Howard Classic Boats

Grand Lake's Legendary Antique and Classic Boat Restoration Service



Shop and FacilitiesProject – "Class of 47"

About Howard Classic Boats

The success of our classic boat restoration business is a credit to the crew. The crew love classic boats. Because of their attitude, many years of experience and skill, they turn out work owners are happy with, and our customers refer others to us.

At Howard Classic Boats we restore and work on as many Cruisers as we do Runabouts and Utilities. In addition to restoring wood boats of several makes from 14’ to 45’, we have restored Steel and Aluminum Chris Craft Roamers from 31’ to 42’.

Our customers live near and far so we communicate frequently with email and digital picture progress reports.

We have a strong commitment to the Heartland Classics Chapter of ACBS and we fully participate in its activities and events. We host the Heartland Annual Classic Boat Workshop.

Our number one commitment is to preserve and advance the enjoyment of Antique and Classic Boats. Let us know if we can be of assistance to you.

The HCB Team

Brent Howard, Owner
Brent Howard, Owner
Todd Edwards, 2 years
Todd Edwards, 2 years
Brad Anderson, 20 years
Brad Anderson, 20 years
Lee Howard Williams, 2 years
Lee Howard Williams, 2 years
Dave Lundy, 15 years
Dave Lundy, 15 years
Steve Howard, 8 years
Steve Howard, 8 years

Shop and Facilities

To better serve our customers we built a new 10,000 square foot shop on 10 acres near our docks. The floor heating system works great as it maintained 57 degrees during global warming – 14 degree temperature.

Outside air compressor and dust collection rooms keeps the noise and dust outside of the building. The machine tools are laid out under the loft in a manner to process 16’ planks from tool to tool, The 1,000’ loft is arranged to maintain wood inventory and a large inventory of antique and classic boat parts. One of the walls is covered with 375 lineal feet of shelving to store items from boats while they are being worked on. 2,000 square feet of space is walled off to separate boat storage and supplies used on a regular basis. No windows, but the white epoxy floor and new technology lighting keeps the shop brighter than daylight.

If you would like to tour the shop please contact me. If arriving by water please give us an advance heads up, 918-693-1855.

Recent Shop Additions
Finish Booth

Our new Varnish and Paint finish booth will accommodate Runabouts and small Day Cruisers to 27’.


Upholstery from one item to a total boat. Let us know what you are interested in.

Re-Power, New Power, Rebuild

Owner built 20’ runabout. We are installing new 5.7 MPI 330hp, shaft, rudder, all mechanical, wiring, electronics, and upholstery.

Covered Cruiser Work Area

In work.


250’ of covered docks with 16’ x 50’ slips to hold large cruisers and multiple runabouts.

The docks are used for personal classic boats, boats waiting to go to the shop, repair and service that can be accomplished on the water, visitors to the shop by water, and various Heartland Classics Boat Club events.

Boat Docks are located in Scotty’s Cove. The cove entry is just west of the large concrete tower in the water on the south end of the tall bluff beginning at the dam. The shop is directly West of the docks.

Please give advance heads up when you plan to visit by water. 918-693-1855.

Class of 47

Restoration Project – Chris Craft 36’ Double Stateroom Forward Enclosed Cruiser 1947

In 2002 I bought a 36’ Double Stateroom that was delivered new to Grand Craft Marina on Grand Lake in 1947. Grand Craft is now Scotty’s Cove, located about a 1,000’ from my docks. My wife liked the floor plan for family use much better than our other boats. I often wondered if the year was a factor; but I am not about to divulge why. We enjoyed the boat. But, like other non- restored boats it had issues from time to time with the hull and engines. Two years outside storage waiting for restoration took its toll. And, after 67 years, everything was tired and lacked creature comforts.

My parents always told me “if you do something, do it right” so the renovation became a true ‘keel up’ restoration, every inch touched. We started with keel repair, gripe, bow stem, and new 5200 bottom. We had a heck of a time turning it upside down for new bottom like we do with a runabout. I am kidding of course. Nearly 14,000 pounds has to stay upright and plumb. My personal boats always take 2nd place to customer boats so Phase I took six months. Phase II is now in progress.

The scope of work includes: keel repair, new gripe, new bow stem, new 5200 bottom, refastening and replacement of hull and top side planks as needed, new windshield, new aft deck, rebuilding of bow deck to support winch/davit , refurbishing of cabin exterior, refurbishing of forward stateroom, building new furniture, refurbishing the head, refurbishing of the galley (including new appliances), refurbishing the V-berth, new teak decks bow to stern. Reconfiguring and building new engine hatches. Repowering with 327’s. New generator, two new heat and air conditioning units, restoring and converting gauges to electronic, new sound system, addition of various new electronics. New wiring, upholstery, and LED lighting. Lots of sawdust, painting, plating, and refinishing.

In Progress photos below

In Progress Photos

To view in progress photos click any tab (i.e., Windsheild, Cabin Planking, etc.) below and hover over the photo to see it’s caption. Click on photo to begin slide show. Hover over slide show to pause.

