Wellcraft Nova wins Best Fiber-Classic Award

"Best Fiber-Classic" Award winner leaving the Classic Boat Show by its own boat bottom

The top fiber-classic shown all weekend at the 23 rd Annual Antique and Classic Boat Festival in the St. Michaels Maritime Museum was a 1972 Wellcaft Nova.

Bill accepted his craft’s Award Trophy and true to many owners of Classic Boats, got in, sat down, fired it up, and cruised his Nova home from the show (no trailer – queen this one!)

This boat is a 1972 sterndrive model and was built by Wellcraft Marine in Sarasota, FL.  Bill is a member of the Chesapeake Bay Chapter – ACBS.

The Nova 24 design started out along the lines of a Donzi 7 Meter that was first designed by Allan “Brownie” Brown and Dick Cole. That team also used parts of a Cary offshore racer boat deck for the Nova 24 deck design.

Two things dominate a Nova 24 running surface; the deepest deep vee ever (24.7 degrees) and a wide running strake  that got to “carry” the boat’s weight at speeds above 40 mph, making for a faster, better riding hull than a full with boat bottom would give. In later years, the spacing of those extra-wide strakes dated the high-speed aspect of the Nova 24. She was designed as the best rough ocean water boat up to 55 mph, bar none. But, as the speeds needed to be called a truly fast boat in the 1990’s went above 70 mph, the Nova was no longer the boat to have.

From that Donzi 7 Meter beginning the Nova 24 became its own company and brand, with Brownie at the helm of the brand. Brownie and company partner, Bill Wishnick, a well known offshore racer in his own right, and boat designer Dick Cole “designed” the Nova 24  for the new company, Nova Marine

Nova Marine built around 125 Nova 24 boats before it sold the molds and rights to Wellcraft Marine in 1971.

Nova Marine used v-drives and twin engines totaling 470 Hp for speeds just under 50 mph at WOT. Wellcraft switched to sterndrives for a faster power boat and an easier to build power boat, as by then sterndrives had improved enough to take the higher Hp of V-8 Hp marine racing engines made. Think 4,000 -5,000 all up weight and a soft hole shot with that extreme deep vee and a ride in big ocean chop that is as soft as can be experienced.

8 Responses to “Wellcraft Nova wins Best Fiber-Classic Award”

  • rick wonsch:

    like the interior had to change mine and it is not original

  • leandrew williams:

    Where did you find the windshield molding for the windows? I have a 1976 and a 1977 Wellcraft Nova 250 and my window molding has become brittle.


  • She is not my boat and I was not involved with the restoration, but I’ll see if I can help with some contact info that can help you restore yours.

  • Thomas Heredia:

    I just purchased a 1978 nova 250 classic with a chevy 350 250hp. I am looking to restore the boat to as close as possible original condition. The floor is solid mild flaking on bottom port side that s about it some mild stress cracks on the floor. Would like to get as much information as possible as well photos if you can help me out it would be greatly appreciated.

  • Very good riding boat!

  • Tim Fenton:

    I have a 1974 titled (built in 73) single engine (and plenty of pictures) It is considered to be the 1st Nova on Lake Erie as my father bought it new in 73 from his friend Dave Gerber that owned Monroeville Marine. My question is, what is the proper spec for the prop? It is a 302 (now with 4 barrel) that is otherwise stock. Dad swears he used to get 5K rpms, but I can’t seem to get more than 38. Any advice would be appreciated!

  • Ask Holman Moody about the WOT rating for your engine. 5,000 sounds a bit high to me for a pleasure boat, if it has a stock cam and valve train.

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