Now What? A Classic Boat Conundum?

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Is it this one?

Something funny happened yesterday while following the comment trail.. One, no one took a shot at me.. I thank all of you for that.. I was asked about what next?  I don’t know? For the first time in years I have options. I am free to wallow in what to have.. And, I am all over the place. Imagine a guy looking for a boat in a sea of cool boats with ADD.. Oh look a pony.. a sea skiff, a cruiser, racer…. The list goes on..A U22? So.. I thought I would open it up. Texx, Paul and I have been having a ton of fun trying to find the next official Woody Boat boat.. Here is a list.. The order changes hourly depending on what is in front of me. Now.. wait.. some guide lines.. I live on sometimes bigish water. I use it every weekend, we like afternoon sunset cruises. Usualy with another couple.. PLEASE, keep you minds out of the gutters.. This sounds like a romance posting… Anyway. I digress.. The boat sits on a lift in a boat house that is 12 wide by 28 long.. So… And the money.. 10K give or take some money..

Here are the options..

1. Sea Skiff. 24-27 feet.. Ranger, Sea Hawk, .. They are tanks. some with no soak bottoms, good in big water. Why do all the Smiths have them?????mmmmm The downer. Boring.. Not snazzy, no real varnish.. depending on the year.. And a goofy bow.

A nice Lyman, LOVE these boats

2. Lyman! Cruisette, or sleeper. SOFT TOP! there a gillian of them on the market. Sexier than a Ski Skiff. VEry cool boats.. The price is right for sure.. Downers. I will never be able to sell it because there are a gillion of them out there. But maybe I wont want to?

3. U22.. BUT… Only Alex Watsons LUSH LIFE, or Tommy from Vintage marines pictured at the top..  Blond on Blonde.. Both have the extra seat and new power.. LOVE these.. 10K no way.. 20K.. maybe, 30K now your talkn but these two boats are in the 40K range.. The downer.. Too small? That could be a good thing.. I do love a nice U22

4. A Red and White.. Hands down the coolest on the cool factor. Slam dunk, ride well, look cool.. no issues here.. 10K forget it. 25K maybe.. I know how to paint… Downer.. Cant find any.. The one in Washington State is a mess, and the other one is so grosley over priced that I don’t even want to bother.. So we will sit like vulchers for the owners to wake up.

5. Hold on here. A pony.. Yup. Tollycraft cruisers.. Only from the 60’s.. Stop laughing.. Look into them. I am not kidding, if it wasnt for the shipping cost of 15K to ship a 30 footer here to VA I would do it. STOP LAUGHING!

Stop Laughing.. Look at the helm below.. These boats are amazing

Cool stuff Eh?

This killer 32 Chris Craft Capitain.. VERY COOL.. Michigan boat..

6. Another Connie, small one.. Best boat i ever owned. But these cruisers  can suck the life out of you faster than a … well.. Kids in collage, a wife that has good taste.. a wood boat habbit… Wait, I have all those things.. Whats one more..

7.Nothing.. Rely on donated boats and just limp along in donation fun.. Anyone got a cool boat ya want to donate to the Woody Boater Cause. You know it will at lest go to a good home, and you can  watch it live on line. Like sending a horse to a stud farm.

8. Something odd and from outer space, this hobby/passion/lifestyle has a ton of options.. How boat a cool XK22 fiberglass deal.. those are bad ass..Something that is a nice one owner low hr time capsule.. Something that someone loved.. Century Corinado? LOVE THOSE.. Big fat Hemi.. A Cool Shepard.. WITH a new bottom, or at least a 5 gallon bucket..A cool Matthews martique.. Twin Hemis.. 40 gallons an hr.. Come on..

9. And old Navy boat, landing craft? It needs a story

10.. ANYTHING that has a great story attached to it. I am a sucker for a tale.. That U22 at McCall’s in Idaho, with a pink interior and a hemi.. DAM that a cool deal.. The Downer.. I am NOT restoring a boat..

51 replies
  1. Paul H.
    Paul H. says:

    Saying a Lyman is sexier than a Skiff is like arguing over which of the Golden Girls was hotter. Not much to choose from there. But for ease of use and versatility none of the others you mention on the list, at the price point you are talking, can hold a candle to those big beam lapstrakes.

    So, buy a sexy boat when you got more dough to dump into it and can widen your choices. Other than the skiff type boats, the R &W is the hands down coolest but you’ll not get a turn key for what money you’re thinking about, or probabloy even twice that.

    Yes there are hundreds of Skiffs and Lymans’ for sale but they are more boat for the money than you can get anywhere in the classic boat millieu – by far. You are a “value shopper” now, and where is the value in the classic boat market?

    Love the Tolly – cool as hell but how you gonna move it? You’re a road warrior and want to be at shows, with an operable boat, right?

    • Paul H.
      Paul H. says:

      OOps, I read my post and it sounded like I was comparing the skiffs with the R & W in coolness – that is just silly. I didn’t mean to imply the Skiffs are as cool as the R & W, I meant to evaluate the remaining boats on the list in accordance with Matt’s priorities, not coolness. Sheesh, I should proof read my post sbefore I hit submit.

