The Cost Of Things In Classic Boating is No Easy Answer.

Yesterday in the comment section “Tom” asked how much all the work on a boat “like” WECATCHEM cost to restore. To be honest, I don’t know. I know, I know, how do you not know how much you are spending preserving a classic boat? Well, I know about my specific boat. But not any others. Each boat is as different as you and me.

I have an “agreed on price” with all the folks doing the work. Why? And How?

Why I have an agreed on price is because I have been burned badly. What should have been a $30K – $40K project ended up costing me $125K when I started this passion. Yes, its embarrassing, and sadly I am not alone. It almost turned me off the entire passion, like Tom correctly pointed out. But instead I focused that anger into making Woody Boater, so I could learn and others as well. I am not alone in my financial mistakes. I and others here swore to change that for everyone.

I spent so much on the boat, I hated it, it represented my stupidity. That was me selling the boat. I sold it for half of what I spent on it

How? The chrome, the gauges, engine, interior, lettering, all of it. in each case I had to supply information, photos and details to get a price. A fair price for me, and the place doing the work. I only deal with people that are up front and honest about pricing. That way there are no surprises. I am also believer in being paid for what you do. It’s how folks stay in business, and we need great suppliers to stay in business. It’s even why the Hagerty Price Guide, which I love BTW, has wide ranges on pricing. Each boat is different. Who did the work, how much passion was spent on it and so on. What are the standards used. Everyone thinks there boats are perfect. This all goes back to what I have been saying for years. Each boat has its own DNA. A unique Soul. A work of art. Is there a rule out there that says all art on a 24 X 36 canvas is $300? No. It’s what is on the canvas that is important and valued. A 21 Cobra is far more costly to restore and own then a 21 utility. A 19 foot 1930’s runabout may cost less than a barrel back to restore? Sure, wood is wood, labor is labor, but the time to restore a barrel back is more. Which I might add is why after the war, they may have stopped making them.


OK, so Tom, what did I spend On WECATCHEM? I am all in with this passion and the boat. All my boats. I am not in the resale business, I am owning my boats like art. And I use the crap out of them. I get my moneys worth for sure. That boat deserves every penny sunk into her. And the one family that owned it for it’s life did the same. It’s no secret that 25 Sportsman are insane expensive to restore. To do one right can reach in the $200K range. Not your under $5K boat for sure. And some 25 Sportsman are less, and some more. Hell, you can spend a fortune on a Scripps rebuild alone. I will add that they are worth every penny. The joy they bring is worth more than some sports car, or any of the other countless things in your life that you spend money on!


51 replies
      • Rob Lyons
        Rob Lyons says:

        Mr Smith goes to Washington, that has an interesting ring to it.

        Like Mr Smith (His Honor) I got a rude introduction to the restoration world and this too caused me to get into the boat hobby business.
        This could actually be a place where regulation and policy (a few standards would really help) could be a good think. Perhaps His Honor could pitch this in campaign platform.
        Like any project it is critical that you establish scope, cost and schedule. If one of those changes, we talk! (immediately). It is essential that there is complete clarity and transparency to the restoration process, which also applies even more so to the purchase process.
        Remember “Vote early and Vote often”

  1. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Matt, very wise and accurate words. Owning any vintage watercraft is a passion and it can not be viewed financially. You don’t make money in this passion, so it should never be viewed as an investment. These boats will usually hold their value if used and maintained properly, so depreciation is not an issue like new boats, but they will have fixed cost on a regular basis. Buying a finished restoration is a cheaper way to go, but you loose the satisfaction of doing the restoration, which is part of the passion. The points that I think are most important are research any restoration source more than the boat itself. Always have a pre agreed price and Never accept a time and material contract. And finally, try to do the entire restoration at one time. If you do the bottom first and then go back later to do the rest of the boat, it will cost you more.
    I will be anxious to here what other WoodyBoaters offer as comments today.

