Magical Back Seats – What Is It About That Back Seat In A Classic Boat?
Back in early January fellow Woody Boater’s Chris & Julie Bullen (from Canada) sent us a great story titled “Magical Back Seats” along with a collection of photos from their archives highlighting why the back seat in a classic boat can generate pure happiness.
We decided to wait on publishing the story until a weekend when many of our viewers are either snowed in, freezing cold or just plain sick of winter (or all of the above) – and I think most of you will agree, that weekend is HERE!
Chris & Julie’s story brought back some fond memories for me (as I was preparing the story), and reminded me of how much fun I have had riding in the aft cockpits (or back seats) of classic boats over the last few years. My very first ride in the aft cockpit of a Chris-Craft Triple was with my friends Robert & Susan DaPron from Seattle in “Red Head II” their impressive 1928 24′ Model 3 powered by a modern 270HP Mercruiser V-8.
As we left the dock I was expecting Robert to slowly accelerate away as I fumbled with my camera, but instead he hit the throttle and the old girl immediately jumped to attention, and from the aft cockpit all I could see was 22 feet of mahogany deck pointing skyward, along with the sweet sound of the Mercruiser at 4,000 RPM. It was great! (still gives me goosebumps – Texx)
So when fellow Woody Boater Bill Eisenlohr offered to take us for a ride in his 2004 23′ Fish Brothers Triple barrelback “Cinco” on Flathead Lake in Montana – I immediately called “Shotgun” on the aft cockpit.
This time I was ready to see the full length of the triple rise for the occasion as Bill brought “Cinco” up on plane, and once again, it was a memorable experience seeing all the boat above me. Although some may think it’s a bit of a wet ride back there, it’s all worth it. It’s also fun to experience the dynamics of the boat from the aft cockpit position as the boat turns and negotiates the water. That day the water on Flathead Lake was flat and the weather was perfect, adding to the overall experience.
Sorry – I began to wander and let the story get away from me (man I love those triples). Here’s the great, thought provoking story we received from Chris & Julie Bullen back in early January including some great video. – Texx
MAGICAL BACK SEATS
Story & Photos by Chris & Julie Bullen
Texx – Happy New Year! I had a little inspiration for a topic which may generate a few posts with photos.
It’s cold, and to remind me of warmer days I have been looking at some photos and, of course, it got me thinking of boating as every other photo on this computer seems to have a boat in it. By the way this is not an addiction – it’s an appreciation!
I notice a lot of smiles on those in back seats. I think some of the best pictures I have of people in classic boats are in the back seat. What is it about that back seat in a classic boat?
Is it the view, you can see the whole boat and the surroundings! Or maybe you’re closer to the water and the thrill of speed is exaggerated. Sometimes, or I should say often, it’s a risk in the back of some of the triples being close to the water – it means you may have some water in the boat with you!
This area of the boat is a pretty special place, where friends and couples are relaxed and laugh the day away, and just having a great time with no worries in the world. For me the new year means boating is just around the corner and that makes me smile.
Cheers – Chris Bullen
OK – Anybody Want To Go For A Virtual Boat Ride Today?
Chris & Julie Bullen currently own “RIOT” (formerly named “King of Harts”) a very cool 1995 Clarion 25′ GC-4. This award winning all Canadian project was built by Clarion Wooden Boats in Campbellford, Ontario. The Gold Cup series of gentlemen’s racers was conceived by Dwight Boyd in 1986 with the final design being completed by Steve Killing in 1987.
The Clarion GC boats were inspired by and built in reverence to, the Gold Cup Race boats of the 1920’s and 30’s. In particular the famous campaigner “Baby Bootlegger”. Clarion sought to capture the spirit and exuberance of this spectacular racer and indeed of the era. With rounded sheer and fluid lines, the Gold Cup 25’s are beyond the ordinary and create excitement on the water or at the dock.
“RIOT” is the fourth and the last of the series, her keel was laid in 1993 and registered in 1995. Although all four boats were built on the same hull form, each one has its own individual characteristics and details that distinguish it from the others. Her 415 HP – 502 cu/in (8.2L) Mercruiser engine provides spirited performance for this Gentleman’s Racer which can reach speeds in excess of 55 mph.
So let’s join Chris & Julie for a virtual boat ride!
Clarion year one from Chris on Vimeo.
Clarion Wooden Boats has a great website which includes some nice video of some other projects they have built over the years. You can Click Here to go there.
Special thanks to Chris & Julie Bullen for sharing this story and video with us today. It certainly helps to get us through the winter. If you have some photos from the back of the boat, we would love to see them today.
Video a great way to start the week in cold and snowy Indiana. Thanks as always.
A ride in the back seat of the “Herrick” Wayne Mocksfield’s 1927 22′ Chris Craft Cadet.
Great story and video! Here in 2005 is my son Alex and nephew Patrick in the back seat of Wayne Mocksfield’s 1997 21′ Way – Craft ” Sleaper”
Taking my American cousins for a ride aboard Miss Muskoka on a cool Canadian Thanksgiving day in 1991.
A few years ago, I went “nuts” on a 1961 Century Ski Dart and came up with this dual cockpit configuration. The rear cockpit has stereo speakers, foot rests, storage compartments and “bottle holders” designated for imported beer only…first class accommodations!
A photo log of the transformation can be seen here:
Back seat boys Rich and BK at Lake Arrowhead, CA.
It works on the young and middle aged alike
Too much fun in the back seat can get costly 9 months later.
Back seats are the best!
John, Johnny and Natashia in 1996 in the back seat of Frank & Wayne Kish’s 26′ triple.
Departing historic Wolfeboro on Chuck & Lyn Schwager’s “Madoshumi V”, the 1st of 7 26′ Special Race Boats built 1934 – 36. This was during the 2013 New Hampshire Boat Museum annual Boathouse Tour of Lake Winnipesaukee.
Due to the windblown waves, on the return trip through the broads our boatmates opted for the drier forward cockpit.
My neighbour Johan at the back seat of my Chris craft Silver arrow during an eleven hours trip in Germany 2011.
Nephew Phillip and his fiancee Diana in “The Princess Seat” during a ride on Lake Greenwood, SC in September 2013. We call the third row “The Princess Seat” because it’s the smoothest ride in our Greavette. If we remember to pull the fenders in after leaving the dock, there is very little splash, so it’s a dry ride as well. On our Greavette, there is a path between the second and third rows, so one does not have to climb over the engine compartment to change positions.
The Exalted Grand Poobah of Woody Boaterville and me in the back seat Bob Rice’s 1949 22′ Sportsman, last summer at Lake Hopatcong.
Here’s one of my favorites of my son and his buddy snoozing, face down in the 3rd cockpit of my old Chris Craft…..
I think everyone but the skipper (me) was asleep when we got back to the dock on this trip! It was a smooth ride that day… 🙂
Just plain FUN!