The Art Of The Classic Boat Part.

Greavette Fender Cleat – Photo Sean

If you are into the restoration of your classic boat, you have no doubt noticed that each part is a work of art unto itself. While restoring Sylvia our 1941 Chris Craft Barrel Back, I recall thinking that even the exhaust pipe was beautiful.

Cobra Exhaust, not the angle cut, the combination of Copper, Chrome, Gold, white and Wood.

A huge copper pipe bent and how that nice copper looked with the Brass and varnish, bilge color.

Tell, me that isn’t a work of art? – Century Coronado – Katzs Marina

It was all thought through. In a way our beloved Woody Boats are like small galleries of art parts. We have done stories on cleats and how each element of there design flowed into the over all design of the boat.

A simple cleat, yet has motion and design

Not so the case today with mass produced boats, or cars, or heck, anything. But back in the day when all designs started with a pencil sketch, such small detailed designs were standard, and how JR designers grew up in the company.

A lift ring – Century

With classic boats, or just boats back in the day, we imagine that design would play an equal part to function. The battles internally must have been epic. But, we are talking about boating, not a car. Boating is something you want to do, its driven more by emotion, rather than function. Sure, there were boxy functional boats back then. But pleasure craft were a design choice.

Bow piece – Graves Plating

So each and every detail had an artist perspective. And that is one of the many wonderful things that Woody Boating is all about. Got an art part you want to show. Today is the day for your part to shine. Your BOAT part just to be VERY clear!

Even the choice of red leather wire holders was part of the design. Note the contrast of Bilge Brown with Chris Craft post war blue with a ribbon of new cloth covered wire!

Even a dam prop looks fantastic – Katzs Marina


41 replies
  1. Hugger69
    Hugger69 says:

    Great and beautiful topic!
    This is the fact also in Sweden and our 1937 Swedish built runabout “KURRE” is an great example.
    Swedish boats often has their name in chrome plated brass lettering as shown below.
    Another unique thing with “KURRE” is its front and rear cleat and engine ventilators. The rear cleat also functions as a flag pole holder and fairlead!

  2. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Some of the non factory accessories were also very cool. My grandmother insisted that my uncle displayed this medal on his cruiser. I now have one of these on both of my boats. It is a piece of 60 year old brass art that has received many compliments at shows and events.

      • hugger69
        hugger69 says:

        Thanx, Floyd!
        The Swedish designer Gideon Forslund knew what he was doing but he also had your American boats as a role models except he wanted a more protected area round the passenger then just a bare windshield.

  3. Cameron
    Cameron says:

    I found this manufacturer marking on a 1950s very simple cleat; it’s an S and an L astride a beautiful anchor. It elevated the beauty of the part in my eyes even if most people will never notice it.

  4. Sean
    Sean says:

    Interestingly, even in the late ’80’s early 70’s as the woodies were losing the sales battle to plastic boats, the sense of quality and unique-ness of style still came through on those last woodies. Costs were definitely a factor as the glass boats were significantly less expensive yet, the established companies still didn’t cut corners on style. This Greavette hardware was used in favour of the off-the-shelf plain utilitarian (Perko type) hardware found on early Donzi & Formula boats (1965-ish) right up to 1978 when Greavette stopped building new boats.

    • Sean
      Sean says:

      Whoops that first line should read “…even in the late ’60’s and early 70’s… “

  5. Bill Anderson
    Bill Anderson says:

    I put the my first choice of things on this one, wing vents,rope steering wheel,spotlights,aqua flair hardware,and attwood space ship,I collect these with big passion,Thanks

  6. Bob Killeen
    Bob Killeen says:

    In order to protect all that glitz on my Herreshoff Harbor
    Pilot, I’ve resorted to the beard . . . .

  7. Dave
    Dave says:

    We got the message! If it’s done by Katz’s it’s perfection, anyone else’s work does not hold up and that’s why you get the discounts.

  8. Captain Nemo
    Captain Nemo says:

    Integrated running lights in the handrails were cool and everyone loves the Jetson style anchor light.

Comments are closed.