    • Dennis J Mykols
      Dennis J Mykols says:

      Greg is right on. I bought my 22 Lyman for around $35k, after the previous owner spent over $70K restoring her, (Got all the receipts to prove it). We used Lyman Tyme for two years attended several classic boat shows, won a couple of trophies, then sold her for $32K.
      I do the same with my cars, buy when they come off a lease, and spend 1/2 the new car price…

  2. Jim Staib
    Jim Staib says:

    I’m doing a Century Resorter. Been at it for years. Don’t keep reciepts, don’t want to know. It will never be worth what I have in it. I like it. That’s why I’m doing it.
    Supposedly barrelbacks were discontinued because they sink easily in following seas.

  3. Bob B
    Bob B says:

    Matt, congress?

    First time I had a little cruise around Annapolis I was amazed at all the boats and was told this one belongs to Senator So and So, and that one to Congressman Whatsis and Judge Whosis et. al.—all government “servants.”

    So go for it, money and boats in Congress—no problem.

  4. Dennis
    Dennis says:

    I am currently restoring my Sea Skiff. I am doing the work myself learning as I go. Even though Skiffs are not as popular and I will not make any money. It is a cheaper option in getting in to classic boating and I feel cheaper to fix for the most part. The looks and the points and the thumbs up from passing boats and guys on the lake and water is what you can say price less.

  5. Capt. Mike
    Capt. Mike says:

    This will be an interesting thread for sure. I love wooden boats – the history, the debate over value and cost of ownership…LOL. All of it. Part of the enjoyment (IMHO) is owning and enjoying what you can afford to own and maintain. I’d love a Hacker or an old Gar…heck, I would even like an old sportsman like WECATCHEM!

    What I own and care for is a ’69 Lyman Sleeper. I bought her with a new bottom and transom at a fair price and have been able to keep her in what I consider very good user condition – without emptying my wallet! She isn’t a trailer queen but it’s common to hear someone say, “Hey, nice boat” at the gas dock, or just when we’re out and about.

    Like I said, she hasn’t emptied my wallet and for those who go on-and-on about the cost of owning a woodie, I know plenty of people who have gone all in on a plastic cruiser and can’t afford to buy gas and end up hating the boat…

    Buy what you can afford to maintain and whether its a row boat or the Queen Mary…get out there and enjoy it.

  6. mike s
    mike s says:

    Whether a boat owner opts for a fixed price or time + materials restoration, I think the primary importance is the reputation of the shop in question. Either system can be abused.
    If you are only getting a pre-determined amount for the job and problems arise, shortcuts may be taken on the back end so the shop doesn’t end up working for $10 an hour when all is said and done. It may also cause the purchase of the cheapest materials available.
    And of course, with a time + materials contract, there needs to be an incentive or deadline to produce the finished product in a timely and efficient manner.
    One size doesn’t fit all. Doing some thorough research will help avoid getting burned. Know what you are paying for.
    As a community, we all love telling our stories.
    Been treated well? Tell somebody.
    Been screwed? Tell somebody.
    Natural selection will take over from there.

  7. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    It is sad that Sylvia was such a horrible experience, but we are all very glad that you found a way to focus that energy into something so positive.

    There are many sides to the restoration game. Back in 2014 I took American Beauty to a great shop with a budget. Due to additional work and life challenges, on my behalf, the final bill was 50% more than that original budget. The work that was done was fabulous and the price was fair. I do not blame the shop for going over budget, it was all my doing. I find the real key is to hire people that you trust in the first place.

    “You won’t get a bad deal from a good person, and you won’t get a good deal from a bad one.” Paraphrased from Zig Ziglar

  8. JohnU
    JohnU says:

    We all have a car(s) & trucks(s). I see a lot of the S class Mercedes etc on the road. Have you ever seen how fast a $125,000 car depreciates….. makes a classic boat look like an investment!
    In the end it’s whatever floats your boat!

    • Dennis J Mykols
      Dennis J Mykols says:

      yes, these type of cars depreciate like crazy. That is why I buy low mileage older cars, like my 2001 Mercedes 500 SL that had 38,000 miles on it, and I paid only $17k, three years ago. She now has 60k miles on her. Looking at resale of this car with even with 125k miles, she still brings in $10k, So I will loose $7k but used her for 90k miles or so; OR as my wife says, until my eye catches a glimpse of another toy… But the bottom line is I did not loose $30K

  9. Tim Robinson
    Tim Robinson says:

    I have been in the restoration business for 20 years and have talked many customers out of restoring their boats. For some boats it doesn’t come close to penciling out. Some folks don’t care, but I always warn them. Some day this boat will change hands and I don’t want them mad at me for what the boat will bring when sold. If you have done your homework on the reputation of the restorer and feel they are honest and their hourly rate is fair, you are always better off going with a time
    and material price. I understand most folks are uncomfortable with this, so we offer a not to exceed price and invoice T & M monthly. Now that being said, if you discover any additional problems the customer must be contacted and invited to visit the shop to explain why there will be additional costs.

  10. Sean
    Sean says:

    $1000K/ft.? Not all woodies! Some may look down their nose at a plywood hull boat, however there are many advantages. A lightweight. strong construction and not having them “soak up” every year would be two at the top of my list but, a third would be… it was less expensive to restore. I had the entire skin of my hull replaced along with a couple of frames, battens and a planked (over plywood) transom for about $550/ft.

    This does not mean the restoration or, the overall cost was cheap though! It’s pretty easy to spend $10K on engine / drive / mechanical / electrical, plus, $3,500 on a quality interior. Add in the cost of chrome, the over the top accessories (for me it was steel braided oil lines), nice extras like a quality custom cover then, top it off with a refurbished (or new) trailer. All-in your over $30K real quick on a low priced, $6,500 daily use boat even doing some of the work yourself.

    I could have saved some $ if I kept my boat original (that’s just not me) as re-engineering does have a cost. However at the end of the day, it’s in the same ball park. I would consider this the entry level for a reliable, quality boat and restoration. As for the cost of refinishing… well, my boat is no show queen! If that’s what you want and you don’t have the skills/facilities to do a professional level job, you WILL pay for it. For me, I refinished my boat last spring in a tent at my friends place. He taught me how to re-varnish as regular maintenance (not strip & re-varnish) so, I added three coats to freshen up the boat. A couple hundred bucks and she was good to go. But, I’m not hunting trophies. Oh, I still get the “nice boat” comment everywhere I go 🙂

    • Sean
      Sean says:

      BTW, I meant to add we all can (and we do) view these boats financially. If that analysis includes comparison with new boats (new Mastercraft ski boat or a new Donzi Classic 22′ at north of $100,000) our boats are an absolute bargain with low depreciation (sometimes appreciation) and the great amount of utility derived. As far as an investment in a recreational boat… it’s very hard to beat a woody!

    • Tom
      Tom says:

      THANK YOU Sean.

      That was what I was looking for when I asked the questions. Since Matt just had chrome work done I thought asking the rough cost was not out of line as most boats have the similar give or take amount of chrome that may need to be rechromed. Since he sent his gauges out to Kocian he should have a rough idea of what a Chris Craft cluster may cost. The same goes for upholstery. As well as an engine overhaul. I understand that not all boat are equal.

      I asked these questions only because Matt is going through the process now. It was never meant as I want to know what you paid. This blog it supposed to be a gathering area to help other enthusiast learn more about the hobby.

  11. Paul H.
    Paul H. says:

    I’ve spent plenty of money on a number of boats. regrets – none. I am still here, healthy and living my life. The expenses were manageable and they were undertaken to achieve an objective. They were not undertaken to fund retirement or pay for college.

    For many of us, these boats are an indulgence and most rules of prudent money management do not apply to indulgences – of many different kinds. Why are these boats thought of as being singularly expensive, or not monetarily worthwhile? It may be true in an academic sense, but that is it. I am certain that classic car restorations yield a similar outcome, and as a person who buys a couple of new cars every few years, I can say the depreciation on those exceeds the costs of an average wooden boat. I do not buy new boats – my friends all do and I know what the boats cost and I know how they depreciate. It is also much worse then average vintage boats. Boats are no different than any other hobby, expense or passion.

    Personally, I am tired of people bitching about costs. If you can afford it, do it – if you can’t then don’t. Pretty simple. There are very few people to whom any of us have to justify our expenses, and they are obviously a personal matter.

    If you boat for a hobby, enjoy it and don’t apply rational economic expectations to the expenses occasioned in the pursuit of same, just enjoy the people and the experience. If you are in this is a business, then you know a deal, what you should pay and what you should not. If this is not a commercial pursuit then why worry? If you find yourself inordinately concerned about the values or costs, maybe you shouldn’t do it, or maybe you can’t afford it. Maybe you work on the boats and the restoration work itself is a hobby and passion, and the value is secondary – there is value in that.

    Nobody seems too concerned about the costs of vacations – after all, it’s an experience. I am shocked at the cost of Disney and would never enter the grounds under penalty of death, but millions of people willingly submit to the vast financial intemperance that accompanies any visit to that place, and with nary an evident concern. Vegas is the same. If you blow $10 or $20k on fancy trip to Europe or something, that money is gone, but you had fun and you don’t care, right? Quit bitching about costs and apply the same rationalizations used in evaluating vacations or other recreational endeavors to your classic boat, cars, wine collection or whatever it happens to be.

    • Alton M
      Alton M says:

      Absolutely agree Paul. If you afford whatever hobby you like, go for it full speed ahead and damn the torpedos.
      I happen to like things that run on fossil fuel in the air, on the ground and in the water. The bigger the noise, the better it is. Doesn’t matter, I do them all and work my butt off ten days a week and thirty six hours a day to pay for it.
      My recent ’67 E-Type roadster “freshening”, fresh varnish on a U-22 and 30′ Gar triple, new trailer, etc could be called the Spring Black Hole of Calcutta, but I don’t care. I don’t do trailer queens, don’t give a damn about trophies, have zero time for snooty people with a pole up their a$$, give anybody a ride and prayer to God this next generation of children learn the difference between a flat blade and a Phillips head screwdriver.
      My wife of thirty-seven years would shoot me dead where I stand if she really knew what I spent for care and feeding of the animals. Then again, she probably already knows.
      Her thing is travel and I don’t ask her what it costs either.
      Whatever you’re passion, get on with it because in dog years, you’re already dead.

  12. Howard Lehman
    Howard Lehman says:

    OK, I’ll bite on this. I’m sure many folks are skeptical about leaving costs on one of their boat restorations for many reasons, especially if that boat will eventually be put up for sale, yet the question Tom asks is a good one, and key for someone looking to get into wood boats. I’m restoring two boats at this time that I own, a 1953 Chris Craft 20′ Riviera, and a 1963 CC 17′ Ski Boat. The Riviera is a story for another time, but my Ski Boat is a good example for discussion. I found this boat in northern Wisconsin, @ 3 hours from where I live via an ad on Craigslist. After numerous emails and phone calls later, the owner and I compromised on a price of $1500 for the boat, in overall good condition, with a decent tandem trailer with new wheels and tires, very good windshield, but no engine and no interior, including no engine box, but it had the factory cover. The vinyl ceilings were OK, dash was OK, probably can describe them both as “serviceable”, and it had it’s original floorboards and vinyl covering. Most of the hardware was present, but was missing two vents (I found two on eBay). Once I brought the boat home, I made a list of things to do, things to look for, and a plan to make this a real nice “user boat”. As most of you know, these “vinyl deck Ski Boats” don’t command the value that stained/varnished Ski Boats do (I have one of them too), but they are nice performing and handling boats in relatively calm water, but great for the lakes that I live. So, I flipped the boat, checked on the bottom, observed one bottom plank that needed more investigation, removed the plank, did repair, sealed and replaced it. Removed all paint, sanded and faired the bottom, then sealed, primed and painted it’s original bottom, then flipped back over. (Yes, I spent a lot of time looking at frames and inner bottom, as well as gave good soundings on the bottom, and determined things were OK, to the best of my knowledge). I removed all varnish from the sides, covering boards and toe rails, stained and sealed, then put on 4-5 coats of varnish so things wouldn’t dry out in the winter, and turned my attention back to the Riv. In the meantime I found an engine that was a rebuilt 350, with a full description of all things done to it, plus I was given the name of the guy who rebuilt the engine. I had several conversations with him, and bought that engine for $3000. (Time will tell if this works out!!!)I will not have all of the hardware replated at first, as most is in OK condition. However, to give Tom and others some idea of cost, recently I had 20 pieces of hardware replated for less than $2000, that included a 3 piece windshield brackets, bow light etc. I will have to build the 4 seat pieces, and will expect the cost to upholster them to be around $2000. I took the gas tank to be flushed out, haven’t gotten it back yet, but that cost should be around $200, maybe a little more. I will leave the gauges as they are, will thoroughly have the wiring looked at. and have my mechanic help me install the engine. Stain, CPES, varnish, paint will be close to $400. I’ll make the engine box/doghouse, and made one like it last year, so that’s pretty straight forward. I still am undecided as to have it covered in vinyl, or leave as varnished wood, but materials will be $300-$500. I expect to be running and floating this summer, and would estimate that the total cost will be less than $10,000. This is a similar cost to what I will sell my 1954 17′ CC Sportsman for. This boat will be far from perfect, but it will still look good, and over time I can get additional hardware plated, and other visual improvements made. Alas, this $1500 boat will not be an under $5000 boat, but it will be fun and great for boating around the lakes I live on. Of course, no labor charges were added. I worked on this “part time” when I had an hour or two to devote to the boat. It has been, and still is fun to work on. I hesitate to push “send” here for many reasons. It’s possible I have forgotten a step or two, a cost here and there, but this is my best guess, and some folks are asking for definite financial figures, so I will send this on. As John likes to say, I’m anxious to “Go Boating”. I hope you all have good luck with your boats, and have a good day! Best, Howard……Here goes…..

