Thinking Of Buying A Boat This Spring? Consider a Classic Woody Boat

You have the itch, damm the looming recession, Your gonna go boating. Well, welcome to the club, you are not alone. And considering all the gloom and doom that is spewing out on the airwaves. You need to get away from it all anyway, right? But is buying a brand new boat the way to go? Stop for a second Mr burning hole in the pockets man. Think Antique Boat. Yes beyond the used / pre owned nonsense. Past classic, vintage, all the way to Antique. The ACBS classifies boats in multiple categories. Antique is pre war….WWII, that war, not the latest one… Pre war boats are the most solid value boats out there. Look at the numbers for a second. Buy a .. lets say brand spank’n new Sea Ray, in the 20 foot range. Get all the bells and whistles. You are in it for 85K. And in several years you have a brand new used pre owned Sea Ray worth 55K. That’s 30K gone. Now, look at a 20 foot Antique Boat. Drop 85K on a Chris Craft Barrel Back, Gar Wood, or Hacker. In several years it’s still worth 85K, maybe even more. That’s just the purchase end of this argument. Take the cool factor in to consideration and it’s a slam dunk. They don’t even compare. The Varnished wood will always out shine new plastic.

So, you say, speaking of varnish, Woody Boater has left out the biggest thing of all, maintenance. Ohhhh, not so fast. First, fiberglass needs polishing, and correct up keep just like varnish, it gets smashed, scratched, sun damaged just like varnished wood, and is just as big of a pain to fix, maybe even more. As to parts. There are countless more fancy parts to go wrong. Thrusters, computers, switches, circuits. You name it, it can go wrong on your new fancy boat. Now consider maintenance on a woody boat. If you take proper care, keep it covered and clean, you can go years with out a varnish refresh. And that’s not such a big deal anyway, and you can do it in your garage. In fact you can do almost everything in your garage. There are no fancy parts to go wrong. Just points and plugs. OK carburetors are a pain. But.. In the end it all works out about the same. And you have a cool boat that looks as cool in your garage as it does in the water.

You defiantly get more fun from the antique boat through out the year. That’s not all, consider the fact that there is a huge community of like minded folks out there in the antique boating world, shows, gathering. And you have instant pals. Your antique & classic boat actually delivers on the big reason you wanted a boat in the first place. And when it comes time for you to sell your pride ad joy, you won’t be cursing that big plastic thing sitting in the driveway. You will be cursing that decaying trailer of fire wood sitting in the driveway. but at least you’ll get most of your money back… So you can buy another one….

6 replies
  1. Sea Skiffer
    Sea Skiffer says:

    Personally i couldn’t agree more, makes sense from a financial perspective, of course it is a very personal choice but to me a new boat does not compare to an antique. Of course a new boat has its pros with all of the amenities and latest technology – all depends on what you’re looking for in your boating experience and lifestyle, but you make a good argument!

  2. woody boater
    woody boater says:

    Oh, well if you want fancy things like a 12 volt system and 70 years of safety updates, then I suppose you have a point.. Ha..

  3. goodwood
    goodwood says:

    Remember, after 5 years, you still have $30K in your pocket that you would have lost in the depreciation of the F/G boat. One could do a whole lot of maintainance on the wood boat for $30k. An $85K 19′ Barrel should be in pretty darn good shape when you bought it.

  4. El Mirage
    El Mirage says:

    I for one think that most boaters would love to have a wooden boat. I think most are afraid of the upkeep. In this day in time with 5200 bottoms and such, they are a dream to own. When i purchased my boat the whole naiborhood came over…lol. Parents from my sons school have come up to me at the pta meetings and asked if i was the one who had the wooden boat! Thier kids had seen it from the school bus and told them about it. If you go to any public marina you will see boats being loaded and unloaded with no interest at all from bystandards. Roll in with your woody and the crowd gathers like your giving out $100.00 bills! Get out there and find yourself that wooden boat of your dreams and in five years when you want to trade up to that big tripple….tell your wife its safer than the stockmarket!

  5. woody boater
    woody boater says:

    So true. It’s like a secret. The 5200 bottoms have been a god send to the catagory. It’s really an awarness thing. The web is helping with values big time. The more folks find out that classic boats are fun and not the hell they think they are, the more folks will want them. There is not an infinate supply, witch will no doubt keep values up. Just look at the classic car market. We are just at the beginning of that with these boats.

  6. Jay Wagner
    Jay Wagner says:

    I sell the new glass stuff, and a lot of people like it. But,you are right, the right classic wood or glass does act like a magnet at the ramp. I had a older (1977) Baja 16SS and even that worked. Most of the new boat customers like the open bow that we do’nt have in the classic stuff unfortunatetly. If somebody built a wood open bow outboard I think it would sell if it was accepted into the fraternity.

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