The Truth About Classic Boat Ownership Poster! Use It At Your Next Event!


We have a full size PDF that can be emailed to you of this poster.

Thanks to long time fellow Woody Boater “Rabbit” for thinking of this very smart idea. Take this copy and make a simple poster for your next classic boat event. Heck, make t shirts, tattoo it on your wife’s bodacious bottom, or your bodacious beer belly!  Basically anyplace people look. A poster is the easiest and least sexist BTW, and can be done today at Kinko’s. Throw that thing on an stand and end the endless dribble about all the perceived issues that are no longer issues. You know the folks walking through your indoor new boat show are thinking it, yet drooling all over your boat. Or your wife’s bodacious bottom. Hey, sex sells. Anyway, the mocked up poster is at the top of the story! The file may be too small. I am happy to provide a file, just email us. Email in about section, OR, make your own with the text below. We are all in this together. Thanks again to Rabbit for the idea!

Fully Restored Boats Are Much Less Expensive Than You Think

A turn-key restored wooden inboard with new varnish, refinished chrome, new interior, rebuilt motor and a tight new “5200” bottom can be had for as little as $15,000. A restored classic fiberglass boat can be had for even less. And unless you want to do the work yourself, fully restored is the way to go

Well Maintained Vintage Motors Are Reliable and Simple to Repair

The original flathead 6-cylinder and V-8 motors from makers like Chris Craft, Gray Marine and Chrysler are robust and simple while parts are generally widely available.
Repowering with a modern V-6, V-8 or outboard is another option

Kept Covered and (Ideally) on a lift a Woody Can Go 4-5 Years Before The Varnish Needs to be Freshened.

A few new coats of varnish is not intensive or very expensive.
Painted “lapstrakes” last even longer, and fiberglass longer yet.

Unlike New Boats, Classic Boats Hold Their Value.

A new boat loses significant value the first day you use it.

Classic Boats Are Meant to Be Used, Not Babied.

They may look like works of art, but they’re built to be enjoyed all Summer long.

You’re Joining a Community That’s There For You.

Your local chapter of the ACBS provides a network of welcoming friends who can offer advice, help you locate boats, parts and reputable restorers.


Here is the image separate from the copy if you want to add your stuff, or use your own.

There ya have it. This simple copy could double the size of your chapter faster than a box of hot dounuts can double the size of your wife’s bodacio…. OK, you get the point.

19 replies
  1. ScottK
    ScottK says:

    Great idea!!!!!

    The PR person for every chapter should take this and run with it. And also be prepared to go deeper into the details as they will hopefully be inundated with questions.

  2. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    This makes me think of the story of the guy and his tattoo for his new wife Wendy that honeymooned in Jamaica.

  3. Beanieincecil
    Beanieincecil says:

    I have to agree with Sean, is it fair to tell people $ 15,000 for a turn key restored boat WITH a 5200 bottom? That seems completely unrealistic.

    • Matt
      Matt says:

      Actually, we know of many 15K boats out there with 5200 bottoms. Its surprising. but they are out there, U22’s and the smaller 17 sportsman. Remember many were done over 10 years ago. It is possible, heck, you can get into a restored Whirlwind outboard for around $3,500 that doesnt require a new bottom at all.

  4. Rabbit
    Rabbit says:

    I think there’s probably a few points on here that are debatable, but hopefully the gist of it is pretty close. Thanks to John Karlson and Mark Setterholm for their input and especially Matt for designing this. I’m going to have one printed and mounted on some permanent board so we can use it at all our shows. When a chapter member has a chance to talk one-on-one with someone strolling through a show, they have a chance to inform potential members. But all too often you hear the uninformed admiring the boats then telling their buddy “yeah, but those things are too expensive and too much work.” And they’re saying that as they’re about to go into the great hall and look at the $100k pontoon boats.

  5. Dennis J Mykols
    Dennis J Mykols says:

    Well, done guys, and timely for all the boat shows going on this winter.I saw one Chapter had 22 classics on display. We will have this made up for our Water Wonderland Chapter, for sure.

  6. Glenn
    Glenn says:

    Have a winter boat show coming up in Ottawa, ON, and the Manotick Chapter of the ACBS has been asked to fill a bunch of space due to the popularity of their presence during previous years. A poster of this on display might tempt some new folk to join up – nice initiative!

  7. Ron in Seattle
    Ron in Seattle says:

    Great idea! We get this question all the time! Send me the file, we start our Seattle Boat Show January 27th. Thanks Rabbit!

  8. Stephen Fowler
    Stephen Fowler says:


    This type of thing is great once I have my vintage boat, but until then, let’s keep this our little secret, ok?

  9. JFKarlson
    JFKarlson says:

    Thanks Rabbit for leading the charge on this and to Matt for the expert art direction (and exposure). Stamp out #FAKENEWS about wood boat costs at your boat show this winter!

  10. Sean
    Sean says:

    Maybe I’m just naturally a devils advocate? Maybe it’s an underdog opinion thing? Maybe just skeptical? Anyways, I still don’t buy in.

    I suppose the misunderstanding comes with the phrase “turn key, fully restored boat” . Of course you are talking an older restoration. How old? 10 years, 15 years, more? There could be a lot of mechanical and neglected maintenance work on a 10 year old restoration even with a new coat of varnish. What’s underneath and where you can’t see? You also have to ask, who did the restoration? With an older job who knows what was missed and needs attention… and you could have bought yourself a pretty hole in the lake to throw money in.

    Even so, there are probably some decent older restorations out there at that price but, I’d bet they need some TLC to bring them up to the spec that doesn’t make people talk behind your back at the local show. That, or they would probably be a less popular model or, obscure builder that neither ride or perform well but, who cares, it made of wood, right?

    The by using the phrase “turn key” it implies that this is a fresh restoration we are talking about. I don’t know any shop that will give you a 5200 bottom for $15,000 let along throw in the boat for free. I also know firsthand what it costs to do fresh stringers, transom, tank, motor, wiring and finish on a fiberglass boat and 99% of us will not be staying anywhere close to the $15,000 figure. I don’t believe there’s any shortcut to quality. The point is not to buy any wood boat… it’s to have the one you want…and want to use… and want to keep but, not just to say you own a woody.

    This boils down to the reality that people who are not in to classic/wood boats have no idea of what a good solid classic boat is. What they do know is horror stories of the pretty boat that cost their buddy $30,000 for a new bottom the 2nd summer after he bought it. Or the osmosis blisters that showed up on the cool 1970’s ski boat with the fresh gelcoat that cost $8,000 to fix. And we haven’t even touched motors/mechanical yet. Even long time classic boat enthusiasts have fallen victim to things like this.

    So, technically… yes, you can find a older restoration without any of these issues. Probably not as easy as you think. But, you’ll not convince a newby that there isn’t a huge invoice (or two, or three) just down the lake a bit.

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