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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Re: Saving original steering wheel

October 4 2011 at 12:01 PM
Paul  (no login)

Response to Saving original steering wheel

Hello Peter, and WELCOME ABOARD!

Congratulations on your 23 Chris Craft project, these are great hulls and the performance in rough water will put a smile on your face, and you will get a lot of looks and compliments. Next thing you know Forum Regular, Dave Krugler, may not know it yet but he will be looking for one too, because he has "boatitis" very badly and a new project will help ease the pain a lot.

It is odd that you have the slotted steering wheel in a 23, but it does make sense because the 25' boats were built from 1969-1971. 85 of the 25 Sportsman hulls were built, 75 of the 25 Sports Fisherman, and 80 of the open 25 Lancer were built, so that is not a big production order for steering wheels.

Interestingly due to your post, I just noticed that the Chris Craft Essential Guide does not show ANY 23 Lancer (outdrives) built during model year 1970, 71, 72, 0r 73, but picking up again in 1974 through 1975 and this may be an error on the part of the book. They do show 123 Lancer Offshore Models built in 1970, along with 280 more in 1971 and 175 more in 1972, along with 80 Lancer Express models in 1967-1968. Apparently they were focusing on inboards in 1972-through 1974 as 405 were built in those three years, and then more onto 1977,

In any case my 1973 Lancer has the now infamous DetMar cast aluminum wheel, not as sporty as yours. Chris Craft is notorious for buying a lot of steering wheels and then just pulling from stock as long as the supply lasts. For instance, I have a 1939 Chris Craft speedboat mounted on the wall of my living room, and it has the same exact steering wheel as the 1956 17' Chris Craft Sportsman I have in the basement now, and Chris Craft even used that same steering wheel on some of the flybridge installations on Commanders produced after 1964. The cast aluminum DetMar (Detroit Marine) was used on my 1966 20' fiberglass Sea Skiff, and even on the flybridge of a 36' Commander Tournament Fisherman.

Now we can add your particular steering wheel to the mix, so thank you for pointing this obscure fact out, and good luck restoring yours. Personally I have no idea how to prise off that cover, but I would think it is probably a push in "force fit" of sorts, and once off it will reveal a large nut holding the steering wheel to the steering shaft.

As for the windshield pieces, good luck, those are truely unique extrusions that most likely are not available now, but many windshield manufacturers may have some that are similar. The mere mention of a windshield will cause me some pain, as I have run my Skiff for a few years without one happy.gif

Best of luck, send us some photos of your project when you get a chance,


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