Fine Art For Your Fine Wall. Finally!

John Austin Taylor artistEvery now and then ya come across a cool work of vintage boat art that you might actually be able to put up in your house not the garage like all the other boat signs and show posters. Today is one of those days. Right here, or there on ebay is one of artist John Austin Taylor’s well known boat paintings,  This one is of the Vicki B II and has a Detroit Yacht Club flag on it.

Note the detail and brush strokes. This is the real deal from what we can tell. And if you really think about it, would anyone make a living on copying old boat paintings?

Note the detail and brush strokes. This is the real deal from what we can tell. And if you really think about it, would anyone make a living on copying old boat paintings?

It would be AMAZING if the Vicki B II was still in use. In that case this painting would be priceless…to that owner. To others like us mortals… An iconic work of classic boat art from the 1940’s or early 1950’s.

Here is a Hockney esc collage of the painting. It blows up so you can see the detail.

Here is a Hockneyish collage of the painting. It blows up so you can see the detail.

34 replies
  1. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    As a native Detroiter, I take pride in the DYC and Michigan being recognized as a marine historical spot in this way. To bad the painting does not have any other local landmark in the background. It is sad to see the negative changes that have taken place in the area during my lifetime, and the struggle that the DYC is having to stay in existence.

    • Bill Hammond
      Bill Hammond says:


      I went down to the DYC last June/July, somewhere in there, and it was jam packed!! Couldn’t even get across the canal! You wouldn’t have known they were having trouble! Boats and cars everywhere. First time I’d ever been there or to Belle Isle. What a treasure!

  2. Troy
    Troy says:

    I like this a lot!

    I don’t think I would buy art off e-bay without a firsthand look any more than I would buy a boat off e-bay without a first hand look.

    • Bill Hammond
      Bill Hammond says:

      I sent the seller a message asking him if he had any further info about the painting. Here is his reply:

      “I purchased the painting from an older woman at a flea market in Burton, MI in April of 2014. She claimed that it was from the Detroit Yacht Club. That is all the info I have.”

      The seller is located just a few miles from me as was the flea market where he purchased it. If anyone is seriously interested in this painting I would be willing to help make any connections for you. I suspect that the painting will not sell as he has his starting bid set way too high. Anyone interested in the painting could make him an offer after the sale is over.

  3. Alex
    Alex says:

    Nice looking painting. Beautiful boat.

    But jeeze, even paintings of cruisers are expensive.

    We all know the BOAT acronym. Someone needs to turn CRUISER into one. I’ve got the frost letter: Costly.

    I’m scared to even think of the the word cruiser, for fear I’ll get a bill.

    Damn. Someone just knocked at my door. Shhhh. “Be vewy qwiet.” It’s either Watchtower peddlers or the cruiser thought police.

    • Troy
      Troy says:

      I have been saying that if BOAT stands for “Break Out Another Thousand” than Cruisers should be spelled BOATT for “Break Out Another Ten Thousand”.

      You are just afraid of Cruisers because you know that your persona would not allow you to only have one!

      • High Seas
        High Seas says:

        To all,

        Yes, BOATT is the norm for a cruiser, I spend on average over the past 7 years, about 20K a year on restoration and maint. That does not include my moorage for the boathouse at $1,360 a month and insurance on top of that…… I am not a rich man, we struggle every month to justify the costs of having our boat, but as my wife says, it is our dream to live aboard and cruise the Pacific Northwest. I still drive a old Chevy pickup with 185,000 miles on it to justify our insanity. People that cannot justify a big cruiser has no clue because they have never tried to live the lifestyle. I would challenge any of you to sell your house and buy a large cruiser to live aboard permanently. Downsizing your life and getting rid of all of the junk that society tells we need to have is liberating for those of us that have the guts to jump off the dock into the cold water of uncertainty and live the dream that most of you have been contemplating for years…….. Here’s a pic to give you an idea of a cruiser bow repair.

