While attending the Priest Lake Dry Rot event in Northern Idaho last September, I was introduced to an Unforgettable Blond named “Dandee 1″, a 1948 Century Sea Maid 17’5”. She’s owned by Dan & Diana Indgjerd from Spokane, Washington and is powered by a 140hp Grey Marine 6. She had that rich, classic boat sound cruising across Priest Lake that day. Although it’s been over 6 months since I first was first introduced to “Dandee 1”, I have fond memories of that day when we first met. When I returned home from Priest Lake, the next day I ordered the book Classic Century Powerboats, by Paul, Frank & Trudi Miklos so I could learn more about the history and architecture of Post War Century runabouts.
In the book they write, The 1948 17’5″ Sea Maid, with it’s new torpedo-line deck styling and modestly rescupted hull, sold 281 units, making it Century’s bestselling model to that point. In all, Century produced more than 900 inboards that year (1948), finally meeting the demands of a prosperous and eager public. With the official end of the war in August 1945 …. As the country began settling back into peacetime activities, manufacturer’s began feeding the public, hungry for consumer goods. In 1947, Century answered with it’s first line of truly different boats since the war. After modest attempts at adding interest to the decks, Century made a bold move by introducing intricately patterned, high contrast deck designs that now featured extensive use of bleached mahogany (or blond planking) and heavier 1-1/4″ covering boards in bright mahogany rather than walnut. Note above the distinctive Eagle Claw vents.
Then the Chief Starter for the event reminded them that they were ahead of their start time and had to make another loop to kill some time! Never cross a Chief Starter with a Bull Horn!
The all girl crew was not impressed with the Chief Starter’s directions as you can see.
Moments later the girls were finally off, racing across the lake to the first check point, with Dandee’s powerful Grey Marine 6 barking a sweet exhaust note out the back. The all girl team ended up with an impressive second place finish out of 45 teams entered in the Poker Run.
Then as dusk fell, just as quickly as we met, the Unforgettable Blond Century returned home and that was the last I saw of her……. Now every time I see a Post War Century Sea Maid with the bold deck styling and eagle claw vents, I’ll think of “Dandee 1” and the day we met in Idaho.
The Sunnyland Antique Boat Fes
tival on Lake Dora, Florida is on from March 26 to 28. This year they are featuring Century as the show marque, and the Century Boat Club will be out in full force for the event.
Maybe if I’m lucky I’ll get to meet another Unforgettable Blond at the show.