Fully restored classic boats are much less expensive than you think.
A turn-key restored wooden inboard with new varnish, refinished chrome, new interior, rebuilt motor and a no-leak “5200” bottom can be purchased for as little as $15,000. A restored classic fiberglass boat can be had for even less. And unless you want to do the work yourself, fully restored is the way to go.
Well maintained vintage motors are reliable and simple to repair.
The original flat-head 6-cylinder and v-8 motors from makers like Chris Craft, Gray Marine and Chrysler are robust and simple while parts are generally widely available. Re-powering with a modern V-6 or V-8 or outboard is another option.
Kept covered and (ideally) on a lift, a Woody can go years before the varnish needs to be freshened. A few new coats of varnish is not intensive or very expensive. Painted “lapstrakes” last even longer and fiberglass longer yet.
Unlike new boats, classic boats hold their value. A new boat loses significant value the very first day you use it. Classic boats are meant to be used and not babied. They may look like works of art, but they’re built to be enjoyed all season long.
You are joining a community that’s there for you! A member of the NC Coastal & Piedmont Chapter of ACBS would be happy to offer advice, help you locate a suitable boat, find parts, or recommend a reputable restorer in our area.