1966 Plastic Sea Skiff On Ebay

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I bet this thing is a tank!

The seller of this Sea Skiff states how rare it is. And no doubt it is. We have seen a bunch of them though through our travels. I suppose since the fiberglass is about a foot thick, these things were indestructible. Although sadly I sure many found there way to the saws all. BUT, ya know.. A new wood windshield, some paint.. It could look just like its older woody family.

Maybe there is a way to laminate some wood on the back or some of that vinyl wood wrap..

Maybe there is a way to laminate some wood on the back or some of that vinyl wood wrap..

This one already apparently had some windshield issues. So its not like you would be messing anything up. Regardless its something fun to dream about as the sun is now staying awake longer. I did reach out to the owner/seller for more shots and info. Its kinda clear that they dont know much. we would highly recomend a personal inspection. A bad motor or other issue could cost a small fortune.  Click HERE for the listing

24 replies
  1. Alex
    Alex says:

    I plagiarized the following comment from someone named “Paul” on the old Chris Craft Commander forum website:

    “Having owned a 35-foot Sea Skiff and writing a six page article for Classic Boating Magazine, I know all about those steam bent white oak frames and overlapping marine plywood planks. They’re great boats, very seaworthy, light in weight, and great handlers, but never did I ever know they also offered one (actually two) in fiberglass. CC built 130 glass Skiffs to my knowledge now. 70 twenty footers like the one above in 1966 and 10 more in 1967, all of this series were true inboards. They built another 50 in a 18′ boat but it had a transdrive. I suspect all of these were actually Thompson built, but not sure. Its a wide boat, one inch short of 9′ beam, which surprised me. It would be a very solid platform. Oddly, there is another fiberglass boat that is a dead ringer for this one, offered by CC during the same era, but it’s 2” narrower in beam, and they called it the 20’Corsair Sea-V Inboard ( 220 built from 65-68) sold along side the Sea-V transdrive (425 sold). The Corsair looks like a little better “upmarket” boat, possibly better equipment and trim, not sure.”


    Last fall, I watched a cherry 20′ Corsair pull into Hessel Marina. I never knew C-C made a glass “lapstrake” until that moment. The owner told me he’d just bought the boat. Man did he get an excellent example! It looked like the kind of boat one could LOVE to own: V-8, spacious interior, low maintenance, seaworthy, multi-purpose, nice styling, cool interior and helm.

    That boat has stayed in my mind as a real keeper.

    I’m sure there are others who read WB who know these glass “lapstrakes” way better than I, and I hope they’ll weigh in today re the above eBay example and others of this genre.

    If the owner of that one I saw last fall happens to be reading WB, sure hope he’ll bring it to Hessel for the Les Cheneaux show August 10. It was so show-worthy!

    The danger is, another sighting might push me over the edge to wanting one.

    Here’s a pic of a 20′ Corsair. Maybe someone can find and attach a clearer photo.

    • John Kadimik
      John Kadimik says:

      Hull # 1 came to Lake Hopatcong. Green and White, good looking boat. Replaced the family’s 1936 22′ Chris-Craft.

  2. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    Like Jim says, signs of salt use, a groatie galvanized trailer. Interesting “low profile” windshield. If you wanted a nice Lyman example, you missed you chance when Greg Jackson, of Carolina Classic boat sold his BIG Lyman at “The Show”.

  3. Alex
    Alex says:

    Speaking of glass, here’s a photo of another classic glass Chris Craft. The 1975-1977 Ray Hunt hull 30′ Sportsman. One of the most awesome boats the company ever made — wood or glass. They only made 46 of them. 12,300 lbs of incredible seaworthiness. If you’ve never seen one of these in the pink, it’s worth a plane ticket, car rental, and hotel stay for the privilege.

    [I’m doing this lest anyone reading today’s story feel the knee jerk urge to mock the boat (hey, “mock the boat,” that’s funny) or categorically dis classic glass as less worthy than wood. Memo to the naysayers: stop drinking from the “wood only” fountain.]

    The 30′ Sportsman is the trump card. Proof that a great boat is a great boat, no matter the material. (Reminds me of that “Horton Hears a Who!” line: “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”)

    Someday, I must own one of these! (Diesel please.)

  4. Richard Z
    Richard Z says:

    Its strange how Chris Craft at the time was doing both wood and fiberglass at the same time . My boat is a 1967 22 Cavalier Cutlass .My Cutlass is plywood lapstrake ,the look of the hull is so close its crazy . Fiberglass has some advantages ,I do like the wood transom on my boat though.

  5. Sean
    Sean says:

    I’m sorry, I just don’t get it…

    Unless you are in love with the look or functionality of a particular boat, old fiberglass is not necessarily a good platform for a restoration. Some of these early glass hulls have horrible lay-up schedules. many are heavy and poor performing as the techniques to correct this were not widely known/used….and they still rot.

    Argument could be made that they are NOT superior to wood construction despite the allure of less maintainence (in truth it’s just different maintainence IMHO). I’m no wood snob but, if I’m buying classic plastic, I would at least want the benefits of a good hull. Early DONZI for example (and there are others).

    Don’t get hung up on the manufacturers name plate either, as was mentioned, many companies sub contracted out the fiberglass hull construction as they did not posess the technology/skill sets to do it themselves. Early f/g boats from some established/respected manufacturers may be total junk. (BTW if the company survived, they probably went in-house to correct it).

    We all know the costs associated with a wooden restoration. When your done there is some value. Plastic boats still cost a pretty penny to restore, and I submit the expectation of value may not be there at completion unless you pick the right boat. So, old plastic does not necessarily equal classic Plastic. Caveat emptor.

  6. Harrison
    Harrison says:

    Here’s a pic of our 1966 CC Sea Skiff. Still going strong, albeit with a new 350HP Merc put in about 10 years ago.
    My G’ma order her from a catalogue sight unseen. Iconic boat.
    The crane on top was a lucky moment captured as we
    were about to depart for the summer.

  7. Alex
    Alex says:

    Sean, I believe old wood is not necessarily a “good platform for a restoration” either. Example: run the numbers on restoring a grey 22-U. You can quickly get to $100,000 on a boat that might sell for $50,000 if it’s done right. Or consider restoring a gorgeous wooden Connie… Or a model which is less desirable to collectors… Or an off-brand wooden boat…

    Yes, some of these early glass hulls have horrible lay-up schedules. But many classic wood boats, Chris-Craft among them, were churned out like assembly line cars in their day too, not even close to the fine furniture-quality of their restored selves we see at shows today.

    Re heaviness, yes, many early glass boats were overbuilt. My XK-19 is an example, as are the big Commander cruisers. But that weight is a desirable and salable quality in those boats. They were “overbuilt.” It is also the reason why so many are around today and why people elect to restore them.

    The flipside is also true of glass being underweight. I recall our late 50s glass boat as being fragile and unsteady in any chop. Ride was poor. Junkyards are full of broken, thin early glass boats.

    Re speed and performance of the heavy boats, come to Hessel someday. I’ll gladly take you out in my XK (see photo). You’ll be amazed how that 19′ boat handles significant chop, at high speed. Its hull strikes the perfect balance between skipping along above the waves, and carving into them, with the deep V which carries right to the stern. And the I/O version of this boat corners way better — like it’s on rails. (I remember fondly my ride in Larry Nichols’ one a little more than a year ago.) Speaking of I/Os, lets not forget how many classic glass boats feature the outdrive (transdrive), which made them far more maneuverable than their wooden predecessors. Yes, I’m comparing more distant past with past, but that’s largely the default when we compare wood with glass, isn’t it?

    Yes, they can still rot. Point taken. But let’s leave glass and wood exposed to the elements for 5 or 10 years. See which one fares better. I’m not being frivolous, but the point is, take care of something — wood, glass, other — and it will last. Don’t take care of it and it won’t. No, classic glass or contemporary glass is not immune to neglect of maintenance — whatever the material calls for. (Except maybe Whalers, which I swear are almost immune to abuse. Don’t get me started on the merits of Whalers. They are a category of one in the classic glass universe.)

