Century History

Similar to many of the first companies to produce wood boats, Century began as a family business. Century Boat Company was founded by two brothers in Milwaukee, Wis., in 1926. Although William and James Welch sold their ownership in 1930, Century went on to become one of the most innovative and stylish boats lines of the era.

Century stock wood production ran from 1929 to 1969. Like most of the other production manufacturers of this time, the next year’s models were produced in the latter part of the previous year. New models from 1955 were produced in late 1954. The models listed in this price guide correlate to the official models identified in Century's catalogs.

Century boats carved out a strong niche among production boats of the day, with innovative designs and style elements that stood out from other boat brands. Some of the most popular models – like the Sea Maid, Resorter, Coronado, Arabian and Palomino – featured innovative painted schemes, moveable hard tops and gullwings, and fiberglass design panels incorporated into the mahogany structure. The Century Resorter, a utility produced in lengths from 15 to 21 feet, became one of the most popular models for average boaters and was the water-ski tow boat for all national events in the late '50s.

This guide will first address these most popular models and add lesser production runs as data becomes available. More specific technical information may be accessed through the Century Boat Club website at

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