A cool  spontanious moment on Lake Hopatcong,

A cool special spontanious moment on Lake Hopatcong in 2009

One of the joys of going to Lake Hopatcong is the never ending diversity of boats all in one  compact place. Oh sure up in Michigan, there is a different boat for every boat house, but on little Lake Hopatcong it’s all ion one lake. Including two Katz’s Marinas focused on classic boats and home of the Ultimate U22, Thayer IV as well as Home of the first ACBS Chapter, and another thing that Lake Hopatcong has is Bob Kays, who is always out there with his trusty camera ready to document special moments like this special day when 4 different U22’s all showed up at the same time. AMAZING… And yet, just another day on the lake. I am sure throughout the day, many comments will come in with more history and Unique U22’s.. So tune in a couple times to have some fun..

The blue boat is owned by ACBS founder and LH member Joe Flemming. From what Joe told me at the time, the boat was ordered blue by the original owner Marjorie Merriweather Post of General Foods and Post cereal family.Blue was the Post cereal color. From what Joe told Wayne, the original "M" will be going back in the boat this year

The blue boat is owned by ACBS founder and LH member Joe Flemming. From what Joe told me at the time, the boat was ordered blue by the original owner Marjorie Merriweather Post of General Foods and Post cereal family. Blue was the Post cereal color. From what Joe told Wayne, the original “M” will be going back in the boat this year

kays2

 The black one belonged to former club member Russ Fisher. IT started life as a white boat , but Russ got tired of cleaning black tire marks off a white boat, so he painted it black. Before he passed, Russ sold it back to the family that owned it originally.

The black one belonged to former club member Russ Fisher. IT started life as a white boat , but Russ got tired of cleaning black tire marks off a white boat, so he painted it black. Before he passed, Russ sold it back to the family that owned it originally.

Bob Rice and his trusty Luetenent

Bob Rice and his trusty Luetenent

White sided

White sided U22, Owner  Steve Sher

And todays header in shot by Bob Kays in front of The Main Lake Market a fantastic stop on the lake for a sandwich, pop, and gas..

 It was a hazy august morning,with no wind and it was so great to see those 4 boats together. There were so many other settings I wish I could've done, but time was short. It was fun remembering on a cold January night.

“It was a hazy august morning,with no wind and it was so great to see those 4 boats together. There were so many other settings I wish I could’ve done, but time was short. It was fun remembering on a cold January night.” Bob Kays

And of course there is a video. Not long, but you get the idea

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54 Responses to “So Youz Think That All U22’s Are The Same? Ya Haven’t Been To Lake Hopatcong!”
  1. Randy Rush Captain Grumpy

    Love that header. I suppose if you twisted my arm, I would take any color.

  2. Walter

    What is this fascination with U22s? I don’t get it. And I really don’t get why people over-restore these fishing boats.

    • Bob Menzel

      Maybe because they are beautiful, have great history and the entire family can enjoy. Other than that all I can say is I would like one in each color please!

    • m-fine

      To start with, if you actually use the boat, you quickly find these open utilities to be a heck of a lot more versitile and both owner and passenger friendly. Yes they can be used for fishing, but also so much more. The 22 is a good size, holds a ton but easy to trailer, fits in most lifts etc. and relatively affordable to restore and maintain. The U22 was a very popular model when new and remains popular for the same reasons and more today.

        • Walter

          Thanks for the offer Matt. I’m a plywood boat guy. I’m not questioning the functionality of an open boat. I just didn’t understand why this particular model seems to be all anyone cares about. Did Chris Craft make other utilities? How long did they make these?

          • Troy

            Yes CC made a lot of other Utilitys / Utilities … whatever.

            Here is Mom’s ’57 21′ Continental. Like the guys are saying they are great if you want to take a load of people or stuff.

      • Doug P

        The U22 to Chris Craft is what the F150 is to Ford.

        (Darn they make those math questions hard, I need a calculator)

        • Doug Pope

          Hey Doug, I feel like I’m stepping on your handle here and over on the CC site so I’m changing to Rumble here. It’s more complicated on the CC site though.

