I am not sure where to start. So I will start on Friday night.. You may want to get a cup of coffee.. I left the office mid day Friday to head up to Lake Hopatcong to Katz’s marina to pick up the new b. 7 hrs later at an average speed of 25 mph I made it. Met the gang and had a nice dinner and soft ice cream. Then a well deserved sleep.. Ya ya , you want to see the boat.. So did I! So I am torturing you like I was.. Saturday 7 AM, Seth calls. I am at the marina.. I said, I am already half way there.. A loooong 5 minutes later there I a.. At Katz’s marina. Waiting to see the boat. The Boat! A 1960 24 ft Chis Craft Sportsman! Brite sides and all. 203 original hours. Lincoln 430 V8, rebuilt by van ness.
The boat is 99.9% original. the only new item is the flooring. The boat was found in a barn a couple years back in PA, from an eBay listing by Don Ploenter Jr and Don Sr. The boat had never been registered since the owner was a Chris Craft Dealer. So even the Hull card is included, yes the original, the Mariners Museum does not even have it. The interior is perfect and original. Everything.. The boat was stripped down and restained and vanished by Fellow Woody Boaters John Kadimik of Northwood Boatworks. It’s magnific, the chome and gages were all cleaned up and redoneif needed..
We put the boat in the water and not one drop of water in the bilge. NOT A DROP.. Insane stuff. With her massive big block she lites up the water and will gently cruise at 2000 rpm at 25 knots all day.. until you run out of fuel.. Her trailer is a very nice performance trailer, considered by many as the top in the trailer world. For our needs this was the magic set up on a perfect boat for our water needs. The original owner Don Ploatner said. It’s a huge shoe box with varnish on it! No kidding.. Its massive.. But stunning.
So there she is.. Sitting in the work bay.. All perked up ready to go. To add to the fun, we had secretly named her “Suzy” the boatress’s name and my guiding light. She had no idea and I had to keep this all secret since she was at our river house.Katz’s marina even arranged for Alan Johnson, Gold Leaf master did the lettering before leaving to the west coast to pin stripe hot rods and other fancy cars for the Pebble beach Concours.. Wow, we were very lucky to get that as well. The transaction was way beyond the usual stuff. very professional, and fun.. Lets see, a all day test drive, boat all perked up.. Take it to a show and. And on my way home with a 1 year warrenty? mmmm…. Is there a better way to buy a boat?
So.. Next thing, we are all loaded up.. Dave Van Ness of Van Ness Engeneering with a killer 1941 19ft Chris Craft Barrel Back, Don Ploetner and his massive award winning Higgins, Foxy Lady and Seth and his best of show winner Finito, the last 21 ft Cobra made. All in a caravan through the roads of New Jersesy on our way to Greenwood lake in NY.. It was a site to see.. 1/2 a million dollars of show boats lined up going down the road..
The Greenwood Lake show was fun, and one of the best in there long history according to Phil Widmer the show chairman..
We had a ton of fun, motored down the lake looking for Seth’s old house that he spent years in.. Lots of memories and a great day of classic boating on some fun boats..
I never have my boats judged.. I dont like being a judge and always feel sorry for the judges at shows since it is a thankless job.. But.. I was asked if i wanted to have the boat judged.. I said sure, did the parade and everything.. When in Rome! And guess what. We won best utility! go figure.. Seth won Peoples Choice, Dave won Best Runabout, and Don won Best in show.. What the hell.. We show up late in a carivan of mahogany and chrome.. Eat, have a great time and take home all the awards.. I felt bad, and good all in the same time. I was there for a good time.. And had a great time instead..
Woohooo… back to lake Hopatcong and a fun dinner d a good nights sleep.. The long journey back to DC in the morning.. Dear god what was that going to be like! hauling a box of varnish back on the NJ turnpike..
4 AM I am awake! 5AM I am on the road.. The boat trailered like it wasn’t even there, except that i was going through fuel like a sherman tank.. NO TRAFFIC.. Perfect.. Hit DC by 9:45 and the boatress says on the phone..Keep driving, were going boating.. So I kept motering another 3 hrs to Reedville VA.. Presented Suzy to Suzy! “I knew you were going to do something stupid like that!” But she is happy.. very happy and in love with the boat she never saw.. THANK GOD!
We motored around the Great Wicomico in great joy. No numbers yet, But fully insured by Hagerty.. So what the hell, it was worth the ticket..
I was going Woody Boating in two bodies of water in one weekend.. Greenwood lake in NY and The Great Wicomico in Virginia. What a fantastic weekend and a joyful way to by a new boat. I have to go to work now.. Cant wait til Friday