I Am Gonna Dream Big, Post War 25 Sportsman Big!

25 sportsman twinns

Alex Watson has 50 feet of 25 Sportsman. Dang!

I know a while back we talked about the pre war 25 sportsman, and they are cool for sure, but my ultimate dream boat of all time is a 25 Chris Craft post war sportsman. Only 208 post-war 25 SP-25s built by Chris-Craft between 1946-50. Green leather, red leather offered in 1949. According to Brian Robinson – Chris-Craft started using red leather (rather than green) on the SP-25 in mid-1948 with Hull #147. Other minor changes from that hull number forward.

Of the 208 post-war SP-25s built, 48 were built as Sportsman Sedan,which are cool, but my dream is sans top, I like the openness of a day on the water.

25 Sportsman team

Two of the best of the best Sportsman, both Scripps Engine, And huge winners. Alex Watson and Majestic, and Barnwood, Paul and Karen Harrison.

So today, we’ll drool over topless 25 Sportsmans. Now. there is no way I can afford one, especially a cheap one. Those will hurt, considering a restoration on one is a huge commitment. But with only around 70 or so known to still exist, it may be your only option. Of course there are some for sale which is what triggered this dream story.


All done up and ready to go. Look at that layout! Thats the set up for sure.


Perfect lines.

Mitch Lapointe just got a nice one in and priced at $89K is actually a fair price since it has a new bottom. We don’t know all the details.

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Looks good, but make sure you know what your getting into. This is a real boat $39K buy it now!

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Sure looks nice.. Ugh.

And of course this low cost one on Ebay.. Above.

But the dream boat for me, is more like Alex Watson’s user that has a new 454 in it. The M seems to would be a bit of a slug fest. Ya ya, I know, its a rare boat.

Hessel 25

Marion E. 454 and perfect

me Hessel

Alex was very generous and let me live out a fantasy at the helm of Marion E.

A very very rare rare twin engine 25 Sportsman we featured a while back

Sportsman 25 -3

Sportsman 25 2

Thats alotta dash parts..

But getting one of the rarest of rare Scripps aint gonna ever happen on my budget. I like to really use our boats and the 25 ft is great for big water, and looks like a runabout with the usefulness of a utility. I still like the entire series of 18, 22 sizes. But the 25 is the mother!

Here is a list of links to some that are for sale from our trusty sponsors.


At Antique Boat Center

At The Antique Boat Center. This one was bought at the Warner Auction and needs restoration.

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Sierra Boat Co. Priced at $129K

And this one at Sierra Boat Co on Lake Tahoe. Its a stunner and ready to go. Click Here

And of course there is Miss Effie at Gordys on Geneva Lake. Simply amazing and used all summer long. There is a great link to some factoids on there site. Like the fact that a 25 Sportsman was more than the average house cost of the day!

And this one from Alex Watson of a soft top. I wonder if the zipper is correct?

Kerplunk, a 1948 25' Chris-Craft Sportsman burbles along Lake Cumberland during the 11th Annual Bluegrass Chapter ACBS Rendezvous. Owned by Jack Beatley, Kerplunk won both the Peoples' Choice award, receving the most votes from onlookers at the docks, and also the Best Utility award from the other captains.

Kerplunk, a 1948 25′ Chris-Craft Sportsman burbles along Lake Cumberland during the 11th Annual Bluegrass Chapter ACBS Rendezvous. Owned by Jack Beatley, Kerplunk won both the Peoples’ Choice award, receving the most votes from onlookers at the docks, and also the Best Utility award from the other captains.

And one more of Majestic, witha killer Apple Green leather interior. I love it.


The majestic. Scripps power!

Just two days til Algonac! Wooohooo!

27 replies
  1. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Matt, hold out until a twin engine comes on the market. That is the ultimate cool, and so easy to maneuver. If you look hard, you may find one in Algonac this weekend!

  2. John Baas
    John Baas says:

    The first few photos show the pass through on the port side. I was about to ask if it wouldn’t make more sense to put it on the the other side since the driver is on the starboard side….distribute weight more evenly? Anyway, the last picture appears to have the pass through on the driver’s side! Was that an option? Which side do you want the pass through?

    • Troy in ANE
      Troy in ANE says:

      I have always wondered why CC did that also. They had the same seating configuration in the 21 Continentals.

      • Troy in ANE
        Troy in ANE says:

        I have a friend who moved his port side during a restoration.

        The only other reason I can come up with for putting the 3/4 seat on the starboard side is that we usually dock port side and passengers can board without stepping on the seat.

  3. Flash
    Flash says:

    I love these boats and, like most, I’ll just keep dreaming about owning one someday. Kerplunk is certainly a fine boat, big, roomy, and beautiful.

    Is it Friday yet??!!

    See you in Algonac!

  4. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    I know you just sold Suzy, but I know of two 24′ twins that could be had. (Darn I wish I could still add pictures with my posts.)

  5. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    My lift covers are only 24 feet long…except for the one that is 22. If I got a 25 foot Sportsman, I would have to choose which foot to leave out in the sun and rain. I think I better stick to smaller boats like that 17′ triple cockpit barrell back that was on ebay with an A-120 and an M for power.

  6. Jim Staib
    Jim Staib says:

    If you are going to dream dream BIG!! Go for the 29′. The one on ebay looks like the one that was out on the street during the Warner auction. It has W power. Not bad power.
    Rumor has it several 25′ Sportsman’s are going to be in Gull Lake this fall including this twin I once owned.

  7. pat chaps
    pat chaps says:

    If you want a unique boat my Moxie is for sale.
    Chris Craft 1957 26ft Sports Express
    Only 48 built.
    Twin KLs 105 hp
    9 ft beam 6,000lbs has a trailer trailer
    Won best cruiser at Hessel 2014
    It will be at the Algonac Show Field of Dreams


  8. Alex
    Alex says:

    The Scripps boats have the pass through to the utility section on the starboard side, the opposite of the non Scripps powered boats.

    I believe this is to balance the boat differently, as the Scripps has big parts on the starboard side only of the engine, such as the exhaust manifold.

    I’m not totally sure this is the reason, but it makes sense.

  9. Paul H.
    Paul H. says:

    Alex- that is the best guess I have heard, because even though I think Brian Robinson looked through the Mariners Museum Archives to try to find the answer to the opposite pass through in the factory records, none was found. The drawings are sure there, but that was it. So we are left to speculate; perhaps one day the answer to this fun little mystery will be revealed with certainty.

  10. Alex
    Alex says:

    For the record, Marion E’s engine isn’t a 454. It’s a 496 (8.1L) Crusader. Great engine, but no longer offered.

    The new 6L Crusaders come close to the 8.1L in power, and are presumably more efficient and less polluting.

    Mike Green repowered a 25 Sportsman for a customer last year with a 6.0L and saw 53 mph on his GPS. Very fast for a big boat.

    If you’re going to repower a 25SP, the Crusader Captain’s Choice 6.0L is an excellent match.

    • Mike Green
      Mike Green says:

      I agree what a great motor. The boat ran 53 mph but that was a cell phone gps. We then got a little more high tech and it was a steady 47 mph all day long. My favorite time of the year is getting this boat cleaned up and put in the water for our customer. of course there need to be a test drive to make sure everything is in top shape. I think I need to test it again very soon.

  11. Alex
    Alex says:

    Incidentally Matt, back on FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2009 you posted a story called “More Live In Lake Geneva.” In it, you posted this photo and this comment…

    “Effie, my favorite 25 Chris Craft Sportsman… My wife walked by and said. Ohhh, I like that one. BINGO! I am in.. Now I just need to tell my son at college the bad news. Dad, can’t help the pizza / tuition / room and board fund any more. I’m sorry, your Mom made me do it..”

    It seems this has been on your wish list for some time. Kids are done with college now. And pretty soon, you’ll be buying deck boats and pontoons because they are easier to board with a walker.

    Better git to it!

    • Dennis Mykols
      Dennis Mykols says:

      That “Walker” comment hit home, Alex. While I am not there YET, I have ruled another classic that I have to crawl over the front seat, and or around an engine hatch, when docking, etc. I am just not that quick on my feet any more, nor have the balance I once had.
      That being said, NO pontoon for the ol’ Captain. I am looking for a nice vessel with a layout found in the Arabians; two swivel bucket seats, open cockpit, and engine in the rear. AND with a sterndrive, to help move around tight docks, with less stress.
      That being said, I have had an Arabian in the late 1980’s and would like to get something other than an Arabian. Something about, “Too many different boats, too little time left…”
      BUT, this classic still needs to have “STYLE, and CLASS, to take to shows, and use as a daily cocktail boat.
      The 22 foot Century Cardel has caught my eye as of late, and I have looked at a couple. Now to find the right one. Ah, the “PERSUIT OF HAPPYNESS…”

      • Sean
        Sean says:

        Dennis, The Greavette Executive II sounds like the boat for you. They were the last all wood boat made by Greavette and only six of them at that! Easy to move around in, sterndrive, smooth ride, easy handling and just plain awesome (My wish boat). There happens to be one for sale too…

  12. Mike Green
    Mike Green says:

    A local guy on Glen Lake here in Michigan owns this boat that we repowered with a 6.0L 375hp Crusader motor last year. Crusader does not make the 454 anymore, I believe you get more hp to weight ratio with the 6.0 so they discontinued it. The engine drops right into the boat and we only had to change a few things that you can’t see unless you open the engine cover. The great thing this boat goes 47 mph and is a blast to drive, the performance is awesome!

    • Doug P in the PNW
      Doug P in the PNW says:

      I have an optional hatch in my 25′ Roamer Sportsman. I always thought it was for tall guys using the head.

      Very hard Captcha today, one I could answer without calculator. 2-1=1

    • Alex
      Alex says:

      Jim, I was once told only the 1949 and 1950 years came with that front hatch. Not sure if that is correct. My ’49 has one. My ’48 does not. A hatch comes in very handy. I roll up and store my waterline canvas it. It also holds the anchor, plenty of line, and spare lifejackets, with room aplenty for fenders.

      I suppose one could also use it as a timeout room for misbehaving children.

      • jim g
        jim g says:

        Alex, Your correct. The bow hatch started with the 49 model year. The 49 and 50 model year also got a slight redesign. They got the dash that looks like the 20′ customs. Chris Craft also put a little less tumblehome in the rear. They also went to the 3/4″ flat rub rail and the rivera bow plate instead of the big half round rub rail and 20′ custom style bow plate. There are some other minor difference’s. Basically the 49 and 50 model year just looks a little cheaper the the 48 and earlier. Picture of mine. 1946 #35

  13. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    The pre and post war 25′ Chris Craft runabout hulls are (in my opinion) just about the perfect all-around boat for taking people for rides, weekend cruises, evening putt-putts – you name it, these boats can do it. They can take on a lot of adverse conditions if they have to and get you back home safely and in a relative degree of comfort. My bias is (of course) the 25′ Express Red & White models, but the hulls are essentially the same through that line up. I endorse modern power if you intend to use the boat on a regular basis, particularly if in the salt. I put a 454 in “Tango” with a 1.5 to 1 Borg Warner, ran a 17 x 16 cupped prop and the boat was “linear” – 2000 rpm = 20 mph, 4300 rpm = 43 mph. Cruise was around 2400 and it used about 6 gal per hour.

    Great boats – Go for it Matt!

  14. jim g
    jim g says:

    Marine Power engines offers several 6.0 and 6.2 liter engines.
    6.0 385hp and 400 lb-ft
    6.2 LS2 418hp and 424 lb-ft
    6.2 LSA supercharged 540hp and 540 lb-ft

    The LSA should make it run good.

    • Alex
      Alex says:

      Kids, daddy needs a faster motor. College is overrated. You’ll like Wendy’s. All u can eat chilli!

  15. Kevin F
    Kevin F says:

    In 1992, I was trying to decide between a 22 and a 25 Sportsman. I found one of each, one located near me in CA, the other in NY. The one in NY was in better shape, the one in CA was in good enough shape. At the time, I was 28 years old, and I was going to be towing it around and doing lots of intense slalom skiing behind the boat (which the 22 does a fantastic job). The advice I got was to go with the 22ft.. Today, the 25 is better suited to my lifestyle, and the value of the boats, which was roughly the same back in 1992, is now vastly different. I can buy three 22 footers for one 25 footer. Back then, I knew one was going to be worth more, but back then, money was not as important as a good day of skiing 🙂

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