          • Doug P

            Hey Doug, Now you are really overstepping….The name of my boat on the CCCC site is “RUMBLE Steel Skin”.
            Can you change your name to Fred? Or are we the alter ego of each other.

          • Rumble

            My boat isn’t a CC (one off 21′ plywood utility) so I won’t be posting much either here or there. I’m mostly a lurker.

    • Richard

      Maybe because they are such classic-looking sturdy boats that are far from simply used for fishing.

      My family has had a U-22 on Lake Hopatcong since my Dad brought a slightly used one home in the Fifties. We all learned to water ski behind it, we towed our sailing fleet to the races with it, we cruised around with family and friends with it. And when the first one went to dry rot heaven, there was no question as to whether we were going to replace it with another, which we have had for over thirty years. It is part of the family.

      They cost as much to restore every few years as own, but they are worth it.

  3. Troy

    What a great way to start the day!

    Here is how I am getting my varnish fix these days.

  4. Greg Woodard

    When you started posting these photos it was the first time I had seen a blue U22. I like it, however the contrast of the red used as an accent color really throws me off. It probably is period correct, but it seems all wrong as a color combo.

    I would darken the hue if originality was not a concern

  5. matt

    If you read the caption its “Post” blue from the Post cerial company. I love little factoids like that. Its also a close look to Copenhaigen blue on porsche 356’s which had… Red interiors.. Strange but it worked..

    • Grant Stanfield

      My old Skiff has been white, then black, and now blue through the years…vintage boats are wonderful in any color!

  6. Wilson Wright

    I partial to blue…Partialy because it is Joe’s boat and he is such a nice guy and second because he gave me a ride in it one day.

    And Walter….Not to be argumentative but have you ever ridden in a U-22 ?…It’s one of the nicest rides you’ll find. Maybe that’s why Chris Craft built and sold more of them than any other utility or runabout.

    …and that header….bet you could enlarge it, frame it and sell a bunch of them…If it doesn’t make somebody’s calendar next year, I sure miss my guess

  7. Alex

    Wait, isn’t Walter the name of the big fish in “On Golden Pond?” Dang. It is! Where did a fish learn to type? (You know, it does explain his apathy for 22s. After all, Norman and Billy were fishing from one in Purgatory Cove…)

    Just messin’ with ya Walter. It’s the middle of the day and the temperature has FALLEN all morning to zero degrees here. Anything to lift the old spirits.

    • Bob Kays

      Maybe Chad’s monkey taught Walter the fish to type, Walter the fish is still unhappy about Norman catching him back in the 80’s Walter is one very old fish.

  8. Chad

    Love utilities, always will.

    As a U18 owner, I’ve always been envious of the U22’s ability to handle bigger water and a few more passengers.

    And if you take the popular U22 and combine it with a rounded-hull lapstrake construction, you get my next favorite big water platform – the 22 Sea Skiff. Equally as popular.

    The designers at CC weren’t dummies.

  9. Chad

    OK, there might have been a couple dummies. But they were weeded out and sent to Century.

  10. matt

    Chads U18 is amazing, actualy a more social boat than the U22, fast, fun and took a good wave with ease..

  11. Rick

    All this 22′ Utility love. My little 17 is getting jealous. I mean my 17 is smaller, slower (B engine), WETTER (BIG TIME) and can’t be used most of the time in the big waters where we live. HMMM maybe these guys are onto something.

  12. Alex

    Here’s my 22: “Lush Life.”

    22’s are not only different in color, they can be different in hardware. “Lush Life” is 1946 post-war boat special ordered with a pre-war folding windshield.

    22’s are not all the same inside either. Some came with an optional jump seat (not sure what it’s actually called) in the middle. The middle seat with bridge deck you see in this photo was custom built for the previous owner, giving the boat the same conversation-friendly interior configuration as a 25′ Sportsman.

    Wonderful, easy driving boat!

