Fiberglass Classic Boats Are Here Bigtime!

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Donzi Power! Photo YNOT Yachts

If this years Lake Dora Show is any indication of where the classic boat culture is headed, this year is going to be a whopper year for Fiberglass Classic boats. The good folks at YNOT Yachts have been pushing the message out for some years now and its paying off. People are putting serious money into Classic plastic restorations.

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Burts Barracuda and YNOT’s Chris Craft Silver Arrow – YNOT Yachts

Troy Sandi

Troy and Sandi love there Formula

That and smaller groups like the Donzi Club, Glasspar and Correct Craft groups are adding more fuel to the passion. It was amazing at this years show to see all the bright fun colors and pure muscle out on the water. Its like a burst of energy being floored into the culture and we are very excited about it!


Bill Anderson has roughly over 100 of the most exotic kind!


Metal flake masterpieces are showing up at Shows

Pumpkin 425

Muscle Cars on the water

fla fri plastic

one of a kind custom jobs


Fully restored one of a kind XK 18 Jet Boat for sale at Katzs marina

Century Coranado

1973 Century – 21′ Coronado is for sale at Freedom Boat Service

Riva Fiberglass

There is even Riva Fiberglass ! This very cool St Tropez is at Sierra Boat Co on lake Tahoe. HERE

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Fiberglass smiles! Burts famous baby Donzi – Photo YNOT YACHTS


28 replies
  1. Dan T
    Dan T says:

    All that glass is a great day for the hobby as a whole and I love it, but it makes you wonder about the future of true Woody Boating. Working the glass and working the wood are apples and oranges. The art of wooden boat restoration is on the wane.

  2. Scott K
    Scott K says:

    Adding glass is not replacing wood, as some naysayers are prognosticating.

    A new layer of interest and fun.
    The more the merrier.

  3. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    Here is a great shot that Shannon K got as I came back around after a fly by at the Harrison estate.

    These deep V’s grab the water so well.

  4. Chris Franz
    Chris Franz says:

    I also have noticed a certain new “vibe” in the shows. I bought my first wood boat after deploying overseas in 02-03 at the age of 22 and still to the day am most likely the youngest member of my club. That, in my opinion, should not be the case. Classic Glass brings new boat owners and spectators to the hobby. Those same people will most likely have a new appreciation for wood boats and vice versa. As a whole, going forward, Glass and Wood need each other to keep classic boating intact.

  5. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    You missed out on one really big benefit of fiberglass boats. You never have to go looking for wicker chairs for one!

  6. Scott
    Scott says:

    The Donzi Marine Restoration Society would like to thank Sunnyland ABCS for having us here this year. We had a BALL, what a great show and venue. Looking forward to next year already, meanwhile you classic performance boat fans can keep up with us on Facebook or at our website, We cover a broad spectrum of boats, check in you never know what we are up to!

  7. Dave Nau
    Dave Nau says:

    It’s all good, and the bright colors contrast nicely with all the mahogany. My guess is that on 10-15 years, half the boats shown at shows will be fiberglass from the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s, and 80’s.

  8. Richard Gozinya
    Richard Gozinya says:

    Why is this on “Woody Boater” website? I thought it was a site about wooden boats, but maybe it is a site about guys on boats with boners.

  9. Tim Jones
    Tim Jones says:

    I’ve been into Classic Glass for 30+ years. My restoration took 20+ years. When I look at Facebook sites like Chris Craft Boats and Parts Room what we see is that a lot of the larger wood Chris classics are getting parted out and cut up. This due to the substantial cost of restoring these boats compounded by a shrinking supply of qualified wood workers. The smaller Chris and similar makes still in demand, but to a shrinking clientele.
    As to what qualifies as Classic Glass, that’s a question with a variety of answers depending on who you talk to. For me, Classic Glass is from 1950 to 1970.
    My Skagit 31 Saratogan is a good example of Classic Fiberglass boat construction. Over 50 plug/molds necessary to build this boat and all it’s detail glass parts. A lot of innovation in the Saratogan including foam core fiberglass bulkheads, the two on either end of the engine compartment being water-tights. Semi displacement hull. Repowered with twin Volvo turbo diesels. Tops 30 mph. Picture attached.