  13. Andy C
    Andy C says:

    I am relatively young (just turned 40) and bought my 1st wood boat when I was 19 (1959 23′ Lyman). Since then, I have had 50+ wooden boats pass through my hands. I have never had the extra money to pay someone to do restoration work, so I have picked the brains of the local people for the last 20 years and have learned how to do it all myself. I have not restored all the boats that I have had, but, the ones that I have done myself, not only gave me a huge sense of accomplishment, but I also made $$ when I let them go. I have had just about every type of boat (hackers, chris crafts, centurys, etc..) and I only paid over 10k for one of them (25′ sportsman) and most were under 5k. Restoration can be done in many ways and to many levels, but I am convinced that ALL can enjoy a wooden boat at whatever cost they can afford and they are out there.

  14. kevin F
    kevin F says:

    I am not a “time and materials” kind of guy; they could end up owning my boat. I have a U-22, and I feel a good shop that has done many of these boats, should know what a new bottom or a refinishing costs. If they have done a few, or many, they know how long it takes to do a frame, keel, chine, and bottom. So what is the cost per item? If everything needs to be replaced, then it is x, if five frames are good, then x minus five frames at $ is the cost.

    I have stripped my boat and refinished it a couple of times over 25 years; I know exactly how many hours it takes. And I am slow.

    I know I can buy a boat all done for less than it would cost to redo mine, a lot less. But I have an emotional connection to mine, and want to pass down to my kids the boat they grew up on; the same smell, sounds, and ride. I want their kids to have the same experience too. Maybe it is one way for me to be in their lives long after my ashes are sprinkled in the water.

    Now that I think of it, I will have some ashes permanently part of the boat, then I will always be with them.

    That will teach them 🙂

    By the way, over these past 25 years, my boat has tripled in value; so I could be boating almost free for all this time.

    But now she needs almost everything cosmetic, so some big bills are coming up. All worth the unique wood experience.

    I have had many fiberglass boats, all of which were fun, and will be getting more so my son can take his friends out and not have to worry about overloading the boat or pounding through waves. He loves the CC, but needs to let loose in some tough fiberglass with his pals. But I will buy a fully depreciated quality fiberglass boat.

    For me, my wet, noisy, cramped boat(compared to a newer boat) provides a way to weed out wimpy friends and dates. If a woman has a problem with getting wet crossing the bay for a fun day, or worries about hanging over the side when nature calls, they are too soft and lacking a sense of adventure that I like. Life is messy; this boat separates the people who can roll with life’s un-comfortableness, and those that laugh when a wave lands in their lap!

