Tom Juul started restoring boats as a hobby some twenty years ago. He was fortunate to be hired by the Sierra Boat Company, Lake Tahoe, CA around 1983 where he further honed his skills. After working there for about a year he returned to Alexandria, MN and started Alexandria Classic Boats. It was at this time that the BSLOL membership got to know Tom when he kept winning awards at our annual rendezvous. In 1989 he moved his business to a five-acre farmstead in Evansville, MN. This property has a number of out buildings for storage, a large converted barn for his primary shop and a new building with a large refinishing booth.
Tom works with one helper to do about three major restorations each year along with maintenance work on client boats. He also stores and maintains the boats he has restored. The majority of his clients own more than one boat. This factor has given him repeat business. His
reputation spreads by word of mouth and he brags that he has spent a total of $35 dollars on advertising since starting his business. He uses mostly local people to do engine work, upholstery and hardware plating. Tom does mostly inboard boats, a few non-powered boats and no outboards.
He says his most ambitious restoration was a 1929 Chris Craft 24 Sedan Triple. This boat was a basket case or pattern boat, however it had all its hardware. The restoration was done from photos, since a sister ship was not known. This effort was a major reconstruction that consumed some 1600 hours.
I remember a beautiful 1950 Chris Craft 16 Riviera that he brought to our rendezvous in 1989. It had the 4 cyl 60 hp Model B engine which provided a less than thrilling 26 mph. It won the Directors Award. This model was only made in 1950 and is now considered to be rare and collectable. For the 1996 rendezvous he provided a magnificent 1940 Chris Craft 23 Triple Cockpit runabout (Sans Souci owned by Carl and Joyce Mammel) that had been restored with the originally specified green leather upholstery, green striping on the decks and a birds eye maple dash board. It won the Best Antique Runabout 20 and Over Award. Interestingly, there were two other similar vintage 23 triples at this show and Toms restoration outclassed both of them.
At present Tom is working on the Roamer, a 1920 Dingle 33 semi-enclosed launch owned by Tom Coen. This boat has a Universal 6 cyl 45 hp engine. It has been used for 81 years on Cass Lake, MN. This is a major restoration (many steam bent ribs were replaced) that will soon be completed. An additional photo can be found on page 32 of the August, 2000 Boathouse.
Tom Juul also organizes the Chain of Lakes Classic Boat Show that will take place on July 6, 2002, at Arrowwood Resort on Lake Darling near Alexandria, MN. To read Toms own member spotlight, click on Member Spotlight at left.