  2. Rick
    Rick says:

    Conundum? Starting to use some pretty fancy words, and even spelled right! I’ve seen Tom’s boat and she is a beauty. Great combo of paint & varnish. Can’t go wrong there. Wonder if he’d trade with me? Ok mine plus some $$$.

    • Ben Monfil
      Ben Monfil says:

      No, it’s not. But I like it better Matt’s way.

      As to resolving the “condunum”, go big! Foot-itis is a wonderful malaise!

      • Rick
        Rick says:

        Darn, I’ve been reading this column too long, the misspellings are starting to look right!

  3. matt
    matt says:

    I had to google it.. Its a big word.. I love Tommys boat, just beyond my budget right now

  4. don vogt
    don vogt says:

    What about those 1955 29 footers? came in a number of configurations including the sportsman, semi-enclosed, etc. They are big enough to handle your requirements and not a lot of them around. Might even find one with a story.

  5. matt
    matt says:

    Wow.. I forgot.. Those are the most bitch’n boats out there.. for 100K.. if there is a cool one that is priced in the realistic area I am all in, also cool 1958-59 Express like the Chaps have up in Michigan.. Like a small Connie.. There is one up in Michigan for sale.. But they are smoking crack on the price.. 59K.. Ouch Bull nose and all..

  6. Dave
    Dave says:

    Boring?, not snazzy?, no real varnish??? Lapstrakes have a wood windshield, some pop out like an old
    vw bus and plenty of mahogany. They are a DRY BOAT! and roomy, And the “Wicked Wahine” has a Rum Locker!. Let your fellow Woodyboaters fly by you in there Barrel Backs, R&W,U22s and Connies, While your Lapstrake sips gas and you sip Rum under your Navy cover keeping the sun off your dome

  7. Jack Schneiberg
    Jack Schneiberg says:

    Why not savor the position you are in for a bit. For the last year and a half I’ve been in need of a different vehicle that would tow my small outboard Century boats. I’ve been driving a 300M and it had a ton of miles on it and I just felt turning it into a tow vehicle would destroy it. The more I looked around….the more I found myself enjoying the process instead of rushing headlong into the first thing that fit the bill. I guess when the Universe was ready, the right vehcile appearred and I am throughly comfortable with my purchase because I know I took my time getting there.

    Course, boats……come to think of it I’ve made a number of compulsive purchases. Never regretted them at the time – but eventually had to sell a lot of them to finance the next compulsive purchase.

    Boats (especially wood boats) are – I think – acquired with a sense of synchronicity, universal accord, the hand of Diety, and pure chance and good luck………….which I wish you all of in moving forward.

    Savor the moment. It won’t last

  8. TomF
    TomF says:

    Here’s your boat…….I am presently restoring this same model so I am a tad biased. Functional, practical and trailerable. Here’s two to choose from. The first is in Idaho. I looked at this boat 6 years ago, it’s been for sale for a while. The second is in Georgia, right price……the windshield has been modified but that could be changed easily. In my humble, biased opinion this is one sexy looking Chris Craft.

    • mark edmonson
      mark edmonson says:

      Well tom I agree the trailer cruiser are nice but you can’t bet a 33′ c.c. sport fisherman

  9. Ronald
    Ronald says:

    Although I am sea skiff man, if you do not have to trailer a soft top Lyman 26′ Cruisette soft top with added teak deck strips and black caulk is a really nice big family boat, but the beam is too wide to trailer much and it might be a chore to find a nice one around 10k.

  10. Phil Jones
    Phil Jones says:

    Life is not always a CC (did I say that out loud) Matt I have already test drove your perfect boat.
    1. Can handle big watter. And rides like a Cadilac and resonators and you are in flash back to NC mode
    2. Hold a group comfortably.
    3. Trailerable
    5. Power option Hemi 331/354/ M47 sp (275hp) 392 (400 hp)
    Yes a 22 Shepherd, looking more and more like the only two boats I will end up with is going to be Betsy (28 Connie) and the Sheherd (Triple Nickle) or (LAST DANCE) I am name searching.

  11. Alex
    Alex says:

    Matt, a word on this ADD-boatfetish combo. I can identify. Now if you want my advice, I would… Hey look! A quarter!

  12. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    $10k price and 28 foot lift rules out a few things on your list! I like to stay at least 2 feet shorter than the cover, so that means 26 feet or under for less than $10k. Sounds to me like you want a lapstrake skiff style boat. One that is usable but could use a little love at that price. In your shoes, I would go with a Penn Yan to be a little different than the lyman crowd.

    • Paul H.
      Paul H. says:

      Can you get a suitable wooden Penn Yan in the 24′ range? I like the small boats they made – lots of people seem to have them, including the fellow restoring my SP for me. If you can, it would be a neat piece and distinctive from the usual lapstrakes.

      • m-fine
        m-fine says:

        I am not sure about a wooden one at 24′ or larger, but they made plenty in the 20 foot range, inboards and IO’s. The deep V hull handles significant chop quite well for their size.

