Robinson Restoration in Fallbrook, CA Hosts Southern California ACBS Workshop

1938 Gar Wood Streamilner - 1

“Empress” – 1938 22′ Gar Wood Streamliner

Today we travel to sunny Southern California and Robinson Restoration for a Live-ish report from the SoCal ACBS 2014 Wooden Boat Workshop – courtesy of fellow Woody Boater Marten Anderson, who was on hand for the event. Saturday’s workshop was organized by the Southern California Chapter ACBS is always a big hit.

Tim & Brian Robinson own “Empress” – a stunning 1938 22′ Gar Wood 915 Streamliner, the third of only five 1938 Streamliner’s built that year. Total production from 1938-1941 was only 23 boats, of which only seven remain today.

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The Gar Wood Streamliners distinctive “barrel stern” design.

Several features on “Empress” are unique, not only compared to other Gar Woods, but to other streamliners as well. She is one of possibly two Gar Woods with a full “barrel stern” (like some popular Chris-Craft models of the era) and is one of the earliest Gar Woods with the “barrel bow” – an early evolution found on later pre-WWII Gar Woods. “Empress” makes regular visits to boat shows in California, including the prestigious Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance in August.

Now over to Marten for his report. – Texx

SoCal ACBS 2014 Wooden Boat Workshop
Report & Photos by Marten Anderson

On Saturday Tim and Brian Robinson, father and son restoration team at Robinson Restoration, welcomed over 30 participants to their impressive boat shop in Fallbrook, California for an informative, hands-on workshop.

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It’s always fun to visit the Robinson Restoration workshop and see what wooden boats they are currently working on. – Texx

The workshop was organized by the Southern California Chapter ACBS. More than 30 Southern California ACBS club members were on hand at Robinson Restoration to cover a number of interesting topics relating to the care, restoration and maintenance of classic wooden boats.

The topics this year included steam bending, interior hide-em and crash pad installation, steering wheel repair, bleaching and staining techniques, and varnishing preparation and care techniques.

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Tim and Brian Robinson demonstrating the installation process of the cockpit crash pad and some techniques to make the covering and hide-em lay flat at the corner.

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The engaged crowd carefully watching the crash pad demo on a 1955 19’ Chris-Craft Capri.

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Tim demonstrating steam bending techniques on some scraps of mahogany.

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Pulling demonstration “planks” from the steam box.

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John Maddox discussing bleaching and staining techniques and products.

Later in the day, we had a special round table discussion called “Ask the Experts” where you could ask Tim and Brian Robinson your questions about wooden boat repair / restoration. These guys are among the best in the hobby, so to have the opportunity to tap into their knowledge was great!

Robinson Restoration is a working wooden boat shop, so we were also able to see what Tim and Brian are currently working on.

“Evangeline” (originally built for Henry Ford) a 1924 33’ Hacker was outside soaking up some rays into the build coats of varnish, along with the 1955 19’ Chris-Craft Capri used for demonstrations. (To learn more about the “Evangeline” project, and her history you can Click Here – Texx)

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“Evangeline” 1924 – 33′ Hacker

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1955 Chris-Craft 19′ Capri demonstration boat.

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A 1948 19’ Chris-Craft Red and White Racing Runabout with a new cold molded bottom, with a graphite black epoxy coating on the planing surface. This boat includes quite a bit of fir framing components owing to the short supply of mahogany after World War II.

The SoCal ACBS attendees had a great time at the Robinson’s shop. Thanks to all who helped prepare and present the topics, and to the ladies behind the scenes for making the day a great success!

Marten Anderson

Thanks for the great report today Marten. When most of the country is feeling the early blast of winter, the folks in Southern California continue to bask in the sunshine. Somehow that’s just not fair… Special thanks to our friends Tim & Brian Robinson for hosting another successful workshop.

And today our fearless leader Matt Smith left port at 5:30 AM (in 20 degree weather) to go “rock fishing” – ROCK FISHING!! Maybe Matt and his crew will get lucky and head out to sea in a classic Rybovich…


The boat that started it all: Rybovich Hull #1, “Miss Chevy II” commissioned by Charley Johnson. She was splashed in 1947 Rybovich Hull #1 is the world’s first true sportfishing boat. Hull #1 was the start of the Rybovich legacy, and she helped spark the sportfishing industry.


12 replies
  1. Jim Staib
    Jim Staib says:

    Is rock fishing anything like bottle bass fishing?
    Robovich #1 is gone. #2 lives in south Florida. #4 is being restored in Australia. He’s looking for a bow light with the flag pole holder behind the light if anyone knows of one.

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      Thanks Jim. Here’s a list of the Rybo’s that were scheduled to be on display at the big Rybovich Rendevous in 2012.

      (1949) Hull #2 LEGEND
      (1956) Hull #22 MYKONOS
      (1957) Hull #2(1949) Hull #2 LEGEND
      (1956) Hull #22 MYKONOS
      (1957) Hull #29 MISS CHEVY V to be confirmed
      (1958) Hull #35 BLUE FIN IV
      (1959) Hull #39 CHIEFTAIN
      (1960) Hull #43 FRISKY
      (1964) Hull #58 SAM V
      (1966) Hull #63 EL VIEJO
      (1967) Hull #65 LONE EAGLE
      (1967) Hull #66 CATCH ONE
      (1972) Hull #73 SHARK
      (1973) Hull #78 BLUE FOX
      (1957) TANGO Our favorite Cubavich
      9 MISS CHEVY V to be confirmed
      (1958) Hull #35 BLUE FIN IV
      (1959) Hull #39 CHIEFTAIN
      (1960) Hull #43 FRISKY
      (1964) Hull #58 SAM V
      (1966) Hull #63 EL VIEJO
      (1967) Hull #65 LONE EAGLE
      (1967) Hull #66 CATCH ONE
      (1972) Hull #73 SHARK
      (1973) Hull #78 BLUE FOX
      (1957) TANGO Our favorite Cubavich

      Magnificent wooden boats, all with their own special history – Like Al Capone’s No. 22 – MYKONOS

    • Jim Staib
      Jim Staib says:

      Here is a photo of the bow light Martin Hiscock of Australia is looking for. He is restoring Rybovich hull#4. If anyone knows of one contact me and I will put you in touch with him.

      • Randy
        Randy says:

        I understand what he is going through with this restoration. In restoring my Martinique I had to have some of the hardware/fittings/trim fabricated to match factory photos I was lucky enough to possess. Its’ stuff like this that makes accurate restos so challenging (AND expensive). Well, at least you only have to do it once!

  2. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    What a GREAT opportunity for us hobbyists to glean information from such a well of knowledge. Thanks to Tim and Brian for being so involved.

    It is wonderful to see Evangeline again, I have been sitting at my computer since Oct 9th just waiting for Part 2 of that story.

  3. thomas d.
    thomas d. says:

    i would love to attend some of these workshops but everything is always a thousand mile drive away or more. your lucky, there is nothing in west tenn. but cold and crappie for supper.

  4. donald hardy
    donald hardy says:

    Brian and Tim, I was trying real hard to schedule this event in. But to much going on up here in Idaho.
    Let alone the weather, here it is -0-. Yours, “tee shirts” as always.
    I am sure who all attended, went home with more knowledge than before, when they showed up.
    You two are so much help in sharing it, to all that ask. Great dedication to the Hobby. We all thank you!

Comments are closed.