The Paper Sign Read: “Must Go This Weekend – Best Offer”

Ideal Craft - 1

An all-original 1962 Ideal Craft 15′ Custom, found at a yard sale in Hatboro, PA – a suburb about 15 miles outside Philadelphia.

WE JUST LOVE IT when a story comes in to Woody Boater about an original classic boat emerging from long-term storage. The make and model is always important, and we understand that not every barn find (or garage find) these days can be a Liberty powered Baby Gar – but the story of how the boat was found, and it’s history is always the best part.

Ideal Craft - 2

Like a time capsule from the 1960’s with it’s original Aquabird steering wheel and period correct instruments. And you can imagine from the photos that it has that “old boat smell” which is perfect.

Back in February 2013 we did a story called “The Refurbishment of Sweet Mahogany” by fellow Woody Boater Charles J. He also has a 1962 Ideal Craft that had been in his extended family since 1962 on Long Island, which Charles lovingly refurbished (not restored but refurbished he notes) back in 1997.


Charles J’s 1962 Ideal Craft “Sweet Mahogany”

For years Charles had been trying to learn more about the history of the Ideal Boat Company of America, without much success. We ran the story and slowly but surely (with the help of Google) the Woody Boater community responded with small threads of information that proved to be very helpful. I know Charles will be thrilled to learn that another Ideal Craft has now emerged.

Ideal Craft - 3

Nick Yandolino’s new (for him) 1962 Ideal Craft 15′ Custom – ready to start the next chapter of it’s life in PA after many years in storage.

After Nick Yandolino brought his new boat home from the yard sale, a Google search of Ideal Craft Boats brought him to Woody Boater. He posted a comment on the Charles J story and we now have a new fellow Woody Boater. Here is Nick’s great story of how he found his all-original 1962 Ideal Craft 15′ Custom and what he plans to do with the boat in the coming months. – Texx

Texx – I am glad to have stumbled upon this thread on Woody Boater.

I purchased a 1962 Ideal Craft 15′ Custom this past summer in Hatboro, PA, a suburb about 15 miles outside Philadelphia. I have had zero luck digging up any information, until now. I was not in the market for this little gem but I could not pass it up.

Ideal Craft - 6

Small details like this just add to the fantastic patina and DNA of the 53 year-old wooden boat. It appears that in 1969 the last owner was a member of the F.O.P. Yacht Club.

I spotted her at a yard sale which was being set-up one Friday morning on my way to work. She sat by the road, at the end of a driveway… Taped to the windshield, a paper sign read: “Must Go This Weekend – Best Offer”.

I just HAD to stop! A gentleman, about mid-60’s introduced himself as the son of the original owner. He explained that he and his sister had recently sold their childhood home, all of the contents were for sale.

He said the boat had been parked by his dad in the garage and lovingly draped with a dozen blankets and sheets back in the mid-80’s. He told of fond summertime memories, how the boat had been a big part of his youth.

Ideal Craft - 4

The boat came with it’s original period life preservers, ignition key, battery, swim ladder, gas tank and canvas top.

It was always garage kept and taken very good care of by his dad. I asked what he was hoping to get for the boat, he said “Aw, I don’t know what it’s worth… maybe a few hundred bucks?”

After briefly considering what my wife’s reaction might be if I came home from work with an old boat – I said “Well, I have a hitch on my truck and $200.00 in my wallet… I can take it right now.” He hesitated a moment then smiled and said: “That’s a Deal!”

Ideal Craft - 8

Nick said “Well, I have a hitch on my truck and $200.00 in my wallet… and the deal was done”

We put air in the tires, signed the title, and I even made it to work on time! I bought it exactly as shown including the ladder, lines, life jackets, gas tank, near-flawless cloth top, spare tire, even the old man’s tackle box was left on board.

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A turn-key yard sale find that hopefully will just need some basic TLC to get her ready for the lake.

Since that day, 8 months ago, she has been in my garage. I am looking forward to really getting to work on her this spring. The controls, linked to the original 40 HP Johnson “Electric Super Seahorse” all seem be intact and functional.

Ideal Craft - 5

Ideal Craft - 9

I appreciate the opportunity to share my story and photos with the other readers at Woody Boater and hopefully gain some more information, advice, and guidance. I hope to roll her out of the garage to fully inspect and start cleaning and tinkering soon.

As I dig into this little project of mine, I am sure I will have many questions and I look forward to potentially hearing from other Ideal Craft owners. I will also share my own progress when we start work on the boat.

By the way, my wife is in love with the boat – she says it’s “super cute!” and she can’t wait for me to add cushions and make it “all pretty again”.

😉 Happy Woody Boating!
Nick Yandolino
Sellersville, PA

Thanks for sharing your “yard sale find” story with us here at Woody Boater today Nick. These time capsule boats need dedicated people like you to help keep them alive and hopefully get them back to doing what they were designed to do – being used and enjoyed on the water. – Texx

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From the information we gathered after the story a few years ago – The Ideal Boat Company was established in 1955 and is still a registered (but inoperative) PA company.

1962 Ideal Craft Brochure - 1

Ideal Craft 15′ Custom & Deluxe
$649.00 – $595.00

From the 1962 Ideal Craft Sales Brochure (below) – In the 15′ line of Ideal Craft there are two models, the Custom 15′ which features a walk-thru front seat and rear deck with cross seat and back rest. The Deluxe 15′ features a walk-thru front seat and two side seats.

These models are fine skiing boats and the Deluxe is popular with the fishermen. They will take motors to 60 H.P. The Custom weighs approximately 445 lbs. and the Deluxe approximately 425 lbs. Beam 73″, maximum depth 33″, center line length 14’7″.

Standard equipment includes 18″ heavy duty wraparound windshield, complete steering, bow eye, 5 price set of deck hardware, bow light, stern light, transom bailer, anodized aluminum trim and anti-fouling bronze copper paint on bottom.

Available accessories are:

– 3 piece set upholstery (Deluxe) ….. $ 40.00
– 5 piece set upholstery (Custom) ….. $ 78.00
– Ventilating wraparound windshield, both models add $ 26.00
– Convertible top, side curtains, and back cover … $ 140.00
– Rear cross seat and back rest instead of side seats (Deluxe) add $ 22.00

1962 Ideal Craft Brochure - 2

Just like the Ideal Craft Boat will need some TLC – we gave the original 1962 Ideal Craft Brochure some TLC and it worked out nicely – don’t you think?

1962 IdealCraft_header

It’s fantastic to see that people are still finding these classic wooden boats, and are excited to get them seaworthy again, and back in service. Not necessarily show boats, just reasonably priced classic boats that reflect a wonderful period of recreational boating history, that folks can enjoy and share with their friends and family.

So the next time you drive by a yard sale sign, take five minutes to stop in and check it out – there might be a classic boat hidden away looking for a new home.

Yard Sale

Classic Yard Sale Sign – Courtesy

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Classic Boating Nick!


24 replies
  1. Walt
    Walt says:

    Great find and a great story. It shouldn’t cost too much to get that boat back in the water and those 2 cylinder OMC’s are reliable and pretty efficient.

  2. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Nick and Texx, thanks for sharing this great story and boat. I really hope the boat is just cleaned up and used, as it really defines what “patina” means, and can add to the appearance of a classic watercraft.

  3. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    Nice find!

    Welcome aboard Nick! Consider yourself warned, my Father in Law thinks we are a Cult.

  4. Bob Kays
    Bob Kays says:

    Never leave home with out the trailer hitch ball.
    How many of us have dreamed of doing what Nick did. Seeing a woody by the side of the road and saying those immortal words ” I have two hundred dollars in my pocket and a trailer hitch” And he is still happily married! Enjoy Nick, look forward to your progress.

  5. Al Benton
    Al Benton says:

    Fun story, and a very proud find. And, at a budget that doesn’t cause the wife to start searching for a Yard Sale sign like the one Texx posted at the end of today’s story.

    Welcome to the wonderful world of Woody Boating, Nick!

  6. Wilson
    Wilson says:

    I searched for a year and a half for a find like that…All the time with 1 &7/8 and 2 in ball on shaft in the trunk ready for attaching…and finally ended up with a plastic boat… Some guys are just lucky…

  7. Dave Nau
    Dave Nau says:

    Great story! I know there are literally thousands of boats out there like this that when the owner gets older, they end up sitting in the garage. Many have been well maintained and are a great way to get into the hobby. They also represent a time when new boats were less expensive and easier to buy and use.

    In my book, a classic family boat is a 60’s 14-16 footer with a two cylinder Mercury, Johnson, or Evinrude outboard, and made of wood, fiberglass or aluminum. They were everywhere on lakes back then. Simple, cheap to operate and maintain, and they provided great family memories.

