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Barrelback 19 by James Hurley-17

Many of you are familiar with James Hurley’s Barrelback because we’ve used it quite a bit on our site and in advertising. James recently contacted us to update his information in the Project Registry Archives on our site. It was so good to hear from him, so I asked if he was still using his boat and how things were going.  I was so touched by his response that I wanted to share it with you all as I think you’ll find it quite encouraging, and James kindly gave his permission to do so:

I had the opportunity to sell my boat my during Christmas and New Year’s after having it on the market for 2 years.  The boat was appraised at a high value for insurance reasons and we received considerably less than that amount which is mostly due to the poor economic situation.

On the positive side we sold the boat for much more money than we built it for and this has put us in an amazing financial situation that offers us a comfortable life style.  This reinforces your theory about self-built boats being profitable if you consider the purchase price verses the sale price.  If we are talking about labour costs, then there are no benefits.  The fun in building and using the boat was beyond belief.  We were the most beautiful boat in the harbour and on top of that I taught about 26 girls (yes girls because boys do not listen) how to wake board.  We used the boat 5 seasons and there was no depreciation.

One item I think that is important for readers to realise is that if top price is to be received for a boat project it is important to take all precautions to make the boat look as original as possible.  I have seen some beautiful replicas on your website where the quality of workmanship is more than likely superior to my work.  The problem is that the builder has applied the wrong deck or installed a wrong design window that takes away from the original appearance.  It is everyone’s desire to personalize their boat for their own liking, but it is also important to take into account if that upgrade will enhance the design or make it look like home made.

I am also guilty of this but it is not necessarily an item that takes away from the heritage of the boat.  For example, I painted the hull black and this was due to the fact that I am a better spray painter than carpenter.  These hulls in black or white did not start to appear until after WW2 due to the fact that mahogany was in short supply and the builders were forced to use other wood types.

Barrelback 19 by James Hurley-16

Another item on my boat is that I do not have a pointed nose.  Instead I applied the bull nose which was used on boats from 1940 and up.  The windshield on the boats from 1940 and up were V shaped.

Barrelback 19 by James Hurley-12

So as you can see I have made changes that enhance the appearance without effecting the look.  Your readers need to take into account that sometimes it will be necessary to go the extra mile to keep the heritage. Then they will be able to demand top dollar for their projects.  Keep in mind that an original classic boat requires tons of maintenance and our modern Glen-L boats are made with epoxy and modern materials that withstand the elements a lot better than boats of yesteryear.  Therefore customers will be interested in a good replica.

By the way, the purchaser of my boat was considering a Riva and the Glen-L won.  That is quite a remarkable fact.

For more photos of James’ Barrelback and other builder photos, see the Barrelback Gallery Album.

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