Q&A: Chatting with Ken Sikora of FiberGlassics.com

Ken Sikora is an avid boating enthusiast who supports a special niche in the hobby, classic fiberglass, as administrator of FiberGlassics.com. The online community forum/club is open to anyone who loves fiberglass boats.

Q: How did you first become interested in boats?

A: I had an interest in them at an early age. I remember looking at an encyclopedia when I was a kid; I would copy the drawings of old wooden ships onto my sketch paper.

Q: How did your focus turn to classic fiberglass?

A: I received a free boat and had to look it up on the Internet to find out what it was. I found FiberGlassics.com and posted in the forum with a picture of the boat. I’d say within hours the users had identified my boat as a 1960 Whitehouse. I used the forum to get information and help restoring it – everything from replacing the transom to painting to engine troubleshooting. I still have the boat and named it “Crab Dip.” It’s a lovely turquoise color.

Q: Do you have a favorite boat or “dream boat”?

A: Two of my favorites are the 1958 Glass Slipper and the 1957 Lonestar Meteor. Each has a very unique style, including the car-like placement of headlights and gracefully exaggerated fins.

Q: How did FiberGlassics.com get started?

A: The creator of the original concept was Kelly Wood, but the maintenance issues on the first version of the site were getting tedious, so we worked on a new site together. After some time he wanted to move on, and I purchased the site from him. Rewriting and publishing the website in its current form was quite an achievement.

Q: How do you keep the online community running?

A: The “Classic Fiberglass Boating Enthusiast’s Community” is run in most part by the members. We have people who monitor the forums for bad activity, others who help write articles of interest, and one of our members creates a calendar every year featuring our members’ boats. As the administrator, I maintain the server/software and manage new user requests along with any issues on the site. The site is free and relies on member donations and corporate sponsors.

Q: How would you describe the club membership?

A: Our community is highly devoted to the preservation and restoration of classic fiberglass boats of the 1950s and ’60s. We don’t have a formal annual event, but members get together locally with other members, and they often keep in touch with each other on the site.

Q: What is your fondest boating memory?

A: Getting stuck overnight and sleeping on the boat. I took my girlfriend out for an evening cruise to a river town that had a great restaurant with a dock. By the time we got there it was dusk, and I couldn’t see the entrance to the creek. I ended up anchoring overnight without many provisions. It was very chilly that night leading into the next day.

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    I have a beautifully restored 18 foot 1968 Century Resorter inboard, fiberglass with mahogany gunnels. It’s been ensured for many years with Hagerty, but they apparently have asked Markel American Insurance to be their boat insurance underwriter, and Markel promptly tripled the cost of my insurance. After expressing my shock, they gave me a “deal” by only offering to increase my premiums by 125%! Is there another company that insures classic boats? I would be very interested in an alternative.

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