You’ve probably heard of “vintage car people.” You know, the folks who collect vintage cars and love keeping them in great shape and taking them to car shows. They can tell you everything there is to know about their car’s year, make, and model, and they keep their car in perfect condition.


Just as vintage car folks love their classic cars, there’s another group of people that love vintage boats and for many of the same reasons vintage car people love vintage cars. Both tend to evoke memories of a less complicated, more relaxed way of life and are truly beautiful to behold. The work of restoring a vintage boat to pristine condition is enjoyable for many and it gives them a true sense of accomplishment to see their boat come back to life. As you can see there are many reasons to own a classic boat, the few we’ve listed just scratch the surface of this hobby.


In this article, we briefly discuss vintage boats and the importance of proper restoration and care. If our article whets your interest, you can find a great deal of information by contacting, The Antique & Classic Boat Society or any of the many local clubs and associations devoted to promoting antique boats.


The Rare Beauty of Classic Boats

As we touched on above, classic boats have a classic beauty. Even if you aren’t an avid boater, seeing a perfectly restored Chris Craft, Stanley, Elco or any one of the other classic boat brands usually brings forth appreciative words at least and oftentimes low whistles and exclamations. The beauty of these boats seems to speak to everyone, not just the collectors among us. When many of these boats were being designed the people who were building them were artists first and boat builders second. This resulted in boats that not only suit their purpose and stand the test of time, but that are truly living works of art.


Types of Vintage Boats

When most people think of classic or vintage boats, they usually think of the beauty of the classic wood boats, although vintage boats can be made of other materials as well. The two most common general types of classic wooden boats are utility boats and runabouts. Runabouts are the boats people are talking about when they talk about “barrel backs.” These boats are beautiful with a sleek, distinctive design that makes them probably the most recognizable type of vintage or classic boat.  Runabouts have cockpit style seating and their engine is covered by a deck. While beautiful and instantly recognizable, they are quite as usable as other styles of boats since they are mostly designed for cruising around the lake. The other general style of classic boats are utility boats, these boats usually have a more open floor plan with two bench seats to allow for more seating. Some people may not consider them to be as classically beautiful as a runabout, but the more than make up for any slight loss in looks by their versatility. These boats are made to be used for a variety of purposes; swimming, fishing, picnics, and watersports are all more comfortable with a utility boat.


When choosing a classic boat, here are some questions to consider:


●        How do you plan to use your boat?

●        Do you plan to bring your family on your boat?

●        Will you be using your boat to fish or swim?

●        Are you willing to compromise comfort for style?

●        Do you want to restore the boat yourself or are you more interested in a boat that has already been restored?


Once you’ve answered those questions you can start figuring out what style of classic boat fits your needs. Just remember, there’s nothing saying you have to stop at one!


Restoring and Caring for Your Vintage Boat

Once you’ve purchased your first vintage boat, you’ve begun an exciting journey into the world of classic boats. If your new “old” boat is in need of restoration and you’re not up to the job yourself you’ll want to hire an expert who specializes in the restoration of classic and rare boats. Failure to do so could result in your boat losing a great deal of its value and classic boat appeal. If you are unsure where to find a reliable boat restoration company start by asking your local marine and canvas shops. They often know who is reliable as well as who is the genuine article. Once your woodwork and mechanics are restored to their original beauty and functionality you’ll want to focus on your interior. Oftentimes your boat restoration company will have in house upholsterers or a company that they use. We have worked with several restoration companies in the past to help bring beautiful classic boats back to their former glory. We’re happy to help you with the restoration of your classic boat, whether its pointing you in the direction of a good restoration expert, a mechanic, or replacing your classic boat’s upholstery to match the original design.


We’re happy to help you with the restoration of your classic boat, whether its pointing you in the direction of a good restoration expert, a mechanic, or replacing your classic boat’s upholstery to match the original design.


One last word of advice, don’t forget the cover! Classic boats require protection as much or more than modern boats; however, they have special needs as well. Boat covers for classic boats need to be made of a dual sided fabric; one side is breathable, yet water resistant to keep the elements out of your boat while the other side is a soft cloth to prevent rubbing wear marks into the wood finish. Snaps are not an option for a boat cover, no one wants to drill holes into a classic boat! So we utilize a sand bag attachment system for our mooring covers and tie down systems for our travel covers in addition to our custom fit that keeps your cover protecting your investment. 


Your One-Stop Shop for Beautiful Vintage Boat Interiors

The joy of owning a classic wood boat is a one-of-a-kind experience. Whether your boat reminds you of your childhood or you just love the timeless beauty of classic boats, the Canvasworks team is here to help you make sure it stays looking great for many years to come.


To check out examples of our past work, visit our gallery on the web. Give us a call to discuss your boat interior needs at 320-559-0165 or contact us online for your free custom boat cover quote.