Archive for the ‘classic Century Boats’ Category

Holiday Gift for Boaters under $100

Got a wooden boat owner in the family and stuck on finding a different but memorable Christmas gift?


Fine boat varnish work demands good brushes. And several of those brushes to work all corners and parts of a boat efficiently. Get your wooden boat lover a gift that lasts for a lifetime.


A six brush Epifanes Brush Keeper metal box is the correct way and professional way to store valuable varnish brushes. This box holds up to six assorted varnish brushes. I know several friends that would die to get this item as a gift.


A good brush lasts for years with proper care. How do you care for a good brush? Clean each brush with mineral spirits, clip their handles into the holding plate and lower the brushes into a bath of diesel or kerosene for long term storage.

varnish brush storage box

holds six brushes


Ready to varnish again? Slip the brushes out of the box and thoroughly rinse them with mineral spirits. The brushes are ready for superior varnish work again.

This Brushkeeper box is made from heavy rustproof enamel coated steel. It is welded together for strength. And it lasts. Looks serious and it is.

epifanes brush keeper holiday gift boat christmas

seabuddy photo varnish brush holder epifanes

No one who gets one of these Brush Boxes for their fine varnish work will ever forget this thoughtful gift. It is a special gift. And it is under $100.

epifanes brush keeper box photo

Another view of the Epifanes Brush Keeper Box for Wooden Boaters


Classic boaters, should we all have a classic Ferrari?

Instead of a classic boat, that is.

ferrari GTO classic car

sister car to the sold classic car


$52 million was a recent sale price for a certain model classic Ferrari. That is an approximant 50% increase in sales price for that model Ferrari since another one sold roughly six months ago. How much did your classic boat go up in price?


Seabuddy chose boating and classic boating when I was about 14 years old. I could drive a boat on Barnegat Bay, but not a car on the roads of NJ. Being able to drive something with a motor made up my mind. By the way, I never have said I am smart.


Is your Riva model selling for more than say, $750,000 this year? Your rarest model Chris Craft (they made 4 of this one over the two years of 1929 and 1930) for $250,000? Your wood Century Arabian selling for more than $75,000?


Note, even a Glasspar G-2 sports car has only gone up about 250% since 2006. A Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz went up about 3 and a 1/2 times. Do not ask Seabuddy about 1967 Corvettes.


By the way, Mr. Ferrari could only sell 36 of this model Ferrari when it was new.


Here is a side story. Rumor has it that Bob Bondurant sold his Cobra Daytona coupe to fund the start of his high performance driving school. Anyway, his racer Daytona Cobra Coupe recently sold for $8.5 million. Just think. If he had just waxed that car, rather working daily at showing movie stars and rich folks how to drive fast and safe in the hot Arizona sun for all these years, HE WOULD HAVE MORE MONEY.



Century Coronado classic wooden inboard

It is a Coronado, by Century Boat Co. This model boat was in production as a wood boat from 1955 to 1968. There were a little more than 1700 made. This is one of  several design styles over the years on basically the same running surface hull. She is one out of the 117 made that year. The boat was restored by Katz’s Marina

A big V-8 for power, a throaty exhaust, lots of style, a touch of automotive parts (windshield glass), more than a little chrome, and plenty of bright finished Mahogany Planking make a Century Coronado a thing of beauty on the water. She stops folks in their tracks. This model and perhaps a Chris Craft Cobra model set the high water mark for wooden boats in my book.

The Century Boat Company started in 1926 in Milwaukee, WI. The company quickly moved to Manistee, MI. Century Boat Co. built hydroplanes, stepped hulls, inboard ski boats, outboard runabouts, inboards, fishing boats, canoes, sailboats, cabin cruisers, perhaps a surf boat and these top-of-the-line speedboats. Styling has always been a Century trait. They even built a pink outboard. Go to an Antique and Classic Boat Show, and see all the girls wanting to have their photo taken with the “Barbie” Boat.

A Century Resorter was another storied model name associated with the boat builder. These came in 15’, 16’, 17’, 18’, 19, and 21’ lengths. Resorters were also classic inboard, center engine, boats. A Resorter was a more open cockpit boat. They were great for water sports.

Century replaced wood with fiberglass in the second half of the 1960s, often using the same boat styles and bottom running shape like much of the boating industry, if they were a wooden boat builder at first. The current maker of Tara Yachts made much of the tooling and molds for Century.


century coronado wooden boat 1965 inboard planked mahogany boat photo

Restored wooden Century 21' Coronado inboard runabout


century coronado inboard wood runabout cockpit boat photo image

Aft seat of three in this boat


century coronado with hard top boat photo image

two more rows of seats under this sliding Hard Top


century coronado speed boat runabout photo boat image

Note the automotive rear glass used as a windshield on this 1965 Century Coronado


century coronado bow shot boat photo image inboard runabout

Century used vinyl on the bow deck for ease of maintenance


11th report, Tavares, Lake Dora, Mount Dora, FL, Boat For Sale, Field of Dreams, fiberglass classic Century Boats, 17’ Resorter

This is one of about 134 fiberglass 17 foot Century Resorter examples made for the 1968 model year. Century was still within its transition from wood boats to fiberglass boats. They also made 61 wood hulled examples of this boat model at that time.

bow view classic fiberglass century resorter inboard boat photo image runabout

bow view, note the added-on wood spray knocker

Resorters are utility-style, walk around, single cockpit boats with a center mounted inboard engine that have a fore deck with a high windshield (most likely an automotive rear window, which was popular at this time) and a small aft deck. Seating was in front of the engine and across the stern. The engine box dominates the cockpit space while the transmission and straight shaft propeller drive with its separate rudder is hidden under the cockpit floor. This boat has a 210 horsepower Chrysler V-8.

engine box and rear seat century resorter photo boat image

engine box and rear seat in this Century Resorter

This is really a wood boat design that was re-tooled into a fiberglass boat. Over the years, Century often made 170-180 wood examples of 17’ Resorters each model year. So, at 61 wood boats for this year, one can see the wood boat sales rate falling off. BTW, Leon Slikkers (of Tiara Yachts and Pursuit Fish boats)  is rumored to have made the tooling for some of the fiberglass Centurys.  These fiberglass ones were only a year or two into production at Century Boats, at the time this boat was made.

Resorters came in different sizes, 15’, 16’, 17’, 18’, 19’, and 21’ over the years. Collectors champion among themselves for their favorite size as cockpits, seating comfort, engines,   and handling performance differ. Some mention a “Fun Factor” with certain ones. Others sight the freedom of movement while presenting a high style, one that all Resorter models Century Boats offer.

dash cockpit century resorter fiberglass classic runabout inboard boat photo image

Windshield and dash of 17' Century Resorter 1968

Century Boats started in Milwaukee in 1926 with a 14 foot outboard wood planked racer runabout with a step in its bottom. Next, a 12 foot outboard and a 17’ footer joined that 14’ model, named, Kid. Century moved its boat building plant to Mansitee in 1929. 1930 saw the first year of inboard powered boats. As far as seabuddy knows, the 15’ Palomino and Roan models of 1961 were the last outboard Century runabouts.

transom swim ladder 1968 century resorter 17 classic fiberglass runabout inboard

transom of 17' inboard runabout Classic Century Resorter 1968

On Golden Pond Movie Boat

On Golden Pond 19 Century Raven wood classic boat image photo mail boat

This is the boat that was in the Katharine Hepburn, Henry Fonda, Jane Fonda, and Dabney Coleman movie called “On Golden Pond”. It was the second highest grossing film of 1981. Dabney Coleman’s character, Bill Ray, did a split between this boat and the Thayer’s summer cottage’s pier, falling into the lake waters of the movie’s lake Golden Pond, which was really Squam Lake, New Hampshire.

Century Raven Lapstrake skiff classic wood boat 19' 1963

note the windshield detailing signage


Here are some memorial quotes from the movie.


The boy, Billy Ray: A canoe! Just like the Indians used.

Henry Fonda, Norman: Actually, the Indians used a different grade of aluminum.


Katharine Hepburn, Ethel: Listen to me, mister. You’re my knight in shining armor. Don’t forget it. You’re going to get back on that horse and I’m going to be right behind you, holding on tight and away we’re going to go, go, go!


Katharine Hepburn, Ethel: Come here, Norman. Hurry up. The loons! The loons! They’re welcoming us back.


Dabney Coleman, Bill Ray: [as he heads out to the lake to go skinny-dipping with Ethel and Chelsea] Are there any bears around here?

Henry Fonda, Norman: Oh, sure. Black bears, grizzlies. One of ’em came along here and ate an old lesbian just last month.


Henry Fonda, Norman: Wanna dance or would you rather just suck face?

This 1963 Century Raven 19 footer was cast as the U. S. Mail Boat for all of the Golden Pond lake summer residents. This boat has since been restored by Katz’s Marina. More info here… .

classic wood boat image photo bow century raven on golden pond mail boat

seabuddy photo of the bow of this classic wooden boat



Century Boats are High Style

Classic fiberglass Century Arabian chrome name plate trim

High quality and style classic boat model name plate

Century Boats led the styling of runabouts as utilities both in wood and in fiberglass.  This is a 1977 Arabian with its high style use of fiberglass, chrome, and vinyl that sets an image of exciting luxury on the lakes and rivers of our waterways. This is an inland performance boat. She is not a deep vee and is known for pulling water skiers, tubing, and stylish dockside dining events. Give this boat the throttle, hear the exhaust speak with a rumble, and take off with little bow rise as she pushes you back into your seat.

classic fiberglass boat photo image Century Arabian bow

High style Classic Fiberglass Century Arabian

Century made exciting boats from its beginning in 1926 as an outboard race boat builder along with making some other craft, like fishing boats and sail craft. For almost all of the time the Century Boat Company has been in Manistee, Michigan. This was the location, not Milwaukee or Panama City,  that most of the nautical style leader designs were invented.

Early classic collectible inboards were often a Sea Maid model and the small (14’) outboard racer that is still highly sought after,  the Thunderbolt. Century stayed with boats under 21’ in length as that made them different from Chris Craft, Garwood, and Hacker Crafts that built boats into the mid-30s LOA. Note always known, there is another reason for the under 21’ production policy. The plant in Manistee had a limitation on what could be gotten around inside it and out the door!

The Arabian represents an important design for Century as it was made in both wood and fiberglass. Some say it was designed deliberately to help with the boat building material change over during those years of the 1960s and 1970s. The design is credited to Robert Rioux, now deceased.  He certainly led runabout styling with this model Century. Part of this high-style comes from Century’s use of automotive pieces for several parts like the steering wheel, windshield, etc.

classic fiberglass Century Arabian 1977 transom swim platform boat photo

Restored Classic Fiberglass Century Arabian boat


Classic wooden Century inboard boat

classic wood Century Resorter wooden inboard boat photo image

seabuddy photo of a 1959 Century Resorter classic wood inboard boat

Wood Century boats are called “The Thoroughbred Fleet” and Century made Resorter models in 15’, 16, 17’, 18’, 19’, 20’, and 21’ lengths over the years. Most had a big powerful V-8 or a big six cylinder inboard engine in a direct drive marine power set-up. Resorter boats were style leaders.

They had to limit themselves to boat building within the 15’ to 21’ boat size as their factory in Manistee, Michigan could not handle the up to 30’ plus boat models that competitors such as GarWood, HackerCraft, and Chris Craft offered.

Century wood boats relied on styling, use of color, hull design, and usefulness in their wood boats to get their market share. Their hull design for their boat models was often the fastest hull within their size range. They used paint and chrome as trim accents on their varnished mahogany runabouts. Their windshields often were style leaders in boating.

They had their own ideas about what made for a useful boat. Many of their competitors kept their seating within the boat in contained, separate cockpits. Two cockpits were the most popular. During the Classic years, Century wanted better walk around function than a cockpit themed boat offered. They combined the rows of seating into one big, open cockpit with a box over the engine. This allowed for full front to back access around the boat away from the dock float. No more climbing over decking that separated seating areas in a Century Resorter utility.

My seabuddy photos of a 1959 model year boat and one from another source show one style of a wood Classic Century runabout that is nicknamed “the Carrier deck” in a 19’ Century Resorter . The foredeck broadens out to a wide, almost aircraft carrier style, piano finished varnished planked wood platform. A very different and now rare boat design. They say that there were only 180 of these 1959 boats made.

My photos show one boat of a three Century brand boat owner. He may want to sell one.

detail carrier deck wood classic Century Resorter boat photo image

detail close-up of the carrier deck of the 1959 Century wood boat

photo from the internet paula faye credit

seabuddy gives credit to Paula Faye for photo about the Carrier Deck

Century Boats 19’ Arabian classic wood utility runabout inboard

model of wood Century Arabian inboard v drive inboard utility runabout

This is a 29" model of a real wood Century Arabian classic inboard boat

She is a classic v-drive (some say vee drive) inboard with one bigger center cockpit wood runabout. But the boat in the photos is a model!

This built from scratch 29” long boat is modeled from a privately owned version of a real boat and is shown here for its outstanding workmanship and attention to detail. John Into, a boat modeler for 50 years and a published author on boat modeling, even discussed this boat model with the real boat’s naval architect, a designer named Robert Rioux, who designed all of the Century Boat Company’s boat models at the time this boat was conceived.

