Antique Boat Center Launches New Water-Ready Certified Program!

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Antique Boat Centers Water Ready Certified Program Is underway!

Antique Boat Center on a quest to be the #1 place to go for all your Classic Boat needs, has raised the bar for buyers and sellers offering a Water – Ready Certified Program with a 1 year warranty! Only one other classic boat specialist that we know of offers this sort of consumer confidence program. Katz’s Marina led the way on this idea 3 years ago with a 1 year guarantee on their boats. Is this now a trend? We hope so. Katz’s owns their boats out right and offers the warranty on parts of the boats or the entire boat. Antique Boat Center on the other hand brokers the boats for sellers and helps buyers find boats.. So a warranty and certification program is a huge leg up on other brokers that just list boats for sellers, and gives piece of mind for a buyer trying to get an opinion on a boat before they spend money on a complete survey. I personally went through about 1,000 bucks having boats loosely looked at recently at $200 a pop..  Antique Boat Center is regarded by many as the largest and most all encompassing place in the world to find, service and sell your classic boat. This new program helps both buyers and consumer. Along with Katz’s Guarantee this is a game changer for sure for the Classic Boat retailers.  We welcome this sort of thing here at Woody Boater. There are many new folks coming into the market, and not a deep understanding of what they are getting into. In many cases, the wrong boat can ruin the passion of classic boats for some. And we all loose.. We loose boats, and more importantly, the people that love these boats. We say here. Congrats to Antique Boat Center and Katz’s Marina for leading the way.  We all need this..

Here is how the Antique Boat Center Water-Ready Certified Program works. The Readers Digest version...Antique Boat Center will inspect all Engine and Mechanical systems, as well as visible frames, chine, keel, bottom planking, hull side planking, decks, stem, gripe… The trailer, all of it. It will also water test the boat and make it so its ready to go. Back it all up with a 1-year warranty. So it is Water -Ready Certified. There are more details of course, but you get the idea. Not all there boats will have this. So look for the certified ones for that extra piece of mind. In an ocean of cool boats out there for sale. It’s an absolute nightmare to find a great boat, and worse yet, trying to sell your great boat since everyone claims that there’s is in great condition is tough. This way you can buy your new boat and sell your boat with confidence.  This is breaking news, so there is no info on there web site. If you want to know more, call Lou, Dennis or Herb.

35 replies
  1. Paul H.
    Paul H. says:

    I think it is the only way to go, especially for a buyer contemplating his first boat. What is the point in taking the risks involved in buying just any boat when this option is available? I would guess that a certified boat may cost a bit more than a non-certified boat, but it is probably well worth a premium to buy with confidence. I hope other brokers and sellers will attempt to adopt a similar approach, thus raising the bar across the board.

    As a new person in the hobby back in 2007, I was badly burned by an extremely flawed purchase and inspection process. There should be no room for that with this option now clearly out there for everyone. I suspect it will become very succesful for Seth & Lou.

  2. Rick
    Rick says:

    Does the certification include the correct 5 gal. bucket just in case? “Well Mr. Jones congratulations on your purchase. Here is your Bill of Sale, Certification Certificate and a 5 gallon bucket, just in case.”

  3. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    As they say, the devil is in the details.

    What exactly does “water ready” mean? For Canadian boats does that mean ready to go under water? Does it mean ready to be put on the surface of the water where it should stay…provided the bilge pumps are working? Or, does it mean put it on the water and it will float with little or no leakage (before or after soaking?)?

    Also, as a buyer, I am not sure how much stock I would put on a one year warranty. Most 60 year old bottoms will make it one more year, even the much maligned Cadian versions. As a buyer, a bottom that will last one year is a bit different than one that will last 5-10 years or a brand new 5200 bottom that might last over 50.

    This is a good step, but I would rather they provide an in depth inspection report than a short warranty. When they check everything over, let a buyer know what they find for wood condition, cylinder compression etc. and offer a frank (3rd party?) assesment of condition.

  4. matt
    matt says:

    Great comment. From what I was told, a complete report is included. Its more than just a warrenty. its been inspected and tested..