  10. MikeM
    MikeM says:

    This reminds me of a conversation I heard years ago at “Reese’s”. One guy in the chocolate department was talking to some guy in the peanut butter department. The conversation got a little heated but I think we all know what happened.

    I think we’re all better together in the end. And, are people still complaining that “Woodyboater” has the audacity to write about Fiberglass? That is so 2015…..

  11. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    I think a large and growing number of wood boat owners also own classic glass. Many of us also see attracting people to classic glass as a stepping stone to get them to also be interested in wood.

    Keep in mind that the 1960’s glass boats at the 2017 Sunnyland show are older today than the cobras and even pre-war barrel backs were at the time of the first show in 1981. They belong.

  12. Rick
    Rick says:

    I own both classic wood AND modern fiberglass. Guess I’m just confused. But I’m not making any harsh statements either.

  13. Mike W
    Mike W says:

    As an owner of 30 tons of FRP and an avid reader of Woody Boater it shouldn’t matter what you own. Yawn, old subject. Love ’em all.

  14. Flash
    Flash says:

    Keep spreading the word Matt, I’ve been on the fiberglass train for almost 10 years now. We’re all in this hobby together and should appreciate all the classics.

  15. BRYAN
    BRYAN says:

    I remember the nasty letters to the editor Car & Driver used to get when testing SUV’s years ago….This is not exactly the same BUT…As someone who loves and appreciates wooden classics but owns classic glass for reasons of both practicality, style, and let’s face it – cash. I want to be a part of the community. It’s why I don’t own and never plan on owning the latest tower equipped cookie cutter runabout. But alas on my local lake in past years there is not one example of fiber in the annual antique boat parade. Today SUV’s and truck reviews are considered apropos in “Car” magazines. Maybe someday…..

    • Bryan
      Bryan says:

      On second thought – As Groucho Marx said – “I don’t want to belong to any club that would accept me”

    • Bill S
      Bill S says:

      Harsh. That is like saying Wooden Boats make excellent bonfires. Why go there?

      There are amazing woodies, and amazing fiberglass boats. I restored a 1958 Thompson 15′ lapstrake. Owned a spectacular 1959 17′ Chris*Craft Sportsman Utility. Also a 1967 Donzi Ski-Sporter, 1976 Donzi X-18, 1979 Donzi 18 2+3, and currently a 1985 Donzi Criterion and a 1967 Sea Ray SRV-180. All great boats.

  16. David
    David says:

    I have admired wood boats forever. However, the more I got serious about it, I realized my skill set and cash flow are just not on par to keep one. I’m in my mid 40’s and seem to be one of the younger guys at the boat shows I attend. Fiberglass lets younger “collectors” get started in the classic boating hobby.

    I really wanted to be a part of boating, but wanted something retro. $1200 and some parts from ebay for a1966 100 Hp Golden Meteor Johnson got me on the water and I’ve never been happier.

    If I had the money and the skill to own a wood boat, I totally “wood.” In the meantime, I’m cruising around amazing lakes and rivers in my 63 Aristocraft.

    Thanks for the article.

  17. Owen
    Owen says:

    I love Wooden Boats. I can’t afford Wooden Boats. 🙂 I’ve attended the Lake Tahoe Wooden Boat event two times, and each time it was a jaw dropping experience. Mind blowing attention to detail and historic preservation. But all of these boats were completely outside of my, and I would say, most anyone else’s financial means to restore, or even to own. This makes these wooden boats interesting, yet distant. And its why I went to the shows, and paids me money to see them. Yet, I also like to see restored glass boats, and restored steel boats.
    A show is ultimately about “Draw.” There are only so many restored Wooden Boats of interest. I’m seeing them, the same boats, in a repeated way at other shows. It would be neat to see something entirely different. I’d like to see more smaller homebuilt wooden boats like the Sidcrafts and cold formed plywood boats of the late 50’s that people made in their backyards. I’d like to see a wood Windmill (sailboat), next to its fiberglas version, or the Windmill Kit Boat (powerboat) next to its Formula Jr Glass version. That would be a reason for me to see other interesting things. 🙂

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