Ladies And Gentlemen, OK And The Rest Of Us. Meet Miss Lisa – ACBS Award Winner

Miss Lisa heading out for her first photo shoot.

We would like to introduce you all to Miss Lisa. A stunning restored 1939 Gar Wood. What makes this Gar Wood so special? It’s not that its a one off deal. Or that it photographs well. It’s that most of the work was done by the owners. That’s right. A home restored deal here. Long time fellow Woody Boaters Matt & Lisa Byrne prove to the world that you can do it. And they proved it in grand style by winning this years most prestigious award for restorers. The ACBS International Show, Best Restored boat. I might add, with a smile on everyone’s face in the ceremony. The Woody Boater culture is alive in Matt and Lisa’s DNA.

Last night some fantastic shots came in from Miss Lisa’s first big photo shoot for the up coming Brass bell, by big time shooter Don Ayers. I am sorry I can not load the shots at full res, but trust me you can count whats left of Matt’s hair on his head. They are razor sharp, and stunning. Click on them and enjoy.  So here are some of the shots. Remember this is was restored by an amateur.

To give you an idea about what kind of folks Matt and Lisa are, these shots were taken right BEFORE Miss Lisa was judged. As one woody boater said. “No way I would have taken her out and got her all messed up before the judging.” Its all about fun Matt, thanks, Miss Lisa is what this is all about.

Matt and Lisa, the proud parents of there new baby. AMAZING!




31 replies
  1. Al Benton
    Al Benton says:

    Congratulations Matt & Lisa. I’m no expert at judging but when I saw “Miss Lisa” at the docks with all the other incredible boats that were present she was obviously stunning. She stood out from the rest by simply looking perfectly restored to her original “as delivered” finish and details (except for the mast length)(that minute detail didn’t keep her from walking away with the prestigious title of “Best Restored”.

    Between working hard on his restoration and his day job Matt also is one of the hardest working volunteers for the Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club (CCABC) in keeping our Website up and running. Without his expertise in the IT field the rest of the CCABC Team would be scratching our heads (or some other body part).

    Thanks Matt for all that you do!!!

  2. Alex
    Alex says:

    Very pretty boat. Love that last photo. Oh, and Matt, don’t worry about your mast length. Al seems to have a case of “mast envy.” 🙂

  3. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Congrats Matt and Lisa. Georgeous boat. I hope to see her in the flesh some day at our Algonac show.

  4. Larry Lange
    Larry Lange says:

    Great job Matt!
    You should be very proud of youself for winning this prestegious award. It’s not often a non professional would walk away with this.
    I know it all comes down to not saying good enough when you’re working on each step of the restoration process.
    You went the extra mile and it shows!

  5. WoodyGal
    WoodyGal says:

    Miss Lisa is stunning! Walking down the docks at night, even with all of the other incredible boats that were there, she stood out. Sort of glowed, hummed & shined more than any other, and she’s a Garwood to boot! Congratulations Matt & Lisa on a superb restoration!

  6. Matt B
    Matt B says:

    Thanks Matt & Tex, you’re making me blush a little. I can’t take full credit for the restoration I had some help. Brain Robinson gave me tons of info on what is correct and not. I’m suprised he still takes my calls. Mike Trusink and Kirk Wingard at The Wooden Runabout Co helped out with some planking, finish work and finding some killer lumber. They get credit for the bling. I’ll take credit for doing all the grunt work that no one will ever see bottom, framing, fairing(my arms stil hurt), staining etc. But most of all I think the design of this hull makes the boat. I won the lottery when I found this for sale. As my wife (Miss Lisa) says “it’s just a purdy boat”.

  7. brian t
    brian t says:

    First off – Lisa and Matt – the boat is beautiful.

    Since the comment made though, I must ask a question or two. It is my understanding that Chris Crafts left the factory with only three (3) coats of varnish. One would assume then that Garwoods and just about everyone else did about the same.

    So, since this boat has been restored to “as delivered” finish, am I to understand that this boat currently only has three coats of original spec varnish?

    Or does it have ten because Garwoods left the factory with ten?

    Or… Does it have fifteen even though when she was rolled onto the showroom, she only had three?

    It just makes sense to me that if the judges and rules expect an owner to go out and source the exact same zipper here or exact varnish chemical make-up there to be judged a 100 point boat, it stands that the damn thing should only have the exact same number of coats of varnish as when it was produced.

    I guess what I am getting at is that over restored does not mean the same thing as “as delivered”.


    • Matt B
      Matt B says:

      Well I have some pictures from the 1939 New York boat showing this model and it looks like maybe 4 coats of varnish is applied, very bad finish. That being said I don’t want to get into the whole judging debate, I’m just having fun restoring up old boats and making them look nice.

  8. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    I hope there are some shots of Lisa driving Lisa…and the look on Matt’s face as he accepts the role of passenger.

    Great job guys, and definitely a great looking boat no matter what the mast length may or may not be. Since restoration season is on its way to the Midwest, do you have a follow on project in mind?

  9. Robert Shapton
    Robert Shapton says:

    Well Mr Byrne, you did it! She looks fantastic. I was lucky enough to see the boat before the show at the Wooden Runabout Co with Mike & Kurt and it’s spectacular! There’s just something about a Gar that nothing can touch. Bow pole is totally correct on height, they were taller, prouder. Now I’m being harassed to finish my 2 ’41’s.
    Never mind how much varnish was used originally or how over detailed the engine is, these beauties need to be represented in they’re fullest glory. These boats are celebrations of survival, how the old means more now than it once did and is a reflection of the restorer/owner, make and model, and there’s no better way to enjoy a GAR WOOD!
    Nice job Matt!

    • Matt B
      Matt B says:

      Nicely said, oh thanks for the Gar Wood hats. I need to remember to wear one on the next phot shoot so matt doesn’t have to photo shop the balding spots.

  10. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    Congrats Matt and Lisa. Can’t wait for the details in the Brass Bell. You give us “back yarders” inspiration. I’ve always said I put my pants on one leg at a time like the rest of the world, but we all know the final results of any project aren’t always the same from one man to the next. Its all in the details.

  11. steve bunda
    steve bunda says:

    Very Nice Job Matt! don’t cut your self short, bottoms are very important , also sanding and grunt work is part of the job. steve and laurie

  12. Jean and Pat
    Jean and Pat says:

    Reading the comments, Matt seems to be getting most of the praise, but , Lisa, WE know how much you contributed to the restoration, sewing, nailing, sanding, varnishing, etc. Not to downplay Matt’s contribution; he did a fantastic job on his part, too. Love you both and very proud of ALL your work. Mom and Dad

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