        They made some great fiberglass skiffs that were 23 feet, the avengers. I am not sure we want to recomend those to WOODYboater, but the Avengers and the 20.5′ Explorers were/are a fantastic skiff style boat. We have a ’76 explorer that has served the family quite well since new and I can attest it is a most capable hull in rough water and it can handle just about any load you can squeeze in, 12+ people.

  13. Dave PIckard
    Dave PIckard says:

    Since you mentioned it Matt, what’s the deal with “comet”, the red and white in WA?
    This is for anybody out there, had some email with the broker and I couldn’t get an answer on the bottom.

      • matt
        matt says:

        The bottom is a west bottom. Done well back in the day by a good restorer. Thats the good part.. The bad part is.. Moisture could be in it? Not likley, but with a foot of water in it.. Oily water, inside.. Thats a problem.. The motors are “rebuilt” would need a sea trial and inspection. The boat is the wrong color.. No biggy, but wrong. That crap COMET logo is all over it. That needs to go. NOW.. Not a biggy, but the sides at some point had a major split issue because they were epoxied between.. When the boat dried out, it split some side planks length wise.. All fixed…The seats had mold on them and in them so they need to be cleaned and the foam needs to be replaced.. All this as a one or two thing is not a deal breaker.. The bottom and new frames are a major plus.. But all together for a premium price. And he wont deal.. Forget it. No sir.. Thats what we know.. We may be off.. But no one has spoken to the owner. Just the broker and someone at the boat????

  14. Murph
    Murph says:

    How about something fast, unique, classy and Italian?
    No not a run of the mill Riva. But a 16m Baglietto Ischia. Its PT Boat derived hull should help with that sometimes bigish water you speak of and with only 14 of these old girls brought to the states back in the day you will definitely be the hit of the Saturday Woody Boats and Donuts meetings. Granted it will stick out of the boathouse a wee bit.

  15. matt
    matt says:

    Ha Murph.. 10K I am in.. That includes transport.. We are tossing all this around.. My heart wants a U22 in a 25 sportsman configuation like Lush Life.. My wallet wants a sea skiff. BUT dear lord.. Thats one boring boat.. A 24 late 50’s Sportsman is a go to on that front. But they are all out of price range with a good bottom.. So? The fun is the hunt..

  16. Scott Robinson
    Scott Robinson says:

    Hi Matt, Look you gotta have 3 boats, a cruiser like a Capitan, a runabout to go fast, and a cute little fibrerglass fishing boat, oh and a rowboat. Oh, thats four, Scooter

  17. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    Hey Matt,

    That sports express is the 50’s version of the Red & White – not as pretty but basically the same boat updated. they only built 42 of them and they were all twins. Not a bad option….

  18. Randy Rush-Captain Grumpy
    Randy Rush-Captain Grumpy says:

    All fine boats everyone is suggesting. I dont usually go for mainstream stuff, My latest boat a 1963 Carver19′ commuter ( Ever see one at a show?) Mercruiser i/o. Easy to fix, easy to trailer, easy to enjoy, a ton of room and a real good big water ride. Oh yah paid $2500 with a new $3600 trailer, one owner since new. So maybe you should bottom feed like I do.

  19. Alex
    Alex says:

    Matt, sorry about that earlier. Ah yes. To pick up where I left off. I realize your/my/our delicate condition makes nearly all classic boats interesting, desirable, and worth considering for one reason or another. But, if you have to choose only one, then focus is required to select the best combination for you and Suzy of function, style, features, condition, value, seaworthiness, fuel efficiency, maintenance costs, trailering ease, boat lift fit, appreciation potential, and chick…er…WoodyBoater magnetism. Now, if I were you, I’d buy a… SQUIRREL!!!

  20. pat chaps
    pat chaps says:


    Thanks for mentioning my 1957 CC 26ft Sports Express.
    There’s been a few upgrades since you rode in it after the Algonac show. The hull was painted and topsides varnished prior to the ACBS Show in Bay Harbor last year This winter the entire interior v-berth area was removed and replaced. Plan to visit the St. Clair Show July 16 and I’ll give you a tour. Bring the check book the credit cards and your first born, I’ll make you a deal that you can’t refuse.

    • matt
      matt says:

      Pat! Will you take airline miles! Ha.. Your boat is the perfect boat.. I love it and you have cared for it as well. I loved that ride on it.. There are 3 on the market right now and we are diving in to look them over..

    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      Official Woody boater condums would be a great addition to the store. If you can’t get Congressman Weiner to endorse your hot dog products, perhaps you can put his face on the prophylactics.

  21. Andreas Jordahl Rhude
    Andreas Jordahl Rhude says:

    What’s this love affair with the uglier than sin Red & White Chris-Craft. Yuck!

    Oh – can of worms open now.


      • m-fine
        m-fine says:

        DAYEM! You might beat me out as the first person to get banned from woodyboater!

        I must admit I agree with you to some extent. I am not a big fan of the lines on those boats, and if I need to deal with all the pains of having wood, I want to see as much of it as possible, not hide it with paint. But the Pacer thing is going a little too far for me!

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