Back to the main page Back to category Runabouts

boat details

1972 Century

Estimated price for orientation: 24 950 $

Category: Runabouts

Condition: Used Year: 1972
Make: Century

An opportunity like this does not come around often.  This stunning Classic 1972 Century Arabian has been completely gone through, from stem to stern, so to speak.  This is almost certainly the best example of this sought-after runabout to come on the market in the last decade or two...and the best part is that it's better than it was the day it came out of the factory.  No, it's not "perfect", but with very little expense, it could well be.I'll do my best to describe everything that's been done to this fine craft, but since it's been a labor of love, I'll no doubt forget many goes:First of all this boat was purchased brand new by my step father in 1972, so it's "been in the family" all of it's 45 years.  I inherited it in the early 1990's, and by that time, unfortunately, it had experienced some neglect.  So I began a years' long project, starting with the removal of the original Chrysler 440, Paragon tranny, and gutting the whole interior right down to, and including the stringers and the fuel tank.  The stingers were replaced and "properly" glassed (unlike the original factory job), and a new fuel tank installed.  The interior, from the seat boxes to the firewall and dash, was rebuilt from scratch and slightly modified from original to make for a better, more functional design; again, using treated material almost exclusively.  Professionally installed marine grade upholstery and carpeting; under-seat storage; custom teak swim step (original ladder will be included in sale); heater; stereo; instruments refurbished or replaced with OEM; most brightwork re-chromed; and other details which slip my mind now.  Meanwhile, the engine work was progressing at a different shop.   My instructions to the engine builder were to make it "better and stronger", but DO NOT sacrifice reliability.  He nailed it!  I don't know the exact HP output, but it's got to be at least 20-30% more than the original 330 factory output.  Among other things, the highlights are:  Machined heads, heavy duty valve train springs and components (hardened, so no need to add lead to the fuel), performance cam, intake manifold, exhaust system, Holley Marine carburetor, balancing and polishing, and the list goes on, and on.  This engine will idle all afternoon on a leisurely cocktail cruise, or sustain WOT until it runs out of's bullet-proof.  While all this was being done I took the Paragon transmission in for a check-up.  The transmission technician asked me what kind of a vessel it was out of, and when I told him it was a 19 foot runabout, he thought that I was joking.  He said, and this is as close to a quote as I can recall, "...this tranny would do just fine in a small tugboat, it's WAY overkill for a ski boat, even one with over 300 horsepower."  Bottom line is that there was nothing at all wrong with it, so he replaced the seals, o-rings, etc., and put it back together, telling me that it would last for another 50 years or so, at least. As things started to come back together, the weak link became even more obvious; the factory wiring was a joke, and not a funny one.  Fortunately I happen to have an electrical engineer in the family, and he "volunteered" to re-do the wiring better than new...and he did just that.  The back of the instrument panel now looks like a work of art (see pics, and compare, even with a new boat today!), instead of the rat's nest that it was from the factory.  He also added more fuses and safety features, including the automatic halon fire extinguishing system.  
I ordered a "Small Vessel Survey" toward the end of the original restoration, which is available to serious interested parties.  Among other things, the survey states:  "This vessel on completion will appear 'as new' in almost all respects."  The report also states:  "Replacement: Boat, $24,000.00; Trailer, $3,400."  This is dated May 15,1992.  It should also be noted that this boat has been used and enjoyed since then, so it does show some signs of use, as mentioned above.  However, it's still a gem...but not in the rough.  And, best of all, if it's properly cared for, it'll never lose fact, just the opposite.  
So here's what it all comes down to...your gain is my loss.  You can spend less, much less, if a generic boat satisfies your needs; no need to read on.  Or, if you've got the cash, and have to have the best and greatest new ski boat on the market, great, you can easily spend four or five times this much...or even more.  However, in either case you'll have a boat that's just like pretty much every other one that you see on the lake, or in the marina...and to me, that's BORING!  OR, you can fire up this beauty at the dock and watch every head turn, wondering what the heck it is.  The downside is that you'll find yourself spending time talking to a bunch of folks (they'll even stop you in the middle of the lake!) who will appreciate this for what it is...FUN, and UNIQUE!  It is, quite literally, ONE OF A KIND, and getting more rare by the day.Another plus:  THIS BOAT HAS NEVER BEEN IN SALT WATER!  And, during the summer season, it's always been kept on a boat lift or trailer; only actually in the water while being used.For comparison sake, a similar boat, not restored, and not in nearly as good condition as this, was recently "totaled" in a storm here in the Seattle area, and the insurance company paid off nearly $30K.  You really don't want to miss this one.  The sale includes the tandem Trail Rite trailer in excellent condition; original engine manual; original owner's manual; spare propeller and rudder; and many miscellaneous parts and pieces.  I will assist as much as possible with shipping logistics, but shipping cost and arrangements are the sole responsibility of the purchaser.  I "may consider" delivering the boat for an additional fee,  depending on location.