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View Full Version : Why Do We Love The Classics So Much?



Carl C
02-05-2014, 03:58 PM
Seriously. I'm not sure why I have almost 100g into a 22 C when I could have much more boat for the money. Others have more than that in them, like hotshot Mick, Mr. X, the fellow from Norway, Parnell and more. We have to climb the drives to board after a swim, we have no cupholders and not nearly enough storage space. Seats are nothing special. But we like them! For me I think it's because I've always admired them, I can use it on the small lakes and the Great ones so I only need one boat, I love driving it as it takes skill and gives satisfaction and thrills. Now Baja will be selling a 22 Classic alongside a 24 Outlaw. Why would someone choose the Donzi?

Why do we like them so much?

Why do you like yours so much?

:)

woobs
02-05-2014, 04:59 PM
Even after all these years I LOVE the look of the Classics. IMHO there's still not many boats that look near as nice and none of those are new.

I chose the Donzi Classics for their ability to handle water bigger than their size would indicate and still feel like a sportscar on glass. There is also a piece of mind that I have knowing it's a proven design and stands up.

When the 16 Ski Sporter is finished, I'll be lookin for a 20' - 25' hull for my next project. You can bet it will not be a Chris Craft Stinger...even though I love the new 20' Lancer!

mattyboy
02-05-2014, 05:45 PM
let's remember there are more classic donzi than just the 16 18 and 22, some are direct heirs to the legacy of Don and his racing operations, some are the vision of Walt Walters or the Chisholms or the Staples.

In their day the Donzi Brand were the zenith of the market known for quality performance and styling. the allure to me has always been having one of the early boats that were true Aronow boats. The best thing I saw was Walt getting back into one of his designs 40 years later just as it looked the day it rolled out of the factory. I can see for some it's speed or the styling, my addiction is more for the history/legacy/mystique then the styling and speed come in. To know I have a piece of history from the golden era of Thunderboat row the fact that it looks great runs great and handles big water is all gravy

BLACKBOX
02-05-2014, 05:47 PM
I remember a magazine article a long, long time ago that, referring to the Sweet 16, stated "Donzi oozes sex." Yep. 'Enuf said.

hardcrab
02-05-2014, 05:54 PM
The Classics are the foundation of an entire culture in boating.

Ed Donnelly
02-05-2014, 06:53 PM
My reasoning was simple.My good friend Kenny Ross
inherited 5 million big ones in 1965 and bought a grumble green 16 He also had a Rolex
Penis envy took over and I had to have them too
(still have the Rolex)
Saw a pic of John Chisholm in a Criterion 11
and it was love at first sight. Never found a 11 for sale
so I settled on Johns SS ....Ed

woobs
02-05-2014, 10:57 PM
let's remember there are more classic donzi than just the 16 18 and 22

I'm definately lovin' the Hornets (I, II & III), the Minx, Critter (and Critter II), GT21 anf F22 ! However, I have only owned and/or driven a C18 and a C16 so, I figured I could comment on them. I'm hoping I'll find a C22, Hornet, Minx or GT21 in need of TLC when I'm ready.

The history is cool but, many Marques have an interesting history. I've done the factory original old Porsche thing and after that I'm all about making whatever I have my own... to suit my purposes. Showroom original is great for those that aspire to it... it's just not for me.

Carl C
02-06-2014, 08:07 AM
The historical aspect is cool but I purchased my boat new and don't want to see it become a part of history. It was a current model with current running gear. The upgrades I have done are still up to date. Soon the Classics may be done and soon the 525 EFI may be discontinued. Then I will have an old boat with a great pedigree I guess! I will keep it though mainly because I really enjoy driving it and I can afford to drive it often. :)

One thing I've learned from these forums is that I never want to restore one! I like driving them, not working on them.

Greg Guimond
02-06-2014, 09:20 AM
With the Donzi 16 I don't think you can get a hull that will do as well in rough water and still give good speeds. What other performance 16 footers have a 24 degree deadrise?

Then, when you add to that and try a 16 OB Baby, you get a rare 1 of 170 build and you get even better performance. Then, you realize that no one is willing to pay for them and you can get a very clean package for $10k turnkey ready to go that is fast, fun, cheap on fuel, and the best hull out there for rough water under 17'. The topper is the design of the 16's are timeless unlike this guys hair style.

Conquistador_del_mar
02-07-2014, 01:15 AM
I saw my first Donzis in about 1967 and loved the look and ride - I knew I wanted one from way back then. In 1973 I saw an 18' listed in the Dallas Morning News classifieds - a 1971 18' 2+3 and went to see it after calling the seller. I will never forget that day when he rolled up his garage door - love at first sight!! After 1200 or so hours behind the wheel and lots of great times, I sold it in about 1978. When it resurfaced on Craigslist a few years ago, I bought it again and totally restored it with no plans to ever sell it again. A Donzi rocks! Bill

mattyboy
02-07-2014, 07:26 AM
The historical aspect is cool but I purchased my boat new and don't want to see it become a part of history. It was a current model with current running gear. The upgrades I have done are still up to date. Soon the Classics may be done and soon the 525 EFI may be discontinued. Then I will have an old boat with a great pedigree I guess! I will keep it though mainly because I really enjoy driving it and I can afford to drive it often. :)

One thing I've learned from these forums is that I never want to restore one! I like driving them, not working on them.

Carl actually you bought a new old boat and that was part of the problem it is a 40 yr old design and with the tight market and newer technologies the design needed to change a bit with the times. as far a resto work more glass work has been done to your 10 yr old boat then my 46 yr old boat that was another part of the problem when they did change things they made the boat weaker. but the big part of the problem is the market you must be many things to many people money is tight so in the small sport boat market the one who does the most wins . the boat must be capable of water sports , carry people and stuff and perform well. Not to mention that buyers are mostly cash now, gone is the 1000 down pay a 100 a month til the cows come home. So the used and resto project market are stout. Just look at all the projects going on donzi magnums cigs on this and any other forum.

the writing was on the wall once Staples sold to the corp world redundant offerings from other companies that's when Donzi lost it's way a bit AMH did re-capture some of it's past glory winning races and updating the designs in the ZX ZR range but they never really gave any attention to the classic line except for graphics.

JimG
02-07-2014, 07:37 AM
Well said, Matty... for me it is the history. Looking down that shiny gelcoat bow, just like the original owner did in 1970.The sounds are the same, the thrill is the same...That is why I own a Donzi!

Carl C
02-07-2014, 08:06 AM
Carl actually you bought a new old boat and that was part of the problem it is a 40 yr old design and with the tight market and newer technologies the design needed to change a bit with the times. as far a resto work more glass work has been done to your 10 yr old boat then my 46 yr old boat that was another part of the problem when they did change things they made the boat weaker. but the big part of the problem is the market you must be many things to many people money is tight so in the small sport boat market the one who does the most wins . the boat must be capable of water sports , carry people and stuff and perform well. Not to mention that buyers are mostly cash now, gone is the 1000 down pay a 100 a month til the cows come home. So the used and resto project market are stout. Just look at all the projects going on donzi magnums cigs on this and any other forum.

the writing was on the wall once Staples sold to the corp world redundant offerings from other companies that's when Donzi lost it's way a bit AMH did re-capture some of it's past glory winning races and updating the designs in the ZX ZR range but they never really gave any attention to the classic line except for graphics.

But it is a 40 year old design that WORKS! It's not the fastest. A pad would make it faster but would diminish the rough water capability and leaning in turns. Steps would make it faster but would totally change the handling and some say that steps aren't needed because at top speed you are only running on the last two feet of hull. Bigger go-fasts still use the 24* deadrise. Mine has a solid glass hull with no wood coring to worry about. Transom is composite. Stringers might be also. The running gear and rigging has kept up with the times. Some method of boarding without adding a swim platform would be nice. More storage up in the front would be nice; I fixed that issue with mine and I guess that is part of the glass work you mention. The engine room had a factory engineered strengthening system glassed in and I did further strengthening when I powered up to get it to run in the 80s which was where I needed to be to make the boat fun. Yes, mine has had glass work but it was only down for short periods. I don't want cup holders. Everyone finishes their drink before we plane out. You are right on the financing. I paid zero down. My boat was delivered from Pier 57 and my old Hydrostream picked up as trade in to cover down payment. I have a 15 year loan on it! And I'm going to be very upset if Baja offers a wakeboard tower as an option on any Classic.

osur866
02-07-2014, 12:23 PM
Simple, Looks, The way they handle, I've thrown my 18 around in some nasty slop at LOTO's and always get complments at the docks at how cool it is. Most importantly the way they handle and ride!

