It’s “My First Love Day”- Woody Boats That Is.

Sylvia running on her maiden voyage! I was in pure heaven!

Sylvia running on her maiden voyage! I was in pure heaven!

I was cruising through old pictures this morning looking for photos for a story, and kept coming across all the boats I have loved before. Que Julio Iglesias.. I will spare you the youtube clip.. Aplause now.. Anyway, I was cruising through some of the pictures and kept coming across Sylvia, the real first love Woody boat.

Sylvia Glamor 6low

I had lusted after a 19 barrel back for years, and spent 3 years restoring her. She made me happy and crazy from day one. Picking her up in Minnesota in February to driving every weekend  3 hrs each way while she was being restored. All of it. That’s love. So we thought it would be fun to have our fellow Woody Boaters share there first love with others. It may have been your first boat as a kid, your grandfathers boat? Or your first real restoration. How a bout a friends boat. It’s OK to covet another’s Woody Boat by the way!

Miss Step. Works everytime for me!  This little sucker is amazing!

Miss Step. Works everytime for me! This little sucker is amazing!

Twin engine 25 Sportsman.. mmmmmm

Twin engine 25 Sportsman.. mmmmmm

The list of lust goes on and on for me, , a 1961 Continental hard top? 1958 40 foot Cruiser, 25 sportsman, the little Hydro. Tell the world your love. Ya never know, some ones dream may be to unload there nightmare! Ya know what they say, for every beautiful boat out there , there is some guy sick of putting up with her crap!

63 replies
  1. Ed F
    Ed F says:

    I have to think a little more to come up with the first love, but coming up the Second Love was easy. Our not quite completed 1960 18′ Continental

  2. Troy
    Troy says:

    I could fill up pages of first loves with boats!

    Luckily for me, my first real loves with Wooden Boats I am still in an intimate relationship with since my parents never got rid of her and now she is in my care, although she still belongs to Mom! Which actually makes it that much sweeter.

    IF a boat can smile I think she is in this shot.

  3. Sean
    Sean says:

    My first Restoration… A 1959 21′ Greavette Cutter. Never finished, she taught me a lot about wood boats and the “professional” restoration industry!

    I donated her, and eventually she became the needed solid core to save another persons project.

    After that experience I’m surprised I ever started another 🙂

  4. Don Ayers
    Don Ayers says:

    For me this is what started it all back in 1988.

    I still love the pic and I’ve never got to even ride in one.

    1940 25′ Sportsman with powerful “W” engine. Speeds to 40 MPH

  5. Chad
    Chad says:

    Here’s SCOUT, my trusty 22′ Sea Skiff.

    Driving with my foot on the shifter to keep it from slipping out of gear.

    • Alex
      Alex says:

      Made me laugh. To this day, I still drive our boats with my foot pressed against the shifter.

      When I was a kid, it was to ensure it didn’t slip out of gear, just like you mentioned.

      Today, it’s to ensure my kids don’t KNOCK it out of gear.

  6. tuobanur
    tuobanur says:

    My first love, spotted it the first time in 1994 and there were still some varnish on it. Tried to buy it but he wouldn’t sell (i’m sure you guys know that story), bought it in 1998 and it looked like this with a hole in the middle of the hull right under the front seat. It had been stored under some trees, bow down and full of trash.

  7. tuobanur
    tuobanur says:

    Not sure what happen to that first pic.
    My second love, setting in the pool at Scout Boat to mark the water line.

  8. donald hardy
    donald hardy says:

    And here lies my other love (in the boat world you are allowed to have more than one love). We restored this 1946 Chris Craft Custom 20, 1st place Tahoe winner.

