You Guessed It. A 1947 25′ Sportsman. WHHHHHHHAAAAAAAT?


I kept asking on the phone.. You sure its a 25 footer? Yes! Parked in 1975. Yes.. Worn out, and left wet.. But man oh man. Its all 100% there. Including a very rare dash clock. And get this. 1947, Hull number S-088-25 and I think the only one delivered to Newport News VA. Still alive..ish.. The wood and I had a talk and man oh man it went on and on.

Green leather interior.

Flag poles

No trailer, but I just so happen to have one. Great for some storage and moving around. Green leather interior, Green floors. Under all that rodent stuff, and other deadness is a wonderment of color and history. I would roll around in it naked if I wasn’t scared of something biting me. Ya, I went there. You would too.. And right down the street..ish.. Like here? Under my nose.. A 25 Sportsman thats WECATCHEMS sister. S-0148 -25

Tank…s? your welcome


Some red carpet treatment! Oh ya

Found the rear cover board, and crome vents

She might need some bungs..

CLOCK!!!!!!! Stopped at the perfect time! Wow.. 

318 replaced the Chrysler it came with. According to family, Grandfather was always messing with props.. HA

The extraction is gonna be a party of old men, and lots of ideas I am sure of that. And I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Yes, the cutwater is in the boat. Thats the look Jimmy has when he is thinking about things. Like why in the hell did I answer Matts call! 

Stay tuned tomorrow. We asked about family photos and YUP! And then the extraction.. Dear god. Thats gonna be a trick and a half. But fun as hell! There is so much more. Actually there are some chicks involved.. Ya Baby! Not kidding..



35 replies
  1. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Quite a barn (or shed) find. It’s already got the v8 conversion so that step is already done. A little clean up and you will be out on the water! I have a couple extra props if you need them. You needed another project. Good luck.

  2. Wudzgud
    Wudzgud says:

    Did you find the wicker sisters of the sisters in the corner of the shed? If you can call that a shed. Maybe this is a roof find.

  3. Bilge Rat
    Bilge Rat says:

    How bad does this one smell? I would guess local wildlife may have set up shop in there since 1975.

  4. Murdock
    Murdock says:

    Dear Sir,
    We are in receipt of your latest project.
    Please be so kind as to leave your checkbook on our table and proceed down the hallway to the shower room so that you can stand in a cold shower and tear up thousand dollar bills on an hourly basis.
    You are welcome to visit the shower room daily until either common sense, frostbite or when we run out of your checks, comes first.
    You are a well known member of our little club and we welcome your latest visit to the Black Hole of Calcutta.
    The good news is that you are among several others who conveniently and quite often, lose their collective minds on almost a daily basis when it comes to mahogany dust, cobwebs, dead rodents and the latest “challenge”.
    Thank you again for doing your best to save a little slice of what we perceive as a better time and your commitment to all your friends and family.
    On your next visit to our facility, please be sure to bring a large wad of cash as we will be having a swap meet and we know there will be something presented that you really don’t need and will purchase two in order to support your fellow member’s common afflictions.
    We look forward to your next visit!
    The Staff at Save a Wooden Boat Shop

  5. Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P)
    Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P) says:

    Cool as Hell ! Go for it Matt. Fix it up. sell it. or restore it beautifully. either way get it back in the water. I’ve been off the grid for awhile. Looks like I missed a lot, both good and bad. We had a chance to take a cruise down the Danube river through Germany, Austria, and Hungary. It was a great experience. Still suffering from jet lag though.

  6. Paul H.
    Paul H. says:

    Interesting find to be sure, but what to do when you pull it out? To paraphrase the immortal words of M-fine, at $5oo0 it’s over priced by $10,000.

    Very nice, well maintained user examples can be bought in the $50k range, exceptional ones in the $80k – $100k range, so where do you start and stop with an example like this? For me there is no stopping so the solution to avoid starting. Having been there with SP-25-140, I speak from experience, but interestingly, not regret.

    This one initially came with a Chrysler Royal straight 8 – one of comparatively few to be so equipped. I’ve had experience with this engine, smooth as silk but at 143HP, only adequate at best in a boat of this size, might have had a reduction gear. It’s been hacked up to put the 318 and Morse shifter in there, no doubt.

    It will be neat to see what becomes of this, but it is a major project in every respect, from what can be seen so far. Hopefully it cleans up OK and reveals itself to be more solid than it appears here. Perhaps a person with significant skill takes it on as a hobby restoration?

    • Greg Lewandowski
      Greg Lewandowski says:

      Paul, I agree with all of your points, including the fact that I commend Matt for saving this classic. He is fortunate to have the means and I am glad the will to do this!

  7. John F Rothert
    John F Rothert says:

    Oh boy! Here we go! Best barn find of late.
    Paul mentions M-Fine…have not heard from him in a while?
    Guess it is because I can’t seem to get on the CCABC site anymore.
    John in Va.

  8. Jim G
    Jim G says:

    I hate to tell you this. But its worth more then you think it is as it sits.

    I just sold my project 1946 25′ hull#36. No engine. Had several over it life. Came with the lowest engine option the MS. Condition is comparable between the 2. Mine had all the hardware. I already had the prewar banjo wheel restored by Al decades ago. The early 46’s had them. The 46/47 came with 6 black face gauges including the clock standard. Late 47/48 on only came with 4 gauges standard.

    So I sold mine with all correct hardware an old aluminum trailer that fit the hull. Boat was holding its shape. But is going to need almost all the wood.

    Listed it for 25,000.00 within 2 days had 4 people standing in line for it. Cash in hand. The first guy bought it.

    They only built 250 of them. Then 49/50’s not being as nearly as nice of a boat as the 46/48 are. For most of 47 they did not build any. Wood shortage.

    These are highly desirable boats. Don’t let anyone tell there only worth less then 10,000.

    The guy who bought mine sent it straight to a high end restoration shop to be restored. Most of the people wanting these are selling there triples and going to these for ease of getting in and out of and the ease of enjoying their grandkids in a wooden boats.

    • Paul H
      Paul H says:

      Can’t argue with facts, and there are always a few people willing to burn money for what are really vanity projects. Having had about 5 or 6 boats restored to show condition (including my 1948 SP 25′) I was one, I guess. In 2009 or 2010 I paid $10k for mine as a project boat, and it was in far, far better shape than this one and came with the original Scripps 208 (it was written up on this site at the time). Seller probably could have got more (he was a boat guy who knew what he had) but wanted it in good hands.

      It won ACBS Best Preserved at the 2011 International and a First Place in Tahoe, which attests to the quality/soundness of the boat to begin with and the work done by Mike Mayer and others to elevate it. It still retains the original (now rebuilt twice) engine, bottom and almost all original upholstery to this day. With little wood replacement, it was not a complicated job but it needed finesse. I have never added up the cost because it wasn’t about that, but it is at least 15x purchase and is as academic today as it was then.

      The market value of decrepit grey or pattern 25’s may not be negative, and all a seller needs to find is a person who wants the project and is willing to bear the inevitable financial loss, which implies the exercise is not financially motivated at all. There are still lots of those people around – look at collector car prices, recreational real estate, nft’s, etc. Covid has caused a lot of pent up demand and folks who have money are evidently willing to spend it.

  9. Ole Olson's boat scratching service
    Ole Olson's boat scratching service says:

    My great-great grandpappy was a liar? He said he crapped in a corner of a Ditchburn?And put a few scratches there too?Turns out it’s a Chris?Now I’m confused!

  10. Brad Ernst
    Brad Ernst says:

    I’m currently restoring hull SP-25-197 which is a twin ML powered 1950 which originally had a folding top that is missing wondering if anybody would have one that they would like to part with thanks, Brad Ernst

  11. Muddy Paws @ SML
    Muddy Paws @ SML says:

    There’s at least one chain saw in the pictures sitting near the bow. I wonder if that was plan “B” if the sale fell through? Good Save!!

  12. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    Your last photo looks like Mickey, Rocky Balboa’s coach played by Burgess Meredith. You might need him to coach you through this extraction. “You’re going to eat lightning and crap thunder”. The fun is pulling this awesome find out and washing it off to see what you have. Too bad you can’t find women like that.

  13. Rick
    Rick says:

    Extraction? A tooth extraction would be easier, less painful and quicker. Oh and cost thousands less even with an implant. I discovered the cure for more restorations. A wife who has started to watch where the big $$$$$ are disappearing to.

  14. MikeM
    MikeM says:

    I suggest you have Seth extract it, haul it down to NJ, restore it and have it ready for Dora and give him free advertising for the rest of his life.

    Personally I have sworn off any more project boats, but there is no doubt I would snatch that one up. Good find!

  15. tom
    tom says:

    Motor looks to have a closed cooling system tank on it,hopefully filled with antifreeze,(if the plan is to save the motor anyway).Looks like a bottom plank hanging off?The lumber in that roof is alot newer than 1975,hopefully boat wasn’t under tarps a long time before the shed.Great project for someone though.

  16. tom
    tom says:

    My mistake,the bottom plank I thought was hanging off is a piece of lumber laying there.Project gets better with every look.

  17. Ronald
    Ronald says:

    Congratulations on the special find of a lifetime close to home, I suggest you clean it up, get it running and take it to the Ramsey Brothers in Toledo and let the put the magic juice to the bottom like they did the unrestored Dart they had at Mt Dora one year. I can not remember what it was but simple and it worked, Preservation…. Preservation my friend lol

  18. Rabbit
    Rabbit says:

    Matt loves these 25’s (we all do!), but he’s not insane. You’ll just be the steward to make sure it ends up in the right hands, right?

  19. Max Mueller
    Max Mueller says:

    318 with velvet drive great drive. Have experience with 1968 fiber glass Century Resorter Fiberglass serial #1. Great power! I hope still a basically sound hull, perhaps not a total restore. Max

  20. Art
    Art says:

    If you need another extraction crew member, let me know, Matt! I’ll get my shots and join you if I’m free.

  21. thomas d
    thomas d says:

    there’s two of them shoved off in a gully in middle Tennessee. i’ve tried to find them a couple times, just can’t remember where to look now.

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