Offered at $21,500: 1956 17’ Chris-Craft Special Sportsman
This 1956 17’ Chris-Craft Special Sportsman is completely original. She is hull number C-17 3708, which, according to Conrad, makes her a 1957, but her build sheet identifies her as a 1956.
She has the blonde king plank and split helm seat, which is a 1957 treatment, but her straight windshield was typical of the 1956 model.
That she is identified as a “Special Sportsman” also points at 1956.
No, she is not a “marriage of convenience,” put-together boat. We purchased her from her second owner, who, in turn purchased her from the original owner, his son. Both father and son took and saved documentation, including her original build sheet. She stands before you now as she left Algonac.
The immediate prior owner, and electrical engineer, began preserving her at least 15 years ago. I purchased her as an empty hull with engine still installed, and with every part, piece, even the screws carefully sorted and tagged.
Upon arrival at the shop we did a complete inventory and realized that nothing was missing.
Our comprehensive preservation included
- Engine and transmission
- Complete teardown and rebuild
- Conversion to 12 volts
- Generator replaced with a one-wire alternator, which enhances reliability hugely
- Points ignition replaced with Petronix for hotter spark and enhanced reliability
- Gas tank – The previous owner provided a new, exact copy of the original tank, as well as the original one
- Bilge – Painted with 3 coats of Sandusky Paint Company Chris-Craft red bilge paint
- Floor panels – Covered with black small-ribbed rubber sheeting that is correct for Chris-Craft
- Mickey Dupuis, D & S Custom Metal Restoration, Holyoke, MA, preserved all of the hardware
- Kocian Instruments executed a comprehensive mechanical and cosmetic preservation of the gauges
- Snake Mountain Boatworks preserved the wheel
- Marks Upholstery, Middlebury, VT, fabricated new upholstery in Chris-Craft red
- Hull – was stripped to bare wood inside and out. Every square inch of wood received 3 coats of CPES ahead of any finishing.
- Bottom planking released, interior ½” plywood sheathing refastened. The sheathing and planks were sealed with 3 coats of CPES before being re-installed bedded in 3M 5200.
- The topsides, decks, covering boards, ceilings, seating, seat boxes, engine box and dash were bleached, stained either blonde or mahogany as appropriate.
- All bright surfaces received at least 16 coats of Pettit High-Build varnish
- Below the waterline, the hull received 5 coats of Interlux 2000-E barrier coat, followed by 4 coats of Pettit hard racing bronze bottom paint
- Sea Lion trailer
- Galvanized box beam bunk trailer with electric disc brakes
- Fewer than 150 miles since purchased new by Snake Mountain Boatworks.
- Extended bow tower, which greatly eases retrieval from the water, and guarantees that the bow winch line never touches the boat
- According to Conrad, the 17’ Special Sportsman weighs between 1,600 and 1,800 pounds. The trailer’s GVRW is 3,800 pounds, more than sufficient to carry the boat easily and smoothly.