When People See Your Classic Boat?


The other day, I got on one of my google search kicks. Just clicking around to find more cool stuff. I hit on some classic Sailboats, and OH GOD! Not, oh god, how cool, but man, that is some complex headache stuff. NOW, hold on, before you wind moochers slam me. I like sailing. But it hit me, we are all deep into classic speed boats here, and have all drank the Koolaide, and to be honest kinda chuckle when people say how complex and hard work our Woody boats are.

I looked at myself and was thinking the same about Sailboats, and thought. Hey, there is some classic sail boat guy right now looking at our speed boats and saying… Oh, dear lord, that’s alot of work. Its a reminder of what people really are thinking when they see you and your boat.

They love it for sure, but no way, not with a 10 ft ..mahogany pole! So what is it that we need to do to calm the nerves. To be more inviting? Maybe stop bragging about all the work you did to restore the boat? Maybe offer turn key boats with a warranty, like Katzs Marina. They are slammed busy this year. So is Halls, as well as Sierra, Freedom, all good strong businesses, that offer the same thing. Peace of mind. It’s a little lonely out there when you are on ebay or Craigslist and there is no infrastructure there to make it all easy..er.

I have a problem

But I see a Kounselor every year. The Katz Kounslor

Wow, thats a lotta work!


15 replies
  1. Mike D
    Mike D says:

    Looks like I will be the first to comment. I own a CC Runabout and a 25′ Folkboat (sailboat) both of which are varnished mahogany and both require very little work to maintain. Both are head turners and each prompt the famous question about how hard it must be to maintain.
    But, since I am more a wood guy than a mechanic type guy I lean more towards the sailing life than motoring. Sure is nice to be moved by the wind instead of gas.

  2. Kelly Wittenauer
    Kelly Wittenauer says:

    Most worthwhile pursuits require significant effort. That’s part of what leads to the pride & satisfaction we feel, when others ask admiring questions about our boats (cars, miniatures, handmade furniture, quilts, etc.). As my dad once told a reporter “It takes about an hour in the garage, for every minute on the track”.

  3. Rick
    Rick says:

    I’m starting to think wind is the way to go. Maybe rig a catboat type sail on Panther to go faster and aid during breakdowns instead of getting towed back. Wish I could photoshop that.

  4. Bilge Rat
    Bilge Rat says:

    I enjoy sailing when offered a day on the water, but I also enjoy turning the key, pointing boat in the direction I want and going. The whole wind direction, tacking, setting the jib just takes the enjoyment away from a nice cruise. It is nice to only hear the wind, waves and sail when it ruffs telling you to make an adjustment.

    That said, with our boats and old original power there will be the strange-to-the-uneducated rituals to start up and work with keeping the beast alive. People forget that’s how engines back in the day worked, no fuel injection computer managed power plants.

    Then again, I have seen a sail boat backstay snap under sail and the mast break with the associated world come crashing down. Another bad day of pleasure boating.

  5. Briant
    Briant says:

    Every year with our woodie I spend the summer talking to folks admiring the boat…and every year it is the same thing…”I spent only $4500, not $45,000 or $450,000”….”..it is not any more work than a Fiberglas boat, only different”…”It has never let us down”…etc etc.

    In other words, they all say that it would take too much time and money and I counter their dead in the water lamenting with tales of only fun and joy.

    And then sometimes I offer a ride. I sound like a broken record, but if we want our passion to continue onto the next generations, we have to get their butt in a boat. Take the mystery out of it. Show and tell that it is work, not that much, but in the end, it is worth every great memory.

    By the way…we have owned both…sailboats are beautiful from a distance, but boring as all get out unless you are an ocean racer.

  6. Phil Ward
    Phil Ward says:

    Matt, thanks for including the windy ones. I completeley enjoyed the seven year restoration of my 1948 Century Resorter winning Best Owner Restored at the WWC 2018 Boats on the Boardwalk. I am now into a 1934 International Dragon sailboat from Norway in addition to restorations of vintage rowing shells for our local club – 42 North Rowing. Been enjoying WB for years now. Thank you for all you do for all wooden boats.

  7. Frank@Falmouth
    Frank@Falmouth says:

    When it is a “labor of love” ,…..it .isnt work, or costly……..
    I have both (sail and power) and I have to say, when getting an old sailboat back out on the water it is a differnt type of experience… the groans, creaks, and smells and quiet are something else on a wood hull and rig…
    Ghosting along in an old sailboat is something else….light breeze, no bugs= perfection!
    but firing up the old flathead “K” has its own pleasures!!

  8. Wilson
    Wilson says:

    I’m basically a power boater but sailing isn’t all bad…Wife and I had our first date on a sail boat….an 11′ Moth…. 65 years later we are still married and now have a Sunfish at the beach house. We’ve had a lot of fun with sail boats in the meantime.

  9. Murdock
    Murdock says:

    It really is just all about “butts in boats”.
    Doesn’t matter the material, size, shape or design, “there’s nothing, absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”
    Well said Rat, well said.

  10. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    I’ve said this many times – “Boats, cars, planes, motorcycles – (whatever your passion) – it’s all the same sickness!” In the end, the process of getting there, enjoyable and challenging as it is, fades to the background – the friends and memories made remain fresh and make it all worthwhile! 🙂

  11. Stan
    Stan says:

    Dick’s comment is very true.
    Although I am now “boatless”, it is the friends we have made through ACBS who have made the experience so worthwhile.

  12. Andreas Jordahl Rhude
    Andreas Jordahl Rhude says:

    I have four wooden sailboats ! All made by Thompson Bros. Boat Mfg. Co. Pictured is the 1940 Thompson Snipe posed in front of what remains of the old Thompson Boat factory in Peshtigo, Wisconsin

  13. thomas d
    thomas d says:

    one of the best $100 I ever spent and since I watch a lot of Errol Flynn movies it was easy to figure out how to sail it. it does have a mahogany rudder and dagger board.

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