Answering Questions About The Ebay Hydro.

Its a Chris Rat!

Yesterday, you all asked both in comments and in emails, what Miss Step sold for. I suppose many of you are thinking .. Is it worth it to restore. And why didn’t he answer? YOU THINK I AM GOING TO NOT MILK THIS? Is it worth it? YES! and No. I don’t know what Miss Step sold for since it was sold as part of a collection of insane boats. I know there have been offers on this boat and that it’s a pattern boat with varnish on it. And for a boat of such rarity, there are no  Stinky paint jobs that will do. Hey! I love my Stink Bomb!

Me and Stinky! #LOVE

But, if you are big into this passion, and are thinking of restoring a boat, this is an extremely worthy one. But you have to go all in. And I will add, a bit more risky than lets say a Cobra or 19 barrel back. This is an extreme boat. It’s small and is “part” of a collection type boat. Used at shows, and maybe some fun weekend blasts.

Miss Step with a naked bottom

But, like owning a race prepped Shelby, you aint going to the mini mall to pick up big gulps with it. I would, but thats me. I also bought a marine railway. So.. IDIOT!

It came with a boat!

The simple math on this is done by a pro, I would expect to drop close to $100K+ on the restoration. Done DIY, $50K. Maybe more. And then you better be one hell of a DIYer. Cause any short cut is death to the value. These are built differently than the small 16 racers like Stinky. Lighter, less everything. Thinner wood as I recall.

It’s lightweight! Not the CC BTW, but a fun shot

Our passion here in the past 3 years has gone through a huge shift. Big money is being spent on correct boats. So here is the big question of the day? What do you all think should be the Buy it now price? $10K is easy. Already there. $20K? $30K? What is a serial number worth? It’s part of the fun of this. We can all dream, and this is a dream boat for sure.

Here is the ebay hydro.


21 replies
  1. Shep on Lake Shafer IN.
    Shep on Lake Shafer IN. says:

    Matt, you are right.
    This might be a dream boat. That I would love to have in my collection to restore.
    But I just spent the milk money on a Shelby!

  2. Jim Staib
    Jim Staib says:

    You forgot one major point. If you are going to do this yourself you better be young. Or do a father-son project so you have someone to leave it to.

  3. Bilge Rat
    Bilge Rat says:

    Beautiful Cobra!

    That boat is too rich for my wallet but it would be a fun project to watch during it’s restoration.

  4. Mark
    Mark says:

    To me it would have to have all the original equipment – especially the engine.

    You would struggle to get top dollar otherwise.

    Is $10k worth having the design pattern ? Probably.

  5. Mike S
    Mike S says:

    Built a replica of the 16′ Hydro a few years ago. Pretty difficult build with lots of curvature and twisted planks in both the bottom and sides. Nevermind the step. I was told to build the 16 Special Race instead because it rode and handled better than the Hydro. Should have listened. Hard ride and doesn’t steer very well, but goes like crazy. Lots of fun in small doses.

  6. John F Rothert
    John F Rothert says:

    Matt, you outlined this one just right….it is a high end pattern boat.

    John in Va.

  7. Mikel Green
    Mikel Green says:

    I have to kindly disagree with the pattern boat statement although Matt is correct in a lot of what he said. From the picture I have seen the farming of the boat looks salvageable to me at least the sides and deck frames. And the price of the restoration if some people do it will be $100k+ plus but for a 16′ boat with one seat and stripped down everything because it is a race boat is an easy restoration in my book. It’s only 16′ with minimal hardware with the same construction as other Chris Craft of that period except for the step in the hull which is really not a big deal. I think the boat as it sits is worth any where from $14,000 to the high of $18,000. I know what was paid for “Miss Step” because it was in my shop for repairs last summer and I take care of the boats in that collection. It was sold for a bit much but that’s okay its what the guy wanted and everyone is happy so that all that counts. Finished in show quality condition done by a professional I would say that “Gnat” would be worth $85,000. if you can find someone that wants one of those. It’s a rare boat and super cool but it is not a user friendly boat and they are small to sit in and the water has to be smooth to run it. True collectors are a dying breed and like Matt said I have seen a definite shift in the last 10 years with what boats are selling and the boats that come through our shop. Hey just my thought and hopefully I didn’t kill Matts milking of the story because it a good change from the marine railway saga, it will be interesting to see what happens.

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

    Would make someone a neat boat to restore ! Yea it would cost a lot to bring to show quality, but what rare boat doesn’t . I know that its the hot rodder in me. It would sound and go great with a modern V8 hidden under that hatch. Like Troy said, its important that SOMEONE buys it, restores it, and shows it.

    • Troy in ANE
      Troy in ANE says:


      You forgot the most important one! USES IT!!!!!!

      I agree this boat needs original engine to bring the $, but I bet it would be a blast with a Chrysler Crown.

  9. Randy
    Randy says:

    I know that with the step configuration bottom it would be a real “Bruiser” to ride in — good name for it!

  10. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    The good thing about restoring a boat is someone will likely not run into like some idiots on the road did to my built up BMW Touring with 6 speed swapped trans, black leather interior, coil overs, 4.4 liter V8 with 4 liter performance heads, Dynamic Racing wheels and speed rated tires. Probably a great ad for Hagerty Insurance as I’m finding its almost impossible to replace. So now, just a pile of parts.

  11. Ollon
    Ollon says:

    It’s all relative. I bought this car over 30 years ago for 5k. Drove it on my wedding night, in parades, to work and just for fun. Taught my daughters how to drive a stick with it. Yeah…that was fun. Did a full restoration over 20 years ago and in some ways its ready for a redo. I’d never be able to get back what I’ve put into it even though I’ve done all the work myself. Hope one of the girls wants it someday, and a boat too, so they can keep making good memories with it. Not for sale.

  12. Steve Anderson from Michigan
    Steve Anderson from Michigan says:

    I am a little surprised that they went to the trouble of using thinner screws and wood to save weight, and then put that presumably heavy art deco carb bump. I think the real value here is the serial number and the original chrome. Everything else can be replaced. It would be cool, though! I am assuming that thing on the engine cover is to provide clearance for the carbs? It is a statement piece.

  13. Johnny V./John Vyverberg
    Johnny V./John Vyverberg says:

    Yup, very rare collector boat and not all that practical. Find a KB to make it right and go from there. 30 years ago I would have been excited to see it and would probably plotted how to get my hands on it. Now, as a long time Chris Craft owner and fan, I hope someone does the right thing with it, but it sure isn’t going to be me.

    PS-PLEASE don’t put a modern V8 in it!

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