Classified Classics

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 just good deals. We also like to call out ripoffs, so beware. The classified section can be both entertaining and informative. 

Monday December 18, 2017

28 Nordic Heat

I really like Nordics, good fast hull designs. Styling is really sharp. But, I hate bowriders and the color scheme makes it hard to look at. The West coast builders do amazing gel work but they also go a little overboard sometimes and get way too many colors going, like lowrider scene meets poker run. Horrible combination. 

38 SeaHawk

I don't know anything about SeaHawk other than they were around during the 80s heydays of Miami offshore drug running... um, I mean boat building. This one looks rough. Hopefully it has some cocaine stowed away somewhere under the front, so you can get some value out of it. 

Donzi Black Widow

Not a fan of these. There are so many options in this size range, this just doesn't make the short list. 

21 Cigarette

Very rare and very cool boat. Worth buying and keeping, the price comes down to how bad you want it. The Cigarette name always gets a premium price. This is an accessible Cigarette hull and could be a fun project. Not a fan of the OMC V8s. Love this. 

Baja 272

I know I make jokes about Baja quality, although I think some of their designs are great. This one is a great looking family boat. For the money, they are hard to beat, that's why they sold so many. If you can get this for the right price, it can be a fun, fairly fast family boat that can offer value for many years. 

Tuesday December 12, 2017

Obsession Vortex Catamaran

Sometimes when you reach middle age, you have to reinvent yourself. You end up in a rut, you're wardrobe is tired, your job is boring the hell out of you. The solution? A makeover, but none of this Oprah Winfrey stuff. We need an old Catamaran that's easy to get into price wise, older so you don't look like you're showing off all the time. This boat checks all those boxes. Buy this boat and say hello to the new you. You'll need some new shoes and pants too.

Stingray 220

The only thing that is a bigger mess than this boat is probably the guy that owns it. If you're wondering why your wife left you after 3 years, just look at your boat. It wasn't because every football Sunday you would pass out on the floor in a pool of Budweiser and Doritos, she just told you that to not hurt your feelings. 

Xstream 21 cat

The Xtreme / Trick 21 tunnels are 21 Skater copies. They can be pretty good. The yellow is cool but I think it needs some black accents instead of purple. If you're just getting into tunnels, could be a great option. Lots of guys get into tunnels and never look back, lots of guys get into crack cocaine and never look back either, so just go in knowing that. 

24 Pantera

Looks like a decent project here. Love the 24' Pantera, such a classic boat. This is a great step up from a Donzi Classic or other small deep V. Don't underestimate the amount of work this will need though. This isn't a makeover, this is full surgery.

Spectre 30 tunnel

Serious boat here. Love the look of the Spectres. This is a true tunnel, stepped hull and really fast. I love outboard tunnels in this size. Simple to re-power. This one has nice clean graphics, could be a great buy. Great size for all types of water too. When you see the price of new cats in this size range, this looks pretty reasonable. 

Friday December 8, 2017

Sidewinder sterndrive

Keeping with this week's beater restoration theme, this Sidewinder / Cobra is very cool. One reason is the sterndrive version is rare, these hulls are good. Because there are so many MerCruisers out there, you can power this pretty cheap and have a really neat boat. 

Baja 170

I have to say, I love the lines of this old Baja. The Bajas of the 80s were of mixed quality but some weren't bad. Count on it being totally rotten, as per our resto article. But, if you acquired it for next to nothing, I think in the end you would have a really nice boat that is a good size. Power it with a newer 115, or maybe a lighter V6, like the 135 Etec HO, and it would run really well. 

Baja 18 sport

Another Baja Sport. Again, drop the engine, trailer is worth $250? You do the math. If it was restored half decent, you can look good without spending a fortune. And it's safer than plastic surgery. 

Glastron CSS

Another rare Glastron CSS 19, there was one earlier in the week for twice the money. It's so weird, I'm not sure what to think about it. But if you are into comic books, enjoy the Fast and the Furious movies, then this could be your boat. 

Baja Sun Sport

This boat looks like a disaster. You can tell just from the pictures. I'm not even sure this one is worth fixing. Baja made thousands of boats in their hey day and the Sun Sports were popular. Price out the trailer, and go from there. Boat is worth about $50. 

Checkmate Starfire

Neat looking little boat. Checkmates in the early days were built well, but after almost 40 years, everything will be rotten. Would be a fun little project though. It's worth maybe $200 or $300 bucks, scrap the engine. 

Hydrostream V-King

Very good Hydrostream model, nice size. This will need everything. But, a great project and because Streams are light and fast, you can start with a modest engine. You'll see guys running hopped up 2.5s or big Yamahas, but those guys are related to the guys who ride sport bikes in surf shorts and flip flops doing wheelies on the highway. You can run a modern 115 to 150 HP and it will really perform well. 

Monday December 4, 2017

Carlson CSS 19

Clearly this is an amazing design, belying its age. Impossible to put a price on, if you love vintage boats and futuristic design, it's priceless. Art Carlson was a genius. 

offshore boat

Hey everyone, who wants to pay $2,700 to help this guy clean up his backyard? Anyone? He'll even let you pick up all the parts by yourself so you don't feel like a charity case. For a small fee, he'll even let you use that wheelbarrow. Come on guys, help this guy out and take his stuff to the dump for him. 

Donzi 18 Classic

Finally a Donzi ad that is somewhat realistic. No mention of how it is like the "Ferrari" of boats, or how it is so rare. It's just an old Donzi with a decent trailer that isn't insanely overpriced. 

Baja 226 Sport

It's so easy to make fun of Baja because of the poor quality of many of their boats but the designs they had in the 80s and 90s were epic. This boat looks good, no question. It's going to be rotten and need tons of work but because it looks so good it's tempting. Price out a 1988 Mustang that isn't clean and compare that to what this guy is asking, just for fun. Get it for the right price and you could do a budget resto and have a great boat. 

duck boat

This is not a boat we would normally put in, it is not a performance boat of any kind. But, $5,500??? For the love of all things, how much crack do you have to smoke to think this would be worth even $1k. I hope this person gets the help they need and their family intervenes because obviously they smoking too much crack or something. 

