We can design, loft, and build wooden hulls, from small pulling boats and dinghies to ocean going craft.
A major part of our work is fine wood-crafted interiors for all sorts of boats, from live-aboard steel trawlers to sailing yachts.
Pia (left) and Freedom (right) are two classic motorsailers currently being rebuilt in our shop. Our experience in boat repair goes back seven decades starting before World War II when all matter of craft was strictly built from wood or steel.
Meet the only production boat builder seabuddy knows that made boats out of wood, fiberglass, and steel (each of these different matieral boat building companies were at different times in his life) over a lifetime of messing with boats.
The prototypes were tested in 1954 with a 20 horsepower outboard, but most Sea Mac wooden boats used a 40 Hp. Real Ships, which was given its company name by Etta, started up around 1993, after several years of living and cruising aboard a yacht by the McCarthys. In one of my articles on Riva wood boats, I posted some photos and that started our current discussion.
Some boat model name choices are Tritone, Ariston, Super Ariston, Aquarama, Super Aquarama, and Long Super Aquarama. I went to print with my model name thoughts in the link I have put into this posting, but I now I believe my I.D. An Ariston and the Super Ariston are the single engine style of the Riva Aquarama classic wood boat.
Windshield glass, screws, the metal for the boat’s hardware, and much of the material used in the seating was out sourced from other counties. A great book on the history, boats, and boat owners of Riva Boats is Riva by Roberto Franzoni. If this boat was a nice but not the best restored copy and perhaps re-powered with a more modern engine she seems to be able to bring around a $50,000 price today. The dash board of this Classic Owens outboard was saved by George Hazzard and his crew as much of it can be cleaned, stripped, stained, and finished with many coats of varnish. The steering wheel and its assembly are to get their own separate attention for a proper total classic boat restoration. Stauter-Built boats is a classic wood boat that often has used the same design as they have for many years.
She is intended for the waters around Dauphin Island in the Gulf of Mexico, which is roughly 40 miles south of Mobile, AL.
This outboard Lyman boat seems to have been updated with a painted finish rather than a varnished, but not stained, boat hull interior. By the way, get a Lyman model a little older than this model year and you will see a dimpled finish in the planking on the outside of the hull.
Streblow Custom Boats are mahogany wooden runabouts built since the early nineteen fifties that set a standard of quality of design and workmanship for wood boats. The boat builder is located in Walworth, WI, (262-728-6898) near the shoreline of Geneva Lake where they are a boat builder, restoration shop, and a marine boat dealer. While they do several millions of dollars of business each year, expect to wait up to three years in good times for a new boat. Specs on the boat is 18’ 11” in length and she has a beam of 6’ 1”. Her overall weight runs in the 2,100 to 2,400 lbs. She is not a bow rider and one must change which cockpit to sit in at dockside, as this power boat is a true runabout and not a utility.
I got a ride on a Pennsylvania Lake in a similar boat that belongs to a friend that was also lovingly restored and its ride and handling during that fresh water cruise was really a terrific experience.
Chris Craft offered this wood power boat model in either a natural wood stained and highly varnished hull and deck or as a painted red and white finished powerboat. Miss Canada II, the Gold Cup class race boat, was designed by Hacker for the Wilsons, at their request. The following racing season, the Greavette boat, Miller engine, and the racing Wilsons did get some competition laps in, but did not win a race as pieces of the boat interior broke up, and the boat, while fast, was found to be too lightly built to stay together long enough finish a race.
After more work over the following winter on both the engine and boat, she started her 3rd racing season. Tiernan adds that the reason most boats for sale today are made of fiberglass is that they can be made by semiskilled and unskilled workers who are cheaper to hire than the skilled craftspeople needed to build a wooden boat. Another is that when we build in wood or commission others to do so, we are helping to maintain an important tradition. I wonder also whether the argument that building from wood is environmentally friendly has really been made.
PS Fans of the US designer John Atkin will be interested to know that Tiernan is currently weblogging the build of a clinker-built Atkin Ninigret. PPS I’d draw your attention to some of the comments below, particularly those of West Country boat designer, occasional building and general sailing man John Hesp. Gavin, most of Tiernan's list deals with the engineering advantages of wood, as if we bought boats based on these facts. Trees have been growing, falling over, rotting, releasing CO2 into the atmosphere for years and it hasn't caused a massive increase in atmospheric CO2. I do see what you mean – it seems unreasonable to reduce these issues to numbers and engineering criteria when one of the key reasons we go boating is often to get away from such prosaic considerations. Nevertheless, these issues are worth considering as I'm sure your inner designer will concede, and the environmental questions are much more subtle than most of us thought at the beginning.
And of course, carbon emissions are tightly connected to economic activity and human activity in general. On the other side of the issue, some fraction of whatever carbon there is in a plastic boat will remain locked in the material for a very long time. You don't think you've been led down the garden path by what sounds a rather journalistic BBC article? Ironing and washing, to be fair – both need more heat where cotton shirts are concerned.
One interesting little tidbit I read recently is that the meat industry in one way or another, contributes significantly more to global warming than transportation, worldwide. One other nice thing about wooden boats, which has already been touched on a bit, but a nice one is gives pleasure to people, even when they aren't normally interested in boats.
If the global warming cost of fossil fuels is added to that fuel we find ourselves playing a very different game.


Did you know that one barrel of oil contains the same amount of energy as 12 men working for one year? Image coming back to shore after a day on the water on a foggy day in an aluminum boat and the oars are clunking against metal. Have you got news for us?If what you're doing is like the things you read about here - please write and tell us what you're up to. Classic Sailor is a new magazine about traditional and classic boats from ex-Classic Boat editor Dan Houston and colleagues that promises rather more coverage of the traditional craft around our coast.
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Follow me on TwitterLooking for something?This is a busy weblog, and what you're looking for is probably still here - just a little way down the list now. Our Faversham-based friend Alan Thorne can help with boatbuilding projects - constructing to plans in very tidy stitch-and-glue or more traditional techniques.
Today we have grown to encompass all levels of boat construction including Fiberglass and Aluminum. Here are (left to right) Fred McCarthy, Etta McCarthy, and seabuddy in front of a Sea Mac wooden classic boat at Tuckerton Seaport, NJ in 2012. These are some additional Riva boat photo images taken by me on the same day of the same boat. These are single and twin engine boat models and perhaps the first point would be to decide if this classic has one or two engines. She is unusal in that she has hatches on her aft deck, not the main stream for this model, sun lounge pad that Ted Kennedy once made infamous. These runabout boats are considered the top classic mahogany, cedar, and oak wood boats that used only the best wood, hardware, glass, and marine parts from Italy, France, Switzerland, England, Belgium and other countries to give a wooden boat owner simply the best product that the Riva Factory could build. They seasoned that lumber that went into the boats themselves; they decided when it was ready for boat building, where on the boat it had its best use, and how it was to be used with screws, glue, and then finished.
She is one of only 28 boats made in this model in 1932 by the famous Gar Wood boat building company.
This one; with its very high level of a truly total restoration, all correct parts, it’s level of fit and finish that must be seem to be fully appreciated, may very well bring more along the lines of a $250,000 price if it was to be a classic wooden boat for sale.
Those sections that are still good pieces will be the beginning of defining a runabout deck, side rails, motor well, and cockpit for this Owens wooden boat restoration. Wooden Boat Restoration, LLC has a very complete paint booth on site to best achieve that high level of finish that makes for a boat that fellow boaters look at with admiration. I have seen George’s work on these types of somewhat side issues and must say that his inventiveness and attention to detail is outstanding. She maybe a classic in design, but it is too new in its date of manufacture to be an antique boat. Each plank edge overlaps the other and are clinched nailed to the ribs and screwed to the frames such that an edge is shown at each plank its full length along the hull side that helps soften the ride, and they are flexible boats that can twist over the waves somewhat to give a better ride than a classic boat person would expect. Lyman used a duck billed clinch nail for better holding strength and sometime (in the mid-50s?) began to completely fair over both the screws and the duck billed nails for a smooth exterior finish.
Get a collector grade copy of the vinyl covered hardback book titled Classic Powercraft volume I. These are wood runabouts that are doubled planked on their bottoms and batten seamed planked mahogany hull sides. She is almost all deck, engine room, two rows of seats and little, if any, walking around room in the cockpit areas. That one had an extremely special Chris Craft engine rebuild by an out of state noted engine builder of classic engines. Most came with the seating areas finished in a Chinese red or red hue, but blue was a choice, as I understand it, but not in all of the model years the Racing Runabout was built post WWII.
Great workmanship and attention to detail is shown in the work coming from Moores you can see. The next summer, it was found out that the boat strengthening work done by the boat builder had changed the handling balance of Miss Canada II and she was deemed too hard to handle to win races and allow her driver and mechanic to stay alive while doing so. Boatbuilders teach each other, and the skills have long been conveyed by oral transmission. But if we only build boats out of oil, and keep a constant number of trees, there will be a nett increase in CO2. I became aware of this when a BBC magazine looked at the issue and decided that the heat consumed in ironing a cotton shirt meant that poly-cotton shirts were a better environmental deal; so it seems to me that we should consider all the inputs and outputs, not just the obvious ones. Gaseous hydrocarbons are often very powerful greenhouse gases, and if a boat needs eight coats of varnish every two years, what's the impact of that? I wish someone would give me some nice, clear well worked answers that left me knowing where I was on all this, and that I could quote when the issue arises.
I can guarantee that the energy expended per year ironing my cotton shirts is less than it takes to make a years worth of polyester shirts…. And it seems to me that I've never even owned an iron that got hot enough to iron a cotton shirt properly! We should use wood because we want to, and save our agonizing about our carbon footprints for the times when it really counts. I am not about to give up my roast lamb, but cutting my meat intake in half would do me good, and probably make a more significant dent in my carbon footprint than all the other little fiddles one reads about put together. The difference in the reaction of people when I am paddling some rental day-glo plastic fantastic canoe, and when they see me in my little varnished oak and pine S-O-F canoe is remarkable. I seem to remember writing about the issue years ago, and finding that the energy savings from triple glazing can take a century to pay back the investment.
What's needed is some sort of mechanism where the cost of dealing with CO2 problems are paid for by the sources of CO2, then triple glazing and the like would look a lot more attractive finacially.
If person A manufactures a triple glazed panel using oil based energy sources the cost of energy is very low but the CO2 generated is very high. The cost of the triple glazed panel goes up slightly because of the embodied energy, but the cost of the energy being saved over, say, 20 years is a very worthwhile saving. Theres a tigermoth biplane at our local airport that is probably 60-70 years old with wooden wing spars that DO flex. Try scrolling down, clicking on the 'older posts' button at the bottom of this page - or try the search gadget!
This photo was taken at the Philadelphia Chapter of the ACBS Antique and Classic Boat Show in this past summer.


Then; forward steering, remote controls, a windshield, and two rows of vinyl covered padded seating made for a Bill Deed designed water sports boat that handled lake, bay, inlet, and ocean waters very well.
This boat was tuff and many boats outlasted more than one motor’s life span on its transom. Besides changing over from a wood boat builder to manufacturing fiberglass boats, Fred took his new company from single outboards to twin inboards for power. Plus, here is a link back to the other write-up and pictures of the same Classic Wood Riva Boat taken the same day as these were. Almost all of a boat was sprayed several time and then hand brushed several more times to a high gloss polished varnish bright finish.
The photos show the loving attention to keeping an old boat, a good, useful boat that is an antique and classic boat show standout. The book is full of color pictures of antique and classic boats taken at the highest quality level for wooden boat photography.
A special finish technique and secret rot resistant construction techniques make these floating art works different from a regular wood boat. Heck, it has been said that just selecting the wood for a boat takes weeks of combing through the choices of planking on hand. The cover is even a full color photograph of a Streblow set into a lovely vinyl cover or binding.
With a big flathead Chris Craft she gives a great ride at normal antique and classic boat speeds and a real thrill when the throttle is opened up even more. With our busy working and family lives I have no hesitation in saying that we own and use at least one boat that we wouldn’t be able to keep up it on a DIY basis if it was made from wood.
For example, when wood eventually rots its breakdown must release carbon dioxide and the much worse global warming gas methane. If the returns are so small, I'd suggest there are likely to be other areas we could cut down on that would make more of a difference. If person B manufactures the same panel using energy from photovoltaics the cost of energy is very high, but the CO2 released is very low. Once, this sporty runabout was a prize on the TV show, “The Price is Right, in the 1961 show season. Some interior boards were called out on every model for a paint finish, however, and lesser quality wood was used there. They are light and easy to power as they use a shallow draft, almost flat bottom hull design to get performance from low horsepower outboards. This classic outboard runabout is said to be a boat for sale and at a very attractive price. Lyman was also known for its use of ribbon striped (sometimes called tiger striped) mahogany veneered marine-grade plywood in its decks.
I know of several prior owners of carvel, hard chine classic wood boats that marvel at the ride that they get in their Lyman compared to what they are used to.
It is sold out of print, so a used book or a copy from a personal collection is the way to go for this great book. So what is the lifetime cost of a wooden boat to the environment compared with a plastic one? With regard to the maintenance I was referring to epoxy encapsulated wood like the Ninigret I'm building.
The recession might have lowered energy costs, but I can see us coming out of it with soaring energy costs. I think of Fred McCarthy’s Jersey Yachts fiberglass boat building business as alive from 1964 to 1988.
Think about areas like the seat frames, under the bow, side, and aft decks for a painted finish. Most Antique and Classic Boat Society boat owners like to be reviewed or judged by experts against a very exacting set of standards. It is a Vee shaped bow to cut through the chop coupled with a fairly flat deadrise across the transom boat design. Give them a telephone call if this is something that you need for this upcoming summer boating adventure season. The engine never did run at Greavette and it and the race boat were shipped off to Lake George, NY, which was the race site. Maybe plastic boat owners are more inclined to motor than sail, and maybe plastic boat owners are more attracted to resource hogging marinas?
Sure, we need a reasonably big car to haul the family around, but could we get away with an overgrown go-cart for the commute to work? Then the raised toe rail at the outside edge of the foredeck and the presence of a siren are clues. For that and other reasons, this classic outboard powered runabout needs to be restored to the highest level of fit and finish. Most restorers use a different style of mahogany plywood if they replace the deck on a Lyman runabout. That is Hp that is rated at the power head, not rated at the prop shaft as outboards are rated today. Just to add a factor that seems relevant, what is the contribution to global warming made by the drying of spirit-based paints and varnish?
After repairs, the engine did work for three laps at a later in the season race, before it broke again. Thus, that year’s racing season went  past without Miss Canada II ever finishing any race, let alone winning a race. That small almost custom boat building shop was supplemented by a bigger plant in Marysville, MI. The Baby Gar thirty three foot runabout was still being made in Algonac along with a 40’ cruiser. It was in 1932 that this 18’ twin cockpit (or split cockpit) runabout shown here was introduced.



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