This is where you'll find boats listed for sale that we think are either bargains or beaters. We like to find hidden gems, worthwhile projects or good deals. We also like to call out ripoffs, so beware. The classified section can be both entertaining and informative.
Nordic Rages are great boats. The builder is based in Arizona, and really caters to the west coast market. Here’s what I hate about builders from the west, they love bowriders. I hate bowriders. There is no reason to have a performance boat, with the bow cutout so people can sit in front of the driver. It makes zero sense. Leave that to Bayliner. Most boating in Arizona and California is about chugging vodka drinks and passing out in the sun, so it’s not surprising they love bowriders. The goal of a boat shouldn’t be to see how many people you can fit in it.
A nice classic Scarab here, a real Scarab too. A narrow, deep v, built to be smashed offshore. This was when the Scarab name meant something and wasn’t an embarrassment. I have mixed emotions about the yellow, and the P-29 graphics, but it’s kind of retro, so I don’t mind. It’s far better than some ridiculous poker run paint job with so many different colors that it would make Elton John want to barf.
My favorite modern Formula. I believe they stopped making all of the Fastechs as of this year. Perfect balance of family, luxury and performance. Somewhat tasteful graphics, all Imron paint, full windshield so you don’t have to feel like you’re trapped in a wind tunnel. I like it. Formula seems focused on competing with Cobalt and Sea Ray now, with doors that open on the side of the boat, so you can get on easier? Giant bowriders with water slides and towers, seems like a smart strategy.
You’ve worked really hard, you’ve saved up, avoided the trap of getting married and having kids. Every time you saw a boat rumble by the marina, you made yourself a promise. Sure, it’s a waste of money, the fuel bills alone could pay the mortgage on a decent 3 bed house, but that’s not the point. You only live once, we never know when our time is up and this was a very cool boat brand from cocaine running days of Miami. Built like a tank, probably weighs as much as a modern 50 footer. Some vinyl graphics, and some wax and the idiot at the marine who just dropped $200k+ on Sea Ray will be insanely jealous. Trust me, you’ve been on the sidelines of life long enough. Buy it, point it towards the sun, put the throttles down and start living.
This is kind of rare. Made after the Pulsare 2100, and before the 2000 BRX, this actually has nicer lines than both. Nice size for a 150 HP to 225HP. I love it. If it was a closed bow it would be perfect. Great colors. Get a bow cover and just never take it off.
I’d buy this sight unseen. Most boats have issues, old boats have tons of issues. So, just roll the dice. Nobody wants to admit it, but if you are in the market to buy a boat, you want something cool, or as cool as possible given your budget. This has massive cool factor. Don’t ask your wife, don’t ask your friends, just buy it and enjoy. Don’t you hate it when people say “this is a no-brainer.” Well, this is a no-brainer in everyway.
I believe this is a Lavey Sebring. Very cool boat. Lavey has been making high quality boats forever. Worth restoring, super cool, you can run anything from a 150 to 200+ on it. Everyone in California wants some weird deck boat, or wakeboard boat. Don’t do it, don’t fall for the peer pressure. Get this and be way cooler than everyone else. Post pictures on Instagram with huge rooster tails and have thousands of new friends. I love how it has two fuel tanks, that’ll come in handy with that old 2 chugger.
Buying this boat might be like going to Vegas and getting blackout drunk and waking up beside a woman you don’t even know. You might regret it, or it might be a great decision. Nobody knows until after the damage is done. Better than a Baja, or Donzi of the same vintage. On second thought, I’d get something faster and with an outboard. That’s just me.
Once upon a time, when gas was free, and you wanted to blow your eardrums out, this boat made perfect sense. Now, gas is expensive and you would like to use your ears for more than holding your sunglasses on. It would be cheaper to buy and run a Bentley Turbo R of the same vintage. When I say run, I mean it would be literally cheaper to leave the Bentley running all year than to run this for a long weekend.
You know what, this is a really cool boat. Easy to tow, seems really practical for a small boat, that is reasonably priced. I’ve never driven one, but I love small boats. The first generation Mercury four strokes like this one are big heavy slugs though. Needs different power. When you see what guys ask for boats that are much better suited to be flower gardens, this is well priced.
I have no idea about this boat, but how fun would this be with a new Mercury Racing Formula 60. Back in the eighties and nineties mini boats were way more common, and they are pretty cool.
Nothing wrong with an old Sidewinder, but this is over 40 years old. I wouldn’t pay $5k if they also had kidnapped my son, and it was the only way I could get him back. Are people completely out of their minds. If they took my daughter I’d probably pay it though. But I would immediately take the boat to the dump. Look at that paint job.
Absolutely buy this boat. Get a period correct 115 HP for it, and you would be a hero at any boat meetup. These are so cool, and are classics in every way. Vintage boats are awesome, I love it. If you restored one you would easily spend that much and more just in your time. Boating is supposed to be fun, this looks like it.
An old Liberator 21, these are made in Texas, and are very cool. Probably needs a lot of work, but it would be worth it on a boat like this. Checkout our restoration features on a beautiful Liberator restoration. Love this, a classic.
Wow, another boat that was made in Texas. An old Carlson CSS 19. This would be worth getting just as a novelty. Carlson designed some of the craziest looking boats of their time, and this boat in particular has inspired several other boats’ deck design. The molded in wind fairing and sleek design was very unique at the time. Time capsule. Buy it, keep it, and never let it go.
This is a neat old boat. I have a soft spot for the CV line of boats from Glastron. The CV 16 is a classic, and all the CV boats have a modern look, and are fairly practical little boats. This 20 is very cool, and looks better than anything Glastron has made in the last 20 years.
A classic little Hydrostream Viper. A great little hull that can run a 90, 115 or more. Not my favorite Hydrostream design overall, but it’s a great boat to get in the game with. If you fixed it up, and were re-powering, a newer 90 Yamaha SHO, or Mercury 90 four stroke would run great, the 115 versions would be really fast on it.
I’ve said it many times, Baja boats made some good looking boats with a majorly mixed bag of quality, mostly on the wrong end of the quality spectrum. But, if you just look at this design, that is an attractive boat. You can see how they sold so many. If this thing isn’t rotten, and you got it for the right price, I would say go for it. The nineties might have been the best years for Baja and this might be one of the cooler ones.