    Boating is all good; woody boating is even better.

  15. Andy C
    Andy C says:

    Example of a 24′ Chris Craft Sportsman twin engine that I bought for under 10k with a trailer and put directly in the water and used it all last summer. It needs a refinish which I am in the process of doing right now.

  16. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    Way to avoid the question! We need to see receipts and 5 years worth of tax returns! There is no way you can run for public office and win without giving the media your tax returns.

  17. Dave
    Dave says:

    When you are in bed with Katz’s and advertise for then 3-4 of the 7 days of the week you don’t have to pay regular price. Sell the on golden pond boats to them and give them pumpkin and you get whatever you want for free or less then half price. Matt is not going to give a price because he does not pay regular price.

    • Tommyholm
      Tommyholm says:

      So what? After you get vamped for $125K restor, you look at alternatives including barter.

      • Dave
        Dave says:

        Tom, that’s fine and I get it. So why does Matt just come out and say that. He really does not know the full cost of the work he is having done because he is bartering and so on. No shop is going to feel sympathy for a guy that got shafted by another shop. I am sure Matt was in full control when he restored his barrel back. If he wanted to stop the outflow of cash he was in full control.

  18. Tom Gruenauer
    Tom Gruenauer says:

    Great way of putting it Paul H. There are boaters and then there are arm chair boaters. This is a hobby for most of us. We spend what we can afford. How many people spend a lot of money to end up with a bunch of golf score cards. If that is you “thing” good for you! Cars, airplanes and auto racing’ pick one, they will all drain your bank account. As soon as a friend of mine divided his slip cost by how many times he used his boat I knew he was done and he was. I don’t know why this keeps creeping back into the conversation. Matt has done a great job of showing that you don’t have to own a big dollar boat to have fun in this hobby. Also time on the water with my family is priceless. It is the friendships that we make, not the amount money that you spend that is important. The boats got just us together.

  19. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    Air temp in the 50’s, water temp in the 40’s, but it is starting to feel like summer might arrive soon. BTW, I am a big fan of DIY, but there are some things that are definitely worth hiring out.

  20. Karl H
    Karl H says:

    I have learned that buying a gray boat for almost nothing and doing a complete restoration by myself is the greatest hobby in the world. Any person with a passion and Danenbergs Book can bring a pattern boat back to life. Having a network of ACBS friends is also one of the great benefits. Having competed a total restoration on a Century Coronado and selling it for a small profit I have vowed that my future projects will stay in the family upon completion. My current project is ready for the whiskey plank.

  21. Scott M
    Scott M says:

    Great conversation, I’m in the Paul and Tim camp. I’ve only been an owner of a classic for a few years, started out with a 10k 1959 Chris Ski Boat did nothing to it but enjoy and learned what I really wanted. After two years I purchased a 22′ Shepherd with original power, bottom and needed a lot of work. Hired the right guy for the engine and the right guy for the hull, never asked about the cost from either with no regrets because of the referrals from people I trust. Have every receipt but have never added them up and never plan to. The joy we get on road trips to boatshows, people we meet and the appreciation I see in attendees at the shows is priceless.

  22. Mark
    Mark says:

    68 Resorter FG. Cars, boats, airplanes… I never thought I would spend $1700. for a used mandolin but I like it. M&M

  23. Rob
    Rob says:

    Yesterday, I said that I was curious about the professional hours required for this project. That was in order to compare with my amateur hour(s) (pun intended). It goes without saying that I would never get as good a result, but I like doing the work and the outcome still pleases me. As for replacing an original bottom, I expect any quote would be based on the premise that the frames, chines, stem and transom bow require some degree of replacement or repair. Not an exact science which can lead, without chicanery, to considerable cost escalation.

  24. tim
    tim says:

    As I said before, “Varnished mahogany antique boats are an extreme luxury”. The fantasy of the $5K is pure hypocrisy especially coming from someone (To paraphrase the old Dire Straits song) who gets “His boats for nothing and his varnish for Free”.

