Is This The Year Of The Sea Skiff?
I was cruising the web looking for boat porn the other day… OK, every day… OK every second of every day. And came across this killer 28 Sea Skiff Ranger on ebay. WOW.. Twin V8’s very cool color and obviously cared for. And the best thing of all. It’s from Michigan! This sucker..gas sucker has it all. Turns out the owner, Mike Starkey has owned 5 Sea Skiffs. Which is not surprising.
Others swear by them, not at them. Fellow Woody Boater Paul Harrison considers there Sea Skiff to be there favorite go to boat. It will be down at Lake Dora this spring. Give or take a transmission or two on there old suburban! The good folks at Antique Boat Center have sold several just in the past months. And personally the design for me is perfect. I love our 24 sportsman because of all the brite work, but the interior design and performance is roughly the same. In fact the sea skiff performs better in rougher water. Back to the 28 on ebay. This one is a drool fest for me. The twin engines make it easy to manage, and the size is PERFECT for a party barge and fun factor. Need more convincing. I give the ultimate case! Chris Smith! Who can own and have any Chris Craft he ever desired. Drives a very sweet 27 Sea Skiff.
So here is your chance to be the cats pajamas this year, be the party man at all the shows, the social captain of your lake. Click here for the ebay listing.
Looks like there is room for a patio set between the engines and the rear bench. That is a true utility boat for sure.
Yes. And a bar and a place for tiki lamps. DAM I love this boat.
That looks like a nice one, and a whole lot of boat for under $24,000. Growing up our family always had one around I can remember many time going out to the big lake (Lake Michigan) with my Grandfather or Uncle. That’s the main reason they had them around, pile in the family and hit the big water. We would head out down Lake Charlevoix through Round Lake and into Lake Michigan and spend part of the day at a beach just to the south, those were the days.
PS:shes a 1955. SK-18-186.
In my opinion, these lapstrakes are the best value for $$ spent for a “daily driver” classic boat. They may not have the elegance of a carvel planked and varnished hull, but paint skuffs and dock shunts are an easy fix and they are commodious as hell – you can haul everything in them. They handle the rough water with ease, as they were designed to do. No pretense about being fast, but they are smooth. Ours is absolutely our go-to boat – no doubt.
However, in this size range they are BIG – even my ’65 24′ is over width, and this would be probably a foot wider than mine. Hard to tow something like this regularly. Twins will be a big help in docking, that is for sure.
A neighbor at the lake has enjoyed watching our boats and attending our shows in the past couple of years. He did not own a classic boat- only a pontoon. However this year he said he really liked my Skiff and wanted to try out an entry level, lower maintenance old boat for is first classic. He decided on a lapstrake after looking at all the various options. Dennis Ryan at ABC helped find the virtual twin of my Skiff and he bought it. Thanks to the ease of use, versatility and overall appeal of the mighty Sea Skiff, we have converted a pontoon boat owner to a classic boat owner!
Just found out that the HIN of my Skiff is SUE-24-0082, the boat my neighbor has just bought is SUE-24-0079. Pretty small world when two boats being built at the same time in Salisbury, MD will end up side by side 48 years later on a lake in BC, Canada, 2500 miles away.
Matt: Its always just annother 2′ will make the difference.
The law at my house is im stuck at 19′ anything bigger and now ive got an extra storage bill. Someone said to me the other day the guy who truly is rich is the guy who knows someone with everything you want so you dont have to.
Oh Yah Lapstrakes Rule!
Need I say more?
I could of added this…..
Lov’in the Lapstrake, They Do Rule! Our family has 5 but only four float the fifth is for decoration. Lyman Time Is The Best Time!
Here’s our new family project: SK-18-074 “BETSY”, a 1955 18′ Open Sea Skiff. She needs a full restoration but she’s complete and still has her original 60HP “A” engine (now running great after years in storage). She came off Lake Minnetonka and will soon ride the sparkling, deep waters of Green Lake, WI. She’s quite beamy with great freeboard, plenty of elbow room behind the helm, and the smaller engine box for the 4-cyl. translates into massive deck area for an 18-footer! The salty, traditional Down-East workboat style of the 1st-generation Sea Skiffs of the 1950’s has timeless appeal, and I think David Konick has proven that they are capable of great feats of daring when called upon. I can’t wait to get “BETSY” back on the water! There are more photos of this boat on the CCABC Hull Registry. Save a Sea Skiff today!
Here’s where “BETSY” is headed restoration-wise; she was a yellow-hulled example originally (per hull card), but I’m going with the mint-green option- unique and very retro. The early Sea Skiffs could be had in 7 hull colors at no charge staight out of the Salisbury, MD plant.
I love the non-white hull colours. I have a 1957 Thompson lapstrake 16′-7″ Sea Lancer outboard. She is painted lemande yellow – a very pale yellow. Beautiful colour and different than all the other white hulled boats on Lake Minnetonka.
I’ve never met a Skiff I didn’t like. We are restoring SK 38-10. Every year is a Sea Skiff year at our house!
I have to agree, you just fall in love with these boats, the looks, the ride and the memories. my previous one, 1958 30′ open with twin flat heads I’m sure is doing the same out on lake Minnetonka! thanks every one! Have a great boating season.
Lapstrakes Rule, and caught my eye the summer of 2011. I have since been putting the wheels into motion to get into either a Sea Skiff or a Lyman.
Well, thanks to Dennis Ryan at A.B.C. I just sent in my deposit check and wiating on the Survey results, on a 22ft 1969 Lyman! I wanted to hold off making any kind of announcement till the deal was sealed, but NOOO, Matt had to get everyone excited about Lapstrakes today!!!
Plans are to close the deal next week, and bring her home to Michigan while at the Jan 19th event at A.B.C. Then, do a little customizing work, and then spen a weEk down at the Mt. Dora event.
Yes, this will be our “go to party boat”. No more sittng at the dock because it is to windy or rough out there, to “ENJOY” a ride, which was my only dislike of the Old School.
Congratulations Dennis. I can’t wait to see it. Moving up the river this year to St. Clair because of low water. Will show nice at their floating docks.
Lucky man, Mike- the 30′ Open was the flagship of the open models, and they are absolute monsters! Here’s one I captured on film as she was coming in to dock in Algonac, MI in 2011 for the annual classic boat show at the old CC plant; the owner loves this boat and works her HARD and plays her HARDER…he let me jump into the gi-normous cockpit; with twin V-8s fully beneath the (teak) decking, you could literally host a small wedding reception there …without bothering the fishermen working off the transom! Truly an awesome Sea Skiff, if you have big water to run her in!
…trying this again :\
LIVE IT…LOVE IT…LAPSTRAKE.
Cliff, that little Skiff of yours is beautiful. Don’t see a name on it.
1) Cliff’s Skiff.
2) Fiscal Cliff (bet you’ve never heard that before; kinda fits boat ownership too, doesn’t it?).
3) Cliff’s Bar (carry a little scotch on board.)
Guarantee someone else on this blog can better those. My money’s on m-fine or Chad (or his monkey).
Fiscal Cliff will be hard to beat! Good one
A Bit Skiff
Cliff’s little Skiffy
Her name is “Cliff’s Skiff” just have not painted yet. Working on the Cutlass .
Old Sea Skiffs even look sexy sitting in the weeds, waiting for somebody to notice them. This early 22′ (like David K’s) still looks oddly beautiful, and was seriously for sale in Marine City, MI as of June, 2011. Get ’em now while there’s time, people!
Shhh! You’re going to start driving the prices up. These are great value just as is. Lapstrakes rule!
No kidding! Until I get a couple can we spread the word that skiffs are a low quality, poor performer that is best avoided by anyone serious about boat ownership. Thanks!
Gotta Luv a Lapstrake!
They are my favorites also, first SS was a ’65 24 footer. now have SK22-216 which the hull card says came from the Cadillac Mi. plant. The 1954 early hull 22 has a much narrower beam than the 24′ so is much easier to trailer on narrow roads. It also has a lot of room for coolers/ tubes/skis and grandchildren and with the optional top and side curtains we have weathered some nasty summer storms moving through. As long as I have a boat, one of this style will be with me. I also started with a brite sided C/C and after a few dock rash incident/repairs and a 22’sportsman I eventually saw the light, dock rash is a minor thing today. Lapstrakes Rule with me also
Let’s also give some love to Century’s unique riff on the clinker hull, the stylish Raven and Viking…very nice boats with that Century twist!
Sea Skiffs are nice but if you want a big lapstrake nothing beats a 30′ Lyman hull, with twin 270hp crusaders factory it will run circles around a 30′ sea skiff and is a much drier ride!
Two things scare me about this boat. 1) the bilge pump is working in the cover photo. 2) the prefix of the serial number – sub-0171-d. Just kidding I love lapstrakes. I had a 30′ Skiff Craft with this lay out. I’ve missed it since the day I sold it! Damn 2’itus!
There is a 1965 sea skiff with a trailer for sale on Milwaukee Craigslist for cheap money!!!
My 18 is called “Cliff’s Skiff” The 26′ is next on the list.
Sorry to be late to the party, fellows. I think it has all been said.
another wave crushed!
at the White Marlin Open Ocean City, MD August 2011
Everyone has tried over the years, but no one can duplicate or beat that famous Lyman ride, craftsmanship, and reliability!….legendary on Lake Erie since 1875. I also noticed on Chris Craft’s website that the company claims to be founded in 1874; however, Anthony Mollica’s book “Chris Craft Boats” states the company was founded in 1876????
I have been on a personal mission to locate my Fathers old 18 chris craft sea skiff. Last known whereabouts was lake st clair MI. It has registration MC 8494 BE. It is a 1956. Any leads are appreciated.
Mark – Do you have any photos or additional information? If so, send it to us and we would like to help. We have many viewers in that area.
I may be able to scan some old polaroids if that will work. What I can tell you is this. My Dad restored numerous Skiffs in the mid 70’s. A 23′ Ranger, a 22′, a 30′ open with twin 283’s (name on transom Jim Dandy. The last one was the Skiff I am seeking to find. 1956 18′ with Hercules 6 cyl. It had a beautiful deep green color on the hull. Name on the transom was “Pickerel Pal”. Engine was all redone etc. I was a kid but I knew it was something because of the way it looked. I am pretty sure itwas sold to someone on Lake St Clair. My older Brother has told me he knows the rear seat had a special cut out in it to accomodate a cooler on the floor. He also somhow believes the number stamped into the wood behind the rear seat wass 00398. I know enough that there should be some alpha characters in there too. I sent away a lookup form to the Michigan Secretary of State on the MC number but they denied my request. My Dad has always been a master woodworker. This last boat he did was representative of his skillset and attention to detail. He is almost 80 years old and I would love to learn where the boat is. I want to take photos and get a copy of the build sheet once I confirm the hull I.d. and present to him as a gift.
If it is for sale I may go to the next level.
P.s. A friend of mine in the police dept was not able to come up with any hits on the I.d. number.
Thanks Mark – If you can send me a number if scanned Polaroids that would be great.
With those and the info here, we will try to do a story and get the word out.
Please send them to: