Are We All Chris Craft?

Higgins magic

From time to time this subject comes up in the bowels of the comment section. Someone takes a shot at Woody Boater regarding most of our stories being about Chris Craft. Well, is that true, or Russian fake news being spread?  Well. It is true. Most of the stories here do contain a chris craft. And I own 2 so its natural that I do those. When I owned a whaler, we over did whaler stories, and I know some moan when I do a Sweet Pea Trawler story. I get it.

Joe Turcotte at the helm of HURRICANE GARWOOD!

BUT, ya, you knew there would be a big BUT here. Think about the size of the community and then divide it up into specific brands. I do not have numbers, and I suppose the ACBS and Hagerty could spend days weeding through stats, and find the break down. So I am going to take a gut guess here. How it feels at shows and on line

Robert Miracle shot this on Lake Erie! Lyman Love

.I think it would be fair to say that Chris Crafts make up of half the community, then Century, Gar Wood Hackers, and Lymans. That seems to be the gist. Then there is Shepards, Whalers, Grevettes, and then it really starts getting thinner and thinner. We can cluster all the Whirlwinds, Thompsons, yellow jackets into a stwe of outboard boats. maybe not Thompson, that could be up there in the Lyman bin. Regardless you could and I am sure, argu over details, but its kinda a close guess.

Thompson restoration is one of my favorite stories

This is a one of a kind Schillo Boat.. We did several stories on it

Even a Dingle! Yes.. And no it doesn’t belong to a guy named Berry. But if it did, we would do a story on it once a week!

Dart boats, you can order one still.

Now Woody Boater is an equal oportunity offender. We love other brands, LOVE. I love finding new things, companies and stories. But they just dont happen as much and so this is how it goes. We do love Lymans. Gar Woods, etc.

Old hackers, New Hackers!

Sandys Mistress the Shepard, and Blue Heron 1956 sportsman – See we can live together and be happy

We love Larsons

Feather Crafts

Bought it, drove it to Algonac, won an award and left. Didnt even bother cleaning it. Its that nice.

With all that said, the Algonac Gang is very very passionate. And Algonac is where it ALL began. And thats why many call any old classic boat a Chris Craft. It’s how branding works, and being iconic pays off. Like Kleenex, WD-40, Xeroxing, Googleing, all are brands. Yet replace a thing or action.


A fun Donzi is always welcome

Even going 115 – I needed to stop and pee

Chris Craft is motor boating and there isn’t anything can do to change that. That is the prize for being first and largest. And still going and relevant.

New Chris – Craft V Drive Capri prototype

Correct Crafts are bad mama jammas

Blue Century’s



Countless What Iz its? In fact we coined that phraze? Fraze? Friaze?



Big Hackers.Steve Lapkin Photo

Plastic stuff wrapped in wood stuff



Riva’s. lots of Rivas

This thing


Jersey Skiffs

Aristo Crafts – Lots of Aristo Crafts. Still going strong BTW

Cant recall what this is, but we features it on Lake Arrowhead in So Cal


Glen L’s


Does it really matter?

Bomb target boats

One of a kind amazing boats



OH YA! Hornets

This will just keep going. may I suggest buying Real Runabouts from Bob Spetz. Its endless, and always a joy to feature the fun of Woody Boating.

34 replies
  1. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    I wonder if the readers of the daily classic tissue blog occasionally complain about the amount of Kleenex coverage. I bet they do, and I am sure there’s people who get really torqued when they do a paper napkin story as a change of pace. And God for bid they run a toilet paper article deep in the off season.

    No matter what you cover, there will be people who will complain. That’s OK. Just do your thing and most of us will keep reading. I don’t know why, since zipper pulls are not really entertaining, but we will read anyway.

  2. Todd C
    Todd C says:

    Some of us don’t “complain” but don’t feel the need to be a “me to” CC boater. It like everyone being born right handed but some can overcome it. Woody boater. Is a great read and fun. There just are more CC’s out there.

  3. Cameron
    Cameron says:

    I found out I love Lyman utilities from Woodie Boater, I also learnt all about the Larson Falls story and was so intrigued by the article you did on Fixitor that I visited the boatyard when in the UK. I don’t particularly like Chris Craft; ‘they built in a day what Canadian boatyards built in a year’, they were the first ‘production line’ boat builders so something had to give.

    • Dave
      Dave says:

      Gar Wood’s son, Gar Wood Jr., built the first production line “fiberglass” boats, the Garform, in Oklahoma, City in the mid 1940’s. There were not many built over just a few years of production and only a few exist today.

