What’s Your Mothers Boat Worth? The Reserve Should Be Priceless!

Mom! Is that you?

Mom! Is that you?

If you cruise ebay like me, you have no doubt come across this 19 Barrel Back for sale. OK, so its a box of parts and templates for a total redo. All the parts apear to be there including the banjo wheel.. Looks like a pigskin interior was stock.. Oh man oh man..

Banjo wheel, blue faced auges, Pigskin interior. This 19 footer has it all.. Including a wonderful history

Banjo wheel, blue faced auges, Pigskin interior. This 19 footer has it all.. Including a wonderful history

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But there is this small twist. It’s the sellers moms boat. That’s right, his mother! She bought the boat 80 years ago. Dear god! Talk about kicking yourself a couple years from now. These craft are all about the life they lived, and will live in the future, the wood retains particles of fun! This is the ONE boat on the planet worth what ever it costs to restore. No questions asked, just a blank checkbook and have at it. The thing is, it will cost over $100K to restore it right. And there are many on the market now that can be bought for $60-$80K all day long. Do the math, it aint worth it as a project right now. But if it was your mothers boat. Priceless..  All the photos, the stories, all of it., the love, the passion that is flowing in your veins.  Every Sunday out on the water you are out with your mom again. She is alive in the grain.. AHHHHHHHH! Don’t do it Kennygl.. You will never forgive yourself, sell her furniture, TV sets, all the stuff that’s just stuff. She loved boats. Make the restoration a family affair. The point is, once its sold, the story is dead. It just becomes another boat bought from a family. They are all that way. But as long  as you own it, its the complete package. Trust us here, years from now, you will be grateful that the Woodyboater community saved you from yourself. Here is what she can be like!

Photo Dane Anderson

Photo Dane Anderson

And the header today is none other than Salek from Katz’s Marina. Pigskin interior, just like yours Kenny GL.. I even added the new name on the transom for you.

Salek is one of the nations top Chris Craft.

Salek is one of the nations top Chris Craft.



26 replies
  1. Troy
    Troy says:

    I am so glad that my Mom’s boat (of 50 years) is a maintainer.

    My siblings and I are not in a financial possition to do a 100K restoration.

    Good luck Kenny GL.

  2. Kenny GL's mom
    Kenny GL's mom says:

    Oh no, I told Kenny GL to not sell this boat, His father Kenny GL Sr will not be happy about this. Think about little Kenny Gl jr! Ugh, kids! They never listen..

  3. Don Ayers
    Don Ayers says:

    I documented that boat back in 2002 when Kenny had it on Ebay the first time. He decided not to sell. Since then I see it has been taken apart further. Reserve is I’m sure very high as he knows what it is. Will not sell on Ebay auction but he might sell after the fact if he gets real on price. Good luck to him and I hope that it finds the right home to be returned to original factory glory with orange and pigskin etc.

  4. Don Ayers
    Don Ayers says:

    1940 19′ custom production was a total of 113

    49 boats have been documented to date

    That is 43% survival from original production

  5. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    I think Don’s statistic of a 43% survival rate for anything from 1940 attests to the fact that people do not dispose of these boats like washing machines. They do become part of a family’s traditions and are a cherished posession, even if they are not maintained as well as they shound be. When they do change “caretakers”, you always hope that it is just the start of the next great chapter in the boat’s history.

  6. Matt B
    Matt B says:

    Yes, the math doesn’t work out in your favor. But you can’t apply logic to this hobby. It all about the journey. For me the fun is bringing a boat back to life. Researching the history. Saving it from the burn pile and them after 4-5 years or work and a lots of $$$, using it as much as possible.

    Do you think the wife would go for this one? Ya, still to early. The good news is there is always another one out there when I’m(she) ready!

  7. Paul H.
    Paul H. says:

    It may be a cold, hard fact, but if the seller does not have the means (financial or skill) to restore the boat, then there is really only one option – try to get it into the hands of someone who does, and who will.

    Our BB is a virtual twin of the boat in the header shot – down to almost every detail, and about 95% original wood. These boats “pop” like no other – probably due to the unique combination of the orange stripes, pigskin and the iconic barrel back shape. Don tells me that perhaps 5 of these have the correct pigskin and that addes to the uniqueness I guess. The attention they get and the number of “people’s choice” awards is a testament to how both hobbyists and the public seem to perceive them.

    So, this boat is a great project for someone with the resources in either money or skill to get it there. Unfortunately, it will cost a lot. The repair of ours, plus maintenance work I had done to it on my own dime cost quite close to 6 figures. That was starting with a very sound boat that needed almost no wood replacement, little mechanical work, had 100% complete hardware, no rechroming needed and it had a trailer. In the end you will have spent at least $30-$50k more than it is worth on this example, but you will have an iconic boat – the appeal and popularity of which does not appear to be diminishing. I hope the seller finds a willing buyer.

    • Alex
      Alex says:

      I absolutely agree, Paul. In fact, that’s how I was able to buy my Red & White well. The widow wanted to know the boat would go to appreciative hands and would be correctly and completely restored. She saw it as part of her husband’s legacy.

