Six of the Coolest Boats Ever Built

Six cool boats that every boater should know about.

Six of the Coolest Boats Ever Built

Six of the Coolest Boats Ever Built

Six of the Coolest Boats Ever BuiltTim Bower

This partial list of best boats is honest, true, and totally subjective. That’s because there are no “best” boats; they are all compromised in one way or another. I just like these boats because, to me, they are the best at something — even if it’s being a failure. And yes, most of them are older models, because I’m just not comfortable with making snap judgments. Sometimes it takes me a couple of decades.

Six of the Coolest Boats Ever Built

Six of the Coolest Boats Ever Built

Six of the Coolest Boats Ever BuiltBoating Magazine

Best Babe Magnet: What do women want? God only knows, and she's not talking. But we can get some hints. Back when magazines had money we held annual rallies with boats of all types for testing and photography. Which one did the models want to go for a ride on, year after year? The Bluewater made by Bluewater Yachts. They're like houses by Frank Lloyd Wright with a hint of Salvador Dali put on a hull. But that's where the babes are. So forget your flying phallus go-fasts. They only impress other guys. Which is OK — I mean, if that's what you're into.

Six of the Coolest Boats Ever Built

Six of the Coolest Boats Ever Built

Six of the Coolest Boats Ever BuiltBoating Magazine

Classiest Boat: It's a matter of style. You either have it or don't. The Huckins Sportfisherman 44 is the embodiment of refined ease, having elegance in the simplicity of its form. I have never met a boater who wouldn't push his mother off the dock to get a better look at one. These boats are beautiful.

Six of the Coolest Boats Ever Built

Six of the Coolest Boats Ever Built

Six of the Coolest Boats Ever BuiltBoating Magazine

My Favorite Failure: I love Donzis. Their owners, a revolving door of them, have understood that Donzi exudes sex. Even the company's spectacular failures are sexy. In 1995 Donzi came out with the Black Hawk Limited, a deep-space-black 22 Classic with all its metal done in gold. It oozed sensuality so much you needed a condom to drive it. That is, if you could. Its downfall was the MerCruiser Blackhawk surface drive, which was almost impossible to set up correctly. The drive never became popular, so Merc killed it. But, oh, that Donzi.

Six of the Coolest Boats Ever Built

Six of the Coolest Boats Ever Built

Six of the Coolest Boats Ever BuiltBoating Magazine

Best Impression of a 1957 Chevy: When AristoCraft introduced its line of small molded-mahogany plywood runabouts in the '50s, "real" boaters laughed. But every kid — including me — would have sold a kidney to own one. The great thing is that the boats are still around. The original owner's family will build you a new Torpedo 14 to modern specs for $13,500.

Six of the Coolest Boats Ever Built

Six of the Coolest Boats Ever Built

Six of the Coolest Boats Ever BuiltBoating Magazine

Best Cheesy '80s Boat: Sonny Crockett, I wanted your Scarab and still do. So much that I forgive you for living on a ragboat and for having a "Ferrari" that was only a kit car on a Corvette chassis. Those special Wellcraft 38 Scarab KVs occasionally come up for sale, and I always go to look. Thankfully, the '80s are dead, but that Scarab sure isn't. Long live Miami Vice's Crockett and Rico Tubbs.

Six of the Coolest Boats Ever Built

Six of the Coolest Boats Ever Built

Six of the Coolest Boats Ever BuiltBoating Magazine

Best Boat to Grow Up With: If you didn't have a 13-foot Boston Whaler when you were a kid, your shrink is probably right — your parents didn't love you. Make up for their transgression by buying one for your kid now.

That’s my list. Don’t like it? Think I’m way off? Then get your own column, or let’s hear yours in the comments below.