    The argument is not that classic glass is superior to wood. The argument is merely that classic glass has some darn fun / desirable / collectible / great boats deserving of respect. It’s in defense of glass, not on offense. Even the early finned, thin ones can look way cool and bring oodles of smiles to their owners and people at shows.

    Re buying “a good hull,” whether wood or glass, that’s always the best call. Just as there are poor quality glass hulls, so too there are (were) poor quality wooden ones. Let’s face it, none of these boats (wood or glass) were designed or intended to last as long as they have. No one anticipated today’s reconditioning, preserving, restoring, and yes, “bettering” world.

    Yes, the expectation of value is not there with classic glass compared to wood. Who knows if it will get up there, although some models are becoming more collectible. (An excellent, mid-70’s 30′ Sportsman like I mentioned above, can command nearly $100,000.)

    But while the market value typically isn’t there with classic glass, comparatively speaking, neither is the same restoration cost. The aforementioned 22 would have lost the owner $50,000. A collectible glass boat, purchased for $7,000, and restored to the tune of $33,000 might fetch $20,000. Both owners have lost 50% of their investment. However, in absolute dollars, the 22 guy who lost $50,000 is out $30,000 more than the glass guy.

    Caveat emptor, applies to any boat of any material of any condition.

    Here’s what I’ve also learned that applies. It’s never an “investment.”


    • Sean
      Sean says:

      Alex, you missed my point or, maybe I didn’t state it clearly…

      I’m not pitting glass against wood. I have a deep V wood I/O that I’m financially upside down in. (Par for the course)…but IMO its a “pretty” boat, useable, good ride, handles well, ultimately good for what I need it to be…..and it’s worth something. I love this boat and it is a classic.

      I just sold my 33 year old DONZI 18C. This boat has not lost a step since it was new. They are still in demand (and may even be back in production. The hull is of good design and the lay up excellent. It is worth something. I loved this boat too. It truly is a classic.

      Age alone does not make a classic. Many, many early glass boats were just junk as companies experimented to find out what a good layup was. Some too thick, too thin, wrong composition of f/g, bad cloth, unsuitable coring etc…Hulls were “splashed” from existing wooden boats as hull design limits using f/g was unknown. A few got the whole thing right. These are the Classic glass boats we should collect and preserve. And they will be worth something.

      I’m a restorer (rescurer of old broken things according to my Wife). I can understand a guy restoring a wooden rowboat and calling it a classic. I can’t understand resurrecting glass boats that were not great when they were new…especially as there are glass boats that were (and are ) fantastic! This compounded when the end value is almist non existant in some cases. It can’t be a low cost thing because I’ve spent too much on boats to think you can do one cheaply.

      So as i said, unless it is one of the “good” ones or you love it to start (for some reason) I wouldn’t reccomend one for a project.

      • Mike W
        Mike W says:

        I must admit the word plastic struck a nerve and thankfully I had to go to work. I did send my eloquent friend Alex a quick note and he did a much better job of expressing what I may have said.

        I love wood boats. Grew up with them but don’t want own one. Oh that’s a lie. If I had the time and money I know exactly what boats would go in a very large barn. I also love some glass and your point about which ones are of value is very true. This is no different than wood, cars or most any other collectible. I am stuck on Commanders. One of the finest fiberglass boats ever made. Heavy? You betcha. Thick gelcoat? That too. Hollow stringers with no wood to rot. Ya gotta love that! Great design? Dick Avery is one of the best.

        I have an SS similar to that of Alex and Chad and its one of my dream boats. I also have the boat below. Built in August of 1968. Not a bad looking boat for being 45 years old and running the big water of Lake Michigan for 90% of its life. Original gel and most everything except for the darned motors that I can’t keep in it. Bottom line is that she has run thousands of hours across and up and down the lake with just a few hairline cracks and finish that can shine almost new. It is a fantastic boat.

        The sad part is value. If someone would write me a check for $20k its theirs. No, most people would rather write a check for 10 times that for a Chlorox bottle that won’t be around in 20 years because it is half plastic and half Balsa core.

        We are all infected with one boat virus or more.

