Antique And Classic Wooden Boat Restoration and Repair Are Our Specialty!

Welcome to the Classic Watercraft Restoration blog and meet Dave Hannam, an expert in wooden boat restoration and custom small wood boat and engine repair. He knows all about just the little guys - the CLASSIC AMERICAN RUNABOUTS. That's right, the Chris Craft's, Gar Wood's, Hacker's, Lyman's, Pen Yan's, Century's and Riva's, just to name a few! He is  located near historic Annapolis, Maryland, home of the US Naval Academy and the Sailing Capital of the World.

Hannam is the only classic wooden boat expert in Annapolis that offers advice on small wood boat repairs, boat restoration, reconstruction and finishing services for all types of antique and classic watercraft. We know how to combine traditional and modern techniques to obtain the original look and finish of your historic vessel.

Scroll down to see Before and After Pics. And Click on the COMPLETED RESTORATIONS Tab above for details!

It's All About A Good Restoration!

1966 Shepherd Utility 19'

1964 Century Resorter 17'
Just under full restoration, getting her ready to cruz again.

How About Those Plugs!

Nothing says a wooden boat, more than replacing hundreds (and I mean hundreds) of plugs on all those mahogany planks. I couldv'e been rich, if I had created the hole punch. That is my best friend. Gotta have one in order to get the plugs back in the boat.


1938 Century Sea Maid 65 18'
Another family heirloom. She needs a complete build on her deck, recoating on her hull, and a new interior build as well. After 20+ years in storage - and previous work completed from the family, in a short while, she'll be planked up and back on the water by spring!

Hannam reports that thing's are moving forward on the 1938 Century Sea Maid mahogany hull, now that all of the deck planking has been cut and she is ready to have new plugs drilled and installed. Next up, the tedious job of long boarding for her smooth finish. Than onto an install of the 12 volt system, including a new harness to the motor and all new wiring for the dash instruments and switches. Just completed all new mechanical running gear and alignment - so she is ready to turn up.

Do You Love The Old Woodies!

V6 Original Engine
So do we - Dave Hannam has 35+ years of boat building and restoration experience. We call him the "Go To Man". In a pinch - he has even been known to have a customer put the cell phone up to the engine and he has diagnosed the problem on the spot.

V6 Rebuilt Engine
Here you can see an example of a V6 220 hsp engine which was found in an older 42' fishing vessel. It was one of two original engines. Project consisted of engine haul out, rebuild, re-wirering and replacing the original transmission from a 2:2 reduction ratio down to a 2:1. End result-brand new engine placement in a much smaller runabout for tons of power. It may just look like a simple red "hot rod" paint job, but it was well worth the find - to repower another old classic.

Need To Bring Your Classic Back To New Life?

Dave Hannam has been doing quality restorations for years. He takes great pride in his workmanship and attention to details.  No project boat has ever been proven to be too difficult. Loose leaky planks can be easily replaced with a new bottom. While the old bottom is off, we also inspect the keel, chines and frames for damage.  Rotted or weak planks are always replaced or repaired where applicable.

3,000 Brass Fittings
Can you say 3,000 brass fittings. Yep - that's how many were replaced in a recent 1928 Cruiser refit project. "Funny part about my work - sometimes it's never even seen. But I'll keep you afloat"! 

Need to match your varnish? We have always taken great pains to match the original stain color of the vessel, making sure that the coverage of the stain is even along the length of the entire hull. We use the finest quality varnishes - for show quality results. We are always happy to discuss our restoration work. Give us a call to make an appointment to stop by the shop to see how we can make your boat a show winner too.

What Are My Restoration Options?

A restoration on any wooden boat consists of repairing and replacing everything necessary to bring the boat up to new condition, strength, finish, and making it reliable. The extent of a restoration is always customized and can vary a great deal. Below are a few options to help get you started.
  • Bow To Stern Restoration: Some of our customers prefer to do a complete restoration bringing the boat back to the original condition using traditional materials. Others like to modify the design and use more contemporary materials.
  • We Finish Boat Projects: Nothing is ever too far gone. Many boats I have restored have been done in different stages over a number of years, which allows the owners to use the boat in the summer
  • Together We Can Finish Your Dream: Get R Done. Some customers like to do parts of the restoration project themselves. We help get things started like replanking, cosmetic finishes or mechanical or electrical systems and than you take the boat home to finish the additional work yourself

Latest News

PropTalk's -A Classic River Rat Homecoming 
(by Ann and Dave Hannam)
A quick read for all my Ottawa River Rat friends, growing up in Canada and a road trip back North with the Garwood Speedster and a spin near Black Rapids Lockstation! Click here to read.

St. Michael's Antique and Classic Boat Festival:
Hannam is heading over to the Boat Festival again this year with the completed Gar Wood Speedster 16' in tow. It's been a few years of hard work, dedication and just LOVE - but this little fireball is now completed and ready to show! Just look how far this unique hand built boat from Hannam has come! Sure to be a crowd stopper-again this year.

We had another great time, showing off at the Annual St. Michaels Antique & Classic Boat Festival. The crowd was amazing, and couldn't believe how far along the Gar Wood 16' Speedster Replica had come since last summer. Everyone is looking forward to seeing it complete and varnished, including it's 210 hp V6 GM velvet drive engine.
At last years event, we won an award from the ACBS Chesapeake Bay Chapter for the "Best Land Display" for our newly constructed Gar Wood. We were honored to have participated in such a great event, which included close to 100 antique and classic boats on display.

Annapolis Lifestyles Magazine:

The Annapolis magazine recently highlighted Dave under their feature People of Interest section, in an article called "Taking Life One Boat at a Time".Hannam talks about the vanishing woodwright shops and describes his unique company philosophy, "My clientele are passionate about their boats. They want a product they can be proud of"."It's not just a matter of the best deal - it's about personality, communication and service, building relationships and conversation" said Hannam.

What the Heck is Crab Derby Racing?

Smith Island Crabbing Skiff 20-Foot
Dave Hannam Racing Skiff
In the late 1890s, soft shell crab harvesting on the Chesapeake was done by single-sail bateau or by throwing crab netting at low tide. In 1919 Captain Lawson Tyler, a noted Smith Island carpenter designed a sturdy single cylinder motorized long and narrow 20' skiff. Over the years the engines were upgraded and the speedy little skiffs bows would spring out of the water and eventually would be used for weekend racng. They were built mostly out of pine or cypress with botom planking running lengthwise, rather than the common cross planking, allowing faster movement through the water.

Hannam in Race
The skiff race has found new life, a select few craftsman here in MD & VA have decided to build replicas, insert a Kohler 20 hp lawn mower engine and enjoy the thrill of racing on the bay. Click below to see Dave's White Skiff (w/ lightning bolt on the side) in a few of the local races in the Bay!