Artisan Boatworks has extensive experience restoring and maintaining century-old classics
bringing important original boats back to life, as beautiful and strong as the day they were first launched.
Rebuilding a classic yacht with pedigree requires careful consideration, to restore structural integrity without compromising historically significant details of original design and construction.
Structurally speaking, most early one-designs were remarkably well engineered for their overriding purpose: racing. Their designer’s goal was to create the lightest possible hull with the strength needed to carry her sail. Longevity was secondary because newer, faster one-design classes were emerging every year. This balance of strength, weight, and durability was achieved perhaps better by Herreshoff than by any other designer of his era, and is a major reason why his designs have long outlasted their intended life spans.
The best candidates for a restoration are boats that have received very few repairs over the years. What is remarkable about these boats is that they are perfectly and uniformly worn out. No one piece significantly outlasted its neighbor, and it is sometimes necessary to replace everything. Why would a boat that needs everything replaced be a candidate for restoration at all? They can be easily drawn back to their original hull shape; they come apart easily; and the pedigree, ballast keel, and hardware do not lose their value.
There are many reasons to restore a boat, and many legitimate approaches to a restoration. Excellence in restoration typically involves understanding what is appropriate to the boat’s time period and what isn’t. For many clients, we restore original boats using classic materials and techniques exactly as they were 100 years ago. We know where to source the original blueprints and the precise woods and bronze hardware specified by their designers, and how to duplicate the original building methods used by the great yards of the last century.
A restored boat can be allowed to show some patina of age, or can be indistinguishable from new. For some customers we incorporate state-of-the-art epoxy coatings and adhesives to produce a restored version of the boat such as it would be built today. Artisan Boatworks pioneered and excels in the skillful application of these and other cutting-edge technologies to wooden boat restoration, achieving enhanced performance and reduced maintenance without altering original appearance. Part of our preliminary discussions would be establishing a philosophy for your restoration based on your goals and the condition of the boat.
Naturally, in restoring wooden boats over one hundred years old, we find that each boat’s history and condition are unique. The challenge is to restore the boat’s structural integrity efficiently, but avoid short-sighted fixes. We seek to preserve historical significance and pedigree by duplicating original materials and methods, and to give these boats a new future as promising as their successful past.
We have access to many original boats which are available for restoration. Please contact us for a list, or to discuss the restoration of your own boat.