What Are Your Top 10 Dream Boats?

Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 8.12.59 PMThanks to fellow Woody Boater Dave Bortner from Freedom Boat Service who had this fun story idea. if you could assemble a collection of ten boats, but only ten, what would your picks be for the ten best boats in the world?

To get your juices going, here are Daves. #7 for the record is my number #1 and I don’t see a U22 on here?

Take it away Dave.. Thanks Woody, here are my top 10..

Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 8.12.02 PM

1.   Riva Super Aquarama or Aquarama Special

2.   Gar Wood 28’ triple cockpit, 1932-1940

3.   Hacker 30’ triple cockpit

4.   Century Coronado, any year, but has to be hardtop with Cadillac, Chrysler, or Interceptor V-8

5.   Chris-Craft 20’ Custom Runabout, 1946-1949, the all-around best small Chris-Craft ever built

6.   Chris-Craft 19’ Sportsman, 1938-1939, Unique, the first sport-fisherman?

Sportsman 25 -3

7.   Chris-Craft 25’ Sportsman, 1946-1950, either twin engine or Scripps 208

Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 8.12.21 PM

8.   Dodge 21’6” Split Cockpit Runabout, 1930-31

Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 8.23.31 PM

9.   Belle Isle Bearcat, preferably Super version

10. Ditchburn or Minett 30’+ launch

11. Lyman 30’ open, but with plenty of canvas!

Thanks Dave,

So get out your dreamanator and start posting. By the way, its OK if you have a top 3.. Or top 20 if your Alex.

You can visit Freedom Boat Service by clicking HERE

68 replies
  1. Chris B
    Chris B says:

    so many boats how can you choose just one. however Heldena II , a 1912 J.J. Taylor 36′ Raceboat with a Liberty 12 cylinder 450 HP engine sure is hard to forget.

    • Jonpeele
      Jonpeele says:

      Not a bad Lisa if you own 20000sq ft storage bldg and a gas station.
      1. 19ft Chris craft custom barrelback
      2. 16 ft Gar Wood Special raceboat
      3. Pre war 19 ft Chris craft blue and white racing
      4. 16 ft Chris craft hydrplane
      5. 21 ft Chris craft cobra
      6. 18 ft Chris craft cobra
      7. Gar Wood Baby Gar race boat
      8. Ventnor 225 class Raceboat with 225 Lycoming
      9. 1948 19 ft Chris craft racing runabout
      10. 1939 Century Thunderbolt

  2. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    1) 20′ Custom
    2) 19′ Barrelback
    3) 1961 continental topless
    4) xk-19 (io)
    5) xk-19 (v drive)
    6) 1961 ski
    7) skiff in the 20-26′ range
    8) Penn Yan Explorer (21′ fiberglass skiff)
    9) Penn Yan swift (13-14′ wood outboard)
    10) something with a cool WWI vintage aircraft v12

  3. Chris Wade
    Chris Wade says:

    Wow, fun question! I’ll give you my top 5 in order:
    1) 33′ CC Futura – see “Black Beauty”
    2) 38′ CC Commander
    3) “Thunderbird” (of course)
    4) PT 109 or any 77′ ELCO
    5) 1941 CC 17′ Barrel Back

    Cool thing, I already owned examples of #s 2 and 5..#s1,3 &4 are likely just out of reach.LOL

  4. Stephen S
    Stephen S says:

    1) My 1952 U22
    2) Riva Tritone
    3) CC Futura
    4) Gar Wood Triple
    5) Gar Wood Speedster
    6) 21′ CC Cobra
    7) Fay & Bowen Launch
    8) Rybovich Sport Fisherman
    9) 30′ Sea Skiff
    10) see below…

  5. Jamie Wallhauser
    Jamie Wallhauser says:

    1. 1940 Chris Craft Barrel back
    2. Early Century Coronado with “roundy” roof
    3. Any Riva
    4. Donzi classic 18, or sweet 16
    5. Any Penn Yan
    6. Any Hacker
    7. 22′ Chris Craft sedan
    8. Any Gar Wood
    9. Any Dunphy
    10. Century Palomino

    Not in this particular order!

