Don Danenberg Had A Great Idea Yesterday!

Don Danenberg wearing the Hagerty colors. From time to time, we get comments that are far more than just a comment trail. They are ideas that improve the way we see things and open up new channels for the hobby, lifestyle to improve on its self. The comment was in regard to the Michigan chapter getting together to help put on a bottom prep job. You can read that short story below this story. Don Danenberg’s comment stopped many of us in our tracks. It made so much sense that you could feel guys all over the woody boater universe..”Hey that’s a great idea” Here is the comment. Another cool thing about this comment is that it’s a fantastic idea for the ACBS to use as a value proposition for joining. Lets make this happen…

Comment from Don Danenberg
“This is the truly fun stuff.

Every chapter should organize local groups who might work together like this.

When I get calls from people who just attended their first wooden boat show, and want to buy a classic, I tell them;
First, join the ACBS and a local chapter, and find out how many chapter members are nearby you. Get to know them and their boats before you buy the first pretty boat you come across. Get to know what model will suit your needs best.

Imagine pooling the knowledge, research, and tools and how that would lessen the expenses on all aspects. Group material orders severly lowers the costs of those.

Buying mahogany in 1,000 bd/ft bunks (4-5 boats) lowers that cost by 30-40%. If everybody is in the same area, then they all split one shipping charge.
Buying bronze screws and bolts by the 5,000 quantity does the same. Bedding compounds, paints and sealers, etc., etc.

You could meet to work on Joe and Bob’s boat every Saturday for a year (better than Poker), while riding in Fred, Tom, and Chuck’s boats in the summer. When these boats are done, you work on the others.

Everybody doesn’t have to buy that bandsaw (that only gets used for that boat), that big router or grinder, the real clutched-screwgun, etc.

Everybody gets to learn and share research.”

14 replies
  1. mark edmonson
    mark edmonson says:

    Matt and Don, I agree, Been running my boat shop for the last few years helping out other woody boaters get their projects done. Seam like most members want to do the work themselfs, but don’t have the tools.. Great comcept.

  2. Mike Green
    Mike Green says:

    I was speaking to a group down in Texas a few years back and they were doing that very thing. I thought it was a great idea, they had a couple of boats in the shop they worked on together and then a couple more to follow after that. They were all helping and learning together. The Maritime Heritage Alliance here in Traverse City does that as well, they restore wood sailboats mostly and have built Madeline a 92 ft. schooner that sails the Great Lakes to teach kids.

    • Jim Frechette
      Jim Frechette says:

      That group is the Wooden Boat Association of North Texas in north Dallas. Check out their website

  3. Kerry Price
    Kerry Price says:

    The trick to making this work is having a common shop. Pretty tough to share tools, especially large floor tools when the boats being worked on are in different locations.

  4. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    25 yrs ago 4 of us started the Atlanta Wooden Boat Association where members or non members could bring their boats into the shop, rent the space and help with the work or hire it done and watch the progress. I did an apprenticeship there and ended up shop foreman when owner moved to Florida. The shop closed and the organization became just another “club” w/o a place to work on boats.

    This area is still in need of a “hangout” for w/boaters. Its bounced around a couple of shops in the past but as the owners “age out” it flounders and begs for another shop owner to come forward to provide the centralized “co-op”. Might have to get off my soap box and dust off the AWBA logo and see what can be transpires.

    Kudos to Don for revitalizing this idea.

  5. Philip Andrew
    Philip Andrew says:

    Well thats just lovely. Who wants to share with me?
    c’mon its not far, if you left Friday you’d be here Monday.

  6. DonD
    DonD says:

    I’d love to take credit for this idea, but cannot.
    Heck, Tom Flood and group have been doing just this in Florida since the 90’s.

    It is just something I’ve been saying for many years to the newbie’s who have just attended their first boatshow, or bought my book, and have been bitten by the bug.

    For the newbie, the best, first, avenue to learning how to go about things (selecting their first boat is most important), is to Join the ACBS (to get the directory) and a local chapter.
    That is followed by publications like Classic Boating and WoodenBoat magazines, the CCABC, CBC, and other clubs, not to mention

    The local chapter guys have no doubt already done a ton of research and networking. No doubt Mr. Newbie can add content and resources to that.

    I warn them noy to buy the first alluring wooden boat they find, but go to as many boatshows as they can to see what fits their fancy. Talk to the boat owners, see what they like and don’t like about their boats.
    Its called ‘informed decision’, when they know what to look for.

  7. DonD
    DonD says:

    I forgot to mention that pooling tools and materials purchases only adds to the above networking for knowledge.

    Maybe one member, or even the chapter itself, can obtain a wholesale license for real buying power and access to better materials sources?

  8. Allen
    Allen says:

    Hey I know how it works…one of our members here in Michigan chapter helped me with a new bottom on my U-22…..the year after he finished his…..alot of experience and commaraderie and good times…..our guys are real helpful in our group…doing all the things Don mentioned. I still have to put new hull sides on and that is probably the way we’ll do it……share the project and experience with some others that can help and make friends… thanks go out to Al Herr for his patience and help as he has helped many in our chapter.

  9. steven balcer
    steven balcer says:

    It never hurts to ask some one who shows an interest in helping. Simply just asking is all some one might be looking for to just get them involved. I’m from Bay city Mi. And been into wood boats for 25 years “mostly race” and with the talant in the area we see the benifits for all when talant is spread around to help each other out. Great Idea!!

    Bay City was once one of the biggest boat building capitals in Michigan next to Algonac. And us woodyboaters are keeping it going.

    Huskin’s, Eddie boats, Staudacher’s, Bay city boats Ect.

    Nice , Nice toppic, Nice site a few days ago there was a nice topic on Bob Michko and the cool motor he is doing, one great guy I just put one of his motors in a replica 2/3 scale “1937 gold cupper” I built for some one. Just This woodyboater site has pulled alot of people together. This is help for lots of people. way to go Matt !!


  10. Stuart Bailey
    Stuart Bailey says:

    The Amish come together for a barn raising in a matter of days the joined knowledge and efforts do what would take one person years. With old wooden boats imagine what would happen if members came together with a school shop to restore many members boats a class to raise boats from keel to finished Crome.

  11. Jim Mersman
    Jim Mersman says:

    I too have heard others (three-four chapter members) getting together in one shop or working as a team going from one persons boat to the next one each weekend. Don, we need to talk on how Acbs can further this idea more. I’ll stop by and see you in a few weeks. I’ll be in your area. perfect method for a newbie to learn.

  12. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    Top Knotch Idea…..chapters need a boost and this is just the thing.

    John in Va.

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