      • Dick Dow
        Dick Dow says:

        Troy, The engine story in Don Palmer’s boat would fill a volume: The short story is Craig Magnusson and I re-engineered a CC 350Q with freshwater cooling to fit under the original fiberglass engine box. It was a bit of an adventure, but it works… 🙂

      • Don Palmer
        Don Palmer says:

        Hi Troy,
        Let’s just say there was a lot of plumbing involved. Here is a picture of the engine and it shows it from the back with what Craig Magnusson and I named the tower of Babel. Hoses going everywhere, but discreetly done. It turned out great!
        Craig wanted to keep the 283 look to the engine.

  9. hamster
    hamster says:

    We moved to Lake Tahoe in 1979, I saw the Thunder Bird that summer. That was it love at first sight. Fifteen years later after working on the docks at Obexer’s Boat Company, I got hired on as a deck hand and restorer.

    • Bill Hammond
      Bill Hammond says:


      That’s got to be about the greatest Wooden Cruiser/Runabout ever made! You’re one lucky Dude!!

  10. Allen
    Allen says:

    Our 1947 22′ Sportsman is our Love……out each morning at 7 am for a Sunset Bay circle with our Springer and a cup of coffee…smooth lake, slight mist…thats Woody Boating.

  11. Randy Rush Captain Grumpy
    Randy Rush Captain Grumpy says:

    My daughters Hilary & Alisons first boat. 1945 homemade dory that they restored and brought to the Alton Boat Show.

  12. Grant Stanfield
    Grant Stanfield says:

    My first wooden boat was NON DIMENTICAR, a 1957 35′ Chris-Craft Constellation that had lost her flybridge windshield in a bizarre trucking accident. The owner abandoned her to the boatyard where she was languishing next to my dad’s S2 sailboat one spring; Dad took me to the yard to show it to me, and soon after loaned me the money to purchase her for the cost of unpaid storage. She was one voluptuous cruiser!

    I fell in love with her hard, and worked on her intently for 1-2 years, when jobs, a wife and family took center stage. I kept her another 13 years with good intentions, and always kept her stored indoors in hopes of a future restoration. I finally sold her, but some obscure newer owners have abandoned her a second time. The boat yard has her again for sale, but she’s been outside in the elements for several years, uncovered, and the prognosis is dire. I saw her last fall and nearly choked up at her condition…

    Thanks, Dad, for believing in me and making dreams reachable…we’ll go boating yet- our new wooden boat is much more portable and much less fuss!

  13. Troy
    Troy says:

    A Wood Boat Love story of another kind.

    Last year when you posted this header I FELL hard for the idea of some day getting to this place to experience it for myself.

  14. Troy
    Troy says:

    I never would have guessed at that time that just a year later I would get the chance to have lunch at Palm Gardens during the Dora Festival while getting there on non other than Blue Moon II.

    THANKS Jim for making that Dream come true!


  15. Denis D
    Denis D says:

    My PM38 circa 1970. It’s a plywood runabout I built from Popular Mechanics plans and powered with a 1957 Johnson Javelin 35HP. We used it every summer for about 20 years when our kids were growing up. Great memories.

  16. Doug Pope
    Doug Pope says:

    My first wood power boat was an early Chris Craft kit boat. It was 14′ and it had what I called a split cockpit. I fixed her up and ran her here in Maine one summer. I lived in New York at the time and I lost the boat and my home to a fire a few days before Christmas about 24 years ago. I loved that boat. Sadly no photos survived.

  17. Bartlomiej
    Bartlomiej says:

    Love at first sight… I remember when I first saw the 1963 Lyman Soft Top Sleeper. As I rounded the corner to see her I knew that was going to be my first classic vessel.

  18. Bartlomiej
    Bartlomiej says:

    Note for Readers: You can right click and select “VIEW IMAGE” to see the full scale picture. Some people post large images but the are condensed down to the little ones we see here now.

    Just a tip.

  19. don vogt
    don vogt says:

    When i was a kid in the mid ’50’s, people thought they were living big with an outboard with, say, a 30 hp. engine or so. On our lake, the well healed boasted century resorters. Most with red and white upholstery. (Here’s to you tommy.) They were way too cool, and that convinced me that some day I would have to get a mahogany inboard. But those mid -century centuries started the fever.

