Antique 1927 Century Kid Step Hydro. Art Or Boat??

Century Kid Step hydro

Century Kid Step hydro

Every now and them something rare shows up on ebay that provokes some deeper thought. Yesterday was one of those days. This little Century hydro is rare and also cool as hell. And was sold in nano seconds once it was listed, for 3K . The description said it needed structurally help.. But, honestly I really don’t care how structurally strong it is or not. Since this boat would not really be raced again.

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It’s art at this point and cool enough to hang from the ceiling of your whatever room. Maybe some more varnish and cool lettering and you got a major conversation piece. Imagine this on a wall in a large white room like a gallery. Its all in how you think of stuff like this. HERE is the link

So here is the question of the day. Is this boat art at this point? Am I crazy? Ok, just the art question.. I know the anwser to the other question…


16 replies
  1. Jim Staib
    Jim Staib says:

    It’s timeless!! It will always be beautiful. It belonged to Randy Muladore a collector in Three Lakes, WI. Whoever bought it take the time and go boating while you are picking it up. I think the Three lakes/Eagle River chain of 28 lakes is the best boating in Wisconsin.

  2. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    You are definitely crazy.

    I always have mixed feelings about the art thing. A rare boat or plane hanging from the ceiling is in a way preserved for the next generation, but does it have much value if it is not doing its thing?

  3. Tommyholm
    Tommyholm says:

    The Century Kid is the first model built by the Century Boat Company , beginning in 1926 in Milwaukee. I know of no others still in existence. Art or boat? It’ s a piece of history, a moment in time.

  4. Sean
    Sean says:

    I believe that that these vehicles were made to run and should be able to do just that. The Porsche museum often lends some of the most rare cars in the world for vintage racing as does several other collections. Art in motion.

    Is this boat more rare/expensive/significant than Miss Canada IV we have just seen running this spring? IMHO this boat should be restored to “as new” condition and it should see the water every year at least once!

    Thge scenario where I would not restore this boat is if it was just too far gone and needed to have everything replaced. Then I would build a replica and hang the original on a wall.

    As far as other preservation measures…documentation, photo documentation, replicas, plans, models can all support this artifact for generations.

  5. Yoda
    Yoda says:

    Mothballed no boat or car should be….mmmm. Always in motion is the future. Feel the force!

  6. Paul H.
    Paul H. says:

    A steal at that price, no doubt. Fix it, buy the motor from the guy and run it! Utterly no reason not to put it in the water and enjoy it – sympathetically of course but it is a boat and should be used. Even if it went to a museum it should still be used and demonstrated.

    Now, as too the buyer – Holmes?

  7. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    Original steering wheel? Doesn’t seem to fit the “race boat” vibe. That wheel would look more appropriate on a side steer Lyman.

    In the pic below, was the wheel in our “GEEZER”, a “built from Rudder Magazine” plan boat, we think by a couple of guys my friend Bob “Tipster” Johnson use to call the Geezer brothers, he acquired it and Les Rue and I restored it. The wheel was one of the few pieces of hardware on it.

  8. Cobourg Kid
    Cobourg Kid says:

    The word art does not imply static display. A piece of art can still move! In the case of the Century kid motion, fast motion!) only adds to its value. This boat was built to run and run hard, not hang on a wall. In fact permanently hanging that boat in a boat house or dangling it in some millionaires’ atrium would (IMHO) simply degrade its value.

    Restoration is, however, a must, (those porcupine gnawed frames could induce structural disintegration at hi-speed) and that mini ships wheel is a definite safety issue. Surreptitious modification with a quick change mechanism to allow an age appropriate conventional steering wheel to be fitted (whenever it gets splashed) would be a wise idea!

  9. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    Btw, we think the “Geezer” was a 20’s vintage boat, it was a step hull, batten seam, screwed with bronze flat head straight blade screws.

  10. Dave Clyne
    Dave Clyne says:

    Hey, Phil,

    Love the header picture. It took me a minute to recognize the Palomino. All looking good !

    • Philip Andrew
      Philip Andrew says:

      Dave Im ashamed to say the Palomino has still not been in the water. I had a custom cover made in preparation to get down to the lake last summer but never made it. This summer it will be stored right by the lake so she will get wet in Feb.

  11. Cobourg Kid
    Cobourg Kid says:

    Just did a little research on the Century Kid and came up with the following from the August 1929 issue of MotorBoating Magazine. Page 146

    American Motor Boat Records: Class C Division 2. Century Kid owned by Jim Welch at Oshkosh Wisconsin July 15 1928. Built by Century Co, Johnson engine, speed 36.65 M.P.H

    Jim Welch’s old boat? Nice provenance if it is!

  12. Troy
    Troy says:

    Never really thought of hanging a boat untill I looked at the video about John Winn’s boathouse, now I can see the appeal.
    That being said boats were made to float (or in this case fly) that is what she wants to do and that is what she should do.
    Can you imagine if someone had hung Miss Step on a wall somewhere. What a shame that would be.

  13. Larry Forget
    Larry Forget says:

    . Nice article & PICTURES. always good to see outboard stuff. Have to get the teenagers active. This hull would have the history with the 30’s motors.. Doubt the new owner will loose money on this find.. Can always take the measurements to make more replicas, like members did with the U-2 Commando , Raveau , & C.C kit boats, etc.

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