Monday November 27, 2017

Wellcraft Scarab 28

In a world where guys are asking about the same money for small outboard boats built in the 80s and 90s, this looks reasonable. I am sure there will be lots of rotten wood in there but it is only slightly more work to restore a 28 than a 22 foot boat and you get more boat in the end. Nice color scheme too. 

Donzi 28 ZX

Donzi never really got the styling right on the smaller ZX boats. Too much freeboard, ugly graphics, not great hull designs. It will be a pig with twins too. Perfect boat if you have the personality of a dead squirrel and really want attention. 

Screenshot 2017-11-27 at 9.46.13 AM.png

It's listed at $1.00, finally someone got the pricing right. In actual fact, this could be a simple restoration on a budget and you can upgrade to a newer 70 to 90HP motor and be on your way in a cool looking boat that will be really efficient. Probably needs floor and transom, get some seats from a marine supply store and you're in business. Great family project boat. 

Four Winns Liberator

Do you know why people line up for blocks to buy the latest iPhone or latest computer? Because they want to buy one, it's hot item. This old Four Winns isn't. I wouldn't trade a new iPhone for this but I have to say the styling is very cool. It looks retro without looking dated, probably not a bad hull either. What's it worth? Same as the latest iPhone, around $1,000. 

Chris Craft XK 18

This is so cool. Even the story about buying from a collection is cool. This will be the best $18k you will ever spend. Everything about this boat is awesome and reminds of what life is really all about; which is that life is about nothing, it is meaningless. So just get out on the water and enjoy your time while you're still alive. Pretty soon you will be debilitated by a disease, bed ridden, or killed in a car accident and when you're laying there pissing yourself in a hospital bed you'll think about the times you had in this boat and it will be the only thing that will make you smile; other than the morphine you'll get when you press that little button.  

Wednesday November 22, 2017

Scarab 33

When the ad title has "Miami Vice" in it, you really have to ask yourself is this someone I want to deal with? And for the record, I love that show but this boat has basically nothing to do with the show. The description actually makes you not want to buy the boat and so does the price. 

Monday November 13, 2017

Velocity 29

Not my favorite Velocity, looks dated and kind of ugly. Not a bad setup though. These prices are crazy. A good tip for sellers is if your boat doesn't sell in a few weeks, you're asking too much. 

Donzi 220

I used to hate these boats, the proportions are all wrong. High freeboard, a bit beamy and the hull is not great. I do like how the guy claims it is the "Ferrari" of boats. I'd rather have the passenger door off any Ferrari than this piece of junk. You know what, I still hate these things. For $8k though could be decent. 

Wellcraft Scarab 22

We've had a few of these, not terrible boats, quality is marginal, design is cool. Has to be under $10k though. 

Cigarette 28 ss

I would go over to look at it, have the guy hook it up to his truck, you lay down on the driveway and have him drive over you slowly. Then have him back over you again. That will be less painful than owning this boat. 

Velocity 22 Steve Stepp

This is a classic hull, it has a fairly deep V-hull with Velocity's signature pad bottom. The 22 Velocity is a performer and this one is worth looking at, as it looks sharp. This is probably too much power for most people, any 22 hull can get difficult to contain with that much power and speed. The hood scoop, although probably necessary here, still remind me of guys who wear way too much jewelery. 

Progression 24

This is a beautiful boat with a tried and true hull design. The hull is actually very sophisticated with a progressive deadrise, to 24 degrees, and built for running in big water. You don't need to run crazy power to enjoy this boat either, any 250 HP would do well, a 300 HP is awesome. Great single engine option that can run with the bigger boats economically. 

Donzi 26 ZX

This was in Classified Classics a couple months ago and I am surprised it has not sold. These are really good all around boats, a great size for families. These were good value compared to some other options at the time, now it is a bargain in the $30k range. Inspect carefully but could be a good buy. 

Checkmate 21 Pulsare

Great hull design. Not the greatest quality in this era of Checkmate, they used wood construction that wasn't often sealed that well. Replacing the transom, stringers and floor is not the end of the world but just be sure you are ready for that and you get it for the right price. 

62 offshore custom.

Great starter boat, don't hesitate to buy site unseen. 

Monday October 30, 2017

Activator 27

There is a lot to like about this old school mini offshore boat. As the ad claims, it looks mint. But at 27 years old, you'll want to go through it pretty thoroughly at that price. It's like an aging supermodel, she still looks good but the question is how many years are left?

Chris Craft Stinger

Even though this is not the same model used in Miami Vice, it would be cool to paint it the same, just tell people it is. Then see if you can get the kit to convert the old C3 Vette to a Ferrari Daytona and wear old school suits everywhere. Hopefully you have good hair or this won't work. Now just start being the creepiest loser nobody wants to hangout with. That would be fun. 

Carrera Elan

You ever run into that person that looked great in college, they were pretty cool and everyone liked them. Then you run into them 30 years later and they look horrible and they're kind of an idiot and you can't remember why anyone liked them at all. I think that's what we have here. 

Checkmate Starflite

I don't mind Starflites but they are really looking dated, some can pull it off. But they are so old and will certainly need work. You are almost better off going with the $500 dollar ones you see with a trailer because it's about the same amount of work to get them restored at that point. These engines from the 80s are worth nothing, you won't be able to give it away. This is a $500 to $1,000 boat to me. 

Baker 18

Very cool boat, I love vintage outboard ski boats. I believe this is a Mod VP hull, who knows what condition it is in but for sure worth restoring. You can't really get boats like this anymore. Probably runs great with any 150 HP. If the boat is mint, it's worth $3 or $4K, engine is worth $50 bucks. 

