View Full Version : The Classic's are they gone?

03-15-2012, 11:36 PM
I was asked this question about my boat today. Can you order a classic anymore, sweet 16 or the 16 or 18 or the 22 . Or is the used market and the few remaining new ones at dealers all that is left.
There no longer seems to be a Classic line up on the Donzi home page. And there are not very many on the North America listings when you search for a classic.


03-16-2012, 12:21 AM
Ive heard that Donzi will build you a 16, 18, or 22 Classic for 80K as a special order boat. They are no longer mass producing them for dealers to sell.

03-16-2012, 07:09 AM
In fact, they aren't being produced at all since the investment bank seized all assets.

03-16-2012, 07:49 AM
last reports are the holding company was 68 million in the hole so I think the 80k price has gone up just a wee bit

03-16-2012, 07:56 AM
So what has thet done for/against the used market?

03-16-2012, 08:17 AM
I don't think it has helped or hurt it. the classic values seem to hold their own pretty well against other glass boats. values are down a little with this economy but not as far down as other newer used boats. this production stoppage would need to be longer and also more official to make any upward impact. they have the 50th coming up in '14 be interesting to see where donzi is in two years might be the stage for a great comeback or a death nell.

03-16-2012, 09:07 AM
I will let you know about the value of a 22'. Mine is going on the market shortly. 1994 with a 454 Magnum Bravo One combination. Who knows what the market will be like this year.

Carl C
03-16-2012, 09:39 AM
There are more questions than answers right now. Let's first hope that we don't lose Donzi entirely. :frown:

03-16-2012, 09:42 AM
And while it may not be an "original" Donzi....

The Hornet Marine 17 is there for anyone that is looking for a factory NEW build in this style boat. I would also say it's affordable vs. the recent Donzi 16 and that might negatively impact some resale in that segment.

Murray, are you sure you still want to sell that beautiful 22....

03-16-2012, 12:36 PM
Sean my health has deteriorated to the point I do not think could manage the launching/reloading process. I guess at some point you have to be realistic about your situation.

How are your projects coming along both the wooden one and the fiberglass beauty. Hope all is well.


03-16-2012, 01:22 PM
Interesting , I was looking at selling my boat , but now with the cosmetic and loving care into it over the years. maybe be a while. If i do upgrade to a 18, sounds like buy one first then deal the other after you get what you want.
But the sweet 16 is so beautiful for my lake and size... it really sounds like the end of a legend is apon us .
When someone says they do not make it anymore, I would think the price is going up on used factory stock boats.

03-16-2012, 02:45 PM
don't count on it

how much more can you make a 22 ft boat worth when the start numbers are around 80 grand

03-16-2012, 02:56 PM
Murray....i bought my 94 with the same drivetrain and a 2004 alum trailer, freshwater boat 330hours etc for just under $15k in august. I hope you do better as the economy has picked up and spring is the time to sell, not August.

03-16-2012, 05:20 PM
Murray, we should chat...
I'll PM you.

03-18-2012, 03:08 PM
I believe all the Classic molds are all still at the old Sarasota plant location.

03-19-2012, 03:14 PM
As far as I know the molds are in sarasota still as well.

03-19-2012, 08:03 PM
I actually tried to order a NEW "Custom Design Shop" Donzi 18 "Classic" from Donzi Marine/ AMH in last summer 2011.
I wanted special blue & white gellcoat colors & big power, & a Hi performance race style outdrive.
They seemed to have very little interest in actually building ANY 16, 18, or 22, "Classic" style hulls at that time;
regardless of the engine power options.

I was also told the old molds were not on the new factory sight grounds.

FlatRacer, aka BarrelBack
03-19-2012, 10:50 PM
I just read that the Century Boat Company was bought and will be producing boats again soon. I'm sure a similar fate awaits the Donzi line. It's way too well known a name to fade into obscurity.


Donzi Vol
03-19-2012, 11:49 PM
Sadly, I'm not holding my breath. Unless Donzi's holding company ever decides to sell off the Classic molds to a new builder, I don't see the 16's, 18's, and 22's being a priority. Time will tell...

03-20-2012, 06:35 AM
The last one:confused:

03-20-2012, 06:49 AM
[ QUOTE=$originalposter]{$pagetext}[/QUOTE]

If it is indeed the last one they are going out with a bang. It is a beauty.