A classic Vector, you have to love these. With the quintessential Hydrostream look, wrap windshield, concave bow, and wings, the Vector looks amazing. They are really small so you really don’t need much power. I would personally keep the 150, or if re-powering, a newer light 115 HP, like the ProXS or SHO would be great. Be aware, Howard Pipcorn made a few changes to the hull in its time. Some have a concave pad, and most have a subtle hook, while others have more of a hook. Buyer beware, but many Hydrostreams are great boats to get into.
One of my favorite Donzi’s, the Minx. Slightly smaller than the 22’, and a different look than the “Classics” makes it pretty rare. The narrow beam, and deep deadrise, make it decently fast, and a great wave crusher. I’m not sure what engine this has, but 500 HP is too much in my opinion, a nicely setup small block is perfect for these. Cool boat.
You know what? I love this design. The overall look of this old Baja is amazing. Unless it comes with about $8,000 worth of cocaine in it though, it might be hard to justify spending that much. Some boats are absolutely pristine, and you have to pony up if you love it. Not sure, without seeing it. But I always resort to the car comparison, what would a 1987 Camaro Z28 be worth to you? If it was flawless, and you loved it, maybe it is worth $12,500. But probably not.
I love these. The fact that this is over 40 years old, and still looks cool is a major testament to the deign, and a harsh criticism to today’s boat designs, for compact boats anyway. This is truly a little boat that could put a small family on the water, with a 70 or 90 HP engine. This would be amazing to restore, and have fun with. Not super fast, but sharp little boats, that can probably pull small skiers, and cruise any lake. A real classic.
I don’t really know anything about Centurion, but I have to say, this thing looks really nice. I can’t say any new family boat on the market that I’ve seen looks any better. Who knows how much it’s worth, but the cool factor is up there. This is kind of like a C4 Corvette, sort of a modern classic, not douchey like a newer Corvette. If you’re in the market for a classic looking sport boat, I would definitely look at this.
I really don’t know what a boat like this is worth. I’m not a fan of this era of Baja, and most of the Islanders are kind of junk. Some are okay looking though. This one looks decent, but realistically, a twenty year old boat is ripe for all sorts of issues. I love comparing used car prices, just for fun, even though it has little relation. But, a 1999 Cadillac STS, which was not cheap new, is worth about $3,000 to $4,000 if it’s mint. You could just park your 3K Caddy, really close to the water on a sunny day and just pretend you’re boating. The suspension on the Caddy will be so bad it will feel like you’re in a 3’ chop on the way home anyway. Go for the Cadillac.
Somebody please buy this boat. So many people wander through life with no identity, no sense of self, never answering the question; “why am I here.” This is the key to your life. The worst case scenario is you get it out, way offshore, and the engines die, and they will. These old OMC V8s had all kinds of issues. You drift for about 8 hours, slowly lose your mind and attempt to swim to shore, only to succumb to your destiny 20 yards into the swim. But at least you had an exciting life, all because of this awesome boat.
Think of how awesome this would be as a project. After work, grab a case of Michelob Ultra, bust out the tools and get busy. Maybe every Sunday you put in a full day, after 2 years, a divorce and credit card debt that could finance a new Ferrari, and you could unload this almost finished Donzi for only a small loss. The next guy can do the finishing touches, spend a few bucks rigging it, and he’s off to the sandbar with a bunch of hot chicks and a cooler full of Michelobs, all thanks to you. Go for it.
These are just awesome. One of the best Hydrostreams, and they made so many models I can’t keep track. I think they used up every word that starts with V in the naming. Love these.
Awesome boat. I love single engine boats in this size range. If you want a hardcore runner, that can handle big water, but still gets the efficiency of a smaller single engine boat, this is hard to beat. Kryptonite made super competitive race boats, and were low volume, making them hard to find. If Satan came back to earth and needed a single engine offshore hull, he would be shopping for this. I think Superboat has the molds for the CC version of the 27’, and 29'.
Another legendary offshore race hull. Activators were made for rough water, this is not a sandbar poser boat, so don’t even look for cup holders, or coolers. This has a crazy engine, crazy paint job, and is made for people who like launching off 5 footers. You know when you need safety goggles and earplugs to run it, you’re doing it right.
Whereas the Kryptonite and the Activator above are hardcore offshore gladiators, this is the opposite. But, for the right price, you can clean it up and have a nice looking family boat, that will be much nicer than any Bayliner, or SeaRay you’ll find. Easy to criticize these, but they make a lot of sense for some. I would media blast that bottom paint off, and spend a day wet sanding and polishing it back.
You know it kind of looks funny, with the raised cuddy cabin, and it doesn’t look as sleek and timeless as other Lasers, or other performance boats at the time, but it sure is practical. And, the hull is supposed to be great. People who own them say they are great in some chop, handle really nice, and like most Lasers, are really fast. Very unique boat. I’d check it out.
One of the better modern Baja hulls, with a deep 24 degree deadrise. Personally, I would count this as a great outboard conversion candidate. Get rid of that gas guzzling big block and throw a bracket on it, with a single 300 or 400.
We featured this boat when it was finished, and I love it. The color is really cool, the fit and finish on Sutphen’s are great. You are basically buying a new boat here, with a discount. Much faster than a Donzi Classic, and pretty decent in some rough water for its size. Is the Ilmor 570 overkill? Probably, but it’s also awesome. A strong buy here.
I am actually not a Scarab fan, unless it is a legit Larry Smith design, and especially the 26'. Having said that, for an economical 30 foot performance boat, you could do way worse. And, from purely a design perspective, these look really nice. On top of that, it’s pretty practical. I think at the right price, you could be really happy with this.
You always want to approach a used boat this age with caution, but I love this original color scheme on this Hydrostream Viking YT. It will absolutely fly with this engine. Probably one of the better Stream hulls. Extremely difficult to price this one.
Mixed emotions on this one. You know when you see a model or actress you grew up watching, and 30 years later time hasn’t been kind to her. She’s had a few stints in rehab, a thousand sunburns, still battling alcohol; and at one time she was a 10/10, now she’s a 4 on a good day. This is that awkward turning point when you actually become more of a catch than she is, where you would probably turn her down. But, since you were a kid you dreamed about her, so you might give her a chance just for kicks. This boat might actually be a step up from Heather Locklear, or Pam Anderson, as it looks pretty clean actually. Maybe a 6/10 here.
As much as I make fun of Baja’s, this is one of the ones I kind of like. Not everyone can afford a high end custom boat. For a 25 footer, this checks a lot of boxes, and they were priced really well when new. Entry level quality, but a decent hull, and they look sharp. Unfortunately, most Baja’s have goofy graphics, but some are decals you might be able to remove or replace easily.
As much as these are cool, and the fact it has custom big blocks under the hatch is great, this probably doesn’t make much sense for many. But, I would say, you could modernize this pretty easily. And, this would make a great outboard conversion, as Saber makes an outboard version of this hull. This classic Saber looks really clean in the pics, very cool boats.
You don’t see a genuine Donzi 16 outboard, which I believe was called a Baby 16. This guy took it upon himself to do surgery on an 18’ Donzi Classic and convert it to an outboard. I love outboard conversions, but, I generally advise not cutting out a transom well, and going with a bracket instead, for many reasons. Got to give him credit for trying. I’m sure Donzi purists are punching their computers and wish the guy put a built 600 + HP engine with a surface drive to prove to everyone how fast Donzi’s are.
What a great looking boat, it even has nice graphics as opposed to the goofy poker run paint jobs some Fountians are ruined with. When you think about how some people are dropping this much money on a deck boat or some generic family boat, this looks pretty sweet in comparison. A little known fact is some Fountains were ordered with optional gold chains and a fake Rolex, and if you’re lucky, the previous owner never took them out of the glove compartment.
I don’t know anything about these boats. To be honest, does it really matter? How well do you know your wife? Your brother? Do you really know them? Sometimes you hear the story of the guy who bilked friends and family out of money with some weird ponzi scheme, and everyone was “shocked.” “Ted was the best neighbor you could ever have, caught me by complete surprise when the FBI showed up next door, and all that money I invested with him disappeared.” Or the husband who was a serial killer for 30 years and the wife had no idea. Do you really know everything about your spouse? Better question might be, do you want to? This thing looks pretty good.
I actually love these, kind of a sleeper. Pretty fast, great family boat, can run through some chop. But, please stop with these prices. This is insane. You can buy a mid nineties Bentley Turbo R for less than $22,000. An English artist stitched those seats together and Princess Diana installed the radio by hand. This is a piece of fiberglass with an old Chevy truck engine in it. People love their boats too much.
Speaking of overpriced, most used Donzi’s are, but I will admit, because of the history and following, Donzi’s hold their value quite well. Of all the Donzi Classics, I really like these. With a different deck than a regular 18’, the X18 is really unique and quite rare. I think less than 200 were made, so it is a legitimate collector item if you’re into hoarding boats.
Some guys like fishing boats, some guys like ski boats, and others like sending themselves at 120+ MPH across the water with 1,000 HP of big block Chevy behind them, that is on nitrous, while they hang on to the wheel that is controlling a tiny piece of metal that determines if they live or die.
Sometimes I checkout the West Coast listings, just to see the different boats. I really love the lake boats, and lake hot rod scene over there. But sometimes I wonder what’s going on with boats over there. What a mess this is.
Again, some things the West Coast guys get right, and others I think the angel dust is really getting to them. Who ever was in charge of the color scheme on this boat should never be allowed to spray gel or paint again. And not only do I hate bowriders of any kind, it’s twice as bad when the freeboard at the bow is about 7 inches. This boat looks like a spoon, just waiting to take a wave over the bow. A bowrider, jet, with the colors of a Barbie corvette from 1989, just say no.
I absolutely love these, they are so cool, and decently fast. Here, you are buying the boat, as far as value goes. What’s it worth? Hard to say. The classic Eliminator looks nice, with an updated interior and a slightly more modern engine, you’d have a killer package. The colors are right too, vintage but tasteful.
If I didn’t have so many projects on the go right now, I think I would look for one of these older 25’ tunnels, like this Daytona, and convert it to an outboard. Sounds crazy, but that’s what projects are all about. I would run a single 300R or 400R, redo the back deck to suit the outboard and it would be amazing. Way faster and more efficient with the outboards. You’d be removing over 1200 Lbs from the boat, and then hanging 550 Lbs off the back.
In the ad it says “turn key.” Do you know how I know it isn’t turn key? Because it says turn key in the ad. What he meant to say is that the key will turn, but it won’t run. If there’s anything I’ve learned when it comes to prowling around old boats and boats for sale most of my life, when it says turn key, and it looks like Arthur Fonzarelli just worked on it, turn the other way.
This boat looks really cool. I think these had a fairly decent hulls, more for lakes, with a shallow hull. Just like getting married though, everything seems great right now, but do you really want this 10 years from now? Is this really a good life decision? Will it end up costing me much more than it is worth? All great questions to ask before you get married or buy old performance boats.
An old Cougar, a classic boat made in British Columbia, Canada. Great craftsmanship in these, very cool boat. I believe the hull is the same as the Eliminator 21. You have to admire the balls needed to run twins on a tunnel this size. If you think people are questioning your courage or balls, this is your boat. These are 200’s though, so I would opt for a single 250 or 300 HP, the lighter weight and reduced drag will be better most of the time. Love the color scheme. Could be a great boat to have.
We just did an article talking about these old Sea Ray Pachangas. Easily one of Sea Ray’s best boats ever made. Great family boat, good first performance boat. Beautiful design and well thought out interior. The only downside is you have to drive a Sea Ray.
Own this, and own a piece of history. Looks to be in beautiful condition. Put this classic Chris Craft on your bucket list, then immediately go buy it, and check it off the list. You are on your way with this boat. Later, on your death bed, when you are gasping for air from a ventilator in some shitty hospital, at least you can say you got one thing done on your bucket list before you get sent to heaven.
I don’t really know what to say here. Looks kind of neat in a retro way.
