by John Baas, Glacier Lakes Chapter
Took the dog to the vet and came home with a boat. Well, maybe not just that fast but almost! On the way to the vet, the main road there was under serious construction with back ups for miles. I told my wife, Pam, that we won’t be coming home this way. Good thing for alternate routes.
Except…after the vet appointment I missed the turn to my alternate route home. Huh…good thing I have an alternate to the alternate. The cosmos was guiding the truck to this alternate to the alternate for a reason. Committed to a left turn at a busy intersection, my peripheral vision caught something on the lawn of a house to the right. The brain began processing the image as I made the left turn away from the “something”. A quarter mile down the road I made a u turn, saying to Pam, “I gotta check something out.”
Getting closer now, I see the Coke bottle green three-piece windshield and side windows. And that sliding hardtop! Yes, the brain’s processor was right. An AristoCraft 19!
We’ve owned 4 wooden boats over the years, you might remember the Middy Mae Chetek lapstrake and the Chetek Fly-in and boat show. Then there was the urban river cruising story with the Correct Craft Atom Skier on the Milwaukee River system. For a number of reasons, the wood boats were all sold off. And now, I’m looking at a PLASTIC boat?!
Something about the roofline matching the slope of transom and the center section of the windshield makes this boat a classic glass. And my wife Pam liked it!
It’s a 1972 model with the GM 165hp straight six and Mercruiser outdrive. Comes complete with a working ship to shore radio. With the help of master mechanic ACBS Glacier Lakes Chapter’s Mark Willis, we got her running. Having sat in storage for 22 years, a number of things needed attention. Some still do. It’s comforting to know I can pick up the phone and talk to Scott Turner at AristoCraft and get guidance on how to do what I don’t know how to do.
We’ve enjoyed a few outings so far, including on the Milwaukee River where we ran into its twin! Same year, same color!
AristoCraft stopped making the 19 in 1980, returning to manufacturing some of the coolest looking wood outboards anywhere.
Enzo still isn’t sure if he likes it!
Cool story. Scott and Bill Turner are great people!
Your boat has very pleasing lines. Since I live close to the Milw. River I’ll be looking to see the boat on the water this spring.
Very cute story!!!
Identical “detour” off a clogged US 9 on Labor Day weekend, south of Lake George, led me right past a 1955 Chris Craft Continental 22′—identical to the one my family had back in the day. “Just for old-times’ sake,” I did a 180, parked and looked inside : There was the padded black gator-print TOLEX on the gunwales and dashboard; it hooked me! I came back on Tuesday, crawled around inside it, made an offer, and before I hit the Glens Falls city line, the broker called and said: “You just bought yourself a Chris Continental!”
That was eight years ago. Last month, it left Lake George for its first time and headed south to Watts Bar Lake, Tennessee. Sorry to have it leave its storied past, but the new owner really appreciates it. I have urged him to join the TN ACBS Chapter.
And thanks to all for the past 7 seasons’ cruise with ACBS, Adirondack Chapter; it’s been great.
Great boat, make sure you inspect the fuel tank closely since it’s made into the hull and the fiberglass can split in rough water conditions “personal experience “
Fun story. Great looking boat. Love glass classics.
Loved your story about accidentally finding the boat. I call those moments “God Winks.”I bought one of the wooden Aristo Crafts. When I went to sell it years later lots of people looked but nobody bought it. Scott Turner told me the problem – it was the brand new engine on the transom so I offered them separately and sold the boat and the trailer that same afternoon at the antique boat show. (The guy who bought it told me later he should have bought the engine too!) Reading your story reminded me how much I like the fiberglass 19. I’m now on the hunt for one and am going to suggest to the Turners they should set up a site for all their fans who want to buy or sell one. Hopefully, they already have that section on their site.
Great story. Great boat. Enjoy.
I have the same 6 cyl Chevy engine with the 165 AMerc outdrive in my1977 Galaxy 19′ tri hull. Great motor and matching outdrive. I converted the points to electronic. Great improvment in starting performance.
Enzo? — As in The Art of Racing in the Rain?