Miss Slippery Slope Appearing At A Show Near You.

Original bottom

When it comes to judging a boat, car etc at boat shows. There have to be rules and guid lines, otherwise it can be a mess and cause serious debates and well. Bitterness. And in the end no one really wins. So I do applaud the Hull Card and as delivered from the factory guidelines. BUT, and you knew a big but was coming. Hit it Troy.. Anyway I digress, which is shockingly easy..

LENZIP was the correct factory zipper supplier in 1960 for Chris Craft. Go check your zippers?

So, lets say then, your boat should NOT have a 5200 bottom, and should only have 3 coats of varnish, and further more, not be all that perfect. Should the zipper label be real? Just asking. And even deeper, if delivered in a way that is no longer considered safe. Well.. You can’t say one thing is fine if another isn’t. Yes I know I am being a bit absurd, but trying to make a point. The if you cant see it thing, is kinda flawed from the start.

WECATCHEM’s hull card. No way in hell is she going back to 6 volt.


Logic dictates that safety should be paramount, and a 5200 bottom baked in under some inner planks scored to feel real, makes sense, or a 12 volt system made to appear like a 6 volt one. All make sense, but do break the rules.  So where does it stop? Or start? mmm not so easy is it.

Maybe put on your thinking cap!

19 replies
  1. mahoganymadness
    mahoganymadness says:

    Or make the boat look normal per most other boats of the same type….or as built?

  2. Murdock
    Murdock says:

    Oh God Troy, I just blew Cheerio’s and milk all over my laptop!!!!!
    Need to be more careful with images like that first thing in the morning!
    About details and judging: From past experience, the atmosphere at a non-judged event (land or water) is far more enjoyable, everyone more open for discussion and just there to swap ideas, stories and good will.
    Heaven forbid we all start to define ourselves and our friendships like some people have done with political choices and people by who they voted for in the last election.
    “Fair judging”? Someone’s feelings are always going to be hurt………….

  3. Jeff Funk
    Jeff Funk says:

    Roe vs Wade at SCOTUS, and now judging ‘as delivered’ vs ‘as from the factory’. At least we’re not getting into controversial topics ;-). My two cents- judging should be ‘as delivered’ to the original customer (although it’s tougher to provide that documentation). Hull cards are the best tools, although imperfect, judges have to provide guidance on factory original hulls. Original photos of their boat and any dealer changes are a great help, but few have those. So, you have to go back to the hull card if that’s the only documentation. Just the way it is.

    Judged boats fall into two categories…Preserved and Restored. IMO truly Preserved boats are not good candidates for everyday boating with their tired original bottoms, scant varnish, and lack of other safety/operational improvements (better wiring, fuse boxes, water separators, etc.). They are ‘boat show’ boats.

    Restored, visually authentic examples offer the frequent boater safety, convenience, less maintenance, and more longevity while maintaining the ‘spirit’ of classic boating.

    My own classics, which get used a lot, would score miserably for true preservation/accuracy to the genuine article. That said, I like my 5200 bottoms, new wiring w/modern fuse blocks, fuel filters, automatic bilge, an inch of varnish, mold resistant marine foam in the upholstery, etc. I want to keep the sprit of classic boating alive, but not all the headaches that sometimes goes with it. In the end…to each his own.

    • George Burgess
      George Burgess says:

      I agree with Jeff, Preserved Original and Restored categories for judging.
      Preserved Original boats are few and they are gems of the past because something is only Original Once. Restored boats can be user boats to Trailer Queens. Our current Restored Boats for Judging are Beautiful but nothing like a factory built boat. To satisfy people who want their boat judged do not have a class where points are taken away but have a class where points are added for the condition!

  4. Matt
    Matt says:

    I tried to just delete the image. WOW! That was from a very dark area. Sorry to the readers. those of you saw it, Sorry I had to remove it for others so you now are tortured with how bad was that image? It was bad. Like not bad ass bad, wait yes it was a bad ass. HA. Next .. Just keep moving, nothing to see here.

  5. J-Dub
    J-Dub says:

    Each to their own. My experience with boat shows was with my first boat I bought when I was 27 (15 years ago). Judging was so ambiguous and biased I never attended another. Still have the boat, keep it as original as possible and just enjoy it without stressing over details that don’t matter to me. As a young wood boat enthusiast (at the time) I found boat shows and judging a big turn off to the hobby. I agree that non-judged events are far more enjoyable. IMHO

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

    Damn, I log in late and miss all the fun. How dark was it? E-mail it to me Troy. It should be interesting. Soooo I guess you “Judged” the comment huh Matt.

  7. Tim Robinson
    Tim Robinson says:

    I have been judging boats for a long time and I always wonder why some people have there boats judged. Most people know going in what is not correct on there boat. So why put your self thru a Proctology exam. I think some people just won’t a trophy, a little bit like little league.

  8. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    At our local events we have three categories: Peoples Choice, Kids Choice and Skippers Choice. Ballots are handed out as folks enter and collected when they leave. In-between, we give as many boat rides as we can!

    This approach makes for a fun day for everyone and there are plenty of fully-judged shows around the country that can be attended if that is someone’s desire.

    Nothing wrong with either approach, so long as those participating are making friends and enjoying the event!

  9. Rivaguru
    Rivaguru says:

    Unfortunately, it seems that some of our Judges have forgotten that this a fun hobby that we all want to be inclusive. We need more happy boaters to keep this hobby alive.

    My past experiences in Judging have taught me that there is far too much politics involved, and not enough education or equality. There are some people Judging the Shows that are too busy showing off their “knowledge”, rather than fairly scrutinizing individual boats – and possibly learning something.

    And finally, regarding as built, as none of us were around when most of these boats were built, and only 2 manufacturers had hull cards (written by humans and subject to error and interpretation) noting some specifics, we must use our “judgement”, not rigid opinion when evaluating vintage boats.

    It’s all much better at 40 knots!!

  10. km
    km says:

    I remember discussing judging with a fellow antique boater and saying t him that I wasn’t really into judging…. His response.. Thats because you never win anything! Whatever..

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