You know I am biased toward a 22 Activator, but I think we have a mess on our hands here. Mine was a mess when I got it, but that was part of the project, and mine was basically free after I sold the engine and trailer. First, bottom paint, why? Looks like it was left in the water. This thing is going to be a water logged nightmare. You wouldn’t want it for free.
More bottom paint. Can we please stop with the bottom paint on sport boats. Otherwise, I like old Formulas but you know it’s going to be a disaster, just from the bottom paint. Never mind the extreme overhang on the trailer. The owner probably hasn’t changed the oil in 10 years.
Finally, something worth talking about. Great boat. If you just went over the pink with black or grey, you’d have something nice. Looks like the Barbie version with these colors.
You know when you walk by a homeless person on the street, and they have obviously been homeless for long time, are getting older, and you just realize there is nothing you can do. Even if you had $500 bucks on you, it won’t do anything for this person. You feel horrible. You keep walking and you think about it for the next few blocks. What can we do as a society? Where did it go wrong for this person? Do they have any family? It’s enough to make you sick. You just move forward and try to help when you can. This boat is basically that.
Right off the bat, you know this guy has too many boats and projects, and his wife is nagging him to get rid of stuff, you have all the bargaining power. Just pull up with your hitch ready to go and slip him $350. He’ll take it. You’re doing him a favor. That is if you’re in the market for an old beater.
It doesn't get more awesome than this. You could just park this in your driveway and be the talk of the town. It doesn't even need to run, which it probably doesn't. I wouldn't recommend restoring it, unless you have a couple hundred thousand you don't want the IRS to know about. I would just keep it as a piece of art.
I've said it before, the 21 Pulsare is the best Checkmate hull design and their best boat. I really like these. But, this is a tough one because I hate bowriders. Bowriders are terrible design for any boat, but especially a performance boat. Everything here is great, but you that one deal breaker. It's like you meet the girl of your dreams and you find out her Dad is in the FBI, or her ex boyfriend went missing never to be found, or she's an environmentalist; something horrific like that. Closed bow 21 Pulsares are awesome though.
I love these. There were a couple of them around where I grew up and always thought they looked so cool, and they are. These are classic looking California ski boats. Not speed demons, but you can run a 90 or 115 and have a ball. Definitely worth restoring.
Although it's impossible to tell if this is a real Formula from the pictures, and many boats didn't have HIN back then, in the end, it's a 50 year old piece of fiberglass. I love old Formulas, and the 233 they say is one of the most copied hulls of all time. I believe in 1971, this was called the 1700, a shortened 200, which was later the 1700 and 1900, both made off the 233 mold. But boat history of this era is a bit of guesswork, but a rule of thumb is, if it was made in the seventies and eighties, and it looks like another hull, it was probably copied.
I love old Fountains, and the early 27 might be the best looking version of the 27. The patriotic paint job on this one is amazing. I hate twin big blocks in a boat this size, but this is a very cool boat to me.
I'm not saying this is an amazing boat, but you literally can't buy a new 22 foot family boat that looks better than this. All the new 22 family boats have wakeboard towers, are bowriders, weigh 6,000 lbs and are lucky to go 46 MPH. And they all look the same, ugly.
I like to make fun of jet boats, but this would be a blast. I do love vintage boats, and this checks a lot of boxes in the vintage department. 1. Ugly color: check. 2. Ridiculously impractical: check. 3. Interior with multiple shades of brown: check. 4. Wife will file for divorce within 5 months after purchasing: check. Ya, I'd say it is a definite buy. Place diverters are awesome.
If you're looking for a small sport cat, this looks like an amazing opportunity. These early 25' Daytonas are very nice looking. The best part of this one is the fairly plain graphics, because the biggest problem with boats from this era is the horrific graphics and colors often seen back then. This era was peak circus colors, flames, and ridiculous patterns, but this looks tasteful enough. Great entry boat if you're new to sport cats. Still look amazing.
Like all Baja boats, there are mixed reviews on quality. Truly an entry level boat, but the styling of many is very attractive. The 24' Outlaw is unique in that it has a more squared off look, compared to the more curvy looking models they make. The good? Deep heavy 24 degree hull. The Bad? Lots of wood and low quality hardware. Heavy and slow. If you got it real cheap, might be kind of fun to do an outboard conversion on.
The Convincor series from Checkmate is attractive. They've been making them forever, so good deals can be had on used ones. A great mid level semi-offshore hull, deeper than other checkmate hulls. I like Checkmate hull designs past 1993 in general. This one has a single, maybe a little under-powered, but I'd keep it a single and just update the power when need be. Watch for stringers and floor issues, Checkmates are pretty good boats, great gel coat work, but are notorious for wood rot in key structural areas.
Why is this boat in here? Well, it's just to point out the styling of a fairly pedestrian 23' foot boat from the nineties. This looks way nicer than anything Rinker or any of its competitors is building right now. I think that says something about the industry.
The Mach 22 kind of put Dave's Custom Boats on the map, so to speak. A true low slung, wide tunnel, that still looks ahead of its time. More often seen in outboard or twin outboard configuration, this sterndrive example is a classic. I don't think you'd regret owning a DCB.
The ad says it's an old 18' foot Baker, but it's hard to tell. There were a few of these small V-hulls made around this time, and I'm no expert on the old California boats, just admired from far. I do love little outboard lake hot rods, I'd be cautious about rot and the old Johnson, but if you want a project, and a classic little river / lake cruiser after, go for it.
I really like Eliminators, a real staple of the West Coast boat scene. The Eagle 230 is a great size and great looking. I hate bowriders though. In California, they love bowriders. I hate having people in the bow, and the extra weight and other safety things about it. But in California, it's not a problem, because the area is so overpopulated, if you lose a few people out of the bow, you just pull into shore and pick up a few more, it's no big deal really. Plus, boating in California is more about just blasting music and passing out in the sun at the river bank.
I love these, they are a very good looking boat. If you find a good clean used one like this, it's a no brainer. Price out a new 25' sport boat, and it makes tons of sense to get into something like this. Great midsize lake boat.
