We’re would the online Classic boat community be with out Al Benton? Well… up a creek with out knowing what paddle you need…
I first met Al the way most folks have, on-line on the Boat Buzz. The Chris Craft Antique Boat Clubs Forum. Whenever I would ask a question. Al would answer. I thought for a while mmmm, this guy is always there for me. Well he is there for everyone. With over 1000 posts Al’s self proclaimed mission is to help answer all the lost questions, be kind and encourage the newcomers to jump on in. When it came time to start Woody Boater. Al was the first to raise his mouse. And man oh man. He has been a life saver. Al’s Destinations have become the largest Viewing posts on Woody Boater. Something that secretly bothers me to no end. I post every day, and Al sweeps in and takes the prize. That’s both wisdom and maturity. The old bull young bull joke in real life…Dang.. some day… SOME DAY!. So who is Al. What makes his boat….boats float?
It all started with Al’s Cousin in Southern Illinois in Herrin near Crab Orchard Lake, Al’s cousin had a very cool Chris Craft Kit Boat. It wasn’t classic then. That’s how long ago it was. It was still just a boat. Regardless, the boat bug bit Al right in the Aft.
Fast forward a bit. AL became an Electrical Engineer, working for a family business in the Midwest. Being the only non-family member to hold an office in that company. That should tell you a little something about AL. He is like family and a joy to be around. Now mind you, he may have 1000 posts on Boat Buzz, and a member of the Woody Boater family, but Al is a man of few spoken words. I saw this in Mt Dora. I was very surprised. Not a peep. This from Mr. Wear The Keys Out On The Key Board. It’s as clear as a Lake Tahoe afternoon. Al is a writer. I have personally on occasion found a very close kin ship between engineers and artists. I haven’t figured that out yet. But they always seem to be at the same table at parties. In Al’s case its all in the same person. And man oh man The Antique & Classic Boat community is better off for it. Considering the subject matter. It’s both art and engineering. So Al is at home. To quote AL. “Not long after this we owned our first old wood boat, joined Chris Craft Antique Boat Club and were hooked into the most fun hobby of my entire life”.
Al is now preserving a 1960 Chris Craft 27’ Constellation, restoring a 1948 Chris Craft 17’ Deluxe Runabout and a 1956 Glasspar 14’ Club Lido, one of the first successful fiberglass boats. We recently sold a 1958 Thompson 16’ Outboard that will be restored by its new owner.
He is also a member of The Antique & Classic Boat Society and an active member of The Mississippi Valley Chapter, ACBS.
Al lives in the Mid West with his beautiful love at first site bride. He has two children, 5 grand children and one more on the way… More Benton’s…. Is the Internet big enough?