If You Build From A Vintage Glen-L Plan, Is The Boat Vintage?


Glen and Vera having some Glen-L fun

WARNING: Reading this story could get you all caught in a mind warp. I know this because I personally am very familiar with a warped mind. you have been warned.

Glen L Torpedo

So. Lets set the stage here. Antique and Classic boats. As in manufactured factory boats. You buy one, and restore it and show it around, and it has a certain somethin somethin about it. And its rare if you care, or someone else does. But the fact is, it’s something cool and old, new again. Okay! We all agree, yes with slightly different this-s and that-s.

Kent-O Captured this Glen-L Zip. which made a splash at the International in Alex Bay

So, what about a Glen-L boat? You find an old Glen-L boat made in the 50’s and restore it. That’s very cool. WARNING: But and here is the mind warp part. What if you get some vintage plans, or even new plans that are the same as they were in the 1950’s? And build the boat, is it an old boat or new boat? Oh, sure, it seems like a simple answer. Until you think about a heavily restored boat. Its basically a new boat. No difference.

Plans are timeless

To take it even further, if you wear shirts and pants from the 50’s, go all Amish on it. Listen to 50’s music in the barn, use old tools, smoke a lot. Is there a difference? And with a Glen -L, isn’t the real heart of the boats the build part? so couldn’t the build part be timeless? Especially if you are true to the period the boat plans are from. So the wood soaked in all the right music and smells?

Glen-L Zip


Think about it, There is a massive Glen-L community, these families are very passionate about them and have a ton of fun, and get this, they can cross over into the ACBS world. Its like two types of music Country AND Western in harmony. After all Glen-L is over 60 years old.  YOU CAN DROOL ALL OVER GLEN -L BOATS HERE AT THE OFFICIAL GLEN-L WEBSITE


29 replies
  1. Matt
    Matt says:

    Okay back now. YES! Wear flannel and make sure you smoke. Eat some bacon and eggs this morning. Oh and sniff some of that glue.. it helps keep you warm

  2. RH in Indy
    RH in Indy says:

    It would come down to the details. Period gauges, steering wheel, hardware, cushions. NOS, or gently used would be just right.

  3. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    Did you do LSD in your youth?
    Some days I swear you are having flashbacks.

    IMHO: Build it, Use it, Enjoy it, Show it, Ski behind it, Tube with it, Race it, Jump wakes, Share it, ……………………………..

    Who REALLY cares what it is classified as. It is a BEAUTIFUL boat.

  4. Floyd r turbo
    Floyd r turbo says:

    So along that same line of thinking, if someone buys the name of a boat manufacturer like Bill Morgan supposedly did with Hacker and they build Hacker boats again, are they replicas or new antiques or ???

  5. AldenR
    AldenR says:

    I built a Glen-L 10ft Squirt during the winter of 1968 with my dad and brother. A great boat. Fun with a 10hp and faster with a 20hp.

  6. Pat
    Pat says:

    September of 2019 I just finished a 5 yr build of a GlenL Crackerbox with my Dad of 75yrs old. It was a great way to spend quality time with him. GlenL was just great to deal with, highly recommend and I have already ordered plans for another build.

  7. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    You know…come to think about it….I have never considered Glen-L boats anything but OLD and classic??? To me its the look and the tradition…not the date of construction. That theory could describe ME….and my date of construction was a LONG time ago….!
    viva la diff….Go Boating! How many days????

    John in Va Bunking with Troy in Tavares…..dear god….

  8. Arnie
    Arnie says:

    I see nothing in the header of this site that mentions old or antique – just wood!!! A wood boat is a wood boat – period.

  9. frank tonne
    frank tonne says:

    just sold my “classic custom built boat” to a fella from Chesterfield, Virginia and I’m sure he will enjoy it as much as I have regardless of “make”!

  10. Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P )
    Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P ) says:

    My son has a Glen-L forward cockpit Hydroplane. He bought it off e-bay in high school. He had a lot of fun fixing it up, and using it. As he got older and discovered girls, he wanted a boat to take them rides in. Now it is beautiful art work in my brothers storage building. A cool boat! I wish I could find a picture of it.

  11. Bill and Linda
    Bill and Linda says:

    Here is a 1954 Glen-L Squirt, and in the background a 1956 Ace. Both with vintage Merc motors. And both built in the twenty-first century…. from vintage drawings.

  12. Gayle Brantuk
    Gayle Brantuk says:

    What a great article and thanks so much for featuring our company. This is certainly food for thought. Classic lines are classic whether built new or vintage restorations. But, like antique furniture vs. replica antiques, the history is missing–in the case of boats, the actual boat history. Our plans certainly have history and much of it is personal, but IMHO, the old boats are definitely a special breed. I’m grateful that the boat shows usually have a “Contemporary Classic” type category in which many of our Glen-L boat builders have earned awards.

    Thank you so much for many of you who posted photos of your beautiful Glen-L boats and for the very kind comments. I’m so blessed to carry on my father’s legacy.

  13. Ted Souhrada
    Ted Souhrada says:

    I’m building a Glen-L Tahoe 21′ right now and I’m enjoying the experience! I’m not concerned if the vintage crowd turns down their noses at it, I already get that vibe for the Factory Five Cobra I’ve built. So what? My wife and I enjoy the time we spend using it, not many folks have one, and if it were the real deal you would never see it because it cost too much to risk taking it out. My Tahoe will be the only around me for a hundred miles or more, it’ll be better built, last longer and have newer components. Anyone can plunk down payments on a new boat but does it have a soul and can you say you created it yourself? Anything else is just an appliance….

  14. Chris Atwood
    Chris Atwood says:

    I’m the builder of the blue bottom Zip in the headline. I wouldnt have built it if I had to pre-drill all those screw holes with my dads old hand crank drill! I also didnt want a boat built from fiberglass trees like everyone else on the lake. I think building a contemporary classic gives the benefits of being able to make the boat the way you want it without regard for being historically accurate. Were more like the resto-mod car folks, a blend of new and old. It gets people that wouldnt consider buying or restoring a 70+ year old boat into wooden boats. Different strokes for different folks, the main goal of enjoying a wood boat remains the same. Restored antique boats are often quite a bargain as has been a topic here many times. Glen-L boats are also a bargain and when you build you are spreading the expense out over a year or more. It makes for a very accessible way to get into woodyboating. I’m glad the ACBS has a catagory to include us. I think its an important relationship that benefits both groups.

  15. Roberta
    Roberta says:

    I am the proud builder of the Torpedo. Glen’s last design. He was an amazing designer and we, who have interfaced with him, miss him dearly.

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