Rare Photos Of A Chris -Craft Cobra Shedding It’s Skin!


strip-1Cobras Cobras Cobras at Katz’s keeps on coming as they prepare for the big Lake Dora show in March! This year is going to be a very special year in Florida with the 60th – Anniversary of the Chris Craft Cobra. But chances are you will not see one in this condition. Stripped of all its iconic Chris Craft gold paint.


The good folks at Katz’s Marina on Lake Hopatcong have six Cobras now in the Marina. Yeeeouch! Thanks to Tommy for sending us these pictures of work in progress. If you want to know more about the big Florida show in March, just click here.

30 replies
  1. Wilson
    Wilson says:

    Am I the first to ask where Tommy’s pictures are ???…Would love to see how they peel the skin off a Cobra.

  2. George Burgess
    George Burgess says:

    All Cobra’s did not have gold color paint on their hatches and fins. The original and correct method of finishing the hatches and fins is to use 7/8 pound of gold powder in varnish, then spray it on. For the 40th Cobra reunion in 1995 I wrote an article entitled “The Cobra Gold Fin (Pure Gold)”. The article covers the process to manufacture and finish the hatches and fin.

  3. 3533U
    3533U says:

    Can we get off the Katz’s $%^&# for awhile? Lot of other shops around the country to look at as well. How about an article on Van Ness? Would like to see some pictures of his operation. Not to rag on anyone. But It seems that Katz’s can do no wrong! I think that they have a great shop and do great work, but lets give them a break and look else ware for a little.

    • Mike K
      Mike K says:

      yeah, there is a alot of katz stuff but i think its matts favorite shop. (i think its a premier place by what i see, i wished it was closer) matt brings the ball. i dont want to see matt go home!

      i beleive matt and alex are always looking for something to write about. you should submit a story about a shop you like and we will all be better for it. i learn alot here and am quite entertained. i will be looking for your story.

      ps. please post your name when you have a legitimate complaint. even about monkies

    • Jimmy
      Jimmy says:

      Couldn’t agree more I’m late to comment but, Seth has money since he has 6 Cobras doesn’t make him the Cobra expert especially since the Cobra fins he has are the wrong color. 6 Cobra at Katz’s marina doesn’t surprise me. I mean my dad a few years ago had a rare combination in boats. 3 rare 20, Sportsman’s and 3 rare 20′ Rivieras and maybe a 20′ custom in there too. That’s not something you see everyday!

  4. Steve L
    Steve L says:

    I would like to know more about the process of the gold varnish? Different brands vary in their “yellowness” to begin with but also change color as time and sunlight age them. The gold powder could really set it off! There must have been a base coat of something to start out with.

    Maybe Katzs is going to do just that. Whatever they do will look the most correct because they will has 5 boats all the same at Dora…lol

    • George Burgess
      George Burgess says:

      Since there is no gel coat on the fiberglass, all pin holes must be filled and the surface must be smoothed before color coating can begin. Seven-eights of a pound of “XX Regal” gold powder is mixed in varnish then sprayed on the hatches and fin. The gold color is then sprayed with clear varnish, I was able to speak with a person who worked at Algonac to get this information. Jim Olerich who finished my boat for Joe Kabot confirmed this process.

  5. Steve L
    Steve L says:

    I would like to know more about the process of the gold varnish? Different brands vary in their “yellowness” to begin with but also change color as time and sunlight age them. The gold powder could really set it off! There must have been a base coat of something to start out with.

    Maybe Katzs is going to do just that. Whatever they do will look the most correct because they will have 5 boats all the same at Dora…lol

  6. N3533U
    N3533U says:

    I have submitted a handful of story’s in the past. Some have made post and other not. I love what Matt does and the energy that he puts forth has nothing but my respect. You guys like to banter from time to time. So I thought that I would just state the obvious today. Pick any shop that you want, I don’t have favorites. Dannenberg, Jeff Funk, CD engine service, Antique boat center, Retro Nautique, sierra. You pick! I enjoy learning from all of them. Just seems that Katz has been on the top of the list for some time. I am sure that they give Matt whatever he wants for the hype and that fine. Like I said, you guys like to banter back and forth at time so I just thought that I would say it today. I am all go with it. Matt can do whatever he wants. It was just a comment.

  7. GHUE334
    GHUE334 says:

    Agree, many great restorers out there other than Katz, and isn’t Tommy the guy that makes it all happen.

    • Tired of Katz stories
      Tired of Katz stories says:

      I am glad to hear I am not the only one tired of reading all the storeis about the Katz shrine. Yes they do good work but I beg to differ on World Class. There are many restoration shops that do as nice if not nicer work.
      On another note what ever happened to Pumpkin? I thought Larry’s wish was to have it restored as a Woody Boater story then have it auctioned off. Did this happen and I missed it? What about the rebuiling of the building that collapsed last year at Katz? There was to be a follow up story, that I must have missed.
      I wish Texx would report more on the West coast shops and shows. I really enjoy reading his reports. I do not care for stories about ebay crap or m-fines bacon fetish. This blog started out to be about wood boats and different shows and shops I thought.

      The reason people have had to use fake names is Matt has banned people before for making negative comments with regards to Katz Marina (John Kadimik). So much for Freedom of Speech in the USA.

      Please get back to your roots and report on different restoration shops and shows please.

  8. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    I heard the Korean’s were trying to hack Matt’s account and planned to bomb the Sunnyland show if there were anymore stories on Katz’s Marina.

  9. Kentucky Wonder
    Kentucky Wonder says:

    Try slipping on a different pair of shoes….the ones Matt wears while doing WoodyBoater as a secondary part-time job. Some days, everyone’s boats are in storage, no reports are coming in from anywhere, and inspiration is difficult to find. So you take whatever is given to you, or what you are familiar with, and run with it. My bet is that we see Katz’s stories when there is nothing else going on, and maybe Seth has realized that sending in photos every once in a while is good for business.

    I would encourage everyone connected to woody boating to send in a well-written report along with a set of decent photos, so we can all see what is happening in boathouses and repair shops around the USA and world. In other words, stop complaining about the party, and JOIN the party!

  10. steve
    steve says:

    Ah- Take a breath , Cobra’s are nice, but only a few can afford. God Bless those that are spending to preserve them . Today is a snap shot in time , tomorrow the wood boat topic could be ?

  11. Steve Moreau
    Steve Moreau says:

    Wow I must have been sleeping this day. Lot of turbulent water here. Yep Saturday was raining and didn’t have too much work so sleep was good. Maybe it’s because being new but I’m not tired of any stories. I have much to learn and see and folks to meet. I do believe that u should state your name when posting. If u won’t stand up for yourself who will? Again sorry I missed it always looks for a good fight and the next place to get thrown out of!

  12. Greg Wallace
    Greg Wallace says:

    Yes, it does seem to me that Katz gets more than equal time here, HOWEVER, I still like to read and see what they are up to and look forward to anything with boat pics. Daily content has to be a real challenge and If I were in Matt’s shoes I would take any and all available, especially those with pics of cool boats. I would like to see other shops submit more. If they are in business they have to have something going on of interest to us. Doesn’t have to be exotica. No matter what your opinion might be of the shop represented, enjoy the show…cool is cool no matter who has custody.

  13. Frank Bauer
    Frank Bauer says:

    I have one of the 21′ cobras at Katz’s. The reason I do is after having work done elsewhere I was not satisfied. I asked around and several people suggested Seth. Mine has the incorrect maple inlay and GOLD fin. That was done at Bosche in Switzerland. I love it. Katz restored the caddy motor and interior and a bunch of other stuff. But not the fin and the deck. I’m extremely happy with it now. I’m new to this small woody boater world, but I do know at everything there is, some one has to be the best. And the guy at the top always has the biggest target on his back. I would love to talk to any and all of you in person. If you see me at Dora please say hi and if you want we can take for a spin. I believe they should all be rode hard and put up wet. I’m not much for garage queens….

  14. George Burgess
    George Burgess says:

    It would be very refreshing to see or hear about a restorer finishing the Cobra hatches and fin correctly. I do not know of any restored Cobra’s with the Gold Power color. Also all restorer’s finish the inside of the hatches to a mirror finish, the boats were never finished inside. The inside of the hatches should be rough fiberglass with the boat hull number on a metal tag attached with fiberglass strips. Oh, another little known fact, the early hulls had a miss matched hull number on the hatches. Not too many original Cobra’s out there!!

  15. Sunnyland Webmaster
    Sunnyland Webmaster says:

    To all you Cobra Fans, the Sunnyland Crew is pleased to announce that Registration for the 2015 Show in Tavares is now officially OPEN! We look forward to seeing all old and new friends as we celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the beautiful Cris-Craft Cobra.
    Come visit us at our website (www.acbs-sunnyland.org) and click on our Boat Festival Page for continually updated information on the Show. You can register online.
    Show dates are March 27-29, 2015.

  16. Alex
    Alex says:

    I travelled throughout the mid-south with my family through the Christmas and New Year’s holiday. We made it a mostly electronics-free vacation, by design. As a result, I missed nearly 2 weeks of WB, including the Christmas Party. I look forward to catching up on all the content and comments I missed.

    By way of the grapevine, I heard there was some negativity posted about Katz’s Marina, but I did not get the details.

    In sorting back through the content I missed, I came across this story and its comments.

    I will only say two things, one which seconds a comment made above.

    1. It’s difficult to come up with fresh content for WB (WoodyBoater) on a daily basis. VERY difficult at times. It’s easy for people to go to bed each night, awaken the next morning, and visit WB for a kick. But behind the scenes, goes a LOT of nearly all volunteer work to make that happen for readers. Those who criticize this blog for not catering to their individual tastes for content, design, language, tone, frivolity, formality, professionalism, and yes, even hull material, should please take a deep breath and lighten up. Of course this blog is not tailor made for each reader. It is a minestrone of good intentions and is an overall excellent ambassador of classic boating. It welcomes everyone who wishes to read, and nearly everyone who wishes to comment, excluding only those who cross the administrator’s line of decency — a line which is his prerogative to set. The content is all over the map. Sometimes extremely well researched and detailed (Texx), sometimes heartfelt (the stuff I submit), sometimes light and even loopy (the wacky stuff Matt comes up with), and sometimes, in fact mostly, just good clean informative content that broadens our perspective of classic boats and classic boating (most of which is written by, and attracted by, Matt and Texx). All of us who love our boats and boating should feel a DEEP gratitude for this blog and for those who contribute to it. Our community would be much the weaker (and our winters much the darker, colder, and longer) without it.

    2. Specifically re Katz’s Marina, I have nothing but the highest praise to share. I purchased a boat there a few years ago. From the moment I arrived at Katz’s, I was treated like royalty by Seth, whom I had never met before, and his entire crew. Later that day, I was even treated like family, visiting Seth’s house, and meeting his charming wife and daughter. The next morning, my new boat (a gorgeous 20′ 1968 Chris Craft Grand Prix) and it’s trailer were both meticulously readied for my long drive back to northern Michigan. I was amazed to see a detail guy had even been called in to touch up a few imperfections on the boat, things I had not noticed. Even had I noticed them, they were things which would not have bothered me they were so minor. But they were not acceptable to Seth, so he took care of them. Who wouldn’t be delighted with such service? When it was time to leave, though we had met only the day before, Seth allowed me, without any reservation, to complete my transaction with a personal check. That, my friends, was gentlemanly. I’m skipping over a number of fine details with this testimonial, but you get the message. Seth and his shop are a first class operation and a fine part of classic boating. If he or his shop, as sponsors of OUR (yours and mine) WoodyBoater are given high praise and exposure, it’s both deserved, and earned, and honest. His sponsorship is to a significant degree, what pays to keep the WB servers powered up, and what keeps Matt and Texx from digging too deeply into their own pockets to fund this blog. I ask the critics who might be a tad envious of the exposure Katz’s receives in these pages to reflect on the above, and to celebrate ALL of WB and it’s sponsors. Life is short. Too short for negativity in a well-intended, well executed, fun forum.

    Thank you.

    P.S. I attach a photo of the Grand Priz.

  17. Paul H.
    Paul H. says:

    I missed much of this as well, and have not bothered to troll through much of what I missed. But, I know of what Alex speaks, and I agree with everything he said. The site caters to classic boaters, not just woody boaters and it is one of the first things I and many others check every day.

    I find people are often quick to complain or make derisive comments or observations, but display demonstrably less alacrity when it comes to contgributing story content or in fact other forms of constructive contributions. That appears more than a tad ironic to me. If you feel you can add to the WB experience, please do so, and if you feel there is a void in coverage somewhere – why not address it by asking to help?

    As a person involved with the CCABC and the ACBS, I can tell you just how critically important the sponsorships of people like Seth Katz and groups like Hagerty really are – how much does each of you pay to experience WB everyday? In most cases, nothing. That does not mean the operation of the site is free, does it? I doubt that the ACBS, CCABC or WoodyBoater would exist in anything like their present forms without such dedicated, generous sponsors. They are entitled to the ink, space and coverage they get – period and end of story.

    WB caters to the entire classic boating community, not “you” or “me” or our particular individual preferences or biases. We as individuals are not the arbiters here for anyone but ourselves, but are rather obviosuly just constituents of a much larger community.

    In the words of Warren Oates in Stripes “Lighten up, Francis”.

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