Greg Guimond
02-07-2014, 01:13 PM
Simple, Looks, The way they handle, I've thrown my 18 around in some nasty slop at LOTO's and always get complments at the docks at how cool it is. Most importantly the way they handle and ride!

Agree, and also the fact that you can have a choice of 16, 18, and 22 all offering the same "look" and timelessness. I'm actually now wondering what other builder over the decades has offered 3 models so closely related in looks in a high performance boat line.

Marlin275
02-07-2014, 03:45 PM
These classics are a work of art and design.
I have never seen such an aggressive and beautiful design in a small boat.

We had Whalers, Wellcrafts and Glastrons before these sexy boats showed up on my canal in Florida as a kid.
The millionaires had these toys first.
Life has never been the same afterwards . . .

yeller
02-08-2014, 01:28 AM
The first Donzi I ever saw was not a real Donzi. It was a 16 splash with an 140 Merc on the back. I didn't really like it at first. I thought the cockpit opening looked like a big bathtub had been glassed into the boat.

.....then I went for a ride. WOW! Was I impressed! I couldn't believe a little 16' boat could handle the rough the way it did. I had to have one! Lucky for me, the person who owned that splashed 16 also owned the molds. I wasn't making much money at the time, but I wheeled-n-dealed on everything and ended up with a 16C running a jet drive. Everything was brand new (except engine was rebuilt) and total cost was about $5500. That included a "temporary" used trailer I picked up for $200. (That temporary trailer ended up being under the boat for 10yrs :tooth:). I ran that boat for about 18yrs and loved every minute of it. It handle incredible with the jet, tamed the rough water, and made a great ski boat. I even learnt how to barefoot behind it.

Now when I look at a Classic, no matter how hard I try, I can't picture the "odd" cockpit I saw before. Now it looks perfect.

mattyboy
02-08-2014, 09:57 AM
But it is a 40 year old design that WORKS! It's not the fastest. A pad would make it faster but would diminish the rough water capability and leaning in turns. Steps would make it faster but would totally change the handling and some say that steps aren't needed because at top speed you are only running on the last two feet of hull. Bigger go-fasts still use the 24* deadrise. Mine has a solid glass hull with no wood coring to worry about. Transom is composite. Stringers might be also. The running gear and rigging has kept up with the times. Some method of boarding without adding a swim platform would be nice. More storage up in the front would be nice; I fixed that issue with mine and I guess that is part of the glass work you mention. The engine room had a factory engineered strengthening system glassed in and I did further strengthening when I powered up to get it to run in the 80s which was where I needed to be to make the boat fun. Yes, mine has had glass work but it was only down for short periods. I don't want cup holders. Everyone finishes their drink before we plane out. You are right on the financing. I paid zero down. My boat was delivered from Pier 57 and my old Hydrostream picked up as trade in to cover down payment. I have a 15 year loan on it! And I'm going to be very upset if Baja offers a wakeboard tower as an option on any Classic.

Carl
yes the ray hunt deep Vee design did work but you can honestly say that there is nothing in the past 40 yrs that could be done to make the boat better?

I'll put the quest for speed a side for a second if the design really works why did you have to do so much work to your boat?? I will also put a side over nighting just basic storage for bumpers cause ever donzi owner is anal about their boat good bumper storage build in or under the rear seat in any of the classics would be nice. Look at some of the features of the Hornet boarding ladders that store away when not in use in the seat storage. how about a ski locker that actually holds skis. with all the stuff they put into the bigger boats the designer make use of every centimeter .

what about something along the lines of Criterion SS a two seat gentlemen's racer with hidden jumps seats in case another couple join you. That was part of my point as well the style and creative offerings of the past are long gone.

the sight and sound of a donzi is never forgotten easily I love them for all the same reason's that have been listed here.

