The Wooden Boat Rescue Foundation

The Wooden Boat Rescue Foundation

It’s that time of year when I begin to dream of winter projects above and beyond making a living and keeping the wolf from the door. Today, with my skiff in the garage awaiting some surgery and TLC, I started the annual pining for a wooden boat project — a strip built kayak perhaps, another skiff, a Mackenzie Cuttyhunk bass boat ….

These are thoughts that get me in trouble with my wife. Then I found this website, one devoted to rescuing old hulks. I found my project, it awaits me on Long Island.

“The Wooden Boat Rescue Foundation is dedicated to placement, saving, locating, researching, wishing, learning and dreaming of wooden boats. All boats are free.Wooden Boats beyond a certain point of condition and/or age are becoming rare. After years without proper care, they are sawn up, burned, or buried. It is our hope that this site can centralize connections between current owners placing boats with people searching for boats.”


When I find the time I’ll attempt to post on the history of the Mackenzie bass boat, a Cape Cod design built in the 1960s. These are the boats “designed by a fish,” that fish being the striped bass.

Author: David Churbuck

Cape Codder with an itch to write

0 thoughts on “The Wooden Boat Rescue Foundation”

  1. David,

    Glad to see someone else with a penchant for rescuing things and dragging them back home for restoration. Admittedly, your boats have a bit more romance to them that some of the things that I have gone after.

    The extreme cost of rigging and transport has limited me thus far in scale. Some day, I may just have to study for my CDL.

    So, have you moved this treasure home yet?

  2. Ah, just a dream Mark, just a dream. No way, no how this hulk would be permitted on the premises, not for another ten years when the youngest is gone from the nest. I just have an itch to build a boat, but first need to figure out the difference between a hammer and a screwdriver.

  3. I restored an old Grady White (wood) with my dad. We got the whole thing looking great, put it into Scituate Harbor, and the stern unit fell off. While we got the wood bit right, engine mechanics we were not. Literally didn’t make it more than a 1/4 mile from the ramp and had to be towed in by the Coasties…

  4. Boat carpentry is tough stuff, I’d hate to get my hands on a classic and start learning how to steam ribs and scarf garboards. Engines — forget it. Totally lost there

    But I do covet a Mackenzie

  5. Totally enjoyed reading about the wooden MacKenzie Cuttyhunks as I spent many happy years fishing and then assisting with repairs on a 28 footer during the winter haulouts.This boat was owned by my buddy Dick Ward and he kept it in Plymouth harbor. We never saw a day that we could not venture out no matter what mother nature was doing. They are definitely a very seaworthy platform.By chance the boat in the picture is not for sale is it? Oh well enjoy it and post pics as you work on it.

  6. Interesting picture on your blog, the Mac in the picture happens to be a 63 and in need of much TLC… this is the boat I rescued last spring and am in the process of a total rebuild/restoration. anybody that wants to lend a hand is more than welcome to help out and enjoy some sea time when she is “Finally” complete

  7. Interesting question — I guess better asked of someone in the marine trades as this is going to be a very pivotal point in the boat business. $4 gallon fuel, with diesel even higher, and marine fuel surcharged at least 10% above street prices — are we looking at a return to sail?

    If so, I would predict a big interest in rescuing wooden sailboats — but, would I change my lust to restore a bass boat? Probably.

    Boy I miss my Wianno Senior. Now that was a sailboat.

  8. MacKenzie built these wood inboard fishing skiffs from mid 1950’s to early 1970’s. They evolved over that time from fishing guide boats at “Cuttyhunk” Island to become very popular family fishing boats. They are very fast and handle rough water well due to their deep downeast sytle keels and flared bows. The majority built were 26′ long with oak keels/frames and mahogany planks in clinker (lapstrake) style using bronze or gal. bolts and copper rivits. Many have been restored (80+)and their story and pics can be found on the MacKenzie Boat Club website. There are lots of boats available at reasonable prices that are already restored. Doing your own restoration will probably cost you more than buying a good used boat. I owned one for 5 years and loved it.

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