Dreaming and Drooling: Classic Boat Sportfisher Fantasy

Whether you have a 12 foot aluminum skiff in the driveway or a 55 foot convertible moored at the marina, as boat-owning angler you've probably dreamed about stepping up to one of these.

17th August 2013.
By Lenny Rudow

You’ve always wanted a classic boat, you love sportfishing, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll win the lottery. Or a long-lost relative will pass away, leaving you a portfolio of stocks bought years earlier in start-ups like Google, Apple, and Microsoft. Perhaps you’ll open a chest in the attic and discover a Picasso. Whatever. If millions upon millions of dollars fall into your lap tomorrow, we’re betting you’d know what to do with the cash—buy that boat. A really, really cool classic boat that fulfills all your sportfishing fantasies.

And if that jackpot was big enough, you might just be able to purchase one like these…

trinity sportfishing yacht

The Trinity 144 – If you want this puppy, you’d better win the lottery – twice.

At 144’ in length with 27’ beam and a pair of 3,500-hp diesel giants in the engineroom, the Trinity Marlena is about as big as a yacht can be and still legitimately claim to be a sportfisher. The hull and superstructure are aluminum, cruising speed is in the low 20s, and this yacht can accommodate a dozen people plus a crew of six.

But Marlena is just fifteen years old, so why would we call it a classic? Even though each Trinity Yachts creation is one of a kind, this is the second Marlena, and when it comes to monstrous spare-no-expense sportfishing boats, it is the king. She’s currently listed on Yachtworld, and you can own Marlena for a mere 13.5 million.

For more information on new construction visit Trinity Yachts. And enjoy yourself, Mr. Gates.

merritt sportfishing boat

The Merritt 37 – It may not be the biggest and it may not be the most extravagant, but this classic boat will turn heads at any marina.

Built over fifty years ago, this boat lies at the opposite extreme from the multi-million dollar Trinity. A 1960 37 Merritt currently lists for a paltry $269,000, yet it represents an unmistakable piece of fishing boat history. The Merritt yard opened in 1948 in Pompano Beach, Florida. After building two smaller boats, Buddy Merritt built what he “perceived to be the perfect fishing boat,” and the 37 was born. You might not need to be uber-rich to own this boat, but with it in your slip every one-percenter in town will know who you are.

For more information visit the listing.

classic boat

The Rybovich 78 – Twin 1,925-hp CAT C-32 ACERTS give it a top-end of over 45-mph.

Few names in boatbuilding are as well known as Rybovich, and with good reason. On their yachts you’ll find touches like million year-old fossils laminated into marble counter-tops, book-matched wood grains running from the sole to the overhead, cockpit air-conditioning, and French-made Iroko sinks. Hulls are constructed of diagonal-planked Okoume ply, which is glassed over with 1708 biaxial glass and epoxy resin. Each Rybovich is, of course, a one-of-a-kind creation. So, why pick the 78 (hull number 126) over the others? We didn’t. It’s simply the latest awe-inspiring sportfishing fantasy to leave their factory—they’re all classics.

To learn more about the 78 Rybovich, see Rybovich 78: Grace and Power. Or, if you have a spare 6.5 mil sitting around, check out the 78 first-hand; it’s currently listed for sale on Yachtworld.

fantasy boat

The Whiticar 56 – Built from one massive teak log so huge, it took a pair of 18-wheelers to get it to the boatyard.

teak drawer pull on whiticar

A teak and ebony drawer pull, from this classic boat by Whiticar.

The Whiticar 56 seems alive, in the same way a lava flow or water spilling down whitewater rapids seem to have a life of their own. When I first laid eyes on this boat the effect was unmistakable, and it’s the result of crafting the entire Whiticar 56 from a single gigantic log. The grain forms a river from stem to stern, deck to wheelhouse, which is never interrupted, never fades, and never diminishes. The teak is set off by details like hand-carved ebony drawer pulls shaped like seashells, Connally leather upholstery (the same stuff used by Rolls-Royce) and fluting in the trim. A Fantasy Boat? Damn straight. What will this fantasy boat cost you? Back in 2001 when it was launched (and I had the nerve-wracking opportunity to run it), the Whiticar 56 went for $3.9 million. Today, who knows—can you put a price on the Mona Lisa?

For more information, keep dreaming; this boat completely unique. You can visit Whiticar Boatworks, however, to see the latest work of art in their plans.

allison bass boat

The Allison XB-2002 – The fastest bass boat in the world.

With a top-end speed that can break 116-mph, the Allison XB-2002 ranks as the world’s fastest bass boat—and that surely makes it worth dreaming about. Sure, it has all the usual stuff like livewells, pedestal seats, and fishfinders. Yeah, it’s built with a steel-reinforced transom, foam-core I-beam sandwich construction, and a setback transom. Sure, you can pick one up for a fraction of the cost of a classic canyon-runner. But what we really care about is the fact that you can run this thing faster than some single-engine airplanes.

For more information, visit Allison or see the XB-2002 in our feature 10 Bass Boats that will Blow You Away: Cast Action Heroes.


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About the author:

Lenny Rudow

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Lenny Rudow is Senior Editor for Dominion Marine Media, including Boats.com and Yachtworld.com. With over two decades of experience in marine journalism, he has contributed to publications including Boating Magazine, Marlin Magazine, Boating World, Saltwater Sportsman, Texas Fish & Game, and many others. Lenny is a graduate of the Westlawn School of Yacht Design who has won 28 BWI and OWAA writing awards.
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