    My MFG Niagara has a similar story. The picture shown is from the 1966 MFG sales brochure with the pictures taken on Lake Chautauqua in late summer, 1965. Great times.

    Enjoy your Ideal Craft!

  8. Steve Moreau
    Steve Moreau says:

    Wow Texx another great story, great work on the add upgrade also. Nick what a wonderful boat I hope it bring your family years of fun and pride.

    And Dave you have hit the nail on the head I couldn’t agree more. Boating back in the day (as we would say) would be getting out there in an affordable boat and enjoying the outdoors, with out having to take out a second mortgage. Also my Higgins has the same story it was used and enjoyed on the lake and then when the owner got older was put up in storage. We’ll we plan to get her back in the water pulling grandbabies around, fishing and having fun. I even have a set of my mother’s pointy eye glasses for the wife to ware.

  9. John A. Gambill
    John A. Gambill says:

    this same thing happened to me about 10 years ago. Drove by this cute little boat sittin in a yard with the sign on the windshield, ” Must Go” . bought this little 14ft 19589 Cutter Jet Deville, spent thwe winter getting her ready, did no paint work, just wheeled out the hull and deck, redid the seats, dialed in the engine and away we went, a $350.00 buy, some time, a little more mullah and away we go!. How much fun can you have for around a grand total investment! They are out there, keep ypour eyes always open a a few bucks in your posket all the time, your turn will come!!

    • John A. Gambill
      John A. Gambill says:

      My cat likes to ride as you can see but here’s another pic after she got out of the boat.

  10. dreed
    dreed says:

    Nice find Nick. Welcome to the club. One word of advice, do not use gas with ethanol in it on these old boats. All of us on here know from experience it can ruin your day, summer and marriage.

  11. thomas d
    thomas d says:

    about the same story here but all you can find in tennesse is plastic. wood like that is scarce as hens teeth.

  12. Charles J
    Charles J says:

    Nick, congratulations, great find, great price! This is now the 2nd Ideal Craft I’ve ever seen in addition to my own, the other boat shown in your Woody Boater story. My boat has been a bit of an obsession for my cousin the original owner since it was new and myself, the current owner since the mid 90’s. The little differences between your boat and mine have me wondering how these boats may have been sold i.e., as assemble-it-yourself-kit-boats or pre-assembled boats by the manufacturer or both. Love the original hardware, gold bottom paint and steering wheel on yours. That appears to be the original 18” tall windshield but has a different set of hold down clamps then I remember. I see little trim pieces on the bulk heads that mine doesn’t have. I don’t see, as I refer to them, the harpoon trim pieces on the side (see brochure) and there isn’t a quarter deck behind where the back seat rest should be, all differences that might be a result of time and care or perhaps being assembled/built by individuals versus pre-assembled by the manufacturer. Of course in some cases perhaps add-ons or deletions by previous owners. The differences aren’t mentioned as trim options in the brochure but perhaps that just adds to the uniqueness; far more unique then many of those Chris Crafts we see all the time, LoL. One way of the other I can tell you it’s a great little boat on a number of frosts! Enjoy your old/new boat, she’s a sweet ride. 🙂

    • Charles J
      Charles J says:

      Oops, the comment above should have ended in fronts not frosts 🙂 A review of the gunwales up towards the bow show them to also be different from mine. Perhaps one or the other of the two boats was actually a different year, or perhaps flexibility given to teams building the boats, it’s any bodies guess.

  13. BillO
    BillO says:

    I was searching for info on Ideal Craft boats and came across this site.
    I just looked over a 1961 Ideal Craft 15 ft custom for sale with the original Evinrude 40 HP. It is in really rough shape and would need considerable restoration. Lots of water damage and rot, but it is all there. Identical to the white one pictured in the story above.
    I am capable of doing the work. I’ve built from scratch and restored several wooden boats over the years. A great hobby!
    I just finish construction of a 16 ft Brockway plywood skiff. I put a new 25 HP Suzuki outboard on her and have her sitting on a trailer in my shed waiting for next season.

    I digress…back to the Ideal Craft. I never saw one before. it is a neat little runabout. The owner says $800 on the 4 sale sign. That is pretty steep. I might watch it for awhile and then drop by and throw him a low number.
    If I can get it cheap, it might be a neat project!
    Any comments or crackerjacks welcome.
    Great website

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