        • Someone named "Paul"
          Someone named "Paul" says:

          I undersomeone named “Alex” has plagerized some of my information off the “old” http://chriscraftcommander.com website I own and moderate, regarding the plastic boat referenced on ebay.

          This web site (of which Mike W is a revered longtime member, also featured in the two books I published on the fiberglass Commander and close cousins from the Corsair Division, including all Lancers) features (to my knowledge) the largest collection of focused information on these boats in the world.

          The material is copyrighted but available to anyone who may want it for their PERSONAL use, free, and we don’t even ask for ANY personal information, nor do we require a login to post. This is an old school approach, and we have had to shut down some of the ISPs coming from the Russian Federation in order to keep it simple like this, but it is what we do, and it is a labor of love.

          This particular 1966 Skiff looks to be identical to the one in my driveway now, which has been totally restored and published on numerous times. This white one has been painted, as the 80 hulls of this type were all green gelcoat, same color as the few green 19′ Commanders, and in keeping with some other Sea Skiff hulls such as my 35′ Sea Skiff Clipper original hull color.

          The boat has a non standard windshield, of course, modified dashboard, and non standard seats, but I am reasonably sure the hull is solid. Mine has a nearly 1/2″ bottom, and of course any issues can be forthrightly repaired. If anyone is interested in a vast amount of information on this particular series with thousands of restoration images of mine and others who have restored similar hulls on The Forum, they can tap into this data by visiting my site and going tothe MASTER INDEX FILE, just hunt down the project in “RESTORATION” and enjoy.

          The beauty of this hull is the fact that it is a beginning for Chris Craft into fiberglass production, sold as a Chris Craft by Thompson, and it is the same basic hull as the Corsair Sea V somone by the name of “Alex” posted, lol, but with small changes in topside casting like integral intake scoops and aft clamshells.

          This particular series used wood stringers, many were cracked due to poor design but are easily repaired. Mine were cracked and repaired, fully documented on my “how to” theads. Later look-alike Corsair Sea V hulls actually changed to an all fiberglass box beam system similar to the Commander series.

          One thing we do not do on The Chris Craft Commander Forum, Inc., (which is not affiliated with the Commander Club) is to bad-mouth wood boats. To the contrary, we love em, and I have two and a half of my own. We understand the limits of wood and fiberglass and we embrace them both. These fiberglass classic boats allow more people to get into the hobby and enjoy the fun of owning a classic boat. They are with their own issues, but without others, and we love our Skiff and run it as often as we can.

          I invite readers of this forum to visit ours, and also visit the Chris Craft Antique Boat Club site, and check out the ongoing piece I write for the Brass Bell, most often featuring fiberglass boats.


          Someone named “Paul”

    • Sean
      Sean says:

      YOU BET Randy!
      This Penn Yann is for sale with trailer for $500 about 15 min away. How can you go wrong….

  8. Alex
    Alex says:

    Sean, I agree with your conclusion. I just needed to pontificate some. Snow day here. My three pent up young kids made things pretty intense. I’ve got a Scapa drip going now, so I’ll be fine.

    I’m curious. What’s the wood boat you’re restoring? You know, we’re all upside down. So it’s par for everybody on every course. And since we’re all shooting par, that makes us scratch boaters. Or nuts.

    • Sean
      Sean says:

      Yup, I’m a talker too….

      My resto project is a 1972 Greavette Sunflash. More of a resto-mod since the original motor was re-purposed as an anchor last fall. The boat is now famous as the 2012 WB “last gasp”recipient. (only award she’ll ever see) 🙂

  9. Alex
    Alex says:

    Someone named “Paul,” I certainly meant no offense. I apologize if I took license in cutting and pasting from the previous Commander site. I only wanted to share the useful information you posted with folks reading this WB story. (In doing so, I used the word “plagiarized” so people would not think I originated your quality information. That’s also why I mentioned “Paul” as the author.) Thanks for your added comments above. As the owner of a ’69 Commander SS (photo attached) and a ’70 XK-19, I have often visited your http://chriscraftcommander.com site for information on my models and other Commanders I admire. In fact, I blame your site in large part for hooking me on the above boats, and I am grateful to you for that.

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