This looks mint, I love it. You will love this boat, it's beautiful. I can't believe how good it looks, it's like when you see a 60 year old woman who looks amazing and you can't help but stare, looking for the wrinkles. Keep it out of the sun and she'll look good for a long time.
I absolutely love this. You could keep it as is, or just do an interior update and engine upgrade and boom, you're in business. Such a classic.
This boat is so impractical, it makes climbing Mount Everest in high heals seem like a good idea. But, it will be hard to have more fun on the water. A definite classic too.
Well, he says it's amazing, a one of a kind original. It might be. Even though the hull design on the Classics is really bad, they do look cool. Not sure how the Blackhawk performed on these but I'd probably rather have a Bravo. Could be a collector for some Donzi folks, not the worst price I've seen for one. Donzi owners are as greedy as Mafia hired money collectors.
Very cool classic boat. Watch for all the trappings of 30 year old boats. It would have to be pretty clean to be worth that much.
A long running model from Eliminator, they look really cool. Suited for rivers and lakes. Great looking boat. Goes good with normal power. Has the vintage 90s look with this one for sure.
Like a lot of boats from Checkmate, I've heard mixed reviews on these. Low and sleek, pretty fast, but I've heard they don't handle too much power well. And, sometimes handle poorly above 70 MPH. Sleek, but old school looking. Maybe a clean one for a really good deal would work. I wouldn't invest a lot into one though.
I don't want to give financial advice to anyone, but if you bought this boat it would be like giving a prostitute with a cocaine addiction access to your bank account. In fact I'm not sure which one would drain your bank faster, the prostitute or the boat, it would be interesting to see. Both the prostitute and the boat will have pros and cons, but in the end you'll be broke with nothing but amazing stories. So yes, buy it.
I absolutely love this boat. Perfect size for a single, easy to run, looks amazing still. This one looks clean and has a great color scheme already. Inspect carefully but this could be a great buy.
I'm not a fan of Wellcraft in general, but what a nice looking boat. The problem is this thing was built when boat quality was questionable at best and to give you an idea of how old this boat is, David Lee Roth left Van Halen 2 years before it was built. It will need everything.
This is awesome. It's old but it is a classic and looks timeless. Worth keeping, worth fixing, this is a winner.
You know what, I like this. When you think about all the junk Wellcraft has put out over the years, at least they tried some cool stuff. And, when you consider what a fucking embarrassment the new Scarab line of boats is, this thing looks kind of cool.
These are very rare, owners love them and are really fast hulls. I believe they are a 7'6 beam and came from the factory with Blackhawk drives. Owners are a tight group, so ask around about one before you buy. I kind of like the retro gelcoat.
Asking if this is worth restoring or putting any money into is kind of like asking Dolly Parton if all the surgery was worth it. I don't know. This could be one of the ugliest Scarabs ever made though.
Looks like someone put some work in converting this old Formula. Is it "super fast"? Maybe. Would it be better with a single? Probably.
Overkill? You bet. This thing looks tired. A well sorted 21 Shadow with a 300 is scary fast, so this is insane. Great looking boat though, one of our earliest restoration features was on a 21 Shadow and it was awesome. I would go back to a single though; because like booze and gambling, less is more.
As much as everyone thinks I hate Donzi's, I don't. And although the Minx is not a "Classic" technically, I really like them. And, because everyone knows the name, Donzi's tend to hold their value really well. Great restoration candidate, as they are fun to cruise around in and look great. The Minx is perfect for a small block, so it's not bad to re-power on a budget.
Speaking of Donzi resale, holy sh#t.
Cool classic 21 Liberator, they haven't changed much. This would be a great restoration boat. I actually love this original color scheme. I like this with a newer performance engine, it would fly and just sip fuel.
We did an article a while ago about converting an old sterndrive hull to an outboard. Well, the work here is done already, just find some overpriced used engines on Craigslist and you're in business. Not a bad looking boat, hulls are decent, lots of wood in them though, so be careful.
Sometimes I wish I lived out West, not for the high taxes, air pollution, overpopulation, traffic, diminishing waterways, dead end suburban sprawl, meth infested trailer parks, earthquakes, and high taxes, but because of the incredible number of performance boat manufacturers. You can find so many hidden gems in the classifieds in California, Arizona and even Nevada sometimes. Here is a great old Hallett.
Oh look, a decent Hydrostream Viper with a running engine with trailer for $3,500. I like these smaller streams, they don't need much power to move.
Nice Vector here, no engine but this is a classic Hydrostream. I really like this one. $5,500 seems reasonable compared to $50,000 for the Viking.
This is priced about right. Perfect family budget project to get on the water. Doesn't need much for power, a 90 HP or 115 HP and you're in good shape.
You know when you see your kids school classroom or visit a school and see the desks for kids, and think, how the hell does anyone fit behind those desks. That's kind of what we have here, although these mini tunnels can be cool for fun.
This is kind of a cool boat, you don't see these around often. I believe these hulls were similar to the Roark Summerford designed Mod VPs at the time. Similar to the LTV, but heavier. The red Johnson looks cool.
This is a great lake and river boat. Great build quality, fast hull and looks timeless. This one seems like a good deal. Closed bow is the only way to go, I personally hate bowriders for any performance boat, great colors too.
Bell bottoms, big hair and acid are all back in style, and so is this. Don't change a thing. Pure classic California outboard, nice vintage colors. keep it vintage, keep it nice, and don't drink and drive.
By the pictures, this Spectra looks beautiful. For small low slung boats, the 70s and 80s seemed to be the golden age of design. This thing looks so good. Just buy it and laugh hysterically every time you see one of those Yamaha or SeaDoo jet boats at the docks. Can you imagine dropping $36k on a Yamaha bathtub, then seeing this cruise by, ouch.
This was a very popular Hallett model, the company is now owned by Nordic, so it will be interesting to see the lineup in the years to come. Hallett made some amazing small boats over the years. The 210 is my favorite, and this 240 is really nice because it's a deep 24, can handle some power and still looks good. If you're reading this in the Mid West, or North East and you want something unique for the lake, this is a great choice. Popular in California but you rarely see these East of Arizona, which is a shame.
You know those guys you meet and all they talk about is their car, it's their whole life. It's usually a Porsche guy, and it's all he has going for him, he's sunburned, he has a massive watch he can barely lift. He's trying so hard that may have a hernia from trying to impress you. Similar guys buy Skaters, but it's worth it; like the 911, once you drive one you get it. Just don't be that guy.
A very classic looking Cat, priced much better than it's peers. Although most paint jobs from the 2000's would make Prince want to barf, this one isn't too bad, although I can see about 8 different colors so it's pushing it.
Although it looks pretty clean in the pictures, and I don't mind these old Checkmates. The Starliner is an open bow Starflite, they look cool but it's not the greatest hull. There is no way ever this boat is worth $15k, unless it had a brand new engine, this is really old though. Wood in the hull makes it an almost guarantee that it will have some rot. Plus, a newer Checkmate Pulsare is twice the boat and can be had for less money.
Although the Sleekcraft name is best known for low slung jets and outboards, like the Aristocrat, SST and Diplomat, the Southern California company made a line called Enforcer, from 23' to 28' I believe. These had deeper hulls and were known for their high quality gel work and performance. This one is pretty rare with twin outboards, making it a good candidate to easily re-power. Bruce Nescher was the founder, and made some amazing boats since the late 60s. Pretty classic boat here.
I am as big of a Cigarette fan as there is, but this thing is a piece of shit. Nothing wrong with an old Top Gun, well there's a few things. But, this one you can tell is a nightmare. The paint job is so bad, it even says "Doggie Style" on the back, with the Playboy bunny on the side. You know whoever is willing to drive a boat like this with that on the back is a real piece of work. Speaking of work, this will need a lot of it. If you're willing to strip this thing down and redo it entirely, it might be a good project for you.
Although used 22 Progressions are extremely sought after, be careful. To start, this one has, to me, a hideous color scheme. Second, do your homework. Progressions are made by hand in NY, with great care and quality, and used ones can be excellent investments, but some have been abused, crashed and raced, so be sure you know what you are getting into. That goes with any boat though.
I know we make fun of Baja quite a bit, but one thing I am never afraid to admit is that some Bajas have incredible styling. Everything else aside, this thing has great lines. For the right price, to me, it would be worth redoing. $15k isn't the right price but for a reasonable amount of work, it could be better than new and very good looking boat, just saying.
I have to admit, I have a soft spot for small performance boats, this one is borderline too small, but it looks pretty good. The price is insane. But, this could be a super fun little rig for the right price.
For a budget resto on a vintage hull, this is a pretty good start. They look pretty cool, have a decent hull and only need a 90 to 115 HP to have fun. Great family project boat. What's it worth? It will need everything, so keep that in mind, but the engine might be worth keeping if it checks out.
Another budget beater resto candidate. This one actually looks better than the Checkmate above, and I think these were solid glass, so you will only be replacing the transom, floor and stringers, no core to worry about. These old Bajas look cool.
These are very cool, tough to find a single engine outboard of any kind, never mind one that can crush waves like this one. Very unique boat and one you can feel good about restoring and keeping a long time.
The ad says "rare." I wonder why? There is rare, as in low volume, sought after, and then there is rare, nobody wanted one.
These are real classic Fountains, maybe my favorite consumer Fountain other than the 24' CS and the 29' Fever. Such good lines, goes great with these 377s I'm sure. Drives and handles great. I don't mind the outrageous colors on this, they don't scream drug dealer, maybe used car dealer who used to do a lot of drugs, now enjoys a couple Coors Lights at the local poker run. Great boat.
You could spend as much time on this bath tub sized piece of shit as a really cool boat that is twice as big, and all you would have at the end of the day is a bathtub size piece of shit. You'd be better off finding something a little bigger, 13' is about the minimum for small boats, to me, 15' to 18' is best.
I don't know why I like these old California style day cruiser boats but I do and this one is awesome. Classic and vintage, jets are fun and fairly simple mechanically, so if you want something to wrench on yourself and update as you go this is great. I would take the windscreen off and grow a really nice mustache to suit the boat.
This is one of the worst Checkmates, not a fan of the styling at all. For a boat of mediocre quality and this one being one of the worst of Checkmate designs, I find it insane that someone would think they could ask $23k for it. How on earth is this even worth $5k.
If a kevlar layup Velocity 22 isn't badass enough, the only thing you can do is put on a two Mercury Racing 2.5 260s. Every wimp with a single engine 22 outboard will cower in fear when you fire up the ungodly sound of twin 2.5s on your Velocity. This thing is why people even get into boats, it's why we have cameras and stories. This thing is legendary. Just buying it will give you the credibility reserved for superheroes, international jewel thieves and famous serial killers. I don't think you can handle it, just admire from afar.
I really love these hulls, based on the 21 Challenger. They are fast, good in rough water and the boat looks amazing after all these years. I am sure this one needs lots of work, but the gel / paint looks good in the pics anyway. It's up to you what it's worth but these are worth restoring. A new 21 sport boat like a Nordic, Tuff or a Sutphen might cost you $40K without power. Most of these boats, SOB type, were made in and around Long Island. Be warned, the owners are like those surfer guys who are territorial, like a gang, very dedicated group. You have to join the "gang" if you get one, have it setup the way they do and brag about how fast it is on all the forums that will accept you.
I know everyone talks about how bad Baja quality is but some of the 80s ones weren't too bad, they were a low cost boat. But, for a 30 year old boat, the design looks great. I go to boat shows all the time and nobody makes an 18 foot family boat that looks as good as this styling wise. If that's not a cool looking boat, I don't know what is. This could be a great family project. For much less than a new piece of junk Yamaha jet boat, or Bayliner, you could be flying this. I would.
Small wave crusher, cool looking boat. Not cool enough for that much money but worth fixing up! In fact, the Wave to Wave project boat is a 1990 22 Activator. Check it out on our home page or our YouTube channel.
What's good about this boat is that everyone will know you are into boats, but not showing off. It's a nice family performance boat with a great hull, good size for all around use. You won't look like that guy with the Fountain in the track suit, fake gold watch, who shakes your hand so it feels like a Boa Constricter swallowed it, and he won't let go for an awkwardly long time. These guys usually work at Mercedes dealerships, or if things aren't going as well, Buick dealerships.
As much as I hate bowriders, if you're looking for an affordable family boat that is way faster and built better than most other mainstream built boats, this is a good option. The 250 ProXS is a great engine, this should fly. The price is tough, it looks mint, but a 2011 is 7 years old, the engine is newer at 2014.
It has to be one of the worst looking boats I've ever seen. Whoever designed it should be outlawed from designing anything in the future. I think a class action lawsuit by everyone who has ever had to look at it should be started to prevent these kinds of mistakes in the future. $7,000 Haha.
Very classic looking boat, love the CV 16 hull. Could be a great project for a vintage sport boat.
I know it's not a performance boat by any stretch but it is really cool. If you want a vintage boat that should hold its value, this could be it. And you can use it for water sports without looking like a complete asshole in a $150k piece of shit glorified speaker holder.
God these old Donzi's are pricey, only because they keep selling new ones for exorbitant prices. This one has been for sale for a while, they look great, drive poorly but are pretty good wave crushers to run around in.
This is a $650 package. As much as I like the look of the Starflite, the hull design isn't great. This thing is really old, not in good shape and will for sure need tons of work. Not sure where some are getting their pricing. If you get it for the right price, not a bad vintage sport boat. You can find 21 Pulsares though for a little more and they are better in every way.
Look how much fun these guys are having, that's all that matters. You can join the Donzi club, go on rallies, join forums, meetups and exchange parts and tips from fellow Donzi Classic enthusiasts. Who cares if the hull design sucks, who cares if it handles like shit, it's fun. It's like an old hard-tail motorcycle, if you're drunk enough it's so much fun.
This looks great, a small 27 Fountain, looks super clean. Fountain is back in business, get this thing before it becomes a collector.
A classic hull, not as nice as the Progression 22 in my opinion, but this is a different animal. If you want a compact wave crusher, this is your boat. Plus, it's really rare, you won't see many others like this.
I have to admit, even though I'm not the biggest Wellcraft Scarab fan, this is a good looking old boat. The trick is to not put any money into it. Don't restore it. Drive the shit out of it and just make sure you always have an small inflatable beside you and a life preserver on at all times. One day the hull will totally de-laminate or it will just get a gas vapor explosion and just blow up. Not to worry, just grab your inflatable and preserver, your favorite beer koozie and swim it in. Think about the great times you had with it and don't look back; that's if you survive.
This picture is unbelievable, this is how you drive an old Superboat, throttle down and hit the waves as hard as you can. I bet this guy drinks a lot.
There is nothing good that can come from buying this boat. The engines weren't great in 1989, the boat is probably rotten and doesn't look good. If I had to compare it to a car, it would be a 1980s Gen 3 Firebird that you find in someones's yard that hasn't run in over a decade. The only value would be if there was a dead body inside that helped solve a murder case.
Campion boats has been around for a long time, made in western Canada, hence the 910 which is the metric measurement for the boat. Quality is very middle of the road and I think these are a splash of a Velocity but not 100% sure. I've seen a few in person and was not impressed with the rigging and fit and finish. But if you got it for a smoking deal, could be a decent hull.
Awesome boat, great size for anyone. Great build quality, legendary boat. Just buy it.
If it's a real Apache Scout, I love the hull but this particular one is a mess. It would be like finding a woman on the street that used to be supermodel, got addicted to drugs, lost everything and was living on the street for 10 years. You could take her in, nurse her back to health and help her get back on her feet and you could potentially be dating a "supermodel" but it wouldnt' be easy.
If you want one of the most unique hulls in a modern boat, this is the one. Art Carlson, for a long time, played with this type of hull design. This is similar to his CPS 20 hull design, in that it uses a V hull, and sponsons on the outside, which are different than a Mod VP design. From testing accounts, the hull runs flat, so it's not super fast but according to some can handle big power and then can really run. Drive it first, to see if you like it, the handling is really crisp apparently. Definitely a head turner.
Built really solid, this one looks like it's been run hard but that's what they are for. I think it would be great to run with a stock engine and finish it off for a more family style boat. Love this color scheme too, super clean looking.
This is a classic Hallett, maybe one of the most renowned. Runs bigger than a 24, nice deep hull, super versatile. Beautiful boat.
Very rare, an offspring of a hull designed by Bob Leach's son and it's been built under different brands. Some boats from the 90s look so dated and the color schemes are so outrageous it makes you look like a junkie art collector from Eastern Europe. This is not the case here, very cool boat.
Classy, big, practical and timeless. This is a real show piece here, for that price it will be hard to do much better. If you have no friends and have no social skills, you could buy this and have 6 new friends every weekend, even if you're a total weirdo.
The pinnacle of sportboats here. You won't regret buying this, you'll regret selling it. Color is awesome too. One of the faster hulls out there.
I absolutely love this boat. Smaller V hulls like this are some of the most fun boats to drive, super practical and are efficient, so you don't waste $5k on gas every weekend on your "sport deck boat." Baker made some unique boats over the years, this one looks really cool with the blue blended gelcoat, just buy.
There is something I really like about the 27 Fountain, it is a smaller 27 because Reggie Fountain's boats always have at least a 4 foot beak at the front, so this is a smaller boat comparably. But, it goes nice with a stock big block, has the classic Fountain look of it's bigger brothers and the used ones are reasonable. Looks like a nice package here.
This is a serious race boat here, and a very well regarded hull. Built by Phantom, which is owned by Will Smith, who was an avid racer, not the movie star. These things look and are built "all business" so know that you're getting a hull built for racing. I believe Will Smith still builds these in Sarasota Florida. Very cool boat.
These are great boats, very forgiving easy to drive hull. They are fast too. Not for big water necessarily but it's a great 25 foot sportboat, one of the nicest in my opinion. This one looks clean and has a nice color scheme. Some of the older California boats have color schemes that look like Jimi Hendrix did it high on acid. Good value here.
As much as I love the look of these older Formulas, it's a tough sell because the next generation 271 Fastech is faster, more modern looking and runs nice with a single. I hate twins in smaller boats, too much weight.