Greg Guimond
02-08-2014, 10:25 AM
I think you have two catagories. The first is the hull bottom itself. Then you have misc small creature comforts. The small creature comforts would be very easy for the factory to add

Carl C
02-08-2014, 12:34 PM
I think you have two catagories. The first is the hull bottom itself. Then you have misc small creature comforts. The small creature comforts would be very easy for the factory to add

I would add some type of hidden boarding ladder, more storage and better front seats. I'd also offer the 22 with a 525 or whatever Mercury Racing has come out with to replace it. Possibly lose the lifting rings and add front cleats. The hull works. The simple paint/gel theme still works.

Greg Guimond
02-08-2014, 01:16 PM
There is no doubt the simple paint and gel works Carl. Timeless and yet VERY notable. On the hull, Sutphen has stayed with a fairly similar round bottom design on there SS21 where most all the other manufacturers have gone to pads over the years in that size segment. At least the faster stuff has. A pad bottom is not as comfortable where people tend to drive the boat 80% of the time. The spoon bottom is a nice compromise overall IMO. The boarding ladder integration alone would make a ton of difference in both an 18 and a 22, certainly the 22 Classic.

Fishermanjm
02-09-2014, 11:24 AM
All i can say is that i love my boat,,, i put her in the Bay and give it hell,,, the boat runs sooooo well and handles
the rough water very well. I am still learning how to drive her, and she teaches me a lesson or two out on the water, butt, it is FUN!!! i will keep the small block power because its fast enough for me. Does my boat have wood coring? solid glass hull? and what about the stringers? There is soo much about my boat that i really dont know about.
I wanted a go fast an be loud bay boat an i got one,,, the looks that i get on the water an at the ramp tells the story.
My Donzi.

Tim Morris
02-10-2014, 03:25 PM
[QUOTE= we have no cupholders and not nearly enough storage space.
:)[/QUOTE]

Not too many guys like me who want it all I suppose.
The MINX has cup holders!

joseph m. hahnl
02-10-2014, 08:16 PM
:worthy:It was the patter of water you could hear on the hull way off in the distance and then slowly but surely you start to hear that v8 sound as it gets louder and louder and then, vroom there it goes bye. :worthy:That is what sold me:yes:

cgentile
02-11-2014, 10:00 PM
I fell in love with my Sweet 16 when I was 13 looking through a yachting magazine. Their sure is something about them , it strange to go somewhere and have people point stare , smile , thumbs up, wave they all love the classic Donzi.

Leave it at the dock and come back to people taking pic's or some guy explaining and pointing stuff about the boat to his wife, or girl friend..lol.
I do not believe there is a boat out there that has such a cool history and pure sexiness about it, then a shinny classic.
cg

Carl C
02-12-2014, 08:13 AM
All i can say is that i love my boat,,, i put her in the Bay and give it hell,,, the boat runs sooooo well and handles
the rough water very well. I am still learning how to drive her, and she teaches me a lesson or two out on the water, butt, it is FUN!!! i will keep the small block power because its fast enough for me. Does my boat have wood coring? solid glass hull? and what about the stringers? There is soo much about my boat that i really dont know about.


I was hoping someone would respond to your construction questions. A solid glass hull will show some light shining through. The composite transoms are equal thickness all the way across vs a thicker portion in the center.

-10*F here again this morning. At this rate the Great Lakes are going to turn back into glaciers! :embarasse The small lake ice is close to 2 feet thick. Will boating ever begin? :(

dbleil89
02-17-2014, 10:13 AM
When I bought my 22 with a bad motor I had no idea how the boat would handle ride or function in the river where I boat. Then when I drove it and it was like a corvette on the water it just made ne love it more. For me its been a childhood dream to have one. Growing up I had a poster of a 22 and everytime I imagined a fast boat the donzi was the picture in my mind. Where im from evryone has a baja and everyone who doesn't drools over then. But when I bring my classic out, they all turn there heads to me. It even looks fast sitting on the trailer.

Capevettes
02-18-2014, 01:47 PM
Love my 18, The timeless styling, the sound, the handling, the power. It's all good. They are instantly recognizable and well respected over the years. To me there is no moving up. It's like a classic Corvette :drive: