Are you in the market for a Barrel Back? If so you have picked one of the most iconic boats of all time. There is not a part on these boats that isnt a work of art on its own. But, and I can speak from experience, buy the best restored one you can find. Spend the extra money on quality, and information, and don’t try and save a little on the unknown. These boats are so stunning they can make you do things you would never do. Barrel Back restoration can be more to restore because of the many design features that are all pre war hand made stuff. There are several out there now for sale on various non broker places that we STRONGLY advise you to be informed and aware of what you’re looking at, so we thought this story might help you understand what your getting into and what to expect what to pay and or pay for a restoration.
Barrel Backs come in several sizes and each size rides and performs completely different than the others. There are small 16 footers, Hydros, on up to the 17, 19, 23 and rare 27 footers. The most common are the 17 and 19 ft models. The 19 is a wonderful boat and delivers ride, style and ease of use. The triples are magnificent riders, the smaller boats are for smaller water. And the little Hydros are insane cool to run. One of our top boats of all time is Miss Step the little Hydro. You can see more on Value in the Hagerty Price Guide. But be aware, they range from $140K to $20K depending on who and how they were restored, or not. So its a real crap shoot depending on the specific boat. Each boat is a unique craft.
With restoration costs of over $100K, it makes sense to buy one already done, BUT, done by a reputable restorer, Dan Nelson, is considered by many as one of the top in the world. Katzs has done some of the finest as well. Each detail is critical on one of these, Everything must be correct. These are our Corvettes, accuracy is critical. We can go into detail of all the special things, but honestly there is a website on that and considered the go to for it. Barrelback.com
But the absolute most critical part of buying one, is buy from a known broker. DO NOT ATTEMPT to do this on your own. The brokers here on Woody Boater are all world class and very reputable. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS DO your research and go touch feel, smell, and run the boat. NEVER EVER EVER buy one without doing these things. There are small details that can cost you 10’s of thousands of bucks to correct. The good news is that great ones are out there. .
One of the top ones out there is Satin Doll a stunning very rare 19′ with orange stripes and pigskin interior available at the Antique Boat Center. HERE
And this perfect one at Katz;s Marina. CLICK HERE
Or this beauty at Sierra Boat Co on lake Tahoe. CLICK HERE
And of course one of the most well known Barrel, Mary Sunshine at Lake Owsego Boat Co.
These brokers have more and worth the search and research. Buying one right can make classic boating a lifetime passion so its important to buy right.