CHRIS CRAFT COMMANDER FORUM ® .......A photo-intensive technical reference file and ongoing newsletter regarding the original fiberglass Chris-Craft Commander series. This is an independent not-for-profit and non-commercial web site, not affiliated with the Chris Craft Commander Club ~~ or ~~ Chris-Craft Corporation. Our mission here is to "have fun and share information" about the Commander series (and those associated fiberglass boats on the Chris-Craft family tree) for your individual personal use, and by doing so help promote the good name of Chris-Craft, and help preserve, restore, and appreciate Chris-Craft boats. The main reference feature is the ever expanding MASTER INDEX File which contains what we believe to be the world's largest collection of documentation photos and technical information on the Chris-Craft Commander line of boats, (like these original brochure scans, featuring the iconic first 38 Commander styled by Fred Hudson, and many of the great Dick Avery renditions that followed) , (a huge collection of Chris-Craft 427 tuning and specification information), and a few words about how to use the forum.

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A major restoration

February 18 2008 at 9:39 AM
Paul  (no login)

Response to Lots more PHOTOS !

Hello Jerry and Nadia too!

Looking at your photos again, I am impressed with the boat and your adventurous spirit. Janet and I share this same spirit, and we are notorious for getting into projects bigger than we thought. Well, let me clarify this by saying I am notorious for that.

Looking over the photos again, I know this will be a big project and it most certainly will take longer than you think it will. The motors and engine bay will need to be evacuated, cleaned up, painted, and generally re-wired and re-equipped with everything. This is a major undertaking in its own right. The cosmetic issues are also big, and these will all take time to get it right.

I see someone has already installed what looks like a Force 10 range inside, and that can probably be cleaned up and used nicely. The chrome on the boat will run you well over $1000 to redo. Instruments can be converted to electric by Dale Kocian if you decide to go that route with new power that may not mesh up with the cable drive tachs.

Looking at the boat, I see soooo many things that I also had to contend with. The work I did aboard TRADITION took me several years to finally get it all right, but the good news was, we were able to run down the river, anchor, and I could actually do some of the work out on the water. We ran the boat an entire season before I decided to take on the teak toe rail, for instance. I was instructing Janet how to give the boat more power one day out on a long stretch of the Cumberland River, we were both on the flybridge, and as she pushed those throttles forward the crappy aluminum bimini the previous owner undoubtedly purchased from a ski boat catalog literally blew totally off the boat and landed in the water about 40-feet back. We realized at that time, we had more work to do, ha ha.

I would focus on a general clean up and the mechanical issues first, so you can get on the water and enjoy the boat, and then work on the cosmetic issues as you can during the next couple of years. That's my pace, even here in Tennessee where the weather may permit a little more work outside. Perhaps you guys are younger and more energetic than we are, and able to cover more ground faster.

I wish you all the luck and good fortune in the world with this boat, she looks great and I'm sure there will be a day when you look upon her and feel a huge amount of pride and satisfaction.

This note is NOT to discourage you in any way. Quite the contrary, having been there, done that, I want to be sure you realize how much work this really is, so you do NOT get discouraged. Again, if you're able to do more than we did over less time, you certainly have my support and admiration too. Many of the readers and participants here have done the same thing you're getting ready to do. Some of the boats were even sitting on the bottom, such as MISS LILY. I think you can see from looking through the photos and tech tips here, that your boat is a contender for being brought back to its rightful place in the harbor, getting those appreciative nods and compliments some of the rest of us have grown accustomed to with our Commanders.

Keep in touch, let us help you any way we can,

All the best,



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