  6. Sean
    Sean says:

    1) Pretty Pattie – Van Dam
    2) Thunderbox – Walters/Souters
    3) Executive II – Greavette
    4) Aquarama (Lambo)- Riva
    5) Hornet benchseat – Donzi
    6) Wynn Mill – Wynne/Walters
    7) 1930 Commuter 75 – Consolidated
    8) Miss Step – Chris Craft
    9) Streamliner – Greavette
    10) Miss Supertest III – Thompson

  7. Dan Kimball
    Dan Kimball says:

    What a great topic. Love it!

    1.) 1955 Century Coronado
    2.) 1958 Century Coronado
    3.) 1956 Century Arabian (with blue finish)
    4.) 1966 Century Arabian
    5.) The Orca from the movie Jaws – it was destroyed, but this is a dream list after all.
    6.) Chris Craft Chrisovich Sportfish
    7.) Late 50s Lyman 23 Sleeper
    8.) Huckins 44 Ortega or Atlantic
    9.) 1993 or newer Grand Banks 42
    10.) 35-40ft Performance Sailboat – Custom built and designed for me

  8. Eric
    Eric says:

    1. 1940 Gar Wood Overnighter
    2. 1926 Gar Wood triple Baby Gar
    3. 1947 Gar Wood Commodore
    4. 1926 Hacker Racer “Black Jack”
    5. CC Deluxe Utility
    6. 1955 CC Continental hardtop
    7. 1961 Century Coronado
    8. 1953 CC Holiday
    9. 1954 Penn Yan Swift
    10. 1941 Dunphy Portage
    11. Anything wood that floats and runs!
    My list goes to 11!

  9. 7FTCWBY
    7FTCWBY says:

    1. Riva Aquarama- hands down
    2. Stancraft Torpedo

    That is all I need to be happy!

    Wait maybe one more

    3. Garwood Gold Cup for those Sunday, Sunday, Sunday race days.

  10. Tom Gruenauer
    Tom Gruenauer says:

    1) Baby Bootlegger
    2) 28’ Chris triple w/ Chris V8
    3) 26’ Chris Triple w/ Curtis OX 5
    4) 33’ Gar Wood Baby Gar w/ Liberty V12
    5) 16’ Gar Wood Speedster
    6) Ditchburn Viking
    7) 27’ Riva Super Aquarama
    8) Miss Detroit III / Curtis V12
    9) Century Imperial Sportsman (Dad’s first boat)
    10) Finish My boat!!!

  11. Al Benton
    Al Benton says:

    At my age, my wish list is very short.
    1. That all of you get the boats that you wish for today.

    As soon as I win the next multi-million dollar lottery, start checking your driveways…

    • Wilson
      Wilson says:

      Al:..I’m with you…although a nice U-22 or 22′ Sea Skiff would be nice…and gotta confess that 17′ Corsair Ski Boat was fun.

      • FLASH
        FLASH says:

        It sure is Wilson. I’m quite happy with my 1969 CC Ski Boat, although I would love a Big Block Arabian or Jack Beatty’s Kerplunk.

  12. briant
    briant says:

    Easy. Peasy.

    1. Zoomer, our 1930 woody.
    2. Lamborghini Aquarama.
    3. Lamborghini Aquarama.
    4. Lamborghini Aquarama.
    5. Lamborghini Aquarama.
    6. Lamborghini Aquarama.
    7. Lamborghini Aquarama.
    8. Lamborghini Aquarama.
    9. Lamborghini Aquarama.
    10. Lamborghini Aquarama.

  13. Bill Mckenzie
    Bill Mckenzie says:

    I think Ill take the Kruzenshtern Russian tall ship and bluenose the Canadaian tall ship would be nice might as well go big. that will be all for me forget the other 8 choices these two will take up most of my time.