  5. Al Benton
    Al Benton says:

    This is a big step and one that should give buyers more information about a boat and confidence that it will be a safer purchase than one that doesn’t include “Water-Ready Certification” and a 1-year warranty. Same for a seller, if he fixes the things that will make it a “Water-Ready Certified” boat it will more quickly attract serious buyers.

    Another thing that I believe would help this “Lifestyle” would be to provide restoration documents. If a correct 5200 bottom is advertised, offer positive proof of it. Many “for sale” boats include statements such as “5200 bottom” or “West System bottom” or “rebuilt engine” but nothing to give me a warm and fuzzy feeling that it was done correctly (if at all). Truth in Advertising can’t have much affect, what’s the definition of “5200 bottom”, “West System bottom” or “rebuilt engine” that a good country lawyer couldn’t prove. Example: “I spent 5200 bucks on that bottom, therefore, it’s a 5200 bottom in my book”. I bought West System stuff and smeared it on like the instructions said, therefore, she’s a genuine West System bottom”. “That thar injun wuz rebilt bak in ’83. If ya dont beleev me jist ask me”, I’ll tel ya the truth, I swar”.

    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      Standard terms or even better, details of work done would be very welcome. As a good example, there is a (sold) 20 foot custom listed on ABC with a 5200 bottom done in the Danenburg method. That sounds good, but I wonder how that method compares to the one used by Don Danenberg. If the bottom turns out to be junk, the lawyer fees to fight over it are going to outstrip any award pretty quick, so verifiable details upfront are worth much more than assertions or promises.

  6. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    Including the report is great. As people have their own inspections done, we will be able to get comfortable with how reliable their reports are and it will become a very useful tool.

    Now if they take it a step further and throw in a free one year subscription to it would be a sweet deal. Add a woody boater skipper cap and a 20 something Sophia Loren lookalike to hold it up and I might suddenly be in the market for another boat! Perhaps a 20 foot custom, a Riviera, a Rivera, or a Riveria.

      • m-fine
        m-fine says:

        Hmmm. I bet if you search the woodyboater archives, you will find at least one case where Matt spelled Riviera “Riva”.

        The one that got me was Rivera. I saw that spelling so many times, and not just here, I actually wondered if CC was silly enough to have two similarly named model lines, Riviera and Rivera and I went and looked it up! They are not pronounced the same, and not even the same number of syllables, so it seemed an unlikely candidate for a common mispelling.

        Now I want one. I will restore it to 99.99% original, except I will modify the badge to say Rivera just to see if the judges notice, and how many points they dock me if they do.

  7. matt
    matt says:

    That is a fantastic point! And an idere for another story.. Don I am sure has an opinion .. Just guessing!!

  8. SS Dave
    SS Dave says:

    Great idea, I got screwed when I purchased my first boat from a broker. Owner blocked off carbs with styrofoam, left no note got sucked into motor, overheated cylinder wall and wrecked the block. I was hard pressed to get any help from broker, this all happened on first excursion with a friend. Lucky I was smart enough to get it out of the water, or just lucky not much smarts. KBLs are not cheap to rebuild! I have learned quite a bit since then. It sounds like I’m part of the majority with a horror story, but Katz and ABC are really on to something, smart people.

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      Dave – Thanks for your comment, I feel your pain brother!

      I think what Antique Boat Center and Katz’s Marina are doing is long overdue and a positive step in the right direction for the future of the hobby.

      Just hope that the concept of a Certification Program has the necessary structure so it doesn’t become watered down (abused) by all the different players in the hobby.

      It’s so exciting to see new people migrating in to the hobby, and chiming in to Woody Boater & The Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club Forum. I only hope their first exposure to purchasing / restoring a wooden boat is a positive experience, and doesn’t reflect what some of us have had to endure.

      Hopefully, a solid Certification Program like this will help the newcomers avoid these pitfalls…

      • SS Dave
        SS Dave says:

        I agree Texx, so much of this has to with where/who you purchase from, broker did give me his commission, but it was a fraction of what the job cost for the rebuild, I was lucky enough to get Dave Van Ness to do the job. I had no clue about his work and commitment to quality, once again lucky! something like this guarantee will hopefully take a lot of the fear away or newcomers.

  9. Al Benton
    Al Benton says:

    Some have touched on the aspect of value. To me, a Water-Ready Certified boat by experts in the field is a “Win-Win-Win” deal for “Seller-Broker-Buyer”. It’s going to increase the value of boats that are certified, it assures the broker that he’s selling true value, and the buyer is going to know that his purchase is backed up by experts that know what they’re selling. As Martha wound say, “it’s a good thing”.

  10. SS Dave
    SS Dave says:

    Coins collecting has a very similar system and it changed the face of the hobby/business.

  11. Leatherneck
    Leatherneck says:

    I dunno: what kind of warranty are they giving? How does this beat a full survey by an accredited surveyor? When I bought Bay Lady (1962 Tiffany 40), I paid $600 for a survey which produced a 42-page report that was exhaustive. Of course, the repairs that BoatUS required to insure her afloat were several thousand more (at Tiffany), but that whole deal seemed on the square to me.


    • Al Benton
      Al Benton says:

      I suppose it depends on who paid the 6oo bucks and if the survey was implemented before or after the purchase. The odds that a full and complete survey is included before purchase that would include a 40 some odd page report isn’t likely but I would trust Lou and Dennis and Herb to be very realistic with what they would report. I’m sure that a 1-year warranty would exclude any questionable issues if they were found, thus, known up front.

  12. matt
    matt says:

    the difference is after the survay and all that you were told, something goes wrong, they fix it.. With out that, its all yours.. The one year gives you at least a years worth of use before you have to repair something. The good news for you is that Tiffany is an amazing company and Bay lady was done right, you bought the right boat for sure

  13. Paul H.
    Paul H. says:

    These are antique boats, and there are risks. Nothing in life is risk free, and all any participant in our hobby can do, no matter what his role, is to try to mitigate his risks to the most reasoonable extent possible.

    If you are a broker, don’t represent junk as anything but junk – if you do it will come back and bite you. Don’t allow people to list boats with ridiculous prices that are way off the market – just what does that accomplish anyway, other than making all involved look foolish? If you are seller, be honest and present documentation to support what you are claiming. If you are a buyer, use your head and protect yourself. It is not rocket science here, folks and the approach Lou and Seth are taking unifies these themes and then some – they are backing it up with a warranty. That is a big step. Many people may still want an independant inspection or survey, but a lot of leg work is covered by offering a certified boat in the first place.

    I view this step as a very beneficial developement, one which will undoubtedly be refined and improved to meet varying and evolving needs as time goes on. It is a big move in the right direction and it will help people buy with confidence. Nothing bad about that.

    Oh, and how could anyone ever offer anything more than a 1 year warranty on a wooden boat? I don’t think that would ever be practical or realistic. Think of the variables at play in that equation. There are other choices for people who need that kind of boating experience – new Hackers or Gar Wood’s – replica’s – things like that.

    I wonder how long it will be until most other brokers and volume sellers will be offering similar programs? Not long, I hope.

  14. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    For a smaller utility under $10k I could see skipping getting your own survey if you have faith in the broker/dealer, but I would look at their report more as a pre-survey triage tool that helps you narrow the field and therefore allow you to only pay for surveys on one or two boats instead of a bunch.

  15. Mike M
    Mike M says:

    When I bought my ’29 Chris Craft from a private party I was offered a 3-step warranty. Once I took 3 steps it was out of warranty.

    I thought that was fair as there was no fine print and we didn’t have to bring our lawyers into it.

    I would be interested to see how this works. I don’t know how you can warrant work that you don’t perform or at least oversee. How do you warrant an engine you haven’t opened up?

    • Al Benton
      Al Benton says:

      Car dealers do it. There’s a certain amount of risk involved (maybe insured risk) but it beats the heck out of the 3-step warranty that you described. I’m sure they have thought this thing through and feel comfortable with it. It’s a move in a positive direction.

  16. Mike Green
    Mike Green says:

    This may be new to the broker side of things and I agree with Mike M it will be interesting how this will work. I know of restoration shops that have given 1 season warranties for many years, me being one of them. Also for what it is worth Don was not the first to do the 5200 method there were shops doing it years before his book came out but he was the one the brought it forward to the public.

