There are lots of places to sail—especially in a small boat—but let’s face it, some places are better than others. In the survey below we’ll ask you for a few details about your favorite spot and we might include your quotes and information in the upcoming feature. I would like to sail anywhere that real casual looking guy with the beard in the photo above is sailing. Beyond a doubt, the North Channel of Lake Huron is a wonderful cruising ground – lots of isolated anchorages in the arms of spectacular wild islands with critters and sunsets, sunrises and solitude, plus friendly folks along the shores of the largest island in fresh water in the world, drinkable water!
My favorite start to each Sailing season is starting from the lower Puget Sound location at Olympia, Washington, heading to Jerrells cove. Some times we will have wind most of the way and some times it’s just lazy motor sailing all the way. We tie up at the Jerrells cove east dock where you are sheltered from the strong afternoon winds coming from the east.
Pleasure boat sailing on calm waters near shore at sunset with sea coastline shoreline glowing in amber color in background. Boat racers were larger-than-life heroes to worship, and they all seemed to come from two addresses: NE 188th Street in North Miami, FL.
Names that come to mind for this era of offshore boat racing are Jim Martenhoff, Odell Lewis, Pete Rittmaster, Forest Johnson, Jacoby, Brownie Allan Brown, Bill Wishnick, Red Crise, Sam Griffith, and Carl Kiekhaefer.
Now, the world was turned upside down in small boats, with this Don Aronow Donzi Marine Sweet 16, first powered by a 110 Hp Volvo engine. By the way, Donzi was still making less than 50 boats per year within a boat building factory leased out to Teleflex, but owned by Don Aronow. This model Lyman was only made for two model years, and this one is from the last year of production. This is Seabuddy’s favorite Lyman model for its balance of easy trailering, roomy cockpit, and plenty of power.
This boat seems to have gloss rather than a semi-gloss white painted hull sides on its clinker built outboard.
Lyman Boats had their production peak in 1955, with over 5,000 boats produced in sizes from 13’ to 20’ in length. One of the most recognizable “wow” boats ever offered for sale is the Cobra by Chris Craft.
Ever since Chris Craft figured out how to make money in a nation-wide depression economy every year since 1936, they then wanted to be THE boat builder for every man, woman, and family in the world. For the underwater hull shape, Chris Craft used the same naval architectural lines of one of their existing boat models as the running surface.  They had already sold 503 of those hulls.
To that underwater running surface they crafted a sleek, stretched, curvy bright finished planked mahogany boat that started at the bow as high, wide, and bold and then  tapered aft to nothing.
She was a 20’, 10” boat with only one seat, so naturally they put a big, loud, and bold 200 horsepower Hemi Chrysler in most of them.
Mercury got 43.9 MPH out of this boat in their Lake X boat test report published in 1959 when loaded down for a four person weight loading. A Samoan boat model built by the South Seas Boat Company of Lake Helen, Florida is a 16’ 10” long fiberglass cat with a beam of 94”. Sleeper is an antique and classic planked mahogany wooden runabout that has been modified into a race boat by Harold Bauer.
The boat also had her structure strengthened with extra bracing, while her chines were really widened (see seabuddy’s photo), and a cavitation plate was added for stability and control.
Here are a few seabuddy photos of an early Slickcraft outboard powered boat built by Leon Slikkers from the Sunnyland classic boat show. He moved his plant several times and stopped living above where the boats were being made now.
Dave Hannam’s boat shop in Annapolis, Maryland is doing a restoration of a classic  wood boat that is being remade with easy trailer travel and usage as its goal, as well as a great classic boat.


Stop by Classic Watercraft Restoration and see top notch work as well as a boat restoration that is slanted towards easy boat trailering and a in and out of the water style of usage of a classic mahogany planked wooden runabout Chris Craft. This boat is a single 9 lamination plywood thick bottom were you see big sheets of plywood and two layers of planking thick were my photos show where the plywood was cut into strips to follow the curve of the vee in the bow area.
This piece of wood was added back into the area where the original construction of this boat had a chine.
Curt came to Florida in 1963 after racing his boat, The Violator, in Buffalo, NY, earlier in the 1950-1960s time frame with time out for military service for the Berlin Crisis. My photos were taken at the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton, New York during the Race Boat Regatta that is held every other year in August.
Maybe it’s the amazing weather and consistent winds, or the scenery, or the miles of shallow water and deserted anchorages, or the special history of the place.
That model boat was based on a shorten version of Jim Wynne’s winning race boat, the Wyn-Mill II. Then, the boat was taken off its building frame and the epoxy fiberglass layup was put on the under (or the inside) of the hull. The dash is machine water cut engine turned metal from the aluminum mock up Gary gave to an aircraft builder.
The relocation of the chines made this second design a truly different boat design from the first Wyn-Mill. It was in 1985 or so, that another new ownership of Donzi moved it from 188thst and within a Don Arorow owned building on the east coast of Florida, to Sarasota, FL on the west coast of the state. A few Chris Craft Cobras topped that engine with an even more powerful 285 horsepower Cadillac Crusader from Detroit car dealer Cal Connell. She is one wild looking, curvaceous fiberglass catamaran powered by two “Tower of Power” six cylinder 100 horsepower Mercury Marine outboards.
Seabuddy has never before seen one of these boats before this year’s Sunnyland ACBS boat show. She has a 1955 to 1966 racing career over which she was regional high points champion 4 times.
This Chris Craft racing runabout is not a Chris Craft Racing Runabout model, she was a standard production pleasure boat modified by her owner. Slikkers made boats as early as 1946, when he worked for Chris Craft as a cabin cruiser top joiner. He built sailboats to respect his non-compete.  Those sailboats were called S2 (S2 stands for Slickers second company).
Dave is using his skill to make a classic boat owner’s wide-ranging travel plans into one that allows for “Have Chris Craft, will Travel”. Inspect how proper use of epoxy and 10 oz finishing cloth in the right places on a wooden boat bottom makes it a leak proof or waterproof wood boat bottom. Do not worry if there is a drip or two shown, lots of shaping, sanding, and flaring is yet to come. He designed and built this racer over a two year period along the banks of the Miami River while he was the sales Manager at the Merrill-Stevens Yacht Company.
Don Aronow’s “Thunderboat Row” started to grow in stature and began to pull ahead of Dick Bertram’s efforts in time.
Wyn Mill II was Jim’s racer as designed by Walt Walters with input from Jim and perhaps others. That balsa was shaped and sanded into the final contours of what Norris had imaged in his mind. He liked rough, open-water offshore powerboat racing and built a boat company to build a winning boat.
There the production was expanded with more models and to about 350-400 boats per year, from 16 to 43 feet in length. The next size up in the Lyman outboard powered line-up was the 18’ where most would choose twin 35-40 horsepower engines, which adds complication in systems, controls, and over-the-road towing weight.


Many Lyman owners prefer the gloss finish, so she should be easy to be sold if one wanted to so in the future. Each plank edge overlaps the other and they are clinched nailed to the ribs (plus, screwed to the frames) such that an edge is shown at each plank for its full length along the hull side that helps soften the ride. Let alone, a ready to blast off example of one restored with the power and set-up that matches the 1959 Mercury Marine test report specs. These performance numbers were after setting and propping the engines in the best position on the boat, including the tilt pin hole (no power trim on these classic engines). This is a boat that raced against Curt Brayer and his Dancing Bear and Forest Johnson and his Prowlers in the F Service Runabout class.
Powered by a 95 horsepower straight shaft inboard by Chris Craft when she was built in 1931, she was re-powered as a racing boat Chris Craft.
Or a high speed River Runner work horse for those long distances on Africa's great rivers and lakes. This boat was originally called the Ski Sporter Donzi and later it was named the Donzi Sweet 16. And lots of custom tricks to get that super glossy smooth finish that stops everyone’s eye when they see the boat. Also, these are flexible boats that can twist over the waves somewhat to give a better ride than most classic boat persons would expect. Chris Craft boat production was often plagued by strikes at this time, so Leon built his own boats when C-C was having a work stoppage. In the theme of F Service Runabout class rules the engine is under 400 inches in displacement and $1,500 cost in cost.
With its first Volvo engine and out drive set-up its top speed was in the 41 to 43 MPH range. But, she is still being finished and she was just a gleam in the mind of Gary Mac Norris in 2005. With that boat he then went out and set eight world class marathon power boat racing records with it. Once Aronow sold his prior Formula boat company, Aronow found himself with this rough test boat, so, it went back to his Donzi Marine boat factory. She is not over-restored, just a late 1950s rig brought back to as first-sold condition by an expert fiberglass boat loving owner. Many boats were boat tested in fair, actuate boat tests using Mercury Outboard power that covered a broad spectrum of power boating. These engines were moved aft within the hull, a Casalle V-drive installed with a jack shaft to a Borg Warner transmission, a Cary two blade propeller selected, and the two cockpits relocated into forward dual cockpits with bucket seats for both the driver and the riding mechanic, a fuel tank was located under the fore deck, and the hull was fiberglassed. Much of that design was adopted from Jim’s Wyn-Mill II race boat that also was powered by a Volvo car engine.
Lyman boats was also known for its use of ribbon striped (sometimes called tiger striped) mahogany veneered marine-grade plywood.
Dave wanted the boat back to original in cutting, stopping, and throwing the bow wave down and away from the cockpit passengers. Don had Walt Walters design that boat, make its running surface a winner, and draw up the plans that caused it to be built. It took a lake and bay boat that was nimble and easy to jump in and take off in for a fast ride to make Donzi. Jim had input, he was there, but Walt’s name is on the drawings that the boat was built from. A galvanised trailer will eventually succumb to corrosion in the sea - our "submersible trailer" will last "for ever".



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