  14. Tuobanur
    Tuobanur says:

    Been in bed with this one for more than a decade so it would have to be a 1941 model 101 16′ CC.

    Still hoping to be done for Mt. Dora

  15. Sam
    Sam says:

    1966 Owens Jamaican 35
    1957 Chris Craft Futura 33
    1940 Chris Craft barrelback 19
    Riva Aquarama
    Custom 51-foot Ben-Seaborn sailboat (those of you in the Seattle area might know of “Sea Fever”)
    Lyman 26 twin-engine
    Ski Nautique
    Chris Craft Lancer 20 (a new one)
    Grady White Freedom 25
    San Juans SJ48FB

  16. Steve Moreau
    Steve Moreau says:

    Well the launch/cruser from fathergoose. Or
    1 a 45-50 ft. Old wooden Hatteras with a davit larger enough to load my 17′ Higgins on the upper deck.
    2 my Lil Higgins

    And that’s it game over. I’ll disappear and not have any time for the other 8

  17. WoodyG
    WoodyG says:

    My list is pretty short!

    1) Riva Floria #360

    2) Chris-Craft U-22 Doc Lane, love the green interior with cedar!

    That’s it! Great idea to get us all dreaming about boats while we are shivering.

  18. Jimmuh
    Jimmuh says:

    BQ #5
    TRITONE #3
    TRITONE #33
    TRITONE #88
    TRITONE #132
    TRITONE #214
    TRITONE #223
    TRITONE #258
    SAQ #393
    SAQ #427
    SF #418

  19. Chad
    Chad says:

    1) 1952 Chris Craft 18′ Sportsman
    2) 1969 Chris Craft 19′ Commander SS
    3) 1952 Chris Craft 22′ Sportsman

  20. Ronald
    Ronald says:

    early CC 22 Sea Skiff (own)
    CC 22 Sportsman (previously owned)
    mid late 30’s 21 CC Utility
    ’30’s Elco or CC cruiser
    any CC 25′ Sportsman
    40’s 21? Garwood Utility
    Garwood Overnighter
    1967 Century Arabian
    Lonestar 21′ Cruisemaster (lol)

  21. Bob Killeen
    Bob Killeen says:

    Any Hinckley Picnic Boat
    54 ‘ Rybovich Custom Express
    42′ Matthews Martinique
    25′ CC Red & White Express
    24′ CC Express 1952
    18′ Herreshoff Pilot
    12’ Penn Yan Swift

  22. Grant Stanfield
    Grant Stanfield says:

    Got my #1 already, so I’m good.

    (I’ll also take Rivas, Rybos, Huckins, Crosby Stripers, Forest E. Johnson Prowlers and any Bunker & Ellis boats if I have to name others…)

  23. Brian Robinson
    Brian Robinson says:

    1. EVANGELINE – 1924 Hacker custom 33′
    2. GRAYHOUND JR. – 1923 Hacker custom 30′
    3. TEASER – 1924 Nevins custom 40′
    4. LOCKPAT II – 1931 Hacker custom 40′
    5. BABY BOOTLEGGER – 1925 Nevins custom 30′
    6. 1931 Gar Wood 33-50 Runabout
    7. 1932 Hackercraft 32′ Runabout
    8. LAMBORGHINI – 1968 Riva Aquarama
    9. 1928 Chris-Craft 26′ Hydroplane
    10. 1929 Hackercraft 30′ Dolphin
    11. CURLEW – 1935 Greavette custom 33′

  24. Texx
    Texx says:

    I have been thinking about how to respond to this question since it was posted here early this morning. Before spending a summer weekend in Minnesota in 2013, my list of Top 10 Dream Boats would have been easy for me to come up with.

    For me – having the opportunity to travel around the country and experience a wide range of classic boats at shows, events and private viewings has had a major impact on my Top 10 list. As a result, my list is now in a “constant state of flux.”

    That trip to Minnesota in 2013 further complicated things as I had the privilege of driving John Allen’s 1928 27′ Ditchburn Viking, Dave Bortner’s 1932 28′ Gar Wood triple (with Scripps V-12 power), and I was also exposed to Lee Anderson’s amazing collection of boats – all in the same weekend!

    Then to top things off, I drove Kermit Sutton’s 1967 Riva Super Aquarama (powered by twin BBC) and “Ondine” Kermit’s amazing 1926 Belle Isle 30′ Super Bear Cat powered by a 650HP / 2,000 cubic inch Hispano-Suiza V-12. Then we used the Riva as the “shoot boat” to photograph the Belle Isle (photo shown in today’s story).

    It was an amazing weekend, one that had a huge impact on my personal Top 10 list. (You can see those eight stories by entering the words “Classic Minnesota” in the Woody Boater search box)

    Then just as I start to re-access my Top 10 list – “Lockpat II” the legendary 1931 40′ Hacker finds a new home in Minnesota and we all get to see fresh photos of her in 2014.

    And now “Evangeline” Henry Ford’s Liberty V-12 powered 1924 33′ Hacker is in the final stages of her preservation at Robinson Restoration in California – and hopefully we will get to see her back in the water this summer at Tahoe.

    So in regards to my personal Top 10 List of Dream Boats – the SHORT ANSWER is, the more I think about it, the more confused I become.

    Here’s a shot of “Daniela” Kermit’s Riva Super Aquarama from that memorable weekend. – Texx

  25. Texx
    Texx says:

    Then there was the day in 2012 when I was introduced to “JACK” in Hessel, Michigan. A spectacular 1929 Chris-Craft 28′ raised deck triple cockpit runabout – which still has almost all his original 85 year-old wood.

    Originally delivered from the plant in Algonac to Mertaugh Boat Works in 1929. How can that not make a Top 10 List? #stillconfused

  26. Brian Flaherty
    Brian Flaherty says:

    1~ 1969 Chris Craft Cavalier Futura 28
    2~ 1955 Chris Craft Continental 25
    3~ 1948 Hackercraft utility (Hokey Pokey)
    4~ 1938 Ventnor Boat Works 24′ Hydroplane powered by an Allison V-1710 – 12 cylinder aircraft engine “Tempo VI”
    5~ “Lockpat II”
    6~ Finish our 1969 Cavalier Ski Boat and win a judges award…

    That is all this “humble” kid needs.

  27. Jim M
    Jim M says:

    1. 1959 Century Coronado
    2. 1950’s Century Seamaid
    3. 1985 Century Resorter 18
    4. Aristocraft 16
    5. Western Fairliner torpedo
    6. CC barrelback. 19
    7. Thayer IV (any one of them)
    8. Mathews yacht to live on
    9. Garwood speedster
    10. Cool fiberglassic like a donzi or something with twin outboards

    And the Winns home on round lake in charlevoix michigan to store them all.

  28. Troy in TX
    Troy in TX says:

    Like Texx I have had to take some time to really think about this question, and even though I have a long long list of woodies that I lust after if I am totally honest with myself one of the top boats in my heart is still a Circa ’90 Formula 311SR1.

    (This may get me “Voted off the Island”)

    (Picture from offshoreonly.com)

  29. Mr. Andreas Jordahl Rhude
    Mr. Andreas Jordahl Rhude says:

    I did this about a dozen years ago and it was published in “The Boathouse” magazine of the Bob Speltz Land-O-Lakes chapter of the Antique & Classic Boat Society. I did it as a story – one watercraft for each day of the week, so it was only seven. A lil story as why I selected such and such a watercraft for a certain day.


  30. Alex
    Alex says:

    I made a day trip to Hessel last Friday. Since I’d seen this posting before departing, I had the opportunity to think about it on and off during the day, and since that day.

