It has been said many times that the boat will outlast the owner and it is very true with Commanders in particular due to the fact that they are probably THE most solid fiberglass hulls ever built. This was in the day when fiberglass at Chris Craft was relatively new and the 38 Commander in particular, along with the 42 Sports Cruiser and Aft Cabin, all of which shared the same basic hull and beam, the 42s being lengthened 38s, were now known to be "overbuilt". Even though some of the later boats were lightened up a bit, the Commander series is still considered to be THE STANDARD of fiberglass hull construction by many.
Due to the fact that the smaller boats from the Corsair Sport Boat Division (Cortland, NY) also used the same gelcoat and general construction techniques, with exception of the very early foam filled 17.5s, these boats are also well able to (easily) last more than one lifetime.
I ran across the following the other day, and it is apparent that boats in general are very solid commodities and they are actually known for outlasting their owners. This one has had several lives already, beginning in 1929.
Launched as Haida for American yeast magnate Max Fleishmann in 1929, the exterior of this then
state-of-the-art oceangoing yacht featured retro styling that gave her a late-19th-century appearance.
Twin Krupp diesels offered superior safety, cleanliness and efficiency over coal-fired vessels. She saw
service in World War II as a US Navy patrol ship.
Post-war, