The Elegance of Classic Wooden Motorboats

I love a lazy Sunday morning with a cup of coffee and the latest post… don’t you? Well, after reading up on the day’s latest blog post I try to tune into the serene news program I have come to love: CBS Sunday Morning. There is rarely a stressful, controversial news story offered by the veteran news team led by Charles Osgood. Instead, they focus on the pleasures of American life. And a few weeks ago they hit the nail on the head: Conor Knighton dug into the passion we have for beautiful wooden boats. Powerboats, to be exact. He credits On Golden Pond and Chris Craft for keeping us enamored with these fine vessels and all the work, varnish and love that goes into owning one.

So, even though it’s only Wednesday – grab your cuppa joe and enlighten yourself in 4 minutes of sublime Americana. The wooden kind. It’s a rare treat to have a major news program focus on our watery world that we already appreciate. But to share in the enthusiasm from the popular media somehow gives merit to our brush strokes and planking tribulations. And we get to delight in knowing we can enjoy the real thing for more than just 4 minutes.

StanCraft Boats: Passion for the Past

StanCraft Boats in Northern Idaho have been building gorgeous wooden powerboats for over 80 years. The boatbuilder was very busy building wooden runabouts up until WW2, when you couldn’t buy lumber, much less employ anyone to build boats. In the years following the war’s conclusion, StanCraft got busy building again and has been cranking out amazing wooden boats ever since.

A family business, the boats are made exclusively from African Mahogany and the boat’s designs are not old designs – but rather StanCraft has infused new technology and needs into their newer designs. Like the boat below that has to be THE COOLEST looking ski/ surf boat I have ever seen. The idea of modernizing these classic looking wooden powerboats is brilliant. What wooden boat aficionado wouldn’t want modern technology and systems aboard a very classic and beautiful wooden boat? (Yes – these people exist. You can yell at me in the comments below…)

So check out the video and their beautiful website and keep your eyes peeled along the coastal US for these boats. Not sure how many have made it to the coastal communities – but I am betting there are lakes in the US that are jam packed with these beauties.


How to Install Trim Tabs

Hey power boaters! Ever ride along with your boat full of friends who might not have their weight distributed equally in the boat? Wish you could get up on a plane faster, increasing your efficiency and saving some bucks on the gas? Adding trim tabs could be the solution and you can buy them here at JD and install them easily yourself! Trim tabs can be used on boats of all sizes, and on high performance power boats, too.

Watch TJ as he gives step by step instructions for getting a smoother, more efficient ride. Then get out there and get planing! Send us a photo or video of your boat planing nicely and of your self -installation of trim tabs, should you take this project on! (Send to

Get on the water!




The History Of Chris Craft

I was raised on a Chris Craft, so I, like many of you who loved wooden boats in your youth before you knew what it meant, have a sweet spot in my heart and memory bank for the wooden lines and lapstrake planks of my dad’s old Sea Skiff. Growing up on a wooden power boat (summers of my youth – winters spent ashore in Connecticut) forged long memories of LOTS Of paint jobs, seepage seeking, ding and dent repair and the other joys of wooden boat ownership. In the 70s when we cruised our SeaSkiff up and down the New England coastline, boats like ours were a dime a dozen.

Just like the super stylie Chris Crafts that can be seen on lakes and even ponds around the US, the boats are head turners and they define an entire historical segment of the wooden powerboat coming into its own in America. So take a trip into the history of these iconic American boats and understand that as Riva is to the Italians, Chris Craft has succeeded in becoming a cult classic amongst a market full of beautiful wooden boats.



US Powerboating Camp for Kids

I’ve got some kids at home who think boating is THE BEST way to spend their time. Fishing, jumping off the boat, and driving, too. Power or sail – your kids need to know how to handle basic boating emergencies and even just the plain old basics – to be a safe and helpful mate when you’re out on the water.

US Powerboating has taken this on and is trying to standardize the state requirements for Safe Boating certification. Their “Safe Powerboat Handling” curriculum is a 16 hour class on the water and in the classroom, that certifies both kids and adults in most state’s accepted licensing for kids aged 10 and up. In fact, the very same course is offered for adults with the same curriculum. It’s the teaching style that changes for the 10-16 year olds and Rhode Island marine education specialists, Confident Captain, have it perfected for the kids.

Over the summer if you live near Rhode Island and have eager captains in your family, it is worth looking into these 2 day camps for kids. They focus on fun and on teaching at an appropriate level for the younger learners. There are even weekend classes on occasion and classes for adults, too. Confident Captain is a US Powerboating Training Center and completion of the 2 day class gives passing students their state certified Safe Boat Handling certificate which is required by law for the younger captains.

Check out the summer schedule here and the US Powerboating course info here to see if another facility closer to your homeport can help train your little captains. And when they’re ready – they can go back to Confident Captain for a 100-Gross Ton USCG Captain’s License and you can sit back and enjoy the ride.

Badass Amphibious Beach Boat

Bill Springer of Swizzle Media kinda likes this badass boat and files this report about the Sealegs Tender. Jamestown Distributors and TotalBoat Show loves Sealegs too: they are great customers and what’s not to love about this rad ride?

Swizzle: The Sealegs 7.1 Meter amphibious RIB is way, way more James Bond than your average yacht tender. In fact, the Sealegs 7.1 is really just a commercially available, 165-horsepower-badass-amphibious-military-assault-vehicle that any aspiring SEAL, or more accurately, anyone who wants to take their tender game to the next level, can drive up the beach!

I mean really.  What could be a better yacht tender than a commercially available 165-horsepower-badass-amphibious-military-assault-vehicle? Ummmm. Nothing.


And in fact, there are some very real advantages to being able to drive up the beach in addition to being utterly badass. Especially if you live on, or close to a beach but not necessarily to a dock. It’s like a Range Rover that doesn’t need a ferry to get to Nantucket or even a lauch ramp. The whole range of Sealegs (from 6.1 meters to 7.7 meters, some even have enclosed space) scratch a very specific itch. And think what the neighbors will say when they see you driving this bad boy down the road on the way out for a day of fishing or just hanging out on an outer beach with friends. Who wouldn’t want to drive ashore without ever getting your feet wet?

And what better way to test such military-grade badassness than during a particularly nasty day when the wind never dipped below 20-knots, and the sun was to scared to shine. I’m mean look at sand being whipped across the beach in these photos. This was a badass test day for a badass boat.
Underway, it performed beautifully. Its powerful 165-horsepower outboard made it easy for us to punch it up to almost 30-knots and carving turns through the steep chop was simply, fun.
The boat’s clever design allows the wheels to be fully retracted when underway so, apart from just a little extra weight (and seeing big, beach-friendly wheels in weird places), they have virtually no impact on the boat’s on-the-water performance.
 And then, you simply push a button, the wheels rotate into position and bang….you simply drive out of the water.
And there’s more of this to come. Tune back in soon for more disruptive boats at SwizzleSportsMedia. And thanks for the report,  Mr. Swizzle.

How To Trim a Powerboat

Wondering how changing an outboard or trim tab’s trim position affects your boat? We’ll demonstrate both fore and aft and lateral changes, while trimming a twin outboard powerboat.

Fast Boats Hard Water – PBS Travel Series Documentary

Vintage Offshore Power Boat Racing Documentary. Brilliant helicopter footage from Guernsey, Channel Islands, Monaco and Key West in Florida.