Paul and All:
After reading my post from last night, I want to highlight that I see a difference between rennovating a boat for use on the water and restoring a classic.
To me, rennovating a boat means that the boat does not neccessarily have to be original and the long term issues it may have had, can be addressed using appropriate modern methods and the boat can be used for fun on the water and will still get a lot of use. Like Craig said, there is not a lot of collector value in a run of the mill Chris Craft, yet. We can always compare our boats to the Corvette, Camero, Mustang, Charger phenomena. There was great demand for any of these cars in any shape. Every once in a great while, we still come across a barn kept car. My neighbor accross the street has a 65 or 66 Mustang convertible in his back yard and it is slowly falling down. There are still too many fiberglass boats out there that the only collector value seems to be in the rarity or its number in a production run. Rennovating a boat means that the rennovator has made a decision that the boat does not have enough restoration potential and is more valuable as a using boat, getting banged up and used in the process. Short cuts, in terms of costs and benefits, can be taken, only as long as that route is safe. Thats why we overbuild our rennovated boats. It does not seem to make sense to spend restoration type sums of money on a boat that will never be show quality and will never be used for show.
A classic, to me though, needs to be restored to off the dealer lot quality. This is the essence of restoration. No matter what its number, if it is restored to brand new, off the floor quality, it will be valuable. No short cuts can be taken. There are just too many good quality fiberglass boats, only used in fresh water, and well kept to chose from to start a restoration job, that makes many boats useful for rennovation only. The majority of saltwater boats are in much poorer shape, all arouond, to their fresh water peers. Alas, if the gelcoat is gone, oxidized beyond repair, etc., then it not a good candidate for a show boat. Yes, with money, such a boat can be restored, but in most cases will not fetch the dollars put into it. Its value will be in the non-monetary values of pride and ownership. And if it is true show quality, it won't be hauled around on a trailer, but inside a trailer instead.
I think there is one more concept that we should abide by and that is the physician's code of "do no harm", even in our rennovation efforts, because some day (and many of us are hoping for this), even boats that are only considered as suitable for rennovation now, may become candidates for restorations. Our overbuilt, well designed, thick hulls and the quality that came out of the CC shops will help and that's one reason we are hooked on Commanders. If we can rennovate and use our boats without decreasing their restoration potential, then we have been good caretakers of these boats for the next generations that will surely come to have them.