I Collect Boats! WHAAAAT?


my old barn

Have you found yourself in a cocktail conversation and the topic of things we like to do comes up? And they say, oh yes, I like to go golfing, what are you into. Oh I like old wood boats…. Pause, oh those are cool, like old Chris Crafts? ya. Do you have one? Well…. I have 5. WHAT? Hey Hey, I know guys with over 100 of them. WHAT? Thats nuts. So that is how it starts and then quickly as I break into Philips head vs Reed and Prince and I am alone, at the party. Wondering where everyone is? I mean.. Golf? What a waste of money?

the barn now

but what is all that crazy about this condition? i mean really, think about it. One boat isnt really enough. Ya got your fishing boat, speed boat, date boat, party boat, work boat, the go to boat, you know that one, usually a whaler. The fancy snooty boat for shows, the project boat, the boat in the living room, I mean it goes on and on. How could you NOT have 5 boats? Not to mention that “Deal Boat” that one that you have no idea why you own it. BILL! Anyway… So today, we can all just lay back for a second with a cup of coffee and feel the warmth of fellow Woody Boaters that all are shocked I only have 5!

maybe a bigger barn like Jimmys?

32 replies
  1. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    You can bring as many boats as you want to Port Huron in September. Your Michigan friends that have the same classic boat affliction are all waiting to see you. Get all the info and register from the banner on the left side of the page. Woohoo!

  2. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    I don’t have any boats…that are currently in the water and running. A couple power boats in need of work. A rowboat with an outboard that probably will work. A couple sailboats that need work. A bunch of kyacks that I weigh too much for or lack the skills to use, but otherwise work. Adding it all up, I think I need more boats.

  3. tparsons56
    tparsons56 says:

    You mean that “deer in the headlights look” when you tell people you actually enjoy working on old wood boats [plural] and you prefer the smell of varnish to Chanel #5! Yep – been there many times.

  4. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    I have a similar challenge, but since I am usually talking to boaters the question is not “What are you into?” but “What do you have for a boat?”
    At that point I kind of get a “deer in the headlights” look on my face and say “I never know how to answer that question.”
    After people ask how many boats we have it goes to “What do you want to count?” (I refuse to count Kayaks so it usually comes down to what needs to be registered) Yup 5 (not counting Mom’s CC and her Seadoo that I take care of)
    I am never sure if I should really count the dinghy since it spends most of it’s time riding around on the davits of Band Aids, but I do have to register it.

  5. Allen
    Allen says:

    Yeah…..it’s tough to overcome
    1947 17 run about
    3 U22’s
    1956 semi enclosed

  6. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    too many here…but thinking of selling one….or two….aren’t we all? Never seem to. Do seem to pick up more….weird and wonderful disease I guess?
    Going Boating for a few, predicted to be DRY and nice, DAYS!
    Does having the dink on the davits count as taking two boats boating? If so this counts as a twofer use wise…
    TROY: what is Band Aids? post pic.

    John in Va

    • Troy in ANE
      Troy in ANE says:


      Band Aids is the boat that you don’t like even though she is glass like your Scout and is a “Late Classic”. Very original and in great shape.

  7. Mike Stevens
    Mike Stevens says:

    Your comments illustrate a probable (possible) sickness. I sold four boats recently and purchased one (1) that actually runs perfectly and can be used whenever we want. Wanted my life back!
    However, thank all of you for saving whatever type of restoration hobby you enjoy. The rest of the public gets to enjoy these old craft without a lifetime of work (pleasure).

  8. Jim Staib
    Jim Staib says:

    I started collecting canoes. Brought home a pair of 30 footers because want to leave one and have it get lonely. Moved to boats to control the canoe problem. And like Troy I don’t count kayaks but it was a kayak used last. And the there is the Penn Yan in the living room that followed me home from Tavares.

  9. Old Salt
    Old Salt says:

    The more boats the more room to invite everyone from the party to come boat with you!

  10. ScottK
    ScottK says:

    Since we have added a pre-war antique to accompany our two 70’s glass classics, looks like we are collectors.
    I suddenly have a spring in my step knowing I’m a collector instead of looking at 3 boats in varying states of dis-repair that are consuming all of my free time.
    The 3 add up to 54 feet. We still have 111 feet of open sea wall, looks like we’ll be collecting more.

  11. Old Salt
    Old Salt says:

    This is just one of my four Chris Crafts pictured above. The WoodyBoater didn’t allow my three other pictures to be uploaded for some reason. The other three are..
    1957 Chris Craft Cavalier 16′
    1934 Chris Craft Model 503 18′ (Project Boat)
    1987 Chris Craft Scorpion BR210 Ski Jack (direct drive)

  12. Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U.P.)
    Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U.P.) says:

    7 boats, not counting the 2 inflatables. I do count canoes and kayaks. If it floats its a boat. I do have one that hasn’t floated in years.

  13. FrankatFalmouth
    FrankatFalmouth says:

    Ha! When does a collection become a hoard? 4 Chris*Crafts, 4 Whirlwinds, and half dozen+ other woodys, Not even counting the dozen plus sailboats or skiffs. Dont have any kayaks (yet). Like John, I cant seem to part with any, but more find their way to me… (Hey wait John you DID part with your Cavalier a while back if I remember correctly.) The last boat I parted with went to the Calvert Maritime Museum, a CruisAlong that is prominently displayed inside their main building down in Solomons Maryland… On one hand regret that, but it is shared with so many others that it was a good call…
    So whos counting? And does having a model of the actual boat count as half… If so Id recount, but I’m afraid of a family “intervention” if they really knew how many boats (20+) or cars (13) I really have. This is where having “uninformed” family comes in handy. “oh thats the same boat you saw last year…” lol They just dont understand 🙂

    Boat On WB’ers

  14. Randy
    Randy says:

    … eight! But yo know you have toooooo many to realistically use when you have to hang them from the garage ceiling.

    Old 10′ C-C Racing Pram (or duck boat) kit boat.

    My ‘Rule of Acquirement’ now is if I want to buy another boat, or car, I have to sell (2). Though there is one more boat I would like to have ………………….

  15. Paul H.
    Paul H. says:

    I’m not sure what the distinction is, but for me I resisted being called a collector – even when I had 12 or so boats. I don’t like owning things I cannot or don’t use for the intended design purpose. When a person has 12 boats, they simply cannot readily use them – they can use a few of them, but certainly not all. Even with two waterfront homes and a near 12-month boating season, I still couldn’t begin to use that many boats, so the count is being reduced.

    Vintage boats can be called “investments” under only the most most dubious of assumptions, or exceptionally rare and unique circumstances. They cost money to maintain, store and are illiquid, so from an investment perspective, a collection of boats is not a preferred hard asset.

    Collectors seem to derive some nebulous (frequently non-economic) pleasure from simple ownership or possession, not through use. I am not that and never will be – I want to use the boats and if I find they are not being used, they are obviously surplus and there are better places for the money to be directed. It is not really that complicated, just takes some discipline. if a person has a garage, barn or shop full or stuff they are not using and which has little realistic prospect of net value appreciation, the question is “why do I own this stuff, and is it the best use of money represented by the value?”.

    The storage business in the US and Canada is absolutely booming because people will not apply reasonable analysis to decisions concerning “possessions”.

  16. M&M
    M&M says:

    1987 Coronado MO. Ozarks. I pay insurance on 6 boats. My dock parks 4. 1999Tige in tow today.

  17. Arnie
    Arnie says:

    My party reply is “I restore full size wood sculptures of boats!”

    Eleven now and, of course, room for one more!

  18. 72Hornet
    72Hornet says:

    I have this conversation at functions frequently with people that I am introduced. The topic of hobbies always comes up and when asked, I gladly speak of my hobby, mush to the chagrin of others.
    I have always thought that one needs a boat for every occasion. I use and enjoy everyone of my boats for various reasons. Always two happy days in a boat owners life!

  19. Eric
    Eric says:

    I’m in this new “me too” movement as well. Was visiting my son in WI last weekend. Never should have scanned craigslist…pulled back in front of the house in VA Sunday night and didn’t say a word. Woke up the next morning and Jill and I took the dogs out for a walk as usual…she didn’t say anything during the walk…I think I’ll be sleeping in the barn this weekend! This might be a candidate for a pre-restoric plunge this weekend. Will try to start the ’69 85 HP Evinrude tonight. The boat is a Hydrodyne 1600. might need to flip it quick as this is a third “project” boat. Let’s see how the engine does. It has a cool “floating” front seat, designed by astronauts!

  20. Matt
    Matt says:

    Oh no! You have the plastic version of the disorder. And a serious Pastel issue! HA. That is cool as hell

  21. Ducraft
    Ducraft says:

    5 Woodies same wife. Great retirement plan. Paul, would you write a love letter for me to my wife, you are sooo. eloquent…….

  22. Dave Clyne
    Dave Clyne says:

    4 boats, 3 cars, 2 houses, 1 wife. I don’t see the problem. Boat 3and 4 are used but need constant work. Boat 2 is in varnish. Boat 1 is all about hope. I can’t wait to get it going. Boat 5 is in view but unlikely. The only limits are time, money and health. Not ready to stop yet.

  23. Ronald
    Ronald says:

    I started with 1 wood boat, after using it a 17 sportsman a few short years I sold that and in a short time I owned 5 more wood boats, now down to 1 wood and 1 vintage aluminum outboard cabin cruiser. Its a disease for sure.

Comments are closed.