WoodyBoaters of The Month. Gary Gondek & Family.

I have been talking with Gary all winter, helping him find the perfect 20 ft Chris Craft Custom for himself and family… He has been across the country.. literally from coast to coast in his quest. If you had a 20 ft custom for sale, he saw it, probed it, and no doubt agonized over it. The quest finally came to an end with Greg Jackson of Carolina Classic Boats. Gary played it smart, he got top folks in the hobby to check the boats out. Guys that had restored these boats before and knew what to look for. There is something to say for the search.. the quest of the craft. And Gary certainly enjoyed the process. Woodyboating is not just about owning the boat, it starts the day the dream starts. The day you see 15 coats of varnish zipping by on a trailer.. When that idea hits you….mmm, “instead of some lame ass new plastic boat, why don’t I get something more timeless?” Welcome to the hobby Gary, welcome to your family, it’s even more fun when the whole family is part of the deal. Good luck getting the kid to sand and varnish, by the way…Pull that off and I will create a trophy for you…

8 replies
  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Congratulations, Gary,
    You now have the single most sought after post-war runabout out there (excepting a Cobra) that will continue to escalate in value as you use it for family fun. You made a great choice in going with her and probably for less cost than a comparable new fiberglass boat that only depreciates in value from day one. …way to go!!!

  2. WoodyBoater
    WoodyBoater says:

    He looks happy for sure. Whats more important is that the family looks happy. This one of the things about this hobby thats so cool. The entire family benefits.

  3. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    I will have to say he did it right, of all the people that I have done this for he never got frustrated (ok maybe a little) and stuck with it asking all the right questions. It all came out great with a very original boat that we are currently making even better; the great thing is that we all get to learn more from this great experience. Mike Green/Maritime Classics

  4. Kerry
    Kerry says:

    Welcome to the 20’Custom Club. I’m very happy to see that you found your dream boat. She looks great!

  5. Gary
    Gary says:

    Hi Everyone!
    I am the “happy ” guy in the picture above. I am that way for several very good reasons. Not only did I have a chance to fulfill a childhood dream, I was able to do it with a very supportive wife and kids.
    In addition, there were very important people helping throughout the process. First of all, I would sincerely like to express my gratitude to Matt Smith. Not only has he gone out of his way over a long period of time, in helping to guide me, he gives us this wonderful website. Matt, I cannot thank you enough for everything.
    Then, there is Mike Green from Maritime Classics in Traverse City, Michigan. Mike is a fifth generation Chris Craft family member,an extraodinary wooden boat restorer, as well as a truly super nice person. Mike would go off across the country, on my behalf, in pursuit of the ideal boat. Because of his efforts, the boat I purchased is a very sound, and very original vessel. As a result of Mike’s meticulous nature, I marvel at how beautiful the boat is becoming under his skilled hands. Thanks Mike! I thank you for your friendship and look forward to a gorgeous, “dream come true.”
    The third very integral part of the processs was Greg Jackson, from Carolina Classic Boats. Matt Smith had done a previous article in Woody Boater about the value of a good broker. And Greg Jackson is as good as they get. His honesty and dedication were the catalysts that put the deal together. All I can say is that if Grerg Jackson is the broker involved in a transaction, feel very comfortable in putting your trust in his integrity. Guys like Greg Jackson and Mike Green can help prevent a very enjoyable purchase from turning into your worst nightmare. A very sincere thank you to you Greg!
    Lastly, one more bit of advice if your considering a purchase. I set a realistic limit as to what I wanted to spend in buying, and setting aside money for a restoration of a wooden boat. By being totally upfront with Greg Jackson and Mike Green, they were able to help me buy my boat and stay within my budget. And from what I hear, that is the recipe for keeping your marriage a happy one.
    Again, thank you Matt, Mike and Greg. Because of guys like you I get to regress to my childhood for a time, and preserve a valuable piece of history for my boys. (By the way, Lou Raugh-Antique Boat Center, is another extraordinary broker you can really place your faith in).

  6. WoodyBoater
    WoodyBoater says:

    Thanks Gary for the props. For the record, I will be glad to share in the credit, and none of the blame… Your going to have a great summer!

  7. Gary
    Gary says:

    Your welcome Matt. But, I already told my wife to blame everything on you. Hope you don’t mind!

  8. WoodyBoater
    WoodyBoater says:

    I am used to it.. I get blamed for everything. I’ll just add her to speed dialing…

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