“If I Had More Money I Would Just Buy More Boats” – Bob Shapton


Bob Shapton at work!

Long time fellow Woody Boater and great guy Bob Shapton sent us in this very well produced video for Tekton Tools that he and our passion were captured. Bob nailed it big time and totally get why we are all doing this. Its great to see a film do that.

Bob restores outboards and many other things, boats, inboards, everything

One visit to his company website and you get a small flavor of How Bobs passion runs deep. Michigan Boat And Engine HERE

Bob again.

Tekton tools is  a family-owned company based in Grand Rapids, Michigan where Bobs company is, Tekton has over 50 years of experience in the industry. Their mission? To provide the best hand tools you’ll ever own.

Amazing footage by produced by Baas Creative in Grand Rapids – Wonderful work by the way!

So without further adoo, here is the wonderful short film. Thanks again Bob, and Tekton for featuring our culture and a wonderful ambassador of it all!

40 replies
  1. Martin Field
    Martin Field says:

    What a lovely bloke! I could enjoy a beer with a gent like him and a whole weekend looking over his outboards and boats.

  2. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Wow, I am surprised I had not heard of Bob and his shop. A new spot to visit next time I go over to the west side of the state. He even has a Dodge Power Wagon! Thanks for the great story

  3. Jim Staib
    Jim Staib says:

    More money or more space. Always something holding us back. I only knew Bob to restore Gar Woods. Obviously so much more. Keep it going Bob.

  4. Nehmer Kid
    Nehmer Kid says:

    Wait till you see Bob’s book on Gar Wood, he has been putting it together for years and its spectacular. It’s not done yet but its way cool. Bob is a true gift and his work is top shelf. He is into more hobby’s and has more passion. When I grow up I want to be just like Bob

    • Bob Shapton
      Bob Shapton says:

      Dude your the best, and yes the book is coming along nicely! Got so good time on it over the holidays. I found another stash and the book continues to grow!
      Thanks so much pal!

      • Dave Nau
        Dave Nau says:

        Wow! Outboards! This could be the year of the outboards. I know it is in our local North Coast Ohio Chapter of ACBS.

        To find someone who mechanically restores old outboard motors, particularly Mercury’s, with all the special tools needed, AND inboard wood boats, seems pretty special to me. Not many people around who will do both like that.

  5. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    In the final analysis I am living Bob’s life…..he took several concepts right out of my playbook for life…..you don’t need more money just more quality time doing what you want and love. I managed to make a living out of my passion…and not old boats but old buildings….rent allows me to GO BOATING!
    What lucky guys Bob and I are.
    John in Va.

    • Bob Shapton
      Bob Shapton says:

      Certainly feels good, besides having smaller budgets provides creative solutions that usually are more successful. Buildings are just bigger boats.
      Let’s go down with the ship!

  6. Dennis Hansen
    Dennis Hansen says:

    If you shop is open for viewing, where is it located? My wife and I will be down next week for the WWC Board Meeting in GR.

    • Bob Shapton
      Bob Shapton says:

      Sure is, as long as I’m there.
      Address is 900 Wealthy St, Grand Rapids, 49506 located on the south side of the street between Eastern and Fuller. Just need a little notice. Nice race boat in here now.
      Look forward to it.

  7. mike fogarty
    mike fogarty says:

    Bob, you are a truly generous person. We so enjoyed the visit and cruise aboard your CC semi-enclosed cruiser on Lake Leelanau a couple of years ago. We also appreciate your Thank you also for the support you have shown for our son, Brian, and his Wagemaker Wolverine Boats website. Hope to see you next summer. Mike, Bonnie, and Brian Fogarty

    • Bob Shapton
      Bob Shapton says:

      Nicest Wagemaker on the water! What a great awards night for Brian at the Boat the Blue International Show in Port Huron. If you weren’t there you really missed something special. Best show I’ve attended. Looking forward to 2020 Bayharbor. Maybe I’ll have a Gar there!
      Thx guys!

