When she left the Chris Craft factory in 1948, the company expected this seemingly beautiful and sound little Chris Craft Utility Deluxe to last 8 to 10 years at most. She was now over 60 years old, and, while her fit and finish were a bit rough here and there, and the hardware was ready for restoration and plating, she really looked pretty sound.
In fact, having tested the engine and finding that it ran pretty well, after running a hose into her bilge for 10 days to “soak her up,” down to Lake Champlain we went for a test. She did pretty well, and even reached speeds of 40 MPH. But little did we know what lay between us getting back to shore and the water pounding the hull from below. Her bottom planking could not be salvaged. Ninety percent of her ribs were shot. The bottom bow in the transom was mostly dust.
Given her age, she almost surely has gone through several, and maybe as many as six major overhauls. But she was ready again, as is the case for most of the boats that come into the shop. We make every effort to save every stick of original wood that we can, but not at the sacrifice of delivering a sound boat back to her owners.
Oh, she is Little Chief, who anchors our logo and now lives in Salzburg, Austria.
We use nothing but FAS Pattern Grade lumber in our preservations.
D&S Custom Metal Restoration, 102 Cabot St, Holyoke, MA, is our go-to shop for metal preservation and chrome plating. Jim McDonald and his incredible crew have earned their nationally-recognized reputation for delivering only show quality work. Jimmy can be reached at 413-533-7770, or [email protected].
Following are links to examples or our work that support our contention that we uphold only the highest standards of craftsmanship:
- A lesson in fiberglass blistering “repair”
- Watch a 1948 Christ Craft Utility Deluxe aft deck replacement
- Watch the decks being removed from a 1967 26′ Lyman Cruisette
- Gunwales gone bad on a Lyman Cruisette
- And now watch the deck-removing finale
- Watch steam bending of a Lyman Cruisette’s forward port rub rail
- Watch a 26′ Lyman Cruisette fly
- The 26′ Lyman Cruisette has landed … on dollies
- Watch as the fully-preserved 1957 Century Resorter leaves the shop for delivery to her owner
- Watch as the Drake, a 26′ Lyman Cruisette emerges from a complete hull, deck-framing preservation and installation of exquisite seamed teak plank decks