Hull Group

5200 Bottom

After you replace the entire hull bottom – hopefully you know the exact location to reattach struts, and shaft logs. Struts on large boats are quite heavy and hard to hold in place to laser align with engines, particularly if you use boat stands to hold them in place. 2×4 yoke works pretty well. With the advent of the Zebra Muscle Plague we paint the bottom and the struts with high content copper bottom paint.


Gripe and Bow Stem
Plank Replacement
Bow Deck
Bow Hatch
Bow to Side Deck Step Down
Cabin Planking
Side Rails
White Oak Rub Rails



In work.


In work.


In work.


In work.

Aft Deck

Bildge and Deck
Transom Deck
Seating and Storage
Fuel Tanks

In work.


In work.

Stateroom Aft


In work.


In work.


In work.


In work.

Stateroom Forward

In work – no photos.


In work – no photos.


In work – no photos.

WoodenBoat magazine (Oct. 2016). Click to enlarge.

Customer Testimonials

What Our Clients Are Saying

Garry McElderry

During August 2016 I received the plans and directions from Glen L Marine for a 19’ barrelback runabout. Since I planned for a V-8 engine, an extension of one foot was done to the boat length. In the Spring of 2017 I made contact with three wood boat restoration companies to do the engine and controls. Howard Classic Boats was a very easy choice due to their past experience and willingness to help a beginner wood boat builder. The first part of November I delivered the cold molded hull to Brent to start the planning process. Presently the shaft hole, strut, and rudder are installed. The drivetrain, steering, instruments, bilge pump, blower, radio, speakers and GPS are on site. The 5.7 MPI 330 HP engine will arrive soon. Thanks to Brent and Brads planning and work the boat will be done right the first time. Brent’s easygoing manner and helpfulness makes this building process a real pleasure.

Eric English

Brent, Dave, Steve, and the team have been a joy to work with. Their professionalism, communication and quality of work is second to none. The shop is well organized clean and state-of-the-art, certainly the best that you would find outside of Port Townsend or New England.

We feel like that during our restoration process we have received an incredible value for the money, although not cheap, it has been well worth it. They have made the process stress-free and enjoyable. We have been welcome into their shop at any time to review work for ourselves.

If you have a complex restoration project or simply need maintenance on your classic wooden boat, we highly recommend Howard Classic Boats.

Bob Gibson

Brent, I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your professionalism in the rebuild of the engine concerning my 1950 Chris Craft. I certainly feel quite comfortable with your diagnosis of the problem and you and your super fine staff on making the necessary repairs. As you know, I have a number of these classic inboards, and I would not hesitate having you work on any of them. Through my attendance in many classic boat shows, I can assure you that boats you have worked on score right up at the top if not the top. Your attention to detail is the absolute best that I have seen. Again thanks for your help, and I will look forward to dealing with your super fine shop in the future!

Eric Grimshaw

Vice President, Associate General Counsel and Secretary, ONEOK, Inc.

I have had the pleasure of working with Brent and his crew in the total restoration of my Chris Craft 22′ Custom Sedan. The work was first rate and the boat has won awards following completion of the project. I am now working with Brent on a much larger project – total restoration, including new hull, of a 1960 31′ Chris Craft Roamer. Brent and the crew have a great deal of experience with these steel hull boats and I am looking forward to another outstanding result. Highly recommended.

Wilson Jones

In 2000 or 2001, Brent encouraged me to buy a 1960 45′ Chris Craft Constellation from Tom Benton that was originally purchased by Phillips 66 from Grand Craft Marina. It has turned out to be the most expensive and rewarding project I have ever experienced in my life. HCB has been my mentors, go-to guys, experts, consultants and great friends ever since. In 2004, HCB pulled the boat for major renovations. The keel was partly replaced, every plank that had a crack in it was replaced (37 of them), every screw that was loose was replaced (over 23,000 of them, parts of the transom that had been scorched over the decades by the diesel exhausts were rebuilt, and the bottom, sides and transom were sanded to wood and repainted and varnished. The workmanship was excellent and the boat was in as good or better condition as it was when it left the factory. I have nothing but praise for HCB and their dedication to the finest of workmanship and their friendly, helpful attitudes.

Bob LaFortune, Sr.

We’ve been using Howard Boats for over 15 years and have always appreciated the nice work they do. Wood boats are very special in their looks and their tradition, so keeping them in the best of operation and appearance is important to our family.

Past Projects

Pictured are a few of the boats we have provided service for. Scope ranges from a single item to total restoration from the keel up. Wood, steel, and aluminum hulls 12’ to 45’.


Arrive by land, water or air. Five miles to Airport. We will pick you up or rental car available with advance notice.

You can call, mail, email, Fax, or send a message.

Address: 35602 S. 4467 Rd, Vinita, OK 74301
Mail: 35602 S. 4467 Rd, Vinita, OK 74301
Telephone: 918-782-1855, 918-693-1855
Fax: 918-782-9026
Printable Map (PDF)

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Howard Classic Boats

35602 S. 4467 Rd, Vinita, OK 74301


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