One interesting fact to seabuddy is that the full-size runabout’s windshield was from the rear window glass used in a car. I knew the steering wheel was from an auto, but the windshield information is new to me. This boat that was modeled by John was a wood classic utility runabout, it is one of the last wood ones, as Century Boat Co. was using this and other boat design models as the ones that they would craft in fiberglass, too.

One thing to note, the photos here do not show the colors as well as an in person review will. Let me tell you, Into got those color shades right as a match to the real boat he was modeling.

John is a long time vendor / displayer at the Tavares, FL Classic Boat Show on March 23-25, 2012. Look for him and his models very near the entrance to the vendor area of this big show. If you like his work and want to better understand boat modeling for yourself, ask him to autograph a copy of his book for your home boating library.

photo of a boat model of a Century Arabian vee drive inboard utility

note the background to understand that this is a scratch built model

Century Boats the Coronado wood boat models

1959 Coronado Century wood boat photo image

That is a car maker's steering wheel shown in this boat photo

The Century Boat Company’s Coronado was a smash hit when it entered the luxury runabout marketplace in the 1950s and into the 1960s. It was recognized for its groundbreaking styling that combined automotive accents from nearby Detroit along with a roomy cockpit. This boat features a lightweight and fast hull shape. Speeds of up to 55 MPH are mentioned for this wood classic.

The selection of engine offerings over the years alone is interesting.  Chrysler 354 hemis were an option, along with the Chrysler 413 wedge head “Golden Lion” engines.  Other choices included Buick and AMC engines as well as the “new” Cadillac V-8 selections.

About 1/2 of the way through their production years, Century boats even tried using Rolls Royce engines in its Coronado as an experiment for a gas engine power choice. It did not work well, however, so the boat had to be re-powered upon its sale.  The boat was such a powerful inboard that it was capable of pulling up 10 skiers at a time.

Cushioned seating inside the cockpit would let you take 8 or 9 friends for a ride around the lake – that was often the feature that sold this boat. Other attractive features included a Pontiac car windshield that was standard one year. Think Lincoln automobiles when it comes to the Coronado’s steering wheel. And lots of chrome trim, just like autos of the day.

The Coronados were wood-hulled boats from 1955-1968. All Coronados had basically the same length (21’- 22’) and width (approximately 8’ on the beam). The 1959 model seems to have been the biggest at the deck line, but was built on the same hull bottom used in the other years.

I mentioned earlier the one Coronado was configured with a Rolls Royce engine—seabuddy remembers seeing one at the NY Boat show when I was in my teens.  In those days you just had to walk into a boat show and ask to see the most luxurious boat on the floor, and you’d be pointed directly to the Century Coronado display.

wood classic boat model photo image of Century Coronado runabout

cockpit photo of classic wood Century Coronado boat

interior of the cockpit of a Century Coronado wood boat

Century Coronado engine box behind second of three rows of seating

1959 wood 16′ Century Resorter

One of 419 examples of this model size built the year that she was made and one of the best old style ski boats is this mahogany Century 16’ Resorter model. This one has a replacement 260 Hp Chevy Mercruiser inboard V-8 for power and she really goes when a skier says “hit it”. She is a high speed, speedboat.

A wood runabout Century boat has a good amount of v (vee) at the bow that flattens aft for a very shallow amount of deadrise for the most speed and quick acceleration that a performance boat on lake waters needs.

Further, a Resorter Century from this era used the light but strong batten seam construction style for her hull construction. She has many athwart ship frames as well as having seam covering longitudinal battens that the planks are both fastened to (A separate wood batten runs behind all of the planking seams to add strength and water tightness to the hull in this style of boat building).

 A hard chine, v-bottom mahogany runabout was and is the runabout style of choice for many water sports. She is best described as a utility, as each passenger row is easy to get between, rather than being described as a twin cockpit mahogany speedboat.

Straight shaft inboard runabouts with their separate prop, rudder, and propeller strut, are one of the oldest, most reliable ways to design a timber boat. And, Century was a quality leader in both design and styling in the 1950s era. This classic mahogany runabout was the official tow boat brand in the late 1950s, not a Chris Craft.

Century Boat Company started in the wood boat business in 1926 and by 1969 had stopped production of wood hulled boats as they continued on with fiberglass boats.

The photos are from antique boat that has this boat for sale.

16 century wood boat 1959 model

Dashboard of the 16' Resorter Century