03-20-2012, 07:00 AM
NADA value $90,700.00 How can they do it so cheap? :wink:


Carl C
03-20-2012, 07:22 AM
The Logos are on the wrong side of the Donzi decals and that's not a 496. I remember that boat. It was built by the Fountain guys. Don't give up yet. Donzi is not gone and maybe things will turn around. It's an election year. :) Even if Mr. X bought the Classic molds he couldn't call them Donzis without purchasing the name also. Therefore they would be just another splash.

03-20-2012, 09:07 AM
wish I could say I was hopeful on this. The bigger issue is with their ( donzi) absence in the market the competition has taken a foot hold and is pushing forward. I would say Hornet( 16 competition) probably has produced close to 25 boats in two years and Sutphen( 18-22 competition) has probably at around 7 to 10 in that same period. the last 525 sutphen was a really nice boat and I am sure you can customize one of those any way you want for less than an 18 or 22 by donzi. Then the real sticking point who is going to build your donzi? are there any staff left that knows how to build one or with any experience on those models?

It does make some sense that a smaller donzi classic company might emerge out of this with some cash investment but again it would need to be done at the right price and right cost. it would have to be done mean and lean and would need to be done by a group that would have all facets of the business covered,design,sourcing,location, layup,finishing ,sales,distribution, and the BIGGEST KEY OF ALL FINANCING for their buyers.

I have come to the conclusion the new boat market is not for me I looked at new boats and can say that the older classic glass boats are more for me.

the 525 sutphen boat for those you might not have seen it

03-20-2012, 10:12 AM
Carl, you're right about that engine. They're doing a dis-service in the add calling it a 496 - I assumed it was the old 8.1 until I looked at the pictures.

Matty - You might be right too. But although that Sutphen is probably a great boat, the styling just doesn't do it for me. Not being a snob (I really like Doc's 28 Pantera for example) but in a small boat haven't seen anything that looks as good as the Classic line.

03-20-2012, 10:34 AM

true I can respect that but not everyone feels that way especially in the "entry level" go fast market some have different priorities and they look at other things like price, performance, options available, as well as styling not to mention availability. I think there are certain aspects of the 40 plus yr old classic line that will last for ever like their looks but there are also aspects of the classics that have seen their day.

03-20-2012, 10:44 AM
just noticed what is the motor in the 22C ?? looks like the sutphen offers the same motor an 8.2 mag ho at 430 hp.

so what is it?

03-20-2012, 10:55 AM
nevermind found it so why can't they say it's a 496???


Donzi Vol
03-20-2012, 12:17 PM
What does an 8.2L translate to in Cu In? I saw a 7.4L last week, and still have the same question about that block as well.

roadtrip se
03-20-2012, 02:34 PM
Well, some of the Classic molds are in North Carolina. Craig Barrie was testing a new ZRC 700 boat recently, built post-takeover, so the receivership can build a boat evidently.

I have also heard several rumbles of these boats being subbed out for production by a licensee. In my opinion, these boats are fairly simple to build, so therefore the talent drain, probably isn't that significant. The Fountain factory has built a few nice examples, even though they can't seem to get a simple detail like the stickers right. I would rather buy a licensed Donzi Classic, than someone else's mildly disquised splash.

Then comes the other shoe. Who will buy them and at what price? I watch the market pretty carefully. There are boats out there for sale, but just not at the give-away prices many in the community seem to expect. Recent builds, special custom units like the 525 black boat, and the Shelbys seem to be holding their own value-wise. You have to look for them, as many are at brokers, and the owners are waiting for a reasonable buyer to surface, not the blood-in-the-water-sharks-who-think-everything-should-be-a-steal types.

In the end, does the current demand and higher transaction prices in the used market for the right boats signify enough demand to build a few custom new units. Maybe, but probably not.

03-20-2012, 03:20 PM

the 7.4 was a 454

the 8.2 is listed as a 496

03-20-2012, 04:35 PM

i was confused as to the part about the dis-service I wasn't sure if it was a dis-service to the buyer as overstating the motor specs

or a dis service to the motor by understating the motor's specs

this is a stronger motor than the old 496 HO 425hp and the even older 502 mag mpi 415hp correct?

also don't know why the link i posted listed it as a 496??

Carl C
03-20-2012, 05:33 PM
Yes, Matty, IMO the new 502 is a far superior engine than the 496. It's just a minor oversight and anyone who looks at the pictures will catch the mistake.

03-20-2012, 06:27 PM
Speaking of the new 502, it's interesting, but 3-4k for factory manifold replacement? H.F.S.!

