New Classification From The ACBS, “Late Classic” Just In Time For This Summer!

Late Classic 1979 Glastron-Carlson CV-27 is eligible now.

Late Classic 1979 Glastron-Carlson CV-27 is eligible now. St Johns – Photo Texx

It’s with great excitement that we announce the huge news that the ACBS has voted to create a new classification  “Late classic” (formerly early contemporary) is 1976 until the year 25 years prior to the current year- in this years case 1989.  Next year it would move to 1990, and so on… will always be 25 years prior to the current time, and by doing this hopefully it eliminates ever having to take this issue on again.

We could not be more jazzed here at Woody Boater about this. It invites new boats and people into the ACBS and boat shows. This past Lake Dora show was very fun and different because of the huge variety of boats that were there. Going to classic boat…late classic boat” shows should be inspirational and expose folks to new cool stuff. This also opens up your ebay and broker search. You can now start to drool over those odd early 80’s boats.

Time capsule 1978 Chris Craft 17' Super Sport on ebay a while back is a very affordable way to now win awards now

Time capsule 1978 Chris Craft 17′ Super Sport on ebay a while back is a very affordable way to now win awards now.

Like this  tasty 1984 Century Coronado Cardel 21' It can be yours at the Antique Boat center Here.

Like this tasty 1984 Century Coronado Cardel 21′ It can be yours at the Antique Boat center Here.

Here is the official release from the ACBS.. Its all spelled right to boot!

The Board of Directors of The Antique & Classic Boat Society (ACBS) announced today that it has approved a change in its boat classification structure and show eligibility criteria to include certain boats of a more recent vintage under the definition of classic boats. According to Teresa Hoffman, President of ACBS, “The classic boating hobby has evolved and changed considerably since the ACBS last changed these parameters in 2002”. In keeping with the original vision of the founders of ACBS, many boats constructed between 1975 and the year 25 years prior to the current year will be considered as “late-classic”. This new designation applies to both wood and non-wood boats. The new category excludes boats of a certain hull type such as pontoons, inflatables and small personal watercraft.
This change has no effect upon the current designation of “Historic” (any boat built up to and including 1918), “Antique” (any boat built between 1919 and 1942, inclusive) or “classic” (any boat built between 1943 and 1975).
ACBS recognizes the popularity of these “late-classic” boats and the growing crowd appeal at ACBS sanctioned boat shows for these boats with their distinctive styling and design. Peter Stephens, Executive Director of ACBS, said “As a result of our recent Strategic Planning session, it was clear that our membership felt it was time to revisit our definition of a contemporary classic boat. As the recognized leader in the antique and classic boating hobby, it was an appropriate time to formally update our designations and definitions.”

So these three early 70's Donzi and XKs are Classic Boats not late classic .

So these three early 70’s Donzi and XKs are Classic” Boats not “late classic” They look so “old” now!

In addition, a comprehensive survey of ACBS chapter executives revealed resounding support throughout the organization for these initiatives, with an overwhelming percentage of respondents in favor of the change, and agreeing that non-wood boats had an important place in the ACBS. It is clear that our grassroots-members appreciate and respect vintage boats of all types and welcome anyone who shares this passion to their shows and events.

And of course Jimmys little 1932 Racing runabout is still an "Antique".

And of course Jimmys little 1932 Racing runabout is still an “Antique”.

For more information of the ACBS read below or just click here.
ACBS is the world’s largest vintage boating society with nearly 14,000 members and 56 chapters. Based in Clayton, NY, its mission is the preservation, restoration and education related to antique and classic boating by bringing together its members and numerous other stakeholders, such as museums, suppliers and restorers & builders of boats. ACBS also provides scholarships to students, who are learning boatbuilding and restoration skills and who attend approved boatbuilding schools.

33 replies
  1. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    That makes my 1985 Correct Craft Ski Nautique that is currently for ssle a classic. Maybe the asking price just went up!

  2. Jack Schneiberg
    Jack Schneiberg says:

    Hmmm! Is it possible those 4 guys in the header shot were on their way to “suggest” to the ACBS BOD what their decision regarding this matter might be?

  3. Rick
    Rick says:

    When I read the email this morning I thought WOW in another 7 years my Carver Clorox bottle will be a classic! No more wet bathing suits or sandy feet on her. But wait that’s what I got her for. Man why is the ACBS making my like so difficult? Other than that it’s a great move.

