Vintage Classic Boat Photos, I Wonder What The Back Story Is?


Looks like on ebay someone found a treasure trove of old photos of boats being delivered to new owners? It’s interesting to see how they would be trailered. And the car that does the hauling. No 4 wheel drive truck stuff.  I would suspect that the car has a whopper V8 of the day. But still.


The white wall adds a certain style

Same house? Different boat. Older guy? This is Bert, he always wanted one of these. 

Amazing Century

U22? Bert? Where did you go?

Was the Marina across the street?

Each boat got a pose? Hand on hip please! Stick out your chest?

The seller is from Toledo. Are the photos?

Hey, where did the guy go?

A little lapstrake on lapstrake action

To the camp?

Back to the street

At a boat Show?


27 replies
  1. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    Is the marina across the street or is that the house where the delivery guy lives and he was simply taking pictures of all the boats he was delivering.

    As to the 4WD pickup: One usually only need that when retrieving on a possibly slippery or steep ramp. Didn’t seem to be a lot of ramps in those days and most of these boats are on cradles.

  2. Bob Kays
    Bob Kays says:

    That is Bert Thayer, Norman’s older brother with the U – 22. He liked Norman’s boat so much he bought one. Named it “Thelma” after his wife.

  3. Steve Anderson from Michigan
    Steve Anderson from Michigan says:

    It’s amazing how high the boats sat on the trailers! How do you find a ramp steep enough!?

  4. Greg W
    Greg W says:

    Given the way these boats appear to be secured I would guess these are likely depicting boats that have been picked up at the factory and are ready to leave same or arriving at destination. Chris Craft secured boats to the cradle with steel bands with wood yokes and blocks. I can only speak from experience to the Chris Crafts but it appears the Century is secured the same way. They would even band to your trailer if you wanted.

  5. Mo Sherrill
    Mo Sherrill says:

    I wouldn’t be too worried about the size of the car’s motor as I would the ability of those mechanical brakes to stop the whole thing!! You know the trailer has no brakes! But they did it anyway at a top speed of probably 45 mph or less! LOL!

  6. Marshall
    Marshall says:

    Sweet back to boats picked up this baby about six months ago in so cal its sitting on a dodge truck chassis pretty cool i would imagine they came up with some cool stuff back in the day when they were shipped buy rail car u couldn’t just go buy a trailer it will be for sale if someone is interested the trailer not the boat

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

    Makes me think of one of my favorite photos. A 40 Ford must have been the tow vehicle of choice. They did have the biggest engine for a low priced car.

  8. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    Here’s a shot of “Sindbad” behind it’s original tow vehicle – a 1928 LaSalle Tourer, with the same Cadillac flathead V8 that powered the boat. They were still using this when the boat was brought to WA State in 1954. I also have a custom dolly that was evidently used between the car and boat at some point to take some of the weight away. If I can’t attach that pic with this one I’ll post it next. Folks were creative in those days! 🙂

    • Dick Dow
      Dick Dow says:

      Here’s the dolly with a couple tail dragger wheels that went between the trailer and car. An adjustable ball assembly was bolted in the middle on the low plate and a couple limit brackets were bolted to the angled plates at the back and extended to center the dolly with the main trailer frame.

  9. Don Palmer
    Don Palmer says:

    Dick, I have been to your place many times and seen that you have plenty of goofy trailers! (and a flathead V8).

  10. Briant
    Briant says:

    I dunno about all those tow vehicles having a V8…. my 1941 Buick had a dual carb straight eight with enough hp and torque to rival a damn freight train.

    What kills me is the fact that folks understood how to build engines and cars and trains and understood boat hull designs but for the love of Pete the best idea they could come up with for a boat trailer is something that looks like a hillbilly made from the crap in his yard.

      • Briant
        Briant says:

        Ha! Wait. You resemble or resent my remark?

        Are you mad at me because I may have sort of insulted you for making a questionable item from crap in your yard…

        Or your actually body looks like something a hillbilly made from some junk laying about….

        Or you’re a bad speller like our glorious leader Matt?

        Inquiring minds want to know!

        • Troy in ANE
          Troy in ANE says:


          Look at the trailer in Jim’s picture and you will realize he means just what he said. “Resemble”.

          Yorktown had a four wheel trailer like that for decades. No ball just a pin to attach to the tow vehicle. It was impossible to back up.

  11. Tuobanur
    Tuobanur says:

    When I first acquired my boat back in 1998 this is the trailer it was setting on. Not knowing any better at the time, my dumb ass got rid of the trailer and let the old original wood cradles rot away in my back yard.

  12. Marshall
    Marshall says:

    So when Chris Craft sent boats buy rail did they use a metal forward brace this one looks way to nice to be homemade its a 1928 model 2

  13. Chug-A-Lug
    Chug-A-Lug says:

    Kinda reminds me of when I went to get dads ol’ Chris-Craft.The frame was made from an old Buick,had cracked frames so lawn mower blades were welded on for strength.We drove half on shoulder,half on highway for over 200 miles(1/2 on freeway).Never saw cops but no one passed us either.Saw miles and miles of cars following.the only thing that held boat to trailer was the 2×4 I nailed to bunks so it wouldn’t slide off

    • Briant
      Briant says:

      Those were the good old days when you could do crazy assed stuff and years later have a great story to tell.

      Not nowadays. We have too many Karens and helicopter officials ruining all of the idiocy and fun.

      Excuse me while I go and have a drink from the hose….

  14. Tim in Washington State
    Tim in Washington State says:

    Wish I hadn’t given this trailer (boat not car) to my neighbors brother… apparently its now a chicken coop up on the edge of the civilzed world. Ford V8 wire wheels… 🙁

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