    • Paul H.
      Paul H. says:

      To paraphrase Mythbusters Tim, you come across like someone who is saying “I reject your reality and substitute my own”.

      In this case, you have had presented for your consideration by many different people, a large number of sample of boats bought at or near the arbitrarily chosen $5k price, and yet you seem to stridently ignore empirical reality. In your life, $5k may be an “extreme luxury” but within the broad world of people with discretionary income and hobby pursuits, it would not be considered that way. I in fact presented my own recently purchased 1940 Port Carling SeaBirD as an example to refute your baseless position, and I can assure you that no Dire Straits derived comparison can be applied to me. I pay cash for everything and have nothing to barter with.

      For $5k you aren’t going to get a Concours boat, but you can get a decent, smaller serviceable boat, and rather easily at that. However, I suppose actual evidence perhaps doesn’t matter as your belief appears intransigent and immune to contradictory examples. No amount of testimonial as to the real facts or sample transactions will disabuse you of your flawed position. Don’t forget to renew your membership in the Flat Earth Society.

  25. Matt
    Matt says:

    Do we need to spend another week on 5K boats? We can! They are out there. To compare a 25 sportsman with a $5K boat is not the point.

  26. "Coach" Glenn
    "Coach" Glenn says:

    I still have a 1957 one family owner 14′ Whirlwind that I plan to restore once I retire in two years – hopefully – retirement not the boat. It has been under cover or in a garage for all of it life as I moved it from one garage to another at our 8 houses in the last 37 years. I want to do most of it myself because that is what I promised my uncle who bought it new and gave to me. I live outside Richmond VA and I need advice on who to take it to for an opinion on how much or how little to do. I promised my uncle I would restore it one day to honor his son who was tragically killed working in a boatyard of all places. Sadly now he has passed and I want to finish it for his daughters, his grandchildren and great grandchildren and use it again on the mighty Rappahannock. Can anyone give me advice?

    • floyd r turbo
      floyd r turbo says:

      You might try Howard Percival Johnson who lives in Virginia/Maryland area. I can’t remember exactly where even tho I’ve been to his facilities/home a couple of times. He has restored several “cold molded” hulls of the variety you have and even has “Whirlwind” name plates. There’s a phone number and email address on his site Read all the stuff on his site, very interesting guy.

    • John Rothert
      John Rothert says:


      I have and have done, several Whirlwind here in Virginia…just got a new to me one. Can help you with anything you need.
      John in Va.

  27. Dan T
    Dan T says:

    Wow! Hot topic. Whenever anybody talks about the cost of boating I can never quite figure out if their bragging or complaining. I probably do a little of both. HAPPY BOATING!

  28. Tom Sweeney
    Tom Sweeney says:

    This is my 52 year of maintaining and restoring wood boats. I have never charged $1000/foot for a new 5200 bottom, and I have never had a failure. I only do time and materials simply because I need to stay in business.

  29. Jeff Funk
    Jeff Funk says:

    It’s never the price, but always the value one receives from the money they’ve spent…preceived or otherwise. I don’t keep track because I don’t care. The enjoyment my family, friends, and I receive from these treasures is price-less.

  30. Ralph Cattaneo
    Ralph Cattaneo says:

    Matt, I agree with your advice, but would like to add my two cents. Over the past 50 + years, ever since starting my first automobile and boat restoration simultaneously, I find it takes a lot of patience and commas to complete a restoration. The deadlines seen on TV are all part of the entertainment drama, and are unrealistic. Setting deadlines will only lead to frustration by both parties, so be patient and take deep breaths. The commas are needed for the checks written to complete the project, so first thing before starting a restoration is to order plenty so you don’t run out.
    I’m now into the 3rd year on the restoration of my 1948 C.C. 25’ Sportsman, # S-25-111. The bottom’s done and the new side planks are on. I’m very fortunate to be able to work with Wooden Boat Restoration, and working side by side with Hazzard and team weekly. I have so much to learn.
    Enjoy your site. Ralph

    • Matt
      Matt says:

      Ralph I have seen bits and pieces of the restoration and its beautiful. The good news is that a 25 sportsman is a worthy effort!

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