    • Floyd r turbo
      Floyd r turbo says:

      And the Canadians have their genre of boats that include but not limited to Ditchburn, Minett-Shields, Minett, Barnes, Hunter, Disappearing Propellor Boat Co, W.J.(Billy)Johnson, Duke, Port Carling SeaBird, besides Shepherd and Greavette you mentioned. And that’s the ones located in Muskoka area. There were several more located towards eastern and southern Ontario. The Bob Speltz Runabout series does a great job of covering most manufacturers. I bet as he produced each book, he had people complaining about their boat not being covered. “What about such and such boat?” And when he had enough info collected he’d issue another volume. What are there 7 volumes now being carried by the Antique Boat Museum, I believe.

    • Jeff Jones
      Jeff Jones says:

      Jim, any chance that you’ve come across a flat windshield for a ’37 U21 hidden in any of those woody boats that followed you home? Thanks, Jeff

  4. tparsons56
    tparsons56 says:

    I remember as a kid growing up in Metro Detroit in the 60’s that your family was either a Ford, GM or Mopar family and that you could be disowned if you traded loyalties. That brand loyalty seemed to change in the 70’s and 80’s as the world market opened up giving us more choices. With these choices we were able to chose cars and trucks based on when we liked and needed regardless of the brand.

    This same analogy can be made about our classic boats. For many years the biggest producer was Chris-Craft but you also had other manufactures such as Century, Owens, Richardson, Gar Wood etc. that people were loyal to. Then new manufacturers such as SeaRay, Boston Whaler, Donzi and others came along with new ideas and designs which opened up more choices.

    I grew up on a 1951 Chris-Craft 31′ Express but when I was looking for a classic boat I chose a Chris-Craft 1941 Custom because of the look and feel of the boat and not because I felt any particular loyalty to Chris-Craft. Since getting the Custom I have also picked up a Fay and Bowen which doesn’t seem to have a much of a following at all. I just really liked the look of the boat.

    As I said I got the Custom because I really liked the looks but I freely admit that at shows I admire and lust after other manufacturers designs. Maybe someday a Hacker, Gar Wood, Century Triple or something else will come my way.

    As a footnote I assume this topic was chosen because of comments on last Friday’s post. The funny thing is that at least three of the pictures in that post are of funny looking pontoon boats – What???

  5. Rick
    Rick says:

    All great collectables. Want to give your future great great grandkids a collectable? Heard that CC is discontinuing the Carina. Could it be the next Silver Arrow? Poor sales at the time but then collectable. Buy it now and put it away until it is a new in box fiberglassic.

  6. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    I got the personal property tax on my boat and while it is not a Chris Craft…the bill said it was….because all they know is that if a boat is really old it must be a Chris Craft….
    they can be forgiven if only because CC were so ubiquitous…
    oops…ubiquitous violates the Matt rule of no correct spelling of weird words….

    • Kentucky Wonder
      Kentucky Wonder says:

      As a Kentucky resident, I know a little something about thoroughbreds: While they are really fast, and beautiful to watch while in motion, they are also very nervous, and likely to bite and kick the people around them. Gotta be careful. Not sure if that applies to the boats or not.

  7. Clay at Cross Lake
    Clay at Cross Lake says:

    My shed includes a ’74 Skiffcraft, a ’56 Wolverine, and my latest find picked up yesterday is a ’59 Dunphy Bluewater not even home yet. These boats have just appeared in my life and I have enjoyed learning about them and restoring them. I stumbled onto Woodyboater when I picked up the Skiffcraft and have enjoyed it ever since, whatever the topic or brand of boats. What I appreciate the most is that so many of this community are so willing to share their wide continuum of knowledge and experience.

    That said, does anyone know anything about the Bluewater model or what happened to Dunphy’s record when they went out of business in 1964?

  8. Jack
    Jack says:

    So it sounds like Chris Craft is the Ford of boating.
    I prefer my 2001 custom built gentleman’s racer.
    There is only one!

  9. briant
    briant says:

    Wait. I have a complaint.

    I was not complaining last Friday – I just wanted to point out that one could still be an avid Woodyboater enthusiast even if you don’t have a clue about the Chris Craft plant in Algonac.

  10. mike camp
    mike camp says:

    i am surprised you didn’t have any muskoka boats in there; is texx still proof reading and contributing ? You forgot Murray and his boats so you can show a nice gentleman’s racer instead; Rascal from lake joseph muskoka

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

    What about our home lake favorites-Penn Yan? As a kid we didn’t want a stodgy old inboard-we wanted a Penn Yan Swift!

  12. Jim Sly
    Jim Sly says:

    As a young boy I remember my dad always had a wooden chris ski boat. I remember sitting behind him and watching his elbow in the water as he made a sharp U turn to pick up a down skier. In my 30’s I lived on a 40′ 1964 woody chris craft in the California delta and it was the best 10 years of my life. Great boat and was really something to see her up on plane.

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