    Quite honestly, I can’t come up with a dream list. I guess I’m fortunate to be able to say any boat I’d really want, I already own. Or could buy. No, I’m not rich, so this isn’t me saying I can afford anything. Rather, it’s me realizing I already have what I wanted.

    Therefore, my list is of boats I own.

    A 1946-1950 Chris-Craft 25′ Sportsman. Because these are just wonderful boats by any measure.

    A 1940 Chris-Craft 25′ Red and White Express. Because these are design icons, even though the marketplace does not value them accordingly. (Someday, I’ll get mine restored.)

    A post-war Chris-Craft 22-U. Because everyone should own a pickup.

    A 1968 20′ Chris-Craft 427-powered Grand Prix. Because its a very rare boat, cool enough for the real James Bond.

    A 1969 Chris-Craft 19′ Commander (or 1970 Chris-Craft XK-19). Because it feels good for a 52 year-old guy to look good to college-age girls and cougars. Even though it’s just the boat they’re checking out. But hey, I’m not too old delude myself.

    A 1971 Chris-Craft XK-18. Because its fun to have a high-revving boat kids beg to go out in, and that makes me feel like a kid to drive (for about about 15 minutes at a pop).

    A 1959 Chris-Craft 15′ Cavalier. Because its best for all parties if kids learn classic inboard boating in a low-cost, low-maintenance, easily-repaired vessel.

    A late model 15′ Boston-Whaler. Because everyone should own a pick-up that doesn’t sink. Seriously though, because there’s no better value boat (with value defined as purchase price minus operating cost minus selling price). And because there’s no boat that can do what a small Whaler can and still get you home alive.

    I own other boats I can take or leave (easier to take than leave), including a beautiful Cobalt, another XK-18, HAL…

    Someday, I’ll leave a few I suppose. And perhaps add a few.

    Boats are like clothing. No outfit is perfect. It’s good to have a variety, for a variety of occasions.

    • Troy in ANE
      Troy in ANE says:

      Alex I know it is far from the most valuable boat you own, but I still think one of the COOLEST boats you own is Hal!

  31. sandy alan squitieri
    sandy alan squitieri says:

    Dear dreed…that boat is called a saetta. Italian for lightning….its built just up the road from lake dora. Built in 2010.

  32. Kentucky Wonder
    Kentucky Wonder says:

    OK, so I am late to this party. But after reading everyone else’s responses, there isn’t much to do other than agree with a few choices on others’ lists. In no particular order….

    1. Geronimo, by Van Dam. Totally perfect retro cocktail cruiser.
    2. Curlew, by Greavette. Maybe the best Canadian runabout ever made. Only problem is the Canadian government will not let it leave the country, so…..
    3. Cottage with boathouse on the Muskoka chain of lakes.
    4. There are several Greavette Streamliners currently for sale. The ones that interest me are the ones unlike the rest. And the older, the better.
    5. The Lamborghini Riva. How cool is THAT?!?
    6. 12′ Elgin aluminum rowboat. The one my grandfather had. Got sold in a garage sale after his passing. Didn’t know until it was already gone. I want it back.
    7. The Winn place in Charlevoix. Total boating convenience in a great location.
    8. As Texx pointed out, the list changes after experiencing some of these great works from the past. Being new to boating, especially in the realm of these classics, I need lots more experience before any kind of definitive list can be made.

  33. Cutwaterguy
    Cutwaterguy says:

    The “Maltese Falcon” 1933 36′ Greavette with 500hp Sea Raider V-12. Best Canadian runabout and top on my list. Very hard to find info on the internet, I got a video of it around here somewhere.

  34. Tim Davis
    Tim Davis says:

    Great boat! I have a picture of her at Duke’s in Port Carling in 1989. I believe she was the first mega boat designed by John Hacker when he began working for Greavette’s in early 1933. Love to see the video.

  35. Jimmy
    Jimmy says:

    Sorry but no Coronado is not complete without the rare purple monster hemi that should be your dream Coronado

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