          • High Seas
            High Seas says:


            Right on! Our infatuation with cruisers will always outreach our checkbooks, but we can bounce checks right? This is a pic of “Olympus” a 1929 92′ fantail that cruises the Pacific Northwest and a huge draw to our wooden boat shows. is the pics site, she charters out of Seattle.

  4. mike k
    mike k says:

    i like the art deco styling of the captain, also is the registration number how they did it back then? is the 38 for 1938?

    • Randy
      Randy says:

      The “38” does not correspond to the year.

      Up until the late 1950’s the Coast Guard was responsible for boat registration (in most states). At that time the USCG turned this responsibility over to the individual states, which is why boats all have numbers that relate to the state where they are registered (WN for Washington, CA for California, etc.) Boats documented with the USCG are not required to have these registration numbers displayed on the hull (though states still require registration to collect their ‘fees’).

      Art should hung on the wall to be enjoyed, not just bought for investment value. I could enjoy this picture. For those non-cruiser owners go for it — this could be the only way you will ever enjoy one!

  5. cutwaterguy
    cutwaterguy says:

    I like the header photo, a 16′ G-W split cockpit with fold down windshield? I’d like more info about this boat.

      • cutwaterguy
        cutwaterguy says:

        yes, but its plymouth ma., helping daughter and soninlaw with victorian home. leave friday be back to indiana june 1. have i done work 4 u?

        • Troy
          Troy says:

          Just assumed you must be Jr. from Cutwater Boatworks.
          He did a GREAT story for WB last summer that I missed being a part of.

          • cutwaterguy
            cutwaterguy says:

            ok i’m confused, ain’t hard todo. i’m mike, been building cutwaters 35 years. nice to meet you.

  6. Bill Hammond
    Bill Hammond says:

    You guys are coming at this all wrong!

    Upswept (Bow)

    Come On’. Get On Board. Life begins on the Cruiser Side!

    • High Seas
      High Seas says:

      Agree with Bill,

      We have alot of cruisers for sale here in Seattle. I just purchased yesterday a 42′ 1972 Commander for 15K and will finish it out for a friend that wants to live aboard here on Lake Union. Waterfront condo for $450 a month? We have a secret here in Seattle, it’s called live on a boat, much cheaper than $3,000 a month for a condo!

  7. MikeM
    MikeM says:

    Great header….great boat. Love the patina of that. Love the seams on the side, the perfect gentle exhaust bellowing out and can barely smell the coffee cup cooling quickly….

    • cutwaterguy
      cutwaterguy says:

      was this boat at mt. dora? i’d like to contact the owner, i have the same model. thanks.

  8. Matt
    Matt says:

    We are not sure. If you google around this price seems to be in the ball park . If you own the boat is cheap.

  9. Speedboat outlaw
    Speedboat outlaw says:

    Cutwaterguy, Nifty used to be owned by Ron Ballantyne Past President of the Michigan Chapter and the International ACBS. He past away this past year and is sorely missed. I believe Nifty was sold out of state (Mi) a few years ago but am not sure. It was a 1939 GW with a Chrysler flathead. I’ve known the boat since 1977 (former owner) and it was always an enjoyable time.

    • cutwaterguy
      cutwaterguy says:

      i knew ron, along with ron daniels, joe kabot, bill munro, bob speltz and tomany others. we’ll meet again. RIP ol’time woody boaters. thank you, outlaw.

  10. High Seas
    High Seas says:

    How many of you are coming to CCR 2014? The biggest gathering of Chris Crafts in the world? The only event for the 10′ kit boat to the 74′ Roamer and everything in between. Join us in Port Orchard!

    • High Seas
      High Seas says:

      We want you to show up regardless of size or condition! Drive it or tow it, does not matter how many flaws, at least you are here with us.

  11. Davismcp
    Davismcp says:

    Any idea what this John Austin Taylor sold for?
    I have an original of my great grandfather’s Chris craft yacht.
    Priceless to me, but curious to know ballpark values.

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