Could This Be An Aristocraft? WhatIZiT?

Aristo?IZ IT

Here is a photoshop look at how this little boat might look cleaned up?

Not to lead the witness, but fellow Woody Boater David Burry  from Canada sent us in this boat trying to see if we could do a WHATIZ IT story. We looked at it, and to be honest it feels like an Aristocraft. Its got all the hardware off one, and the over the top design is perfect. Very original and no kit boat home made stuff here. This FEELS like an Aristocraft to me, but as the boatress often lets me know. I am mostly wrong about things. Here is the note David sent in with the pictures.


“There are no numbers, stamps, plates or any markers anywhere on the boat. The only name I found was probably put there by a wood worker when it was  being assembled, Erich Sattler. The metal work is brass, chromed. Aluminum strapping bright work and as the rear end trim. There was no seating in it and no holes or wear to indicate what could have been there. The interior is panelled in mahogany and there are floor grate inserts Like I said before there are many things that mae me think it may have been an Aristo craft. For example the fins and their shape.

Very cool hardware

Very cool hardware

The sedan roof. The left side driver position. The chrome pieces and their shapes. The recessed engine area. The fact that its plywood and has american screws. In Canada we use socket type screws called Robertsons.”The boat was purchased at Innisfil Beach. Ontario. The seller told me it had spent its life on Lake Simcoe.”

The lines are perfect!

The lines are perfect!

Thanks David, I hope you all can chime in and let David know where to start on his restoration. For those of you interested in Aristocrafts, they are cool as all get out and still making boats today. Here is there website! Great folks by the way and will be down in Florida.

24 replies
  1. Andreas
    Andreas says:

    That’s too cool for school! Is the hull molded veneer? There were dozens of builders of molded veneer boats: Whirlwind, Wolverine/US Molded Shapes/Cadillac, Delta, MiloCraft, Carver, Dunphy, Yellow Jacket, MacBay, etc… A guy could also by a hull blank and finish off the boat on his own.

  2. Troy
    Troy says:

    Hard sayin’, Not knowin’!

    I would think since they are still in business they could at least confirm or deny.

      • Jim
        Jim says:

        I owned a neat little boat very similar to the blank hull shown here. With overrated 50 hp Merc motor with Quicksilver lower unit and speed prop, won several regattas on Ohio River and inland lakes only had one other beat that little gem& then only by feet. My good friend who later ended up owning eleven McDonald’s franchises begged me to take it out for a short spin & lost control ending up being broadsided by another friend who was out enjoying his’ maiden run’ in his new cruiser. Insurance didn’t replace boat, friend at that time poor & never gave me a cent for my loss. I’ve never seen another like it since

  3. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    I can’t help with the boat, but it looks like the header lady finally figured out which end to put the Nautique Optix sunglasses on. Perhaps they should come with better directions.

  4. John Baas
    John Baas says:

    I seriously doubt those stern lights are original. They are not even legal…not visible 360 degrees. And what’s with the “mouse hole” thingies at the bottom of the stern? This thing may have been modified from its original form?

  5. Randy
    Randy says:

    It just does not have the ‘art deco’ shapes that AristoCraft was famous for back in their early days. A/C has pictures on their website of all their old models and nothing like this appears there.

    Classic looking though, and it really needs to be restored!

  6. Howard Lehman
    Howard Lehman says:

    The transom and tail fin design looks familiar, like the Brooks Stevens designed Cadillac Sea Lark of 1956-1957. My memory could be a little fuzzy here, but I think Wagemaker boats of Grand Rapids, Michigan was looking for a new design to spark interest in their boat line and set themselves apart from other companies. I believe they would build almost anything and combined wood, fiberglass and aluminum to make interesting shapes. Brooks Stevens designed the Cadillac Sea Lark and it was shown at Boat Shows and on magazine covers, featuring Evinrudes newly designed Lark of 1959. This could be a boat modified by a clever woodworker taking cues from that boat, or one of Wagemaker’s specially built boats, IMHO.

  7. Sean
    Sean says:

    That would be one tough little boat to spend all that time on Lake Simcoe! (it can be a really rough lake and is rarely calm).

  8. Taco
    Taco says:

    In my opinion this boat may possibly be an Arcangeli jolly. The size, planked hull, bow light and clambs and the back of the boat reminds me of it. Thinking away the “fins” and hardtop !

    • Troy
      Troy says:


      When I first say the boat in this thread I thought “a vintage white Merc would be the perfect engine for this thing.”

    • Hans
      Hans says:

      This is a Arcangeli Jolly 450, check out our site and see for yourself.
      On the site there even is a video of a French TV program that has been dictated to this boat! Also lots of pictures of the restoration of this boat.

      • David burry
        David burry says:

        Hans. Having seen your site and the restorations illustrated I am convinced my boat is an Arcangeli. When I contacted you your response was that it’s not an Arcangeli because all Jollys have chrome windshield frames! But this is not a Jolly.
        Your website explains that Mr Arcangeli opened his yard in 1956 making various models and that all Jollys were made after 1960. My boat is signed and dated by an Erich Sattler in April 1958. Making it one of the boats built before the Jolly production and the chrome windshield! How it got to Canada is a wonder though! Any idea who Mr. Sattler is?

  9. Scott
    Scott says:

    Hey everyone. Sorry for the bad news, but the boat in question is definitely not one of ours. I would love to be of help, but I cannot place a manufacturer on the boat either. Best of luck in your search!!

    • Taco
      Taco says:

      Hi Scott,
      Just a note to let you know that i still enjoy one of your boats. It is amazing fast with the Mark 78 and rock solid! I ran some vintage boat races with it in Germany.
      Regards, Taco

  10. David Burry
    David Burry says:

    Hey, Taco. Thanks for the lead. I’m researching Arcangeli Boats. You’re right! The lines, minus the fins and roof, are very similar to my boat…and the dimensions are exact!
    DB. Canada.

    • Taco
      Taco says:

      Hi David, In the picture of the restored Jolly you can even see the “Mouse holes” in de lower back. All Arcangeli`s had a production number. Mostly hidden somewhere. It may be stamped inside the boat ,at the left, at the very rear of the transom just under de rear deck. Difficult to explain the position! If your front deck is a little “rounded” and planked I am 90 % sure it`s a Jolly. They were not the best quality so a lot of them were “restored” or “abused” far from original factory standards

      • David Burry
        David Burry says:

        Thanks, Taco. I’m going to take hard look at the boat today to see if I can find some numbers now that I know where to look. I’m still not convinced its an Arcangeli. They say they were made between ’60 and ’68. Mine has a scribbled date on it of April 1958. Could it be an early prototype or one off? Who knows?
        The front deck is arched front to back and side to side but is plywood. The fins and roof are integral and original and not added later. The fins are dovetailed into those odd boxes at the back. Would tailfins be something an Italian maker would think about adding to a boat? I’m thinking about cars of the time. Not many Italian fins! BATS aside!

  11. Alex
    Alex says:

    Somebody send that Taco a Bell for figuring this out. I’m serious. That’s some impressive sleuthing!

    • Taco
      Taco says:

      Hi Alex, That would be the first Taco Bell in the Netherlands or even Europe! We have the complete US fastood chain over here { the big “M”still my favorite }, KFC, Burger king etc but none TB.

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