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Owning a vintage boat should be a dream but can occasionally turn into a nightmare. More than once we’ve been asked to step in and help a customer turn around a disappointing situation.
This gallery shows how we helped a customer, Don H. of Minnesota correct issues that were overlooked by the original seller—resulting in a gorgeous, safe and functional 1956 Chris-Craft Continental.

For Don’s take on the issues he discovered and how we handled everything, keep reading.

The nightmare began when I purchased my first wood boat, a 1956 Chris-Craft. After waiting 60 years to own a classic boat I thought that I’d found the perfect one. Unfortunately, that was not the case. I was told that it had a new bottom and a rebuilt engine. However, that first spring it took two weeks of running a hose in the bilge before. The seller told me it was “good to go.” Well, the pump ran every hour all summer. In addition to having a leaky bottom, the engine sounded like it a rock grinder. At the end of the season I took it back to the shop that sold it to me to have the bottom redone. Now remember, this was the guy who told me the bottom had been redone. He now admitted that he must have been mistaken. The bottom was full of dry rot! He told me that it would probably take him two to three years to fix it! Enter Dave Bortner and Freedom Boat Service. END OF NIGHTMARE! Dave drove 125 miles and picked up my boat and two months later I had it back with a new bottom that didn’t leak! Over the last two years, Freedom has totally restored my boat to like-new condition including rebuilding the engine (that, it also turned out, was not done prior to me buying the boat). Now I have the boat I always dreamed of. Throughout the whole process, Dave never sugarcoated anything. I knew what I was getting into up front. Freedom always exceeded my expectations with top quality work. Dave and his crew are truly awesome professionals and a pleasure to work with. I only wish I had found them in the first place. - Don H, Minnesota

Call Dave at (612) 590-5110 if you have a boat that could use some TLC to become the boat of your dreams.

Owning a great boat should be all about the enjoyment. Let us handle everything else.
Boat flipped, old bottom removedDegraded, rotten transom bow removedNew inner ply installedNew, longitudinal mahogany planking installedNew planks pluggedNext, topsidesBack over she comesInside of new bottom, painted original colorNew plank installedStripped, faired, sanded, and re-stainedName and hailing port installed, now for more varnish!Voila, ready for water again, elapsed time, three monthsRound two, the following fall, decks are nextDecks strippedRemoving rotting rotStripped, faired, sanded,New aft deck getting pluggedDeck masked for staining of blond woodBlond stained and sealed, red stained