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1956 challenger

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I recently came onto this all original single owner garage kept 1956 Challenger skiff. I see you guys may have some info on the rarity or value of this beauty. Like I said, boat motor and trailer are all original with a single owner. Please help me figure out the significance and value of this piece of Florida fishing history!! Thanks in advance.View media item 6680View media item 6678View media item 6676View media item 6682View media item 6684View media item 6686
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95’ Hewes Redfisher W/new Suzuki 140
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Great find! It will take some doing to turn it into a flats skiff, but that’s a real piece of history. It’s a real quandary whether to keep it original and show it off, or do a complete makeover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Great find! It will take some doing to turn it into a flats skiff, but that’s a real piece of history. It’s a real quandary whether to keep it original and show it off, or do a complete makeover.
That’s my question... is it worth more original or modified? I’m not looking for a project I just want to make sure the boat is respected and put to best purpose.
 

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That’s my question... is it worth more original or modified? I’m not looking for a project I just want to make sure the boat is respected and put to best purpose.
That’s my question... is it worth more original or modified? I’m not looking for a project I just want to make sure the boat is respected and put to best purpose.
Pm me if u want to sell it as is
 

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How fun to see an early example of fiberglass boatbuilding.
This is just my take on your find.....
The hull is a perfect example of the original shape that most all early flats skiffs started with.
This is not a flats skiff, but a wonderful piece of past boating fun.
The Challenger skiff was originally designed as shown here to be a fun ski or just runabout day skiff.
My guess is the outboard is way more valuable than the the hull.
It would be a terrible thing to turn this into a flats skiff.
My suggestion is to contact Jonny Morris to see if he would be interested in purchasing to put in one of his Bass World extravaganza shops as a prop.
Best thing would be not to touch it but to find a place to preserve it as is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
How fun to see an early example of fiberglass boatbuilding.
This is just my take on your find.....
The hull is a perfect example of the original shape that most all early flats skiffs started with.
This is not a flats skiff, but a wonderful piece of past boating fun.
The Challenger skiff was originally designed as shown here to be a fun ski or just runabout day skiff.
My guess is the outboard is way more valuable than the the hull.
It would be a terrible thing to turn this into a flats skiff.
My suggestion is to contact Jonny Morris to see if he would be interested in purchasing to put in one of his Bass World extravaganza shops as a prop.
Best thing would be not to touch it but to find a place to preserve it as is.
Can you send me Johnny Morris’ contact info?
 

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The guy who taught me the basics of working with fiberglass, Bill Aman (Aman Plastics, all those years ago...) started his boatbuilding career working at Challenger in the fifties as a laborer... Those old Challengers were heavy, but provided the best starting point for those wanting to build their own flats boats - back when no one was making a flats boat (until Hewes came along...).

Those early Challengers came in two styles - a round chine and a hard chine version. The hard chine version provided a drier ride (but was noisy at rest or when poling), the round chine version was a lot quieter when poling - and you could roll it onto it's side back when many were willing to burn a hole in the flat to jump up on plane (before we learned how damaging that was to the grass bottom...). The round chine version was the one that most wanted to turn into a flats skiff - but it was wet riding (oh boy...) until you added spray rails - that's why you see them on all the old Challenger skiffs still around today.

Go to Classics Corner "Blast from the Past" to learn more about them..... on this site...
 

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The guy who taught me the basics of working with fiberglass, Bill Aman (Aman Plastics, all those years ago...) started his boatbuilding career working at Challenger in the fifties as a laborer... Those old Challengers were heavy, but provided the best starting point for those wanting to build their own flats boats - back when no one was making a flats boat (until Hewes came along...).

Those early Challengers came in two styles - a round chine and a hard chine version. The hard chine version provided a drier ride (but was noisy at rest or when poling), the round chine version was a lot quieter when poling - and you could roll it onto it's side back when many were willing to burn a hole in the flat to jump up on plane (before we learned how damaging that was to the grass bottom...). The round chine version was the one that most wanted to turn into a flats skiff - but it was wet riding (oh boy...) until you added spray rails - that's why you see them on all the old Challenger skiffs still around today.

Go to Classics Corner "Blast from the Past" to learn more about them..... on this site...
Wish I had my old Challenger. I bought it from a doctor up in Perine who had it built. It was a real ass pounder, but once you were up on the flat... in the day, no one polled shallower, an honest 6” to 7”.
One thing about those spray rails, it you were trimmed down hard on one side and caught a wave, be prepared for a sharp turn.
 

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I guess financially I think it breaks down this way:
(A) you are able to sell it as a vintage boat package to a collector , museum , or Bass Pro shops as stated earlier. I have heard from others that Bass Pro pays very little however as these items are just props in their stores.
(B) Someone looking for a project skiff buys it and spends quite a bit to turn it in to a flats skiff. However, it would probably be a lot less expensive to buy an existing Challenger that's already been converted and modify to your taste. They do show up for sale once in awhile (saw one last week for sale in Islamorada).
Bill Hempel (BYFLY) has a lot of info on these skiffs and the original sales brochure. Very cool find!
 
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