling Dr Carver.

Oh that cool time capsule dash

Original gold!

Love the twin search light. back in the day this was quite the boat, thats for sure

cool outdrive

Anyway. If you know more. Speak up, cause

35 replies
    • Grant Sinclair
      Grant Sinclair says:

      Yes it is about 20ft overall. I’ve not been able to locate one with the hardtop and i/o configuration.

  1. NR
    NR says:

    Don’t know anything about the boat but it is cool. It also appears to be one of the first outdrives ever put in a production boat. Jim who also designed the deep V hulls for early glass Chis Crafts was a pioneer in the industry. Part of that was the hull of the Commander 19 SS. Which I might say is one of the hottest looking boats you can find. 🙂
    In 1948, Mercury Marine engineer Charlie Strang mated an aluminum car racing engine to the lower unit of an outboard motor, creating a marine propulsion system more powerful than the outboard motors available at the time. During the 1950s, he and fellow engineer Jim Wynne worked at Mercury under founder Carl Kiekhaefer, who was initially dismissive of and opposed to a technology that would later capture 80% of the market. In 1959 Wynne left Kiekhaefer and in less than 90 days developed his own stern drive, which he subsequently patented.

    The first commercial introduction of sterndrives was the Volvo Penta “Aquamatic” at the 1959 New York Motor Boat Show.[1][2] Kiekhaefer introduced a MerCruiser outdrive in 1961 at the Chicago Boat Show.

  2. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    Now that is a very cool rare boat, but I am sure it won’t produce the discussions like the rare CC Hydro.

    I have a friend who makes these Carver bikes, but I don’t think he will be able to help us out with any info on the boats.

  3. John
    John says:

    Around 1961 Carver offered an I/O called the “Shark-O-Matic” 80 hp by the West Bend company. That motor looks different though

    Love the boat.

    • Grant Sinclair
      Grant Sinclair says:

      Thanks for the info John. This outdruve is called an Aquamatic. I have the manual that came with it also.

    • Grant Sinclair
      Grant Sinclair says:

      Also, the engine is a 4 cylinder Volvo 80 hp. It has a Zenith Carb and has the original “arm breaking” manual crank for the front of the engine. I’ll always have a spare battery. Lol

  4. Steve Anderson from Michigan
    Steve Anderson from Michigan says:

    Where were they built? Did it turn into Carver Yacht, or is it a different company?

    It’s a very cool boat and well preserved from the pictures. Thanks for sharing!

      • Steve Anderson from Michigan
        Steve Anderson from Michigan says:

        Thanks, Troy! I missed that in the header.
        BTW, I always wanted to ask you about the name you go by. Due to the font chosen its really hard to read. Is it Troy in ANE? American northeast?

        • Troy in ANE
          Troy in ANE says:

          Hi Steve:

          You are close. It is a play on the PNW (Pacific NorthWest) being Atlantic NorthEast.

          It came about many years ago on Boat Buzz (The Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club Forum) from a fellow Woodyboater Bill Hammond

  5. Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P )
    Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P ) says:

    Cool Boat! Is that a cable or an oil line running to that out drive? Neat to hear the history on I Os.

  6. Andy in Middletown
    Andy in Middletown says:

    The Fiberglassic’s Library is your friend.. for any type of boat, not just Classic Glass. They have a section on scanned Carver info: http://www.fiberglassics.com/library/index.php?title=Carver

    There is a Carver History article from 2007 Classic Boating magazine in the library, written by Andreas Jordahl Rhude.
    Over the years I’ve read a lot of Andreas writings and posts on various forums and have come to respect his knowledge and research. From it, I took the following notes.

    – Carver initially built all outboard powered boats, with an offset transom set into the hull. they claimed it eliminated the need for transom knee braces and it carried the motor thrust forward. This feature was eliminated from the boats by 1959.

    – In 1962 80 Horse-power “Shark-O-Matic inboard/outboard engines by West Bend were optional on several models.

    There is alot of other good info in the article, but thought those two points applied to this post. That being said, the lines of the hull and the hardtop sure do look similar to those in the 1959 catalog images posted on the Fiberglassic Library. I agree with earlier assumptions that it appears to be a ringer for the 19′ Commander hull with Optional hardtop. With more time and scouring of the info on Fiberglassics, I am sure one could dial in the year much better.


    • Andy in Middletown
      Andy in Middletown says:

      Image of the 1961 Catalog cover for comparison to the 1958 catalog. Unfortunantly 1962 scans are not posted to compare the out-drive. Also, it would appear that by 1961 the logo is cast metal rather than plastic as is on the subject boat.

    • Grant Sinclair
      Grant Sinclair says:

      That’s more great info to add to this story. I’m very grateful to everyone that participated in schooling me on the little Carver.

  7. Andreas Jordahl Rhude
    Andreas Jordahl Rhude says:

    Cool rig. There are Carver Boat brochures and history article on line at http://www.fiberglassics.com in the Glassic Library. Contrary to what the company says, they were not founded in a garage as a hobby by two buddies. Charlie Carter owned two marine dealerships, one in Green Bay and one in Menasha. George Verhagen was one of his employees. Green Bay Marine Mart was a dealer for Thompson Boats and Chris-Craft and Evinrude or Johnson and they sold trailers and water skis and anything marine related. One day they decided to build their own boats lieu of selling those of other manufacturers. They had a business plan and decided Milwaukee would be a good place for a factory. So they found a factory location and Verhagen and family moved to Milwaukee to start building boats. Carter remained in Green Bay. He had to sell his dealerships to raise funding for the new CarVer Boat company. I sat at the kitchen table with Mrs. Verhagen and a couple of the daughters talking about this history. Milwaukee proved to be not a good location so they solicited other cities to entice them to move. Pulaski won and the Verhagens moved back home to Green Bay to the same house they previously had. yes, Carver Yachts/Marquis Yachts of Pulaski is successor to this original CarVer. Latest scuttlebutt is that Cruisers Yachts purchased whatever assets remain of Carver/Marquis after her closure more than a year ago.

  8. Andreas Jordahl Rhude
    Andreas Jordahl Rhude says:

    I have been posting a bunch of Carver Boat history stuff (old newspaper articles, photos, etc…) at the Pulaski old timer facebook page and there is some cross-over with Thompson Boat and Cruisers, Inc.

    • Andreas Jordahl Rhude
      Andreas Jordahl Rhude says:

      Carver Boats made the switch from hot molded hulls to plywood lapstrake starting about 1962. Almost immediately after Wally Markham and Glen Nordin bought he company in 1963, the hot molded hulls were eliminated from the product line and the switch was made to plywood lapstrake. Those two came from Cruisers, Inc. and Markham had started at Thompson Boat in Peshtigo after WW II (he had been a pilot in the military). I sat with Mr. Markham at his home for several hours. I had a great visit with him.

  9. GREG W
    GREG W says:

    They were very strong in lapstrake..way into the fiberglass era. When they finally transitioned to glass hulls they continued with wood decks, and interiors.

  10. Dane
    Dane says:

    Interesting boat. Looks like a Captain model to me which doesn’t appear in the catalogs in this length until 1962. The difference between the Commander and the more deluxe Captain is the interior featuring the built in glove boxes in the back of the seat along with the nice arm rest for front seat passengers.

    The trim on this boat matches 1958 and 1959. The 1958 model had a centerline length of 17’10” and the 1959 model was 18’10”

    Inboard-Outboards don’t appear in the brochures until 1962 but this boat is clearly older. The 1962 brochure lists 80hp West Bend or OMC stern drives available for the 16′ Commander or the 17′ Captain. The 19′ Captain for 1962 lists a 100hp stern drive and the photo looks like it’s a Chrysler-Eaton unit. All three stern drive boats in 1962 are lapstrake hulls. The Eaton outdrive had a left hand propeller and like this boat has the helm on the left side.

    The outdrive in this boat looks to me like a Volvo-Penta Aquasonic. This would have been a very early model in 1959 and as such this boat may be a special prototype either for Carver testing the drive or Jim Wynne developing the stern drive.

    Here is the 1962 catalog with the first IOs to appear in their advertising

    • Grant Sinclair
      Grant Sinclair says:

      Thanks for the pics Dane. I have received many other pics and brochures but have yet to the the configuration and color combination of my Carver. If I were to list it for sale I don’t have a clue as what to call it. It does have some characteristics of the captain interior design.

    • Grant Sinclair
      Grant Sinclair says:

      Oh yeah, the only other clue I have is the model number, which is: BB70.
      Thanks again.

  11. Matt
    Matt says:

    OH! hell ya! Mr Rhude AND Dane! Dane can find out if Mr Carver was cheating on Mrs Carver BTW. You may find out more to the story than you want to know! HA

    • Andreas Jordahl Rhude
      Andreas Jordahl Rhude says:

      After I wrote my Carver Boat history article, I visited their office again to distribute some copies. Their advertising manager said she had been at a bar in Green Bay a few weeks earlier and mentioned to someone she worked at Carver Boats. That person bragged that “…oh yeah, my grandpa Fred Carver started that company.” She just laughed silently; knowing that there never was a Mr. Carver. The company name came from the first three initials of the two founders: Charlie CARter and George VERhagen.

      • Grant Sinclair
        Grant Sinclair says:

        It would seem that I am in possession of a “FrankinCarver”. It doesn’t totally fit any year model.
        Thanks to every Woody Boater in this string. I have learned more about Carver Boats in the last few days than I thought possible.
        Now then, who can tell me about the 57-58 Surflite and Seaflite Seville Glastrons I’ve been hiding away. Lol

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