From John Seal, Publicity Chairman SML Chapter ACBS

The Smith Mountain Lake Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society recently held their annual fall workshop at Bill and Sue Garrecht’s incredible shop in Huddleston, VA.  The 26 members and guests in attendance learned from other local club members about 3 topics that are useful in restoring, maintaining, and building antique and wooden boats. 

2023 ACBS SML Fall Workshop Group. Photo Credit Beth Coffman

John Seal shared his thoughts and insights learned this past winter from performing his first ever varnish job.  His mentor was Bill Garrecht, who has tons of experience refinishing and maintaining boats, as well as nice equipment to make this job easier.  The old, vinyl lettering on the transom of John and Beverly’s 1948 U22 was peeling, and the process of removing that lettering led to taking the transom down to bare wood.  Since the transom was now a blank canvas, they decided to change the name to “Kemosabe” with new, gold leaf lettering and graphics to go along with the beautiful, new varnish job that Bill and John completed. 


2023 ACBS SML Fall Workshop Bill Garrecht Glen L Build Presentation Photo Credit Beth Coffman

Bill Garrecht talked about and showed us his progress on the 15-foot Glen-L “Zip” model runabout he is building from scratch out of mahogany lumber and plywood.  It will be powered by an outboard of up to 30HP.  He purchased just the plans from their website, but Glen-L also supplies complete kits for those that may not have the woodworking tools required to cut the frames and plywood. 


2023 ACBS SML “Made in the Shade” Engine. Photo Credit Steve Miller

Our club President, John Coffman, presented the ins and outs of trouble shooting and fixing various ignition, fuel and electrical issues that can interrupt an otherwise perfectly good cruise.  John’s wife, Beth, bought a nice, 1948 Chris-Craft Custom Sedan late last year that had been sitting for over 10 years.  They worked on it quite a bit over the winter before launching it this spring.  Though they have used “Made in the Shade” quite a bit this year, unexpected issues that caused the engine to die and not refire resulted in their being towed a couple of times recently.  Each time the problem turned out to be relatively minor, but diagnosing problems accurately saves time, money, and frustration. 


For further chapter information check our website  or contact SML Chapter President John Coffman at (443) 204-6500 or email:

1 Comment

  1. Our SML Fall and Spring workshops are always great learning experiences for our members. The goal is to have everyone going home thinking, “Gee, maybe I can tackle that problem that seemed almost impossible before”. We try and get our club members involved by tapping into their skills or by bringing in outside experts on many different subjects. In addition to the regular topics, we sometimes throw in fun “Snoop Tours” where we visit member’s workshops and garages just to snoop around to see what surprises lurk under those canvas covers that are covered with saw dust.

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