Restorations and Upgrade Projects: Labors of Love

You might have noticed a story I wrote and posted yesterday, “Project/Restoration Update: 1990 Fountain 33’” on speedonthewater.com. There’s even a thread about it, which I also created, on this offshoreonly.com.

This story is the first of what will be many in a new department called—no big surprise here—“Projects, Restorations and Upgrades” that will appear weekly on my site and I will link to on offshoreonly.com. At least for now, weekly project stories are my plan. (I’ll be interviewing Kurt Bloom about his amazing 38’ Bertram restoration in about 30 minutes for next week’s installment.) I have a feeling the frequency of such stories may end up being even greater than weekly.

John LoRusso's 33' Fountain prior to removal of the standard arch.

I have to admit that, as someone who has covered the go-fast boat world since 1995, I have never more excited about an editorial project. That might seem ironic or even a little strange coming a from a very lucky guy who logs a lot of time on brand-new, big-buck boats. But the truth is that’s a tiny segment of the overall performance-boat market.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the new stuff. Yet in the real world, there are a lot more go-fast boats like John LoRusso’s 1990 Fountain 33’ V-bottom than Derek Wahcob’s 2011 48-foot carbon fiber MTI catamaran. And to me, both matter. A lot. This new department puts me in better touch with “average” performance-boat owners, who are every bit as passionate about their boats as the elite owners are about theirs.

No one restores an old performance boat as an “investment.” Then again, the notion of new or used performance boats as investments period—as in the kind that provide an economic return—is inherently flawed. They are assets, yes, but the return on  investment comes back as great times and lasting memories.

I have had so many great rides in my career. This one—covering restoration and upgrade projects every week—could turn out to be the best of all.

Yet another good news Friday.