    • Chuck Crosby

      Alex, is that a modern V-8 in Lush Life? I see two exhaust ports. If yes, what.

      • Alex

        Chuck. You are correct. I bought the boat as you see her. With a fresh GM 350, at 260hp or 290 hp, I forget which.

    • Doug P

      Alex, Very nice 22, Being a 46, is she cedar or mahogany?
      Were not most 46’s painted?

  13. matt

    Alexs lush life is my 1 favorite U22.. The extra seat custom design is amazing and has a nice V8 and amazing stain varnish with old school windsheild..

    The 46’s were painted because they were made out of Cedar, Mahogany was hard to come by

  14. Alex

    Thanks Doug. I truly don’t know what she came with originally. She is hull 78 I believe. When I bought her, she had a fresh 5200 bottom, fresh hull sides, fresh decks, new motor, and new leather. I understand the hull sides and decks are Philippine “Mahogany,” not Swietenia (Honduran). I also was told by the restorer (my friend Tommy Mertaugh), over $85,000 was spent on her in the few previous years, a figure I believe from personal restoration experience. While Honduran is my preferred species, the grain on this boat is so striking. That’s what I fell in love with. After 3 years fiddling around with prop size, a failed steering gear, and a couple engine accessory issues, she gave us a brilliant season last summer. I guess this is what they call “fully sorted” in the car business.

    Funny thing about this boat. A 25′ Sportsman is so much fancier and more robust than a 22, in so many ways, especially on our Great Lakes water. Yet this 22 never fails to draw twice the attention of my 25′. Vintage boat chick magnet? 🙂

    I attach a pic that shows her grain better.

  15. Alex

    P.S. Credit for “Lush Life’s” bridge deck goes to another Michigan restorer. I met the gentleman at ACBS Bay Harbor a couple years ago, but his name escapes me. I hope he pipes up and takes credit. The design and workmanship he did is excellent. I feel privileged.

  16. Wilson Wright

    If memory serves me right the white cedar hulls ran roughly thru #150. I remember seeing a mahogany U-22 in the Clayton auction a few years back and one of the alert restorers checked her hull # which was something like 65 and told the rest of us she was originally most likely a white hulled cedar boat

    • Dennis Hansen

      Wilson,
      Our white sided U22 is hull number 584 built in February of 1947 in Cadillac, MI. In our reference books, the white sided hulls were built from 1946-1948 due to the lack of mahogany. Of course, some could have been mahogany early in 1946 and late in 1948 as I doubt CC switched over exactly on the calendar date.
      Regardless, we love ours. Boating with “Red Cedar” (red water line and Cedar sides) (and a picnic lunch spread out on the engine box (a little bigger than the original engine, with a GM 350) makes for a perfect table) is a wonderful way to spend a lazy summer day in Northern Michigan.
      This is our first wood boat together and wouldn’t have it any other way. The pic is from 2013 at Hessel and you can also see it in the Woody Boater article, about “Cruising for the Cure” fund raiser on Torch Lake in 2013.
      All the best to everyone and especially to you who have a U22. We know how you feel about your boat.

  17. GES

    My family has, since 1963, owned a 1946 U22 (No. 107) that is all mahogany. During our period of ownership, no planking above the water line has been replaced. We are the second owners. Purchased by the original owner at Mertaugh’s in Hessel. I have bill of sale between the original owner’s widow and my grandfather. Spent most of its life in Les Cheneaux but we now keep it in the Finger Lakes.

    As the boat has some prewar details (steering wheel, step pads, etc.) but with the post-war rounded bow and windshield, the Antique Boat Center, who restored it in 2007, theorized that it may have been substantially complete prior to the war and then was finished in ’46 and designated as such. Whatever the story, proof positive that each boat is unique in and of itself.

  18. Randy Ruttger

    I would love a large print of the photo of the four U-22s in front of Main Lake Market taken by I believe Bob Kays. Can anyone help me? Our U-22 Miss Birchmont Has been in our family since she was new in 1949. Randy Ruttger – rruttger@aim.com