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Harvey Testimonial

September 18th, 2016 Comments Off on Harvey Testimonial

In the summer of 2014, we bought a 1959 Whirlwind from its original owner, here in North Carolina. We had an interest in boats but no experience in wooden boat restoration. We had no awareness or appreciation for Whirlwinds as a boat brand other than that they were different from Chris-Crafts. What we had was a boat that had been stored dry and out of the weather since 1978 and that had great potential, in the right hands. As we began coming to grips with the realities of our upcoming project, we quickly identified, through online research, Howard Johnson of Old Time World as both an experienced restorer of wooden boats and someone impassioned with the preservation of Whirlwinds specifically.

On first contact with Howard, he invited us up for a visit. He and wife Cheryl gave us the better part of a day, and in a display of southern hospitality above the Mason-Dixon line, opened both their museum and home to us. They showed us fully restored Whirlwinds, Whirlwind restorations underway, and dusty old Whirlwind’s in far worse shape than ours. Over lunch conversation, it became evident to us that Howard’s expertise would be invaluable to our restoration project and that he was very willing to support us whenever we embarked on it. Before we left, we purchased a copy of the “Whirlwind Story” as told in the three-ring binder of resource materials Howard has accumulated over the years, and we eagerly took turns reading it to each other on the five-hour drive home.

We began earnest work on the boat in early 2015. Howard had prepared us well in so many ways – particularly regards assessment of structural integrity; best sequence of restoration steps; and proper tools, equipment, materials, processes and techniques. Whenever we felt in need of more guidance and called Howard, he was always gracious to take the call and walk us through the question or crisis at hand. Throughout our 15-month restoration, Howard remained very interested in our progress. He also provided parts as we identified need, specifically a Taylor windshield and a replacement stern cleat.

Our restoration is complete, we’ve taken our maiden voyage and then some, and our finished boat exceeds our highest expectations. We’d never have been able to accomplish what we did without Howard’s tutelage along the way. He gave us much through those 15 months, and hopefully what we’ve given him in return is the satisfaction of knowing that another of the more than 15,000 manufactured Whirlwinds he so dearly loves has been beautifully restored, has a great home with us, and will be the source of pride and enjoyment for us for years to come.

Tammy and Bruce Harvey

Raleigh, NC

Whirlwind #13073

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