Long time fellow Woody Boater Scott Turner is a blessed man, he is the third generation to be doing the fun stuff at Aristocraft boats. The other day we did a story on misconceptions of owning a classic boat. Folks took us to task that for $15K it was a stretch. Well. We went further to prove the point. How about a new custom built boat just for you? That’s right? And this is no “alternative reality”! You can be out in the water and smoke any million dollar Clorox bottle in the style dept. Here to tell you about it is the builder himself, Scott. Mr Turner, take it away!
Aristocraft boats has always been known as an everyday mans boat. Back in the 50’s my grandfather followed a working example of a effective assembly line, and built his own assembly line system inside the Aristocraft factory. By setting the assembly line up on a constantly moving chain system, he had over 300 employees working around the clock, with a boat coming off the end of the chain every 15 minutes. What this meant for the consumer was price savings. By building them this was, much like the innovative Model T was done, they were able to sell them much cheaper then the competitors.
In today’s time, the assembly line chain sits in our museum as a decoration, long past its days of use. Our operation is much smaller now, and we take pride and enjoyment in what we do. The boats don’t come off the line every 15 minutes anymore, instead they are built by three generations, Bill my father, myself, and my son and daughter Owen and Ella (7 years and 5 years respectively) and take around 2 months to complete. We do it a different way now, we do it for the love of it. They say if you enjoy what you do, then you will never work a day in your life. We have yet to work… Building boats is a passion to us, and its the reason we keep it going. Our boats are still built nearly the same way they were originally, on many of the same jigs, with many of the same tools. We still sand cast all our own aluminum hardware, and still finish the boats by hand.
For many years I have been trying to convince people that the world of classic boating does not involve any more upkeep then does a modern glass boat. The varnishes have improved greatly, the epoxy bottoms, the paints, the wood, all of it is helping the boats become less and less maintenance. Less maintenance means more time doing what you bought the boat to do, have fun!