Position in boating history ( Very early Corsair Sea-V history, transition from wood )December 26 2009 at 11:43 PM
|Paul (no login)|
Response to The question of the day ( motor rotation )
When Chris Craft took over Thompson Boat Company of New York, they bought the rights to the Thompson R&D program with Volvo, which was actually quite developed at the time. The CC acquisition allowed the relationship with the manufacturer and parts suppliers to continue (as I imagine it now, 40+ years later) due to some pretty obscure products coming out with the CC name attached.
For instance, in 1964 a wood lapstrake boat that looked almost IDENTICAL to the later fiberglass versions, came out with a transdrive power system.
From a 1964 brochure, here are some interesting statements.
"The more you know about boats, the more you'll appreciate the Sea-V hull development in wood lapstrake. You get a deep comfort ride with unmatched steady speed and stability....more usable space, finely appointed with custom seating. Exciting charcoal gray hull with easy-care vinyl deck and flaired aluminum windshield. Six Sea-V models, from a sporty 18' Skiff to the elegantly outfitted 23' cruiser."
This wood lapstrake boat carried the "Thompson" name on the aft side panels. Wow, I'll bet there are darn few (if any) of these still out there. Painted up and side by side with my 1966 fiberglass version of this hull shape, it would be hard to tell which one was wood and which one was glass. The wood version had some higher level of detail, and I think it would be one heck of a collectible these days, if you could find one!
At this very moment, CC was also touting their first engtry into fiberglass runabouts, with a foam filled Corsair hull showing a scuba diver coming through a plug cut in the bottom of one of the hulls, and the new 20' XL-200, which was the first of the 20' hulls like my 1966 20' fiberglass Sea Skiff, all built under the same roof in Cortland, NY. This sure gives creedence that the fiberglass hull was actually pulled from a wood hull.
The XL-200 Corsair of 1964, had a small block Ford V8 from Eaton, with 140 hp. The renderings show an operable front hatch and raised nose rail around the bow. Glenn's boat has the raised nose rail, but I am not sure if any of these boats actually got the operable front hatch, as virtually all of them I have seen has a vestige of this, showing a hint of a hatch there in fiberglass, but it is a cast in piece and not something that can be actually used for access. The shape actually probably helps give strength.
This acquisition, transition from wood to fiberglass, and the onset of sport boat manufacturing in Cortland, NY, are reasons I like the early boats from Cortland so much. Of course, great lines and performance have something to do with it too. Any Commander owners out there who are looking for a runabout, and you know we ALL need at least one, could do worse than consider one of the early boats from Cortland, New York, to compliment your Commander. There are some very nice Corsair and Lancer models out there to pick from, and even a few fiberglass Sea Skiffs too.