You’re Never Alone In A Classic Boat.


Original Factory Photo


That’s me and the Boatress as twins!

For some lucky few folks out there who have 2nd and 3rd generation boats, you understand what I am about to write about. And for some of us, we get to share our boat rides with new friends from the past. We have said this many times. Your boats history is embedded in her life absorbent wood. With that said, sometimes, just going out on a long boat ride with long lost friends and relatives can be therapeutic beyond words. My two boats are long owned one family boats, and I carry the families on every ride.


Out on Wecatchem

But nothing can compare with knowing the boat would have belonged to my father? Imagine being able to go boating with your Mother or Father again? It boggles my mind that people sell these family treasures. Sure I get it, but taking a calm summer sunset slow ride with my long lost mother or family member? Is there really a price on that? So even if you are out there alone, your are really not.


Now we know why Clif enjoyed that ride so much.

In the back is your mother telling you to “Slow It Down” and your father is pointing out all the things you could do better… OK, wait, maybe you should sell your family boat.  All kidding aside, what is the point of this story.


I want a boat ride with THAT GUY!

If you have a family boat sitting in the barn wasting away. RESTORE IT! Your family is out there! Waiting for you! And if you hated Dad, and want to unload the boat, that’s OK, cause chances are we would have liked your Dad, since we share the same passion he did! And if you own a classic boat and have no idea who owned it before you. Trust us, they are there with you. So don’t think that farting out in the middle of the lake wont be laughed at. Cause that stuff is timeless fun! And for sure you are not the first to do it, nor will you be the last!

8 replies
  1. Bob Kays
    Bob Kays says:

    “That guy” is my Grandfather, Norman ” Red” Dotterweich and the woman on the dock is my Mom (1956) The boat is a 1956 Fleetcraft, mahogany deck with fiberglass bottom. Anyone know if there is one around in use or for ssle? Flertcraft was based in Philly.

    • Charles J
      Charles J says:

      Bob – Nice little boat, but then I have a fondness for the little runabouts, you’ve perhaps read my Woody Boater story. I have a 15′ Ideal Craft also built in Philly. Is that Lake Harmony?

  2. Old Salt
    Old Salt says:

    What timing you and my dad have for this story. Over the weekend my father and I were talking about the fact that this summer when I put my boys behind the wheel of our family’s 1956 sportsman it will be the 5th generation of our family driving the same boat. My Great Grandfather, Grandfather, Dad, Myself, and my boys make up the five generations. To bad we can’t charge money for the past generations that Matt points out that are still riding with us in the boat! I could use the extra gas money! LOL

  3. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    You can also take that Karma from all those who loved your boat to help you win the biggest come back ever in Super Bowl history!

    Look more to the left gang, yes, that is our boy Tom.

    (photo borrowed from the WWW from some kind person who put it there for our viewing pleasure.)

  4. tparsons56
    tparsons56 says:

    I’m sure the 1951 31′ Express we grew up on hit the burn pile years ago but I think of us all on the family boat every time I take my barrel back out now. I have wonderful memories of spending many weekends anchored off Strawberry Island on Lake St. Clair and trips to the Georgian Bay and North Channel. I also have some not so wonderful memories of laying on my back in the spring scrapping and painting with my father constantly telling us to not take any “holidays” with that paint!

  5. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    This picture is my mom and dad on our first boat – “Thisuldu” – a 1954 21′ Bryant Voyager dad brought home when I was three months old. I’ve always kept an eye out for one of those boats and actually ran across one several years ago, but it was an inboard and in need of a lot of work, so I passed on it.

    Our current cruiser is a 1965 38′ Tollycraft Mariner. He’s been gone a few years now, but we had the opportunity to take dad on a cruise around Bainbridge Island before he passed and during that ride he suggested it would be nice to resurrect the family boat name and put it on the Tolly.

    Every time I board the boat, I think of him and the love of boating he instilled in me.

  6. Steve Haines
    Steve Haines says:

    Hey Matt,

    That last pic in your story looks like it could be an Idealcraft from the foredeck and covering boards. any chance you have a larger version of that image? or let me know where you found it. As you probably know there are scant few photos of those boats. Bridget and I are always looking for additional reference material for Snazzy!

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