Preservation and restoration mean saving one boat at a time. Hopefully, a boat with historic significance can be preserved with its original uniqueness.  If not that, then restored to be cherished and enjoyed into the future.

Ancient techniques now are blended with new tools, materials, and products for the restoration process. There will always be more to learn and information to share.
ACBS Members have access to an extensive library (100+) of how-to videos, filmed on location at some of the nation’s leading boat shops, and filmed during symposia led by renowned boat builders and restorers. Not a member? Join today and get full access to this library of boat restoration and techniques videos.

Boat restoration & techniques video topics include:

  • Planking
  • Fiberglass repair
  • Bottom replacements (cold-molded and traditional)
  • Boat engine maintenance
  • Staining & varnishing
  • Deck repairs
  • and many others!

If you have suggestions for helpful articles for this website or for the ACBS Rudder, please share them with the ACBS Headquarters Staff.

Videos: See What You May Be Missing

The brief teaser videos below give a great overview of this extensive video series, which is available only to members.

Join today and get full access to this library of boat restoration and techniques videos.

Carbon Monoxide: The Silent Killer

By Dick Werner Wait! Before you say, “Oh yeah, I learned all about that stuff back in grade school—don’t bore me with superfluous information,” give me a couple minutes of your time before you go on to the next article. It could save yours or someone else’s life. I’ll be short and to the point.…

The Boat that Found Me

By Robert Greco 1963 17’ Thompson “Luxury” Skiff – The Boat That Found Me It started with a garage sale. I have been collecting old Johnson outboards for a few years, eventually gathering up the whole 1956 lineup, from 3 to 30 HP, my favorite motors.  A friend of mine spotted an old Johnson outboard…

Installing a Bilge Blower Makes Vintage Boats Safer

By Dick Werner & Brent Howard. As we are all well aware, we have that highly explosive liquid on board many of our old boats call gasoline. That liquid is very capable of vaporizing and releasing fumes. These fumes are heavier than air and will settle down in the bilge. Opening the hatch cover prior…

A Definitive Guide to Storing Your Boat

Note: Article and photos submitted by Phil McNamara, M.B.A. – CSO The key to ensuring that your boat is in tip-top shape on launch day is to get serious about off-season boat storage. Determining where and how to store your boat can mean the difference between a pristine exterior and an engine that starts up…

SkillsUSA Group Restores Classic Watercraft

Reprinted with permission from Central Valley High School, Spokane Valley, Washington. Introduction Central Valley High School in Spokane Valley, Washington’s SkillsUSA group takes on the restoration of a 1959 Chris Craft 17’ ski boat for the 2018-19 school year. According to Alan Wardsworth and Ron Beard who are SkillsUSA advisors at CVHS, “SkillsUSA is one…

A Marine Survey

by Kevin Bamerick October 22, 2018 “Do you need to hire a marine surveyor (or similar)? The universal answer would be if you are buying a boat and want to know what shape it is in, then a survey would suffice. This ACBS question was asked of D. Erik Will, AMS of Sodus Point. (I…

Hagerty Marine Guide

Note: This article written by David Kinney in June of 2017 is reprinted with permission from the Marine Division at Hagerty Insurance. Thanks for viewing our online Marine Price Guide. We’ve taken a look at literally thousands of boats in every condition to assemble this guide. Coming off of the lows that we experienced in…

Laser Level for Water Line

Article and Photos by Joel Terbrueggen The first thing you should do is to make sure you have marked the top (or bottom) of the boot top at the 3 corners (both transom sides and the bow). An awl, ice pick, a glass cutting tool, or even a thin blade saw to leave a small…

Engine Health – Fuses and Circuits

  Note: This is the third of several articles on marine engines written by Bill Hancock, a member of ACBS and the Sunnyland Chapter since 2007.    The simple and often-overlooked fuse is a device meant to protect the circuit from an electrical overload. It is unique in that it is one of the few…

Engine Health – Vacuum Gauge

Note: This is the second of several articles on marine engines written by Bill Hancock, a member of ACBS and the Sunnyland Chapter since 2007.  Engine Health 101-Vacuum Gauge Diagnostics   In this age of electronic diagnostic devices, one of the best devices to check your engine’s health is still the trusty old vacuum gauge.…

Gouges, Splits, and Super Glue

Article and Photos by Joel Terbrueggen This article is to let you know that you should not underestimate the usage of superglue in finish repairs. I like to use both the Thin and Medium viscosity along with the Accelerator to speed up the curing process to instantaneous. Here are some instances that I have found…

Engine Health – Find the Leak

    Note: This is the first of several articles on marine engines written by Bill Hancock, a member of ACBS and the Sunnyland Chapter since 2007.  Find the leak Recently one of our members thought he might have a leaky oil cooler. The question became; how do you test a cooler for a leak?…

Tips on Varnishing Wooden Boats

Varnishing Tips and Photos by Joel Terbrueggen When it comes to varnishing there are any number of ways to accomplish it. I do not believe one way is necessarily better than another, it all comes down to whatever technique you are most comfortable with. After sealing, I use a Scotch Brite pad or 320 grit…

Deck Seams Step-by-Step

Photos and Tips on Refinishing Deck Seams by Joel Terbrueggen In my opinion deck seams of a boat are probably the most important aspect of a refinishing project. Everybody looks at the seams of a boat. Their appearance reflects the degree of workmanship that went into the restoration. When laying new deck planks the seam…

2 Color Staining on a Wooden Boat

Staining Tips (part 2) and photos are by Joel Terbrueggen 2 Color Staining Over the years I have seen many different staining processes used on covering boards. Some great, some not so great. I also have seen many painted black since the owner wasn’t sure how to do this. The following process has worked for…

Staining a Wooden Boat

Staining Tips and photos are by Joel Terbrueggen Pre-Staining Most of the time, new or replacement planks are much lighter than the surrounding wood or original wood. Here is a technique that usually works well for me. If the color difference isn’t significant this 1st option sometimes works. After sanding and fairing the area with…

Bleaching the Blond Wood

Bleaching Tips and photos are by Joel Terbrueggen After stripping, sand the entire boat with 60 grit, followed by 80 grit. Now decide what area is to be bleached. Usually, it will be only the blond areas of the decks. However, it sometimes may be necessary to bleach the sides or even the whole boat…

A Father and Son Team – Giving Boats New Life

This news post is for Father’s Day Weekend.  It was written by Nicole Landers for Wine Country Classic Boats Chapter. At first sight, I would describe the large warehouse-like building as unassuming, but that was before I walked through the door of the 3,000-square foot workshop of Hullings Hulls. I immediately realized the extent of restoration work…