  8. Brian Robinson
    Brian Robinson says:

    Mike Mayer has three ’41 19′ barrels for sale in worse, medium, and perfect condition. Someone can buy all three and report back which is a better investment.

  9. Rick
    Rick says:

    Restoration costs + Cost of divorce (when spouse finds out)= Out of my range. Heck there was a CC triple for sale on the side of the road on the south fork of LI, NY that she threatened bodily injury if I even stopped to inquire last weekend. Anyone have information on that triple off Route 114 on the way to Sag Harbor?

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      Rick – I did some research on that Chris-Craft triple off Route 114 on the way to Sag Harbor. The only thing I could find out was the name – “PANTHER II” (Coincidence or Fate?)

      Do you need to get some last minute car repairs by a specialist in Sag Harbor this weekend?

  10. Cliff
    Cliff says:

    I have to say I think I would save my money and buy one done. I have been looking at this all day and I just can’t see my self tackling this boat. I think I have a fever because I would rather tackle a triple.

  11. Kevin
    Kevin says:

    I’ve stared at this all day trying to figure a way to justify buying it. I’ve lusted after a pigskin/pumpkin barrelback since seeing Salek in person at Katz’s. as much as I love my GarWood(and as much trouble I’d get into for selling it) I would give my boat up for Salek. It’s amazing…the only good reason I could come up with for buying this project boat is a wedding present for my Fiancée. I’m not sure if Taryn would be as excited as me to have another project around(I have a 50 Chevy Suburban, 36 Ford and 2 40 Fords I can’t seem time to finish) but I could talk her into it. Or get a divorce the day after our wedding…

  12. brian t
    brian t says:

    Paul H says, “The repair of ours, plus maintenance work I had done to it on my own dime cost quite close to 6 figures. That was starting with a very sound boat that needed almost no wood replacement, little mechanical work, had 100% complete hardware, no rechroming needed and it had a trailer.”

    Perhaps Paul could shed some light on exactly what he spent about $100,000 doing, when the boat needed little according to his words above.

    Am I to understand that stripping and putting 15 coats of varnish on a boat and perhaps a re-wire and then some fettling runs close to $100,000 ?

    • Alex
      Alex says:

      Brian T, I think it’s a case of Paul taking a “sound” boat up to a much higher (aka “correct / show”) level. It’s so easy to get to six figures when one has to touch every component (especially wood) so many times. Probably went like this. Materials: $2,000. Labor: $98,000.

    • Paul H.
      Paul H. says:

      Brian – On top of the repairs from the sinking, I had a new bottom installed, which included several frames and one chine. All that was probably near $20k, though I can’t recall the exact number. This boat will need that and more on the bottom. Who knows about side frames and deck frames?

      Repairs to mine included entirely new, correct upholstery – have you priced leather these days? It is very expensive. The gauges had to be repaired and gone through, as did some of the wiring. I paid extra and had the whole boat re-wired. This boat will need that. All egine ancillaries needed to be rebuilt due to water incursion; this included the carb. Trans and engine were fundamentally sound though. The boat had to be stripped, stained and completely re-fastened, but it was not restacked on the sides or transom. One lower side plank was replaced due to a very old repair that was poorly done – looked to date from the ’50’s or so, given the materials used. The decks were taken off and re-inistalled – not replaced. The interior and dash was re-stained where needed and re-varnished throughout.

      Aside from this, there was not much else done in the way of new wood, stuctural work or mechanical. The boat was done to a high level, but the extra few coats of varnish or the use of period-correct looking wiring instead of newer looking material does not add apreciably to the costs. I do not know total material costs, but I doubt if they exceeded $12k – $15k, and most of that would have been for the upholstery.

      This is just what this kind work costs to get done if you hire it out to a professional. I know this, having done several boats. The subject boat in this story will need a great deal more work than mine did, and in every single area – excepting perhaps upholstery. All new is all new in either case. I had almost no costs for chrome work and I had every part I needed. Engine and trans needed little work at all and my material costs for wood were puny. I would budget, just from my epxerience, $150k all in to have a high level professional restoration done on the subject boat. If one is lucky, there may be a trailer and cover included in that price. So, how much is your mother’s boat worth? Unfortunately, project boats (in all but the most rare occasions) have little or in fact a negative inherent value -depending upon the purchaser’s intentions.

  13. Don Ayers
    Don Ayers says:

    Paul did not go into much detail but basically his entire boat was pulled apart and restored bow to stern

  14. Greg Carpenter
    Greg Carpenter says:

    Hey, I would love to make this a winter project, I am sure it would go well into next year to completion. While it is being restored the owner and all others can gabb about this MOM’s boat. The bottom line becomes a money thing. If the owner can not fund a restoration, then someone else should. I have a open bay this winter and two bottom jobs lined up, but I could make room for such a fantastic resto as this 19 footer. The lines are awesome, and I can already see her done . Just Takes lot’s of time and money.

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