  8. Dennis Mykols
    Dennis Mykols says:

    Glad to call Bob my friend and the only guy I found that restores old Mercury outboards. Bob did a fantastic job on restoring my 1959 Merc 35 hp that hung on the back of my Lake N’ Sea.
    His shop is a great place to visit and see all kind of neat classic stuff.
    The Coolest part is, that his shop is in a restored mid-century gas station, attached to an old Creamery from back in the same period.
    He also has a great place up north on the shores of Lake Leelanau where we have had several memorable Water Wonderland Chapter picnics.

  9. Chris Ritchie
    Chris Ritchie says:

    This is terrific Bob! Well done sir. We met at the Hessel and Port Huron show. I work at the Great Lakes Boat Building School. Would it ok to post your video? Chris Ritchie

    • Bob Shapton
      Bob Shapton says:

      Absolutely! Let me know if you need a certain file or just use the YouTube link.
      Glad you liked it. Have your card right here on the bench!
      Talk soon

  10. Brandon Wabeke
    Brandon Wabeke says:

    Many thanks to Bob for getting me in the sport and always lending help when needed. He’s passionately dedicated to his work just as much as he is helping others. His work is top notch, where details matter. Congratulations my friend on the video, it came out great!

    • Bob Shapton
      Bob Shapton says:

      We’ll have you up to 10 boats and 25 engines by March!
      Great having you hooked!
      Brandon has been scoring some amazing finds online. he knows I can’t say no! Someone say “20H with toilet bowl tower!”
      Yea, it’s in there!

  11. Jeff Rogers
    Jeff Rogers says:

    For those who don’t know him, Bob is the real deal. His genuine passion for all things vintage boats (well, vintage EVERYTHING to be more accurate) is unsurpassed. And he’s not only one who collects and restores, but also one who uses and enjoys. Our two-year old son still talks about “Mister Chap-Tin” taking him aboard his boat this past summer.

    At the end of the day, it’s the memories made while using these boats – along time spent with friends old and new – that make the difference. So hats off, Capt. Shapton and Tekton – well done. I have no doubt that this video will go far in drawing many new fans aboard our hobby.

  12. Bob Shapton
    Bob Shapton says:

    There is a backstory to the film I’d like to share.
    Of the 2.5 days of shooting and interviews most of the film was recorded in April 20, 2018 and the final shots June 28th running the boat on Lake Leelanau. As the early shots reveal RenaBelle’s hull is bare. Mark Baas (producer) thought it would be nice to shoot it finished and on the water. I was very reluctant to provide a completion date knowing the task at hand. There’s not to many days between the to dates and I had a huge client load.
    Enter Griffin.
    Griffin Sheline has been an apprentice in the shop for a few years now. He helped finish the 22′ Chris-Craft Sea-Skiff on my site and he’s very much responsible for pulling this off. While I was assembling and testing engines for shipping, he was sanding, filling, priming, painting, varnishing, putting hardware on, cleaning. With a little example or lesson, I would cut him loose. There is no way I would’ve finished this boat to film in time.
    So bring youth into the formula, show young people how its done and why. Nothing is too precious or rare to allow fresh hands to touch, cut and wrench on. Further, its not about meeting a tight deadline. The real enjoyment is sharing, finding and talking about these works of art. Never thought I’d let anyone in this shop, he’s got full access and is running the place. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

    Today he’s working on one of the Gar Wood’s for 2020.
    A 1941 19′-6″, one of 27 built, in-fact this one is registered as THE last one built, hull #6751 (yes, I know…finally, right!) which will lead to getting #6707 finished later. Then this book project Rob Schantz mentioned also slated for that show. Anyway, cheers to Griffin!!!

  13. Bob Murdock
    Bob Murdock says:

    Dear Bob,
    Visceral, hands on passion.
    No electronic gizmo will ever come close for our kind.
    Never falter, teach the young, stay the course.
    See you this summer.
    The Cincinnati Kid

    • Bob Shapton
      Bob Shapton says:

      Congrats on the marina!! She’s a beauty. Great drone shots. I’ll try to bring the cruiser over, we’ve been talking about an inland trip. Prints are done, I’ll get them framed and to you. Thx.
      Talk soon

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