    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      From what I heard, the technique of using 5200 and CPES was developed by Joe Martel and Don Danenberg simply reverse engineered it from old photos.

    • Al Benton
      Al Benton says:

      Mike, I believe that Don’s first book was put together from a collection of articles he had done for magazines over the years. So his experience in installing correct 5200 bottoms dates back many years prior to the book being published.

  17. DonD
    DonD says:

    As my first book, and first Classic Boating magazine article, Mar/Apr -1997 points out; Since the invention of 3M-5200 in 1966, this was Trumpy Yacht Company’s standard method of construction.

    What I didn’t know at the time, and heard later from one of the 3M inventers of 5200, was that their first, largest, customer for 5200 was Chris-Craft.

    It was used in the Sea-Skiff and Cavalier divisions in place of the difficult-to-use, 2-part Thiokol, but deemed too cost intensive on the main division, planked boats.

    They went to fiberglass hulls two years after that, where 5200 was used to attach decks to hulls, window frames, etc.

    I worked under certified shipwrghts in Newport, RI and Norfolk, VA, on large, offshore yachts in the ’70’s and ’80’s.
    Suggesting that a hard epoxy laminating glue be used on a plank-on-frame boat would have gotten anyone laughed out of the yard.

    I didn’t invent nuthin!

  18. Al Benton
    Al Benton says:

    Don, although you didn’t invent nuthin, I recall references to the 5200 method as a “Dananberg Bottom” back in the “memberclicks” period of the Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club forum and there may be a few similar old references in the present day Boat Buzz forum. Your book (first published in’03?) became the standard reference for doing it right, and still is.

  19. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    Don’t sell yourself short Don. You may not have invented anything, but when someone asks for restoration advice, the standard first question is “have you purchased Danenberg’s book yet?”

  20. Mike Green
    Mike Green says:

    As my comment of 5200 bottoms was not to take anything away from the great work that Don has done in his book or for the industry. Many may not know we are friends and only live a little over an hour away from each other. My uncle Chris told me years ago that he tested 5200 and Sikaflex in the Roamer factory many years ago and 5200 won hands down.

  21. Luke Knecht
    Luke Knecht says:

    I ran across this article and personally found it a bit ironic. I bought a 16′ Thompson outboard through (not from) the Antique Boat Center in July 2011. In pictures, the boat looked great (it is still on their website listing #10105-O16) and the seller said it was in “beautiful condition and well loved”. When I went to pick it up, I did what I could to determine its condition (started the motor at idle, etc.) but a full lake test was not possible. Trailered it home and from day one… problems. I had to have the carb rebuilt as the thing would not run at speed. Besides the carb issue, the bottom leaked like a sieve. I installed a sump pump and had a water-line cover made for it and despite all that, it sank in 4 days while we were gone from the lake. I now keep it on a lift. Obviously, it had not been used or run recently as these problems would have prevented its use until corrected.

    All of this of course is not the ABC’s fault since they just acted as a broker but I was disappointed that they were not interested in helping me go back to the seller for redress on these issues. Their new guarantee program for the boats they own and sell may be a great step forward but don’t assume that same level of knowledge or care extends to boats they are just brokering. As always, the buyer (in this case me) must be responsible for due diligence on that category of their business.

  22. matt
    matt says:

    Thanks so much for this comment, this is a HUGE issue in this passion. And exactly why ABC did this program. There has to be some sort of quality standards in buying and selling these boats. We also recommend in 100% of all boats bought that you get a qualified classic boat survey done. Which in another HUGE issue. Many survivors are not aware of the issues regarding these boats. I will also add, that only once have I bought a classic boat and just plopped it into the water and gone boating. Every other time there have been issues in the first month. Sounds like you got a cool boat with an original bottom that needed soaking and a good trust worthy bilge. All part of the fun and hell. Send pictures of your boat and you will find out all sorts of fun and un fun stuff that will make your life easier. One thing is for sure, you are never alone in Woody Boaterville.. Thanks Again, Matt

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