As Delivered, Or As Built? The Question All Judges Need To Discuss.

Notice to Judges?

As we get back into Boat Show season, we also get back into judged events. For many the added Judging part is the little bit of fun to any event. It can be fun, and rewarding if you are the type of person that likes to push hard to make stuff perfect. Judging can also be a great way to learn more about your boat and it is a goal to work towards. But once you are deep into it, and we have all been there. Okay maybe just me, things can get murky real fast.

mmmm, is that the correct screw?

So we thought we would spend a couple days debating this. Why? Its not just click bait. It actually may make the sport of judged events more fun. So here goes.

Should your boat be judged based on the hull card, as in how it was built…OR.. As delivered to the original owner?

Here are the arguments.

WECATCHEM’s hull card. mmmmm no fishing tackle box? But it was ordered that way according to the original owners. A one family boat. Her name was also on the hull card. If I changed the name would that be a deduction?


  1. The cleanest way to judge is based on the manufactures build. It’s documented, and gives judges less subjectivity to deal with. Also many of the things done during the original build have been maybe changed over time and this sets the record straight for future generations. It makes perfect sense since our small community is about mass production and brands. We are not talking one off boat builds.
  2. The more interesting way to judge is based on how the boat was delivered,  Thus allowing some variety and value on special boats. Many boats were delivered to dealers who ordered them and added stuff at the dealership which had a bit more profit built in, and allowed customers to have the boats more personalized.  Unfortunately, documentation of this can be very difficult to obtain, if not impossible. Creating a grey area.

Sylvia before she was restored. 4 bear claws.

This week we will be discussing this in depth with specific cases that may cause you to think..mmm? Hey.. He does have a point. For example, here is one. my Barrel Back named Sylvia came from the factory with 2 bear claw vents. BUT when it was sold to the customer, the laws had changed, and two more vents were added at the dealer. Yup. Sylvia is the transition boat. The last built with bear claws and two of them. So? Whats correct? The hull card, or the boat as delivered. This is an easy one. Trust me its gonna get more murky. Happy Tuesday!


14 replies
  1. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    I truly respect those that believe in the two categories you describe. However, I guess I am in a third category. Quality finish and workmanship of changes the owner desires. Yes, I know I won’t be winning any awards, but I really enjoy my boat that way!

  2. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    If every boat was a Chris Craft with an available bull card a good factory documentation, then judging by as built might be reasonable. But they aren’t so it isn’t.

    If every boat’s as delivered condition was well documented, then judging them in that state would be reasonable. Again, the documentation is not widely and evenly available.

    How can you have a level playing field when the amount of documentation and the level of detail in the documentation is so far from consistent? The entire notion of judging boats based on any concept of originality is a folly built on a fantasy.

  3. River Rat
    River Rat says:

    My reward is going boating in a safe and preferred manner, 1957 Lyman and 2003 Suzuki 4 stroke outboard. Would love an electric propulsion system that would be even quieter and odorless. I am the judge.

  4. Murdock
    Murdock says:

    Oh the joys of not worrying anymore about a trailer queen for the road or the water!!!!!
    I gave up both ideas about twenty years ago in favor of good maintenance and hidden improvements for safety.
    Now, I just turn the key and go!!!!
    Judging will forever be subjective and tied to various degrees of information, desire and size of checkbook.
    Good for those souls who chase perfection and it’s fun to see it for that moment in time.
    I can’t ski behind a trophy……
    To hell with caring about the proper fuzz filling under my butt cushion!!!!! 😄

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

    I do not have boats that are to be judged. I got wrapped up in that with cars at one time. I felt it took all the fun out of it. However I admire the beautiful boats. and the people who take the time and money to have them judged and win!

  6. Shep on Lake Shafer IN.
    Shep on Lake Shafer IN. says:

    I Like the changes I did to the Garwood.
    I didn’t like the vinyl wrapped dash and side trims so I put in mahogany and the leather seats that are more comfortable than originals.
    There aren’t many people that don’t know that it’s not original.
    I get a lot of complements on it the way it is.
    I just don’t have it judged.
    I agree with Greg. It’s My boat and I enjoy it the way !

  7. Reddog
    Reddog says:

    Matt, You wrote a story “As delivered, or as delivered to the customer ” on July 29,2020….maybe you can put a link to that story. It had 20 replies

  8. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    I’d be happy if the motor starts and the plug is in at launch and I can still afford some fuel.

  9. ART A
    ART A says:

    Molly-O (24 Ft. 1939 CC Deluxe Utility) was delivered July 23 1938 directly from the main Algonac plant to my Grandfather, Milton Meier. He lived directly across the river (about 2000 feet from the plant) which was probably the shortest delivery ever by CC. In other words there was no dealer involved and his signature is on the manifest as taking delivery. ……Yes Greg our boats were delivered on the same date 7/23…..just a few years apart.

    Almost every “special” item is mentioned on the manifest, including MOLLY-O painted in the transom, but interestingly there is no mention of the head being installed under the port front seat ……at least as far as I can tell from the very poor cursive writing. I’m 99.9% sure that it was a factory installed item.

  10. clay c thompson
    clay c thompson says:

    as delivered, and factory delivered are the same thing as it pertains to judging. both can be documented information. just what a judge needs. when judged, anything that is documented as part of a boat is not something a judge can dispute. a judge cannot count off on anything the judge cannot substantiate. always show your craft as it would have looked like in a showroom when new, and prove any changed items with good documents/ pictures. is your bilge showroom clean?

  11. Kentucky Wonder
    Kentucky Wonder says:

    Many boats were not perfect when they left the factory. The notes on our Greavette state that it had both good and bad hull seams. The boat listed after ours was described as having very bad seams. If the boat was restored and original imperfections were made better, should that incur a deduction as not being original?

    When our boat was judged at the 2016 Gravenhurst show, the cabinet that serves as the liquor bar was deemed “non original”, and earned a hefty deduction. But there’s no way it’s getting changed back. The wine and bourbon need a home!

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