Classic Formula, a big 24 and a decent wave crusher. I think it's too small for twins personally. Really tough to value these old boats, but at the right price I would be tempted to convert this to an outboard. They look great and it's the generation before Formula's became popular with guys who golf and let their wives buy their clothes.
We see lots of these on the market, which is a good thing. I think although many criticize some Wellcrafts, there is good value here. This is a very good looking boat, the hull is pretty good. The 22 closely resembles the Scarab 23 SCS in looks, which is built by Scarab, not Wellcraft. The 2 boats are totally different, but both are real head turners. They are priced very well, considering what people ask for similar boats that are about the same quality. The Wellcraft 22 had a neat interior, it's a pretty small boat but I think they look great and are a good family performance boat.
Cobalt Condure 30, or Carrera 30, this is an old boat. Very cool, love old offshore boats in this size range. This was a time when boat design was challenged with sleek narrow hulls, built to crush waves. But the past is past and sometimes better left there. On the other hand, this could be a cool outboard conversion.
This is truly a legendary boat, the hull is designed by Jean-Claude Simon who was a successful racer and owned the Cary Boat Company. Chris Craft was floundering in the 70s and was turned around by Dick Genth in 1978. Dick was not only a real boat guy but an incredible business guy, who had previously run Thunderbird / Formula and Wellcraft to profitability. Dick did the same to Chris Craft, changed their lineup, build process and introduced the Stinger line in the 80s. This might be the best Stinger and looks similar to the famous Stinger 390X seen in Miami Vice. Buy it and keep it forever.
Beautiful looking boat. We've seen many of these 90s Baja's, the hey day of Baja design, usually poor quality. Such a cool looking boat though. You have to get it for next to nothing.
I know I have been critical of jets, but this is a cool boat. It looks amazing. I would try and keep it the stock color. One advantage jets have is you can hook up tons of power and not worry about gears or anything, cheap to rebuild. Very cool old boat. Was going to try and rip on it and say something ridiculous but I just couldn't.
This is a very cool looking boat, we even had an article about the Art Carlson designed Glastrons. This one will be a mega project, you will never see your kids, you will get married twice and loose about $3,000 worth of tools in the process. That maiden voyage though will be epic. Don't do it.
Well, if you're keen on an old CVX, and the one above is too much of a project for you. This one seems like a safer bet. These things still look amazing.
This boat is a disaster. These old flat bottom V drives are for show, it isn't good at anything. You can't take passengers, it's not that fast, handles like crap, porpoises at low speeds and this one needs about 25,000 hours of labor to get it on the water. If you're lucky, you'll get it running pretty fast, get pushed sideways in a wave, flip it and not get killed. That's the best case scenario. The price is insane too, he should be paying you to take it away.
This is actually a pretty good boat. I believe this is the ZT 240 and like some of the Checkmate Convincors, it has a 24 degree hull. They should be able to handle some chop and not need tons of power to go pretty good. Check the floor and stringers, but in general, it's a pretty good looking boat that can do family duty too.
These look awful, it's about 50 years old and was probably about $4k new. How on this stupid planet is this worth more than a midsize 10 year old German luxury car? How? If you own this boat, just give it to your nephew or take it to a graveyard already.
Here's a problem with used boats. Checkmate has made tons of boats and many different models, some good, some bad. Some are sort of sought after, and even the sought after Checkmates are only that because they look good and have decent hull designs, build quality is decent on some. Any boat this old has to be a sought after model to be worth anything. A clean Starflite of this vintage is much more desirable than this old Diplomat and the old Starflites are worth about $500 to $1500 without power. The Diplomat is not a good looking boat, it's not that fast and it is not worth anything more than the hardware that comes with it, ie. the trailer, engine etc. People wonder why their boats sit for sale for so long, it's because you are asking too much, good boats sell very quickly. This boat is worth $500 to $1,000.
I know how tempting it is when you see an old offshore boat, especially from a big name like Cigarette, and it is priced less than a new Camry. But don't fall for it. This one, no engine, is over 30 years old. Apparently only 300 hours on the hull, since when do hulls have hour meters? Let's do some quick math: 32 years = 11,680 days, 300 hours divided by 11,680 days = 0.025 of an hour a day or in other terms, 9 hours per year. Makes you wonder what happened to those low hour engines? The cost to restore and repower this, well, you might want to look at Top Gun's that are only 5 to 10 years old. If you're dating a girl who has been divorced, been to rehab and lived in more than 4 cities, and she tells you she's only slept with 12 guys in her life. Feel free to multiply that by 10, if she's from Florida, feel free to multiply by 100. Nothing wrong with that, but know you'll have your work cut out for you.
I don't know much about Renegade but it could be the same company from Miami that makes center consoles now. Really interesting looking boat and I love outboards, so much easier to work on and replace on a boat like this. Plus, you can't beat the performance and efficiency. This could be a very cool boat, but like everything in Florida, inspect carefully.
An old school Sutphen 20, great boat. This one looks good, but I think it's a tad overpowered. Call me old fashioned but these were meant run really well with small blocks back in the day and they do. This is just overpowered. I'd be tempted to de-rig this and repower with a 350 to 400 HP, MerCruiser, turn key package. That way you can get rid of the hood scoop and the drive. Trust me, if you run this thing as is full throttle, wear a diaper.
Again, very tempting here. A Cigarette for the price of a Civic with a flood title or is the price a typo and it is 120K? Probably a typo. Although the old Top Guns are decent hulls, albeit pretty heavy, this might be a full resto. That said, I love the paint scheme, not the eagle in the bow, but overall, at least it doesn't have some 90s or 2000s poker run barf paint job. Other good news about re-powering these old boats is newer turn key engines with warranty are making more power than custom high end built engines from 25 years ago.
This is actually one of my favorite Formulas. It won't be the fastest 30 out there, nor is it the best deal around. But, they look classy and they are way more family friendly with a full windshield, spacious interior. This is great for the guy who still wants a go fast boat, lives near some big water, still doesn't have life insurance but has a family. Clean graphics, timeless design. These things new are pricey so this isn't a bad deal.
I didn't know Active Thunder made a small cat, but holy crap is that an awful paint job.