If you’re a regular visitor to this web site you already know how truly passionate I am about these classic wood boats. To me they are extra special over and above all other boats, and each one has their own special history. If only we were able to see these wonderful craft last for many future generations. My hope is by restoring these boats we’re doing our part to meet that aim.
That’s one of the reasons I’m also involved to a high degree in the Antique & Classic Boat Society (ACBS), both as a Director and as Head Judge for the last several years. Part of their mission statement states the correct goal of preserving and restoring these boats for future generations. To ‘preserve’ an original boat is really to maintain all of its original construction methods and materials ‘exactly’ as it came from of the factory… sometimes warts and all. These truly ‘preserved’ boats are becoming more and more rare, and really are not, in most cases, intended to incur heavy use on a regular basis. For the most part they are boats displayed at shows and are lightly used in today’s rougher waters.
On the other hand, we prefer to ‘restore’ the boats to visual authenticity using modern materials and techniques. We believe these modern methods make the boats more safe and usable for those who intend to use them on a regular basis. None of our clients what to spend a lot of time and money to have their boats worked on using products and methods that are sometimes older than they are, then take them out on the lakes with family and friends.
I’m not saying one is right and the other is wrong, but we’ll continue to restore boats using methods and materials that make them safer while maintaining the visual integrity that makes them so special.