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.
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.
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.