  20. steve bunda
    steve bunda says:

    I still have my first wood boat 1936 19 foot Custom Runabout , built a boat house for it in 1990.

  21. Kentucky Wonder
    Kentucky Wonder says:

    I took Anne to Cincinnati after a stressful weekend of work. I knew she liked wooden boats, so a surprise stop was the Antique Boat Center. Sorta like a boat show under roof, with no thought of actually looking to purchase. We went in, parted ways to look at the boats at our own leisure, and met up at the end. Left to go get lunch and on with our tour of the city. Talking over Cinci chili dogs, we realized that the same boat topped both our favorite lists. Went back and put forth an offer, which was eventually accepted by Richard Arnold of Rejuvenation Woodworks. Thanks to everyone involved!

    Photo is how we first saw Eau! Canada, the 1949 Greavette Runabout.

    • Cobourg Kid
      Cobourg Kid says:

      Hey Kentucky when I laid eyes on Eau Canada at the March 2012 Sunnyland Show I too thought she was perfect…

      • Kentucky Wonder
        Kentucky Wonder says:

        Wow, so cool to see photos from before we owned her. Actually, I’m looking to find out her history, especially before the time she was imported into the USA in the 1990s. I know she was built for Mr. W.H. Burgess (possibly related to Fred Burgess, original owner of Curlew?), but I do not know much about him or how long he owned her. She was not named Eau! Canada then. (That name came from her owner during the 2011-12 restoration). She has been owned by Mr. LePard in Michigan for the majority of her time in the USA. If you know of any way to trace ownership in Canada, I would love to fill in the “lost years.”

  22. Bill Hammond
    Bill Hammond says:

    My first Love Affair with a Wooden Boat was more of a fantasy than an actual boat. My Grandfather was the Service Manager for the Chevrolet dealership in Munising, MI on Lake Superior. As such he was often called to work on the boats in the harbor that needed engine work. My mother was on a lot of those boats and some of her friends parents had Chris Craft Cruises. Those were always her favorites. But I never saw any of those boats.

    In 1982 – 1984 (I can’t remember when exactly) my wife and I went together with my folks to the ACBS Antique Boat Show in Port Huron on a whim. When we got there and I saw those Cruisers, mostly CCs, and rekindled those memories in my mother I was hooked! Over the next day I returned by myself and ogled those cruisers again. I thought to myself that I would like to own one.

    Well 26 years went by in a heartbeat and then one night on third shift I was surfing eBay and my heart skipped a beat! There was an incredible looking 1960 Chris Craft Constellation, 36′ at an auction price listing that was too true to believe! (Of course it was, but that’s another story). I agonized constantly for the next 14 days while the auction proceeded. When it was down to about 2 days before the end I finally contacted the seller and they put me in touch with the Marina where it was at. I learned all I could about it and found out that there was a Photo Bucket file with about 70 photos. I haunted that site for the next 2 days. Finally with only 2 hours remaining I put in a bid. It held! Until about 7 minutes before the end. I upped my bid and waited. In the last 2 minutes myself and one other guy put in about 4 bids each. I submitted bid #7 with 2 secs. remaining. I WON!!!

    So that started my First Real Love of a Woody Boat! Here’s her picture that swayed my heart. She’s still a work in progress 4 years on but she’s still got my heart!

    • Bartlomiej
      Bartlomiej says:

      Bill, Thats a great story! Must have been on the edge of your chair the whole time! Awesome! Your story made me feel like I was on the edge of my chair haha.

  23. Brian Mortimore
    Brian Mortimore says:

    I was eleven years old in 1981 and a neighbor in Michigan’s upper peninsula took me for a ride in his 1931 Dee Wite. I told him I was going to have one when I’m older and he explained they’re not made anymore. I have two wood boats now and would love to restore that Dee Wite if it were ever available. Regardless, it set the hooks and I’ve been a fan of wood boats ever since.

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