Should Points Be Added For Original Stuff. Steve Bunda..OK..We all Want To Know!


Barrel Back Barn Find! Ya ya, Steve’s floor is so dam clean!

Fellow Woody Boater Steve Bunda sent us in this amazing barn find treasure that he is going to try and preserve to the nines. Or 100 points! Steve is looking for the facts on Preservation, AND, should there be points added for certain things. Which is a fair question. Like original odd ball stuff. Like lets say a fishing tackle box? With Tampon inside? Old joke, ya had to be there. Anyway, here is Steve’s find and question.


I picked up a 39 19 foot barrel for my collection and plan on preserving it as a barn find, but want it usable to show.  I am having difficulty finding actual judging sheets for preserved category.  The ACBS site is vague and only describes the difference between preserved and restored.  I would love to see what other shows and venues do for judging and see if there could be an universal standard, or at least a template.


Inside pocket area. Points for original material?


Dang! Clean it up, Paint the bottom and go!


I would like to see not only points taken away for things, but points added for others.  Age, original un restored components, gauges, hardware and alike’
Thanks, Steve


Apple Green Boot stripe? Oh ya!


Thanks to Brian Robinson, here is the Green Boot stripe!


She is clean inside with original varnish




The barrel will need the seating rebuilt along with the cockpit separation, but the boat is very nice wood wise. Has original engine, hardware and bottom.




Somehow, and I know this is strange Steve, But she is amazing just as is. There are not to many like this and there is a certain “feeling” when you are around original!

Thanks for the photos. We all Love a Barn Find

22 replies
  1. Jim Staib
    Jim Staib says:

    Ok. So it originally had points. If it was an A-70 or A-120 the points should say Delco on them like these. Where do you stop?
    As John says, Go boating!!

  2. Dan T
    Dan T says:

    Get it running, oil it up with some tung oil, slick seam the bottom, go to shows, fire it up at the dock, put around for a few minutes, put her back on a rusty trailer and back into the barn til next time. Great Find!

  3. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    I think I am with the guys on this one. You can refinish a boat at any point in it’s life, but you can’t create patina like that without serious time. Use the oil or maybe a couple of coats of varnish just to protect the wood. I would probably polish the chrome too, just to make it POP.

  4. Jim Murdock Jr.
    Jim Murdock Jr. says:

    Ok so if you really want to be anal about it, put it on a trailer don’t touch a thing (it wont degrade unless you leave it outside)including the original mouse shit and crap in the bilge, let everybody fuss over it, smell it, and drool over it for a season then come back next year with it restored to whatever degree it needs to be functional and safe and have fun, these things are useless if you don’t use them but I digress

  5. Gene Porter
    Gene Porter says:

    Its not clear that Steve has accessed the detailed ACBS judging sheets that are available to all members in the Chapter Handbook, which is accessible on line.

    More generally, the idea of adding points for original accessories such as tool boxes has been debated from time to time, but always set aside in order to concentrate on valuing the originality of the boat itself (extra varnish and safety items excepted). Well preserved boats are ranked higher than rebuilt/heavily restored boats and judged separately to reduce incentives for needless replacement of sound original wood (or other material). In the occasional case where two boats have near identical scores based on the boat’s themselves, judges usual find a way to preferentially honor the boat with the original hull card, wrench set, delivery receipt, etc.

  6. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    What to do is secondary in my mind…..second to the FIND ITSELF! Where did you uncover that beauty? Wow.
    That kind of stuff just makes my morning…and it is going to be 70 hear mid week….like Jim says: Going Boating!
    John in Va.

    • Steve Bunda
      Steve Bunda says:

      The boat was found in Montreal where it was delivered in 1939. It is amazingly well preserved for a 77 year old Chris Craft. Many Barrels that I have worked on in the past have been restored at least once , and have changed hands many times. This one is like a time capsule which is fun to investigate and dissect. I would like to leave it as found , but make it water ready and usable. Some day there will not be any unrestored wood boats left for future generations to see and learn from.
      The white on the bottom is road salt that Laurie has not cleaned off yet. My driver hit some inclement weather on his way home to Wisconsin.
      Judging preserved , original, lightly restored survivors, should points be added for leaving items as is?
      Gauges, Hardware , stain or lac of?
      Should age or rarity have a sliding point scale?
      Just asking . Steve & Laurie

  7. Tommyholm
    Tommyholm says:

    Hey a BIG shout out to everyone who contributed to Alayna ‘s Go Fund Me yesterday.! A good group we are! See yesterday’s story for a direct link to Go Fund Me.

    • floyd r turbo
      floyd r turbo says:

      Wow, Tommy, I just got home from work a little after 10pm and saw that you guys (and gals) have contributed just under $2,000 in one day. That doesn’t include over $1,5oo already donated by WoodyBoaters such as Troy who follow me on Facebook and had already contributed substantial dollars. Many of Alayna’s friends are students of course and we encouraged them to send a message as we know money is scarce when you are a student. I read those messages to her even though she was sedated and appeared comatose after being put on a respirator and dialysis. When she was eventually removed from all those tubes Alayna whispered to me she had heard those messages I read to her even though I thought she was unresponsive. I can’t express to all of you how much your thoughts and prayers and donations mean to Alayna and our family. Bless you all.

  8. clay t.
    clay t. says:

    great find, could’t happen to a nicer guy! sure, leave it alone steve, other than what is needed to take to a show. judging for preserved classes as of now are designed to separate from the fully restored, the bulk of the field, but not really to consider or help a true barn find like yours. it will still score well, and draw more attention than most 100 point preserved boats. be proud to have it!

  9. Brian Robinson
    Brian Robinson says:

    Steve, don’t touch it for at least a year. Float it for the international show in ten months so I can see it with my own eyes. Guaranteed it will steal the show.

  10. Dan T
    Dan T says:

    Don’t know much about judging points, but it would certainly be a shame to put a sander to such a well preserved and extremely rare example of the way it truly was. If you quest for winning show judging points is to increase her value, you’d do better in the long run by leaving her as is. Preserved boats as antique museum pieces are just like antique furniture. Once you refinish the value decreases.

  11. Tim Elrod
    Tim Elrod says:

    The barn must have been in Antarctica. It ceases to be a “barn find” the moment it goes in the water and new elements come into play. The official societies have the protocols and aficionados know what you’re after. I once restored an old classic yacht and where there was rot we put in dutchmans, and we worked in the original varnish wherever possible. After countless hours the boat did NOT look new but like a beautiful elegant lady who arrived at the party glistening and refreshed. She never took less than best overall at the shows.

  12. Wilson
    Wilson says:

    Surely this is not the first time this concern has arisen. Although I’ve ever been on a judging rule writing committee, I’m sure that some have given thought to posibilities like this and have paterned rules after other collectables. The problem as I see it is that furniture which was mentioned above usually stays in a protected enviornment throughout it’s life span and thus does not deteriorate to the point of needing refinishing which as Dan says above would devalue it. But a boat is usually exposed to the elements and after time is no longer like it came from the factory so argueably you could say she does not in fact now look original.
    It’s a difficult decision…I’d say leave her alone for now until a committee of museum oriented buffs could devise an appropriate plan for preserving, maintaining and using such finds.

  13. Bruce
    Bruce says:

    Neat boat, and great find! Has the classic boat crowd finally awaken? Is it now ok to show your boat even though you can’t see it’s shine from space? Could it be true that an untouched survivor might be more interesting than a perfect boat that’s been restored ten times? Is paint loss from regular use now somehow beautiful? Oh my, things have changed!
    Yes, Yes, I love it!

  14. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    But does the bilge smell as good as “Stinky”. That’s the only sense we can’t “see” in this media. There is a distinctive aroma from a Chris Craft bilge and other similar boats, “Stinky” not withstanding. Great find Steve, and man you could eat off that floor. Are all WB’s OCD?

  15. Mr. Andreas Jordahl Rhude
    Mr. Andreas Jordahl Rhude says:

    I was flummockst at point deductions on one of my boats at an ACBS International Boat Show. The boat is original unrestored condition. I was deducted points for dull and spotty varnish and paint that was not fresh and rips in the seat upholstery. What the heck, it is an ORIGINAL boat. Why would points be deducted for originality??? And to top it off, I never even knew it had been judged at the show. The judging sheet was sent in the mail three months after the event in an unmarked, no return address envelope. I had it in my junk pile ready to go to the recycling bin but decided to open it up and see what was inside. I was surprised to say the least.
    So I guess ACBS judges that day were not impressed with originality.

  16. Verne
    Verne says:

    In my judging experience, no “craft” in an unrestored-original class should be judged by points to qualify for a First, Second or Third award. That only invites major cheating by the owners to make it look nicer just to get an award. The craft should be divided up into categories, such as, hull, power plant, fittings, interior, etc then each area should be “judged” by what percentage of originality is still present. If an area is at least 75% original, then that area is “certified” as original. Higher awards go to crafts that score the 75% (or better) in all areas. No more 1st, 2nd or 3rds. Each craft that meets the criteria gets a certificate stating it’s level of originality. There can still be a Best of Show in that category. Normal maintenance is always excluded from percentage deductions.

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