And that's if all the catalytic stuff is healthy and re-usable. Just the set of manifolds, collectors, elbows and gaskets range from 3 to 4k depending on your elbow height. (Heaven forbid if you have to start replacing catalytic stuff, you might end up adding another 5k or more. You've got six 800 dollar catalytic cylinders sitting in iron castings full of seawater. Nothing could possibly go wrong. What's the over/under on the first complaint of a NINE+ THOUSAND DOLLAR manifold replacement? Hmmm, I'll go with June of 2015.)

For that sort of pricing on the manifolds, they should have put in a full freshwater system. Which it LOOKS like they did, when you read the website closely. But don't be fooled. I went through the schematics and talked to the factory and have it on VERY good authority that the manifolds and collectors are cast iron with seawater cooling, despite what the marketing might look like.

I have my fingers crossed that the full FWC is coming, but I get the opposite impression from talking to Merc. I just can't see risking that kind of money on something as routine as manifold replacement. I also hope they clean up the misleading verbiage on the website--I think they will do that. Even within Merc, people are confused about this motor, falsely thinking it is a "full" freshwater system, when it's actually just a half-system.

03-20-2012, 06:52 PM
The black boat shown in the link was indeed the most recent 22 built and the only one to receive the new Merc 8.2. It was a Sarasota-built boat, as no Classics have been built in NC. The last two 18s (one blue, one red) were delivered to a dealer in Canada. They had custom windshields on them since the Taylor windshields were no longer available. It appears the last four Classics built somehow made it out of the factory with logos affixed with the flags forward instead of aft.

Craig Barrie is running Donzi and they're currently building and delivering sold boats out of the NC factory. I had the opportunity to sea-trial a new 2012 NC-built 38 ZFX Open at the Miami show last month and the boat was pretty nice. I only noted superficial changes between it and earlier Sarasota-built versions of the same model. A lot of non-current Donzi tooling has been warehoused in Sarasota and Crystal River. All Classic tooling is in Sarasota.


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roadtrip se
03-20-2012, 11:47 PM
Thanks for the clarification Josh on the Classic build, and I stand corrected. I for one would love to see some pics of the 18's that were built.

03-21-2012, 12:49 AM
[ QUOTE=$originalposter]{$pagetext}[/QUOTE]
Yes I'd like to see the custom 18 windshields!! I'm in need of replacing mine and would like to see what they did, and if they are avalible!!!

03-21-2012, 10:40 AM
Sounds to me that a "Custom Classic Shop" needs to be set up in Sarasota, new boats, customization, and restoration services. ;)

03-21-2012, 11:32 AM
What a great idea! ;)

While new boats are off the table for the time being, we do complete renovations in Sarasota already, in conjunction with International Performance (www.international-performance.com). Currently there are several Donzis in the shop; everything from a 16 Classic to a 38 ZRC and 43 ZR, and they're all DonziDirect.Com customers. Still, as I foresee it, our primary focus will continue to be as a parts provider for the DIY market, because that's where most of the demand is.

Osur, I'll see if I can find some photos of the windshield. It was perhaps 30% taller than the windshield you're used to seeing, and also pretty darn expensive compared to the currently-unavailable Taylor windshields.


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roadtrip se
03-21-2012, 12:52 PM
Rick and Josh make a great point. If you can't buy new, buy used and make it better than new. I see the level of detail on our boats come up every year as I walk the docks at AOTH, so I am obviously not alone in this thinking.

I tore my new 2001 22 apart within a year of taking delivery of it, adding more power, gauges, steering, shorty and a whole bunch of other stuff to make it my own. When I wanted to upgrade it again a year or two back, I decided to hire it out to Brian Orlandi, because I simply didn't have the desire or time to live in that bilge again.

In Southeast Michigan, there isn't a better boat performance shop. Rigging, fabbing, fiberglass, and engine work, Brian does it all, and does it right. Hotshot, Carl C, Bald Eagle, Atomic Carl, Bamboo Louie, and a host of others in this area have had major and minor work done, at Orlandi Performance. Did I happen to see a certain member's Cig 24 in the back of the shop the last time I was there?


03-21-2012, 02:40 PM
This is not the first time this idea has worked, during the horrible "Luxury Tax" era, Hatteras and others did just that.
Even boats that had sunk were restored to better than new.
There was a lot of motivation to get around that "Boat Industry killer".

03-21-2012, 07:19 PM
Is THAT where I left it? I can stop looking behind the toaster... ;)

03-22-2012, 02:09 PM
Hey Josh...what does a local like me have to do to get ao tour of the Sarasota shop?