Friday October 27, 2017

Formula 242.png

This is a boat I like. It seems bigger than 24 in person and they look beautiful. I believe these were painted with Imron, so you may be able to buff the color back a bit. 1990 is old though, so beware that these had wood construction, although Formula built these like tanks. And, the Achilles heel of this one is the engine and drive, which ends up being a huge part of the value of an old used boat. By the time you look at re-powering, an updated drive, some restoration work and you'd really have to love it.

Checkmate 2000 BRX

This is not a bad little boat. Biggest negative for me is it is a bowrider and the 21 Pulsare is better all around. Plus, Checkmates are generally affordable performance boats, good hull designs, balsa cored, all graphics in gel, decent rigging and quality is middle of the road. I say that because they use wood transoms and their finishing glass work is not top notch. But the price is usually right. For the dollar, it's hard to beat some of their models, the 2000 BRX is the entry level model for Checkmate. I know similar vintage 21 Pulsares are about in the low $20s.  

Scarab 30 Type S

If it was 1983 and you were in the market for this, life was good. You were young, business was good and Van Halen was in their prime. You weren't a full blown alcoholic yet, did okay with the ladies and so this boat made sense. Flash forward to today and if you're in the market for an 83 Scarab, you are reading the ad on a borrowed computer, you are an alcoholic, time is taking its toll on your body, nothing seems to be working: just like this boat. 

Nordic 29 deckboat

I wanted to check in on some boat ads on west coast, just to see how are sun drenched hippy friends are doing, turns out they price their boats the same, purely based on sentimental value. This Nordic is maybe priced right, I have no idea. I love Nordics actually, the 25 is beautiful. But, this is a commentary on our west coast comrades and their taste. These guys actually buy these deck boats. It's hilarious. They resemble boats, in that they float, but they are basically a contest to see how much fiberglass you can waste, then power it with the most outrageous powertrain possible. It's a floating dock, powered like a factory class race boat, for fat guys to pass out on after drinking too many Bud Lights. 

Wellcraft Scarab 21

Well you know what, this thing looks good. Better than many new boats out there. Knowing Wellcraft it is built with all the cheapest materials and assembled by a kid who wasn't sure what he was doing but you know what? They sure got the styling right. That was 90% of Scarab's secret, both the real Smith Scarabs and the Wellcraft ones. When doing a restoration, always make sure your work is justified in some way, you love it, it's valuable or at the very least it will look really nice after. Try and hit 2 of those marks. This one hits 1.5. One bonus is this color is cool, even if it's faded, just bring it back, don't repaint it, saving you loads of money. 

Tuesday October 24, 2017

Concord boat

Oh look, a pile of garbage boat from the 80s. Maybe it would be fun to have for a couple summers. What's he asking? $6,500. Oh that's nice, or maybe I'll just go to Costco, buy a raft for $100 and spend $6,400 on booze and beer and just pass out with my friends on the raft every weekend for the next 27 years. Just give someone the engine and take it to the landfill already. 

Baja Hammer.png

Everyone's favorite "entry" level sport boat. Baja did well, they sold many boats because they were cheap. These were about $19k brand new so it stands to reason 17 years later it would be worth the same, right? Entry level is code for plywood that wasn't sealed and shitty fiberglass work. Actually, for the right price, it's an okay boat. 

Checkmate Playmate.png

A survivor of the bathtub jet boat era from the 90s. Everyone made on in the 90s, this one actually looks like a boat and not an oversize jet-ski. Actually could be fun, at least Checkmate knows how to make a reasonably fast hull. For $3k, could be a blast for a couple summers. But, it would be smarter to use that money for school or therapy and make yourself a better person. 

Mirage Ski Racer

Now this is a performance boat. The color actually looks cool on this. Any light V6 will make this fly, great buy, classic performance tunnel. 

Thursday October 19, 2017

Powerquest Laser

Great all around family boat. Is it worth $15k? Maybe. 

21 Shadow

Could the ad be any more vague? No year, no year on the motor? Is he trying to sell it or just show us bad pictures. I like these hulls, one of the best 21s out there but I'm gonna bet this one is rough. Everything in Miami is rough, even the nice things. 

Donzi Sweet 16

Well, these are fun little boats, perfect engine for it. But, Donzi owner are among the greediest bunch of dirtbags you'll ever meet. They make jewelers look like missionaries. Feel free to lowball these jerks. They think their boats are Mercedes, which ironically a 97 S class Mercedes is far less than this. 

Donzi 18 2+3

Oh look, another greedy Donzi owner. Looks like it needs a full restoration, or just drive it into the ground for the next few years. And what's this numbers matching business? This isn't a 1957 Ferrari 250 here, this is a beater old Donzi. And what the f$%^ is a "reissue" like this guy decides which is real and which isn't. Guess what, Don Aronow only owned Donzi for a year, they have changed hands many times, it's just a beater old boat. 

Scarab 26

Might be worth looking at if you like middle of the road boats that are over twenty years old. 

Chris Craft Stinger

Depending on how much you value your time, this will cost you anywhere from $50 to $100K to restore. If he's not paying you to take it away and you aren't really handy, don't even look at it. 

Checkmate Starflite

How in the world is this boat worth $7500? The engine is worth $500 if it runs perfect. The boat is 30 years old. I like Starflites too but I've seen 2 or 3 under $1000, which is about right. 

Monday October 16, 2017

Fountain 29 Fever

I love these older Fountain Fevers, the 29 is one of the best, the 27 is cool but the 29 is a better hull overall. What I like, this one is a single engine 29, which I prefer over twins, lighter, handles better. This one looks mint. Will never go out of style. Is it s deal? When you see what guy ask for much smaller boats that are junk, this is pretty good. Buy. 

K&K Ghost

K&K Ghost, a small family company from NY that raced boats going way back. These were renowned boats in the 80s raced up until the 90s. Classic design. I believe they made a 24, 27 and 31? But I'm not 100% on that. It definitely looks great, if restored nicely, could be a good deal. 

28 Pantera

I like single engines in this size range. Love Panteras, love the 28. These are bullet proof, could be a good deal here.  

Apache Brave 28

Wow. If you can afford it just buy it. You can buy cheaper boats, you can even buy a new SL 500 Mercedes like every other old guy, you can get hair transplants, facelift, years of therapy and endless drunken rampages but this will add 20 years to your life and make you look way cooler. Built like a brick house. 

Skater 21

This is a great way to get into tunnels, great boat, Skaters are awesome. You can mess around with other boats, waste your time and money, or just buy this out of the gate and go straight to being awesome. Seriously, what are you waiting for, it's a Skater. 

Sutphen Ocean Pacer 30

This is a cool and classic offshore boat. Looks mint. I love the Sutphens, true offshore racing hulls not a poser boat at all. This will run nice in any water, if you want the real deal, this is it. No gold chains and fake Rolex's required. 

Gentry Scarab 46 race boat

Not sure the status of this boat but I believe it is a Larry Smith Scarab 46. Legendary boat obviously. 

Larson Senza

This is an ugly POS. If it was free, I would say okay. But $12k. Just think of all the fun things you could do with $12k. The sooner this gets to a landfill, the better off we will all be. And why in the hell would you put an all carbon fiber interior in, not that I believe it is. That's like wrapping your dead dog in a super expensive cashmere sweater before you burry it. 

Chris Craft Scorpion

Chris Craft made some cool boats at some points in their existence. It says he's taking offers, and I would wait and see how much he will pay you take this pile of shit away. If you plan on restoring it, halfway through, you'll wish a cougar jumped out of the woods where the boat is and mauled you to death. Way more pleasant experience. 

Thursday October 12, 2017

Fountain 27 Fever

This picture is so blurry when I look at it I feel like I just came out of a coma after 7 years. Really, how is it even possible to take such a bad picture, did he use a the first camera ever invented shot through the bottom of a beer bottle? Nice boat though. It's worth that much and when you compare to what other people are asking for smaller boats that are not in this caliber. Engine is bullet proof, beautiful graphics (I think, I can barely see with the picture being so blurry.), no brainer buy. 

22 Wellcraft Scarab

What I like about this boat is the design. It looks really sharp, especially in comparison to what you can buy new these days. Wellcraft quality is suspect but everything in the 90s was suspect, so for the right price and if you're doing some work anyway, you can make it better than new. This hull is actually pretty fast, not a rough water king but not bad either. I've seen them as low as $5k, so if you got it at the right price, this could be a sleeper boat. First order of business is removing the horn mounted on the side. The Scarab name still has some cache, so resale should be easy. 

Checkmate Pulsare 21

Let's start with the bad. Checkmate quality in the 90s wasn't the best. This one has bottom paint, which is expensive to remove and the color scheme is not my favorite. That engine is a pig. And the floor is carpeted not a liner with snap in carpet, so not ideal for saltwater. Now the good. The 21 Pulsare hull design is great, the boat is practical, is fast with modest power and has a roomy interior. I can guarantee the boat will need some work and you probably want to re-power, for the right price, I would recommend these all day. 

Donzi 18 Classic

Nice little Donzi 18. Might be the best all around Donzi Classic. Great engine, the Alpha drive is a compromise but okay with a 350 Mag. You can find 2017s for in the high $50k range, which is pricey for what you are getting. Donzi quality has been decent to pretty good over the years, they were owned by several different companies, the 2000s were pretty good build quality, built by AMH, but this ad talks about quite a bit of work the boat needed. Tough to price. You could buy that 22 Scarab above for about $7k and do a full refresh on it for about $3 to $5k and be way ahead in terms of performance. The Donzi's are fun but limited, straight line wave crusher but everything else it's not that great at. Plus, you assume all of the negative stereotypes that Donzi owners have, which are well deserved. 

21 Superboat sterndrive

This is ultra rare. One of the most regarded hulls, based on the Challenger 21, Superboat continued building them at a decent quality level. This one looks like it is not in need of anything, although any boat this old you want to look at closely, still, even if it did need work you won't find another like this. Should be incredibly fast the way it is setup and the sterndrive is what makes it so rare and unique. Very difficult to price, it depends on how bad you want it. This will blow the doors off a Donzi 22 Classic, if you're in the market for one of those. Way cooler too. 

Scarab 21

These look very vintage and very cool. But, this thing is really old, it will need everything. I can almost guarantee the floor and stringers are rotten. But, as usual, not a bad project boat. It's worth $1,000. 

Monday October 9, 2017

Superboat 24

You've been waiting for a boat like this but you have so much on your plate; you want to renovate the kitchen, the kids need back to school stuff, the IRS wants some of the money you owe them. Drop it all and buy this boat and you will get so much more back in personal enjoyment. The IRS can wait, the kitchen still works and kids are raised by the internet these days.

Formula 232 BR

I hate bowriders. This is a poser boat, but if you're looking at this or a Sea Ray or a Chaparral, at least it's a Formula. 

Donzi Hornet

This boat is great for those old boat parades or meet ups. Everyone and I mean every idiot will want to ask you about this boat. So if you like attention and you have the self esteem of a dead squirrel this will be the perfect boat for you. Keep in mind this boat is probably completely rotten so it will need everything and the hull has bottom paint, so that will have to removed. When an ad says TLC, that means it's completely shot and needs to be rebuilt or replaced. 

Checkmate Sportfire

Not the ugliest Checkmate and not the best looking either. This looks mint though and black boats are automatically 25% cooler. 

Velocity Steve Stepp 260

These are cool boats and the 260 is maybe the best consumer version of the Steve Stepp designs. Great size. Buy it and keep it forever. No matter how much work it needs just keep putting money into it and then hand it down to your kids. Hopefully you only have one kid that wants it because if there is more than one it could tear your whole family apart and make you wish you never bought the boat in the fist place. I am still recommending buying it though. 

Monday October 2, 2017

28 Skater

An Iconic 28 Skater, these are tried and true, twin 300 XSs are perfect for it. I'm not sure why you would let a 7 year old pick the color scheme but if you can live with that paint job, go for it. 

Fountian 29

Seriously old school Fountain here. This is a full scale project. If you don't already own several Fountain T-shirts and a couple Fountain jackets, are really good with fiberglass and general mechanical ability, this boat is not for you. 


Baja's in the 90s were some of the best looking boats, not the best built, not the fastest but they made a lot of boats that looked great. This Sport 270 is beautiful. It's impossible to price, it looks really clean but it's 26 years old. Think of how damaged the average 26 year old Stripper is as a person yet how good she might look. This Baja is exactly the same. 

Fountain 29

We actually had this boat on here over a month ago and guess what? It's still for sale. I love the color, looks all original, which is good. Problem is the twin big blocks make it expensive to run and it's old. This one is like dating a middle aged, fake blond who is an alcoholic. When things are going good, they are going really good, when things are going bad, you wish you never met them. 

Donzi Medallion jet

In the 90s there was a huge fad of mini jet boats. Almost every manufacturer made them, from Sea Ray and Bayliner to Boston Whaler, Baja and Donzi. It was very strange. They were horrible little bath tubs with PWC type powertrains, ie. little 2 strokes with small jet pumps. Whenever someone is going on about how great Donzi's are you can always remind them about Regazzas, Z series and these POS. 

Checkmate Senator

The only thing I like about this boat is the name, Senator. Everyone knows I don't love Checkmates but recognize they have some good hulls, and at the very least, many are bully balsa cored and look pretty good. This is probably the worst looking Checkmate. If you saw our "Used Boat" article recently, look at the price and realize this boat was made when Ronald Reagan was president. Go look at any normal car from 1987 and you'll realize how old 1987 is, in fact look at the prices of a mid size Mercedes sedan from 1987 and it will be less than this guy wants for this. 

Donzi Classic 18

Lots of Donzi fans debate which Classic is the best; the 16, 18 or 22. Generally, to me, the 16 is the coolest because it's the original but the 18s proportions are a little nicer maybe and it runs a little better but the 22 looks the best overall and the length can hide some of the bad handling of the hull. So the 18 might be the best of both worlds. This one looks like it needs some TLC. The quality of this one is probably okay, it was built after American Marine Holdings bought the company, saving it from death after OMC tried to turn them into Bayliner. I feel this could be a good buy at the right price. But, the 4.3 is probably not going to interest many enthusiasts, although it's a solid engine. 

Sea Ray 22 Pachanga

I promised after the last time I posted a 19 Sea Ray Pachanga I would not post another Sea Ray. I lied. The 22 Pachanga is probably the best small boat Sea Ray has ever made, which isn't saying much. I know they made some decent cruisers and the old Amberjacks were kind of cool. But, since the late 90s Sea Ray makes Bayliners with nicer carpeting and backlit cupholders basically. However, this is a decent boat at the right price. This one is not the right price and remember, most boats of this era are built with quite a bit of wood and wood rots. Plus, I can see about $2000 worth of work it needs just in the pictures, so let's assume it needs about $4-6k in work. 

Monday September 25, 2017

Cigarette 28 SS

There are not many bigger names in the boating world than Cigarette. I don't know if this one is real, I wasn't even sure they made the 28 SS in 1972 but if it is, it is probably worth making it close to original. It will need everything though, and when I say everything I mean all your time and money. 

Liberator 21

We covered Liberators in our "Top Tunnel Hulls" article. This one looks awesome, even the color scheme. Some of the old ones look like Jimi Hendrix painted it when he was high on acid but this one is nice a simple. 

Century 230

I don't know anything about Century. Looks cool. Boats this old are tough though, usually have some issues with the transom and floor. Think about what a 92 Camaro in rough shape is worth and it's probably worth a little less than that. 

Screen Shot 2017-09-20 at 5.24.44 PM.png

A Jetster, what a name. It's a Sidewinder copy, which everyone copied in the 70s. Cool boat but the bucket and all the cleaning materials on the deck are probably worth more than the boat. 

Scarab Sprint

I'm not sure what to think, I really don't like Wellcraft Scarabs but they made some of these smaller boats called "sprints" in the 90s. One was a jet, this one is a sterndrive. I'd take this over the jet. The interior is so bad that it's cool. The styling is actually really nice. I would have it for the right price. Probably super fun to drive. This is perfect if you're new to boating but you know PWCs are for losers and you know "mini jetboats" are for people who are really dumb and you just can't stand the idea of buying a Bayliner. Again, this boat is 20 years old, so price it like a 20 year old mediocre sports car. Like $2500, if clean. You'll be way cooler than anyone with a PWC, mine jet, or Bayliner. 

Thursday September 21, 2017

Sleekcraft Aristocrat

This is a beautiful boat. The boats designed by Bruce Nescher were originally knows as Nescher boats, then Sleekcraft. Low and sleek. Way ahead of its time. Absolutely worth restoring. 

35 Sonic SE

Oh boy, this was a crazy boat back in the day. Heavy wave crusher. I wonder who the guy is who originally bought this. I bet his story is amazing. Boom and bust entrepreneur, stints in rehab, multiple divorces. If this boat could talk. This thing would be the biggest headache of your life. 

30 Tunnel race boat

Only buy this boat if you plan on parking it in your driveway and leaving it there for decoration purposes. Great conversation starter and people will immediately think you are three times more interesting than you actually are. 

24 Progression

Progression is a legendary boat builder. The 24 is one of the best single engine outboards you can get. It can handle any power and any water. This one is a steal.  

Mirage 29

I love these old Mirages. This is a serious project, but it's basically free, so you decide how much time and resources you have. It might take you a year or more to finish and you will age by about 10 years but that first ride will be worth it. 

Monday September 18, 2017

Formula 357 SR-1

I love old Formulas. The 80s and 90s are when Formula really differentiated themselves with high quality offshore boats with a family appeal. They had full windshields, nicely appointed cabins and good build quality. They really avoided the "drug dealer" look at the time and their style was unique. This looks really clean, keep in mind, you may want to do engine and drive upgrades at some point but you can go the economical route and keep this pretty affordable. These look great in the water. Formula's tasteful graphics are appreciated too as they date way better than many early competitors boats. 

Wellcraft Concept 23

A Wellcraft Concept 23, this is a good looking boat. Quality is suspect on Wellcrafts but quality is suspect on anything built in the 80s, especially boats. This boat claims to have 200 hours but that means nothing, it will need everything. The good news is the gel looks good. If you're handy, you can probably make repairs, get the upholstery redone and have a sharp looking boat but you'd have to get it for a few grand to make it worth it. 

Sea Ray Pachanga 19

This might be the only time you see a Sea Ray on here, I appreciate the pre Brunswick old Sea Rays but the new ones are the biggest pieces of shit and by new I mean anything built past 1995, so basically almost all Sea Rays are pieces of shit. The Pachanga line was a Sea Rays performance line at the time and in general, they were pretty decent boats. The 22 Pachanga was the crown jewel of the line, they made a 27 and 32 as well. This 19 was only made for a short time and it looks like it was just a sleeker deck on an existing 20 Sea Ray hull, which is not necessarily a bad thing. I actually think this thing looks cool. Get it for the right price and you're on the water. 

Hydrostream V-king

This is a classic Hydrostream, beautiful color and it even has Minnesota registration numbers which is cool. I would buy it with no engine and put your own on. Go for a newer light weight G1 Etec 135 HO or 150 HO, or the new Yamaha 115 Vmax or Mercury 115 XS, they will be fast and you can run all weekend on a tank of gas. 

Donzi Minx

Ah, a Donzi that is not a classic but looks like it is. The Minx might be the best compromise, it is a good size for a small block, a little more length than the 18 and a little faster than the 22. Rare boat too. The bad side is, yes, it still has the rounded keel like the Classics but with a stout small block, you can run pretty fast and it will handle the chop nicely. This one needs a lot of work. You're going to have to spend some money right off the bat on media blasting the bottom paint off. If you like Donzi's though, this is one of the cooler ones in my opinion. 

Saber 28

Of course you should buy this. The first Saber, crazy big block, hot chicks. No brainer.

Tuesday September 12, 2017

Wellcraft Scarab 2 Sport

I don't like this one. Not the biggest Wellcraft Scarab fan but the older version with the squared windshield is cooler. This thing just looks heavy and slow. I keep thinking about those twin big blocks just chugging away and hearing the "cha ching" of a cash register, every minute costs about $300 to run this thing. 

Formula 272

Now here is a classic. Formula in its hay day. Beautiful boat, won't set any speed records but you can give it a pretty good pounding in rough water. If you want to get into the Formula scene on a budget, this could be it. You'd have to stop at the Polo Ralph Lauren sale rack and pick up some Polo golf shirts, pop the collar, get some white shorts and some Sperrys and you are in. Don't forget the fake Rolex.

Mirage 257 Trovare

I love this boat. Mirage's were made on the west coast, near Seattle. This thing is fast, practical and a hell of a deal. The perfect size to for a family boat that can handle some rough stuff. It has a straight 24 degree deep vee and the 502s are bullet proof. This thing will be faster than a Formula 271 Fastech, more practical than a 27 Fountain, will be better value and none of the baggage. No need for pink golf shirts and fake Rolex's, just enjoy boating. 

Thursday September 7, 2017

Wellcraft Scarab

The Scarab nameplate is so confusing. There is Team Scarab that built race and pleasure boats designed by Larry Smith and they had some great boats and were raced. The quality was high and they used some high end materials at the time. Wellcraft boats, then licensed the name and or was authorized to build some Larry Smith designs but they weren't the same boats. Not that it is all bad for Wellcraft versions. This one is cool, quite a bit different than the 22 at the time, all orange and I do believe this model was used in the movie "Face Off." They aren't particularly fast, 70 MPH with a 502, reportedly. The dash looks like it was yanked from a Ford Taurus but for the right price, you could do worse. 

30 Velocity

This is one of those boats you buy site unseen, run it a couple times, let it sit in your driveway for a couple years; then sell it for about the same you bought it for. Later, every time you get drunk you talk about the boat. So just buy the boat and let nature take its course. Seriously, looks mint. 

Seebold Eagle 265 Executive

Yes. This is why you like boats. Get a cooler, fill it with beer, put on some of your wife's jewelry and hit the waterway. Don't even think about it.  

12 Daytona

Looks cool but it's not. Apparently these were built like shit and rode like shit. Plus, $6,500? Are you high? That engine, if mint is worth $500 at best, if not, about $0 to $100. The boat is worth, $500, if mint. You do the math. Too small to be of any use. 

Checkmate trailer

I love these clever ads, trailer for $500, comes with free boat. No such thing as a free boat but at least the guy is realistic about the price, unlike some lunatics asking $6k for a pile of garbage. This is most certainly a project but if you're handy could be very cool. And hey, you got a trailer. 

Wednesday August 30, 2017

32 Mirage Offshore

These old Mirages are the real deal. Made in Miami by a well known boat builder, who previously worked for the big offshore names in Miami at the time. These were heavy and built for big water. Although rare, many were raced for a long time. This one is already prepped for outboards, if you want a project and a legendary offshore hull, then this is it. I would keep it an outboard and try to lighten it up if you can. Could be the 32 hull, they made a 29, 32 and 36. 

32 Sonic

I remember being in San Juan when I was a kid and seeing one of these pull up to the beach with some shady dudes and some hot girls in it. Loved them ever since. 

Donzi GT 21

I like to make fun of Donzi's but it is mostly the owners I am making fun of. This GT 21 is rare and very cool. It is quite a bit deeper than a 22 Classic. Won't be the fastest but would be a very cool vintage boat worth having. Approach with caution, as work has already be done, might be turnkey, might be a divorce. It's your life. 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Baja 220 Sport

As much as I don't like Baja's past 1995, I love the older ones. The styling is unreal. Just look at this thing, it's 22 feet and the bow is 25 feet long. This thing looks sick. These old Baja's were reasonably fast too, who cares if they knock your teeth out on a rough day, that's what booze is for. 

Baja 210

Not another Baja, yes, another Baja. I can't even tell if this is ugly or beautiful but all I know is it's cool. And that's all that matters. See if you can cut that price in half, you'll need the money to fix the floor and other rotten parts. 

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You said you wanted a project... here is a project. Are you under house arrest and have an ankle monitor? Are you in the witness protection program and can't leave the house? Is your calendar pretty clear for the next 24 months? This is your boat. 

This would be such a cool boat if your Grandpa had left it for you and it ran perfect, none of your friends had a boat, you'd be the man because you have one. You can't even afford a 12 pack of Bud because you want to put gas in it for the weekend and you have some girls that want to go boating. That would be awesome. That is not the case here though, this guy is asking $4200. It would have to come with $4300 worth of cocaine for it to be worth it because the landfill might charge you an environmental fee when you drop it off. 

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Wow, one owner Cougar 21 MTR. These are great boats, were made in Salmon Arm B.C, a tiny little town in Western Canada, close to Washington state. Built well, this thing is a beautiful boat. If you want a timeless tunnel to go fast in, this is it. That engine is killer too.  

The Week of August 21, 2017

Checkmate Starflite

This is a great boat. I like some Checkmates and the Starflite is one of them. They are beautiful boats in person. Not the fastest or the best at anything but a great sport boat. Red looks amazing on the Starflite. Because of its age, it may need a little work, but I wouldn't let that deter you. With a modern 250 HP, this should be a mid 70 MPH boat, maybe more. 

Donzi 22 Classic

This looks pretty clean and possibly a decent deal. The hard part is you'll have to deal with other Donzi owners who think Donzi Classics are the greatest boat in the world and there is some Donzi club you'll be part of that you don't even want to be in. It's as bad as a Corvette or Mustang club, only the guys are even creepier, if that's possible. 

22 Sonic Outboard

This 22 Sonic is rare and very cool. These were more often sold as sterndrives but the outboard is even better. These are fast, capable boats. The interior is crazy, very modern looking. Just buy it and know the guy who bought it new was a really cool guy and you're almost as cool. 

Scarab 30

The good news is it's being sold without the engines. Old engines that some guy claims he's done a bunch of work to are a nightmare. This is a potentially good project boat. I believe this is an outboard conversion candidate. Get a bracket, twin 250+ HP outboards and you're doing well. Remove the windshield and the railings and you immediately bring this old one back from the dead. 

Formula 242

Man I wish I had a place to put some of these boats, some beautiful ones this week. You could run this as is, turn key boat. Not mint but who cares. Enjoy it, when it needs a refresh, redo the transom, floor, convert to a single big block. Polish it, and you're driving a classic family wave crusher. 


Powerquests are cool boats, made in Michigan, had an offshore look but were family friendly. This one is nice. It's a deep 24 foot hull, has a big windshield and can handle water really well. This one looks sharp. Get it. 

The Week of August 14, 2017

Four Winns Liberator

The best part of the ad is "could use a good buffing." Truer words have never been spoken but honestly, couldn't we all use a good buffing. Hear me out, this boat would be an awesome project, it's good looking, a great size, classy etc. Put the buffer away though, it needs everything. Remove the 460s and drives, replace the floor, stringer and transom, paint it. Now, I think you have two options. Go with a transom bracket and put on a big outboard, a 350 Verado or 300 G2 Evinrude. Or, go with a single sterndrive, a single MerCruiser 496 HO remanufactured engine or used one. And now you're in business. That price though, hopefully it's a typo because you need to get it for about $2k. 

Eliminator Edge Tunnel Hull

This is a no-brainer. Buy it, update the stereo, get an epic Van Halen mix going and just start living life. You deserve it. This boat could make Seth Rogan look like Matthew McConaughey.  


Life is full of difficult decisions, this isn't one of them. You have kids now, you like fast boats, you put on about 35 Lbs in the past 3 years, this is your boat. It checks all the boxes. Just send me my commission and thank me later. 


Now this is a classic. This Velocity looks well kept and ready for the water. You're divorced, lost everything and are trying to get back in the game. This is the ticket right here. In fact, I hate boat names but you'd have to put "Back in Business" on the transom because you are. 

Pantera 24

This is a serious offshore boat, maybe the best 24 offshore boat ever. Designed and built to race, not for posers. 

Pantera 24

Another 24 Pantera, this one is an older version, which in my opinion looks the best. I love this color scheme too and the bow cable. I don't know how this ended up in Canada but maybe you can trade a snowmobile for it? This is the kind of boat you buy when you're done pussyfooting around in your Donzi and you want something legit. 

Baja 20 Outlaw

It is hard to hate on Baja, they are the most well known entry level sport boat company. That said, I like hating them anyway. First, this was $24k new, it's 15 years old. If you got it for $7k, that would be fine. I heard they don't ride very well, but goes about 60 MPH with 5.0. Even for $7k, there are better boats to be had.  

August 11, 2017

Laser 380

Great boat. Can handle big power. Buy it, don't even think twice, you'll be the coolest guy on the lake instantly. Worth fixing and restoring, you just can't buy anything new like this. Run anything from a stock 150 to a tuned 2.5 Merc. 

Rapid Craft

Very unique boat. Rapid Craft owners love their boats. They have very aggressive lines and are knows to be fast. They made quite a few models in this size range. Buy it, it's a classic. You just can't find new boats like this anymore. 

The Week of August 7, 2017

Pantera 28

28 Panteras don't come up that often. This example looks nice, very clean looking paint, looks well kept. If you are in the market for a 28 offshore that you are going to run in the rough stuff, this is one of the best. The 502s should run really fast in this boat and are bullet proof. Not for everyone but if you want one of the best offshore hulls under 30 for a very fair price, this is it. 

Little boat

The only part of this ad that is true is "I have a huge engine on a little boat" and even that is a stretch. The V4 Evinrude is not huge, just huge on this thing. There is almost no way it goes 90 MPH nor would you want to go 90 in it, you wouldn't want to go 40 in it or go in it at all. For the money, I would save your money or find something worth fixing. You can't take your friends in it, you can't pull up to the sandbar, you can't fish out of it or pickup chicks, these are all the reasons boats were invented, pass. 

Cobalt 18

I have always liked Cobalts up until about 2013 when they change their design to the squared windshield look and raised the freeboard on their smaller boats so they look like deck boats. But, Cobalt has always been a respectable builder, decent quality and the old ones had good design. This is a nice looking vintage boat. The price is crazy, unless it is showroom condition. But for less than $5k, I'd take it. Remember though, boats this old often have rot and if it was run in Miami, it probably had a harder life than any lake boat. 

Donzi 26 Z

These are actually pretty cool boats. Very competitive with the Formula 271 and Fountain 27 of the same era. Not known to be wave crushers but can handle their own. For the right price, it's a good family boat, will get you to the sandbar and back and be fun blasting around the bay. They look sharp too. Build quality was probably close to the Fountain, maybe not quite at the Formula Level. Won't be a screamer with the 496 but could be economical, for the right price say under $30k, decent boat. 

Velocity Boat

This is a tough one. You'd have to see it in person. Cool boat, fast hull. Looks like some decent hardware included but it obviously needs work. If you can turn a wrench and get it at the right price. This thing could be a runner that looks sharp for a long time. I don't mind the yellow too. You could leave the cabin unfinished too and give it that "drug runner" look or actually use it as a drug runner. Please don't though, it's bad for the community. 

The Week of July 29, 2017

22 Scarab

Remember Scarab? Ya, they used to make cool boats in the eighties but now they make mini jet boats. They are probably the ugliest boats in existence, I honestly don't know how they could sell any. Boats like that actually hurt the industry. Can't somebody sue them for tarnishing the name, oh no, Wellcraft actually did that in the nineties. Actually, they made some cool looking boats, including a couple jets back then that were at least good looking. Someone must really love jets who works for Scarab. Anyway, although the nineties ones look cool, they have decals for graphics, quality is around Sea Ray level (shitty). So no, it's not a Scarab the way they should be remembered. 

Hydrostream V-King

Well, the only way to make a Hydrostream better is to remove the windshield and find the biggest outboard ever made and bolt it to the back. The owner at least is honest about the size of balls you would need to drive this thing. Listen, I love Hydrostreams, Howard Pipcorn was an innovator, Hydrostreams were fast, affordable and are worth restoring. In fact, they might be one of the best budget resto boats out there. You don't need big power on some of the early ones under 19 feet, although it seems like in the Hydrosteam community anything less than 250 HP is really pussing out. I've seen Visions, (about 16" long) with 2.5 Mercs and V6 OMCs that look cartoonish on the back. I'm not sure about this one but if you find an unmolested one, grab it. 

The Week of July 24, 2017

Checkmate Convincor

A Checkmate Convincor, not a bad looking boat but Checkmates of this era are not well built. Check for floor and transom rot. Checkmate used, and still does, wood in their boats and had a habit of not finishing them well. I own a 1998 Checkmate and redid the transom a few years ago, it had exposed wood and poor rigging from the factory that helped lead to the transom rotting. Having said that, this could be a good boat, it may need some work, replacing the floor and transom is not the end of the world but it is a lot of work. Not a bad family hauler, won't be too fast with the 7.4 MPI although it's a great engine. Inspect carefully. 

Velocity 22

This is a cool boat. You don't see them around very often but Velocity's are made and designed by race boat legend Steve Stepp, who was a pioneer in designing pad bottoms in offshore racing boats in the late 70s. Steve hates ventilated step bottom hulls. The 22 is a renowned model. It can run in decent chop, is fast and looks great. I love this version with the old school windshield, I would maybe change the sun pad on the back but this a keeper. Buy it. 

Fountain 27 Fever

A yellow Fountain. Wow, this is awesome. The 27 isn't the best Fountain design and I don't like twins in a boat this size but it is a classic and the color makes it special. If it's well kept, it's a keeper. Buy it. If you wanted, down the road, redo the transom and rig it for a single. Budget about $50,000 per summer for gas. 

The Week of July 17, 2017

Art Carlson had some cool designs, this isn't one of them. I love the "High Caliber" name on the side and even though it does 52 "all day" I'd pass. That's actually quite a bit of money for a 30 year old boat. It's hard to put a price on these old engines too, as in an old 4 cylinder Evinrude is worth anywhere from $50 to $500.

First off, I love the title "Boat speed boat baja boat." That really confirms it is indeed the boat for sale and not the beautiful trailer. I have a soft spot in my heart for old Bajas and old Bajas often have soft spots too but this one is a classic, so even if it did, it would be worth fixing. Not the fastest boat but they look great. Baja must have had some of the best boat designs in the 70s, 80s and 90s because most of them look pretty cool. They also liked chopper guns and plywood, which is too bad. This is a keeper, great classic boat. Somebody should keep it alive.