  4. Jim Mersman
    Jim Mersman says:

    1985 Resorter 18 with only 190 hrs. All original.
    I’m thrilled the ACBS has embraced these late classics too.

  5. Wilson
    Wilson says:

    Hard to believe the ’76 Cobia with the Merc 115 that my kids grew up skiing with is now a show qualifier. Now if we could only find it.

    • Rick
      Rick says:

      What? You think boating is supposed to be fun? You’re supposed to worry about correct engine color, luster to the chrome and whether you sanded enough between 37 coats of varnish. Oh and is the font correct for the gold leaf name. Come on John get with the program, if you’re having fun you’re doing it wrong.

  6. Sean
    Sean says:

    This great SIDEWINDER was at the TSCABA event this past weekend…. Both FUN and a “late Classic” in my book!

    I see this announcement as a natural progression. It’s a good thing.

  7. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    yes, Rick….you have nailed me…I am doing it all wrong…I was trying hard to get excited about correct cloth wire covering and flag pole hole diameter…but I am just an utter failure at that. I am going to have to have a going boating fix….so, hopelessly addicted, I am going on the James River Batteau Festival here in Va. for several days…talk about retro!!! this is 18th century boating…google em.

    John in Va.

  8. Doug P
    Doug P says:

    Finally, I can exhibit and show my late contemporary, classic, antique, late vintage tupperware Port a Bote

  9. MikeM
    MikeM says:

    This is great news… “new” Dan Arena Custom 21XL will feel right at home at all the big shows….

    • Mike W
      Mike W says:

      Paint it Blue with white stripes and it will look like a big SS. Just messin with ya. Sweet boat.

  10. Kelly Wittenauer
    Kelly Wittenauer says:

    Glad to see these cool designs getting the recognition they deserve. Now if only I hadn’t traded this in 16 years ago.

  11. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    I was thinking 35 years would be good but I guess 25 works as well. Not sure I like the 76 cutoff since there is no significant difference between the 75 and 76 model years for many/most major makes and models. A classic glass category or perhaps a cut around 1966-1968 would be better IMHO as that would keep the XK’s and Donzi’s with the Glastron and Century’s they more closely resemble.

    Nitpicking aside it is a big step in the right direction of inclusiveness.

  12. Ryan
    Ryan says:

    I’ll preface this opinion by saying I enjoy many classic glass boats and have owned a few myself however I’m not sure if I support this new designation.

    It sounds like the ACBS grasping at straws to boost membership by casting a wider net. I relate it to historic buildings in the architecture and real estate world. People think an old building is “historic” just because it’s old which should not be the case. With buildings, you can certainly emphasize age (usually 40-50 years old and older), historic significance related to a place, person, event, architectural and engineering merit, integrity of design, character, workmanship and materials, importance as part of a neighborhood, district ect.

    A “late classic” designation is a little too “late” in my opinion. At least with architecture, “early modern” has a recognizable and distinct style that relates to a unique era in history and has become popular. My problem is that 9 out of 10 “late classics” I see on the water on Lake Erie are simply OLD nothing “classic” about them. I don’t see anybody admiring a 1989 Bayliner or 1983 SeaRay cabin cruiser at the docks.

    • Mike W
      Mike W says:

      I hear what you are saying. There has to be a cut off on years to have a starting point. Just because something is old and wood does not mean it has what it takes in value and style. Same to be said for the glass boats. Nothing can help ugly and they will fall along the way while a few will be valued by others. Outstanding design will be appreciated no matter what year it was created. The rest are just firewood or Clorox bottles.

    • Paul H.
      Paul H. says:

      Ryan – Regarding the SeaRay/Bayliner – not yet – but how many people – apart from a hard core esthete, appreciated mid-century modern architecture until a few years ago-thanks to Mad Men, perhaps? I know I always liked the simplicity and functionality of it and in fact built a contemporary, modern home, but for many years it was “out of style” but it is suddenly “cool” again. Why? Time and changing perceptions have much to do with it. I totally agree that in general, age is not an accurate arbiter of what is genuinely “classic” from a DESIGN perspective. No one can say from a design perspective that every wooden boat is “classic”, any more than they can say that no non-wood boats are classic. It has more to do with individual feelings and emotions than any subjective design analysis.

      I prefer to leave the definition of what is or is not “classic” in the eyes of the person forming the opinion. I may not agree with him, but that disagreement should be insufficient to disenfranchise him – who am I to decide, anyway?

      Concerning architecture, I find myself wondering about Brutalism – popular and very distinctive for a period in the ’60-’70’s, and I don’t find myself favorably disposed to it. Many examples have been demolished, but I now see preservation movements afoot, trying to save examples of this stark, imposing style. It is not old, many people don’t even like it but there are folks who do – who am I to disagree with them. Maybe one day it too will be revered? I have no idea, but in the milieu of taste, design, nostalgia and emotion – NOTHING is static and adaptation and response to changing attitudes is from time to to necessary.

    • Paul H.
      Paul H. says:

      Randy, etc. – the major point that I think we wished to avoid here was the imposition of personal, individual taste as an arbiter on acceptance or eligibility of boats. There are plenty of homely, non-descript non-wood boats, just as there are plenty of ugly wood boats. There is no unanimous opinion as to taste, style or beauty rendered in any hull material, and beauty of design and visual distinction does not begin or end with a particular model year or even era. So, if one admits that, it becomes easier to see that trying to pick a year, hull material or certain list of “eligible” boats become pretty much a zero sum gain.

      No matter how ugly or boring any one of us thinks a particular boat is, chances are someone else loves it. Should we not respect him or his boat because his taste is different than ours? I don’t believe we should and I didn’t want any part of having to make those qualitative judgements and impose them on someone else’s preference. The 25-year thing is a happy medium that is accepted in many other areas, particularly some of the larger car clubs and it seems to be eminently inclusive and well-reasoned.

      My biggest hope was to eliminate as much as possible the use of hull materials as a distinguishing characteristic in the policies and guidelines of our Society. Study of the matter revealed that such distinctions were not supported in our Mission or Vision Statements and were not consistent with the spirit and intent of our founders. Contrary to common opinion, the ACBS actually has a very clearly defined history of adaptation to changing of attitudes and the inexorable passage of time. When it was founded in 1975, almost no boats of any type after WWll were considered – that obviously includes most of the boats many of us know and love. A 1950 U22 in 1975 was not a lot different than a 1989 SeaRay is today if one cares to ponder the matter – it was mostly thought of as a used boat – a basic utility made of wood. My 1948 25′ Sportsman with a Scripps was sold for $1000 in good shape in 1974 – it was just an old boat. However, as time marched on these attitudes softened and the subsequent acceptance of many post-war boats took hold, and this periodically continued on until 2002. We are merely updating today a process which has a long history – not only in this hobby, but in others.

  13. Rick
    Rick says:

    Thought I’d give everyone a sneak peak of my soon to be classic Clorox bottle (just 7 more years). I so looking forward to throngs of onlookers at shows salivating over my boat. Be nice to me now and I’ll give you rides in the future. So at what point does it go from being an old user to collectable? Will I have to take off everything not factory installed? And darn, it’s already not the original engine, outdrive, prop, steering wheel or canvas. I can just feel the value plummeting.

    • Paul H.
      Paul H. says:

      Hi Rick – I wonder if guys in 1975 had those same derisive thoughts about their own “knockabout” user 1957 or so (18 years old at the time) boats, while their “real” pre-war classics or 60+ year old launches were the keepers? I don’t ask this in a depracating manner – it is a real question and I bet they had a similar low regard for the 1957 boat in 1975 as many may have today for a 1995 or ’96 utility boat.

      This was not about judging – it is about extending a respect and a welcomoe to others who may feel the same way about their 30 year old Glastron as a now 70 year old guy felt 30 years ago about his 1954 Riviera, or Arabian or whatever. Those same mostalgic and emotional connections can reside with today’s younger folks and their family’s 1984 boat as it could back then with a 1954 wood baot. Hull material is not really relevant to the formation of those memories in the younger generation that did not have an opportunity to grow up on wood.

  14. JFunk
    JFunk says:

    My personal boating preference is for wood, and always will be. That’s what I remember as a young kid in my grandfather’s boat and got me interested in boating. And that’s OK. To draw younger boaters to our great hobby however, it’s important to include what they remember…which is mainly fiberglass. Just beacuse I prefer one over another doesn’t mean I want to exclude what someone else likes. It’s a good move, and healtly for our club.

  15. Carl Garmhaus
    Carl Garmhaus says:

    ACBS is moving in the right direction. Now we just have to get more steam behind modifications. The car guys get it! Just go boating. Good job National!!!

  16. 'Bone Daddy' Deems
    'Bone Daddy' Deems says:

    I have to agree wholeheartly with Ryan and Randy. I do not see anyone at the Coeur d Alene docks looking at 1989 boats…Cool old fiberglass boats yes…25 year old boats no…..Next year start looking for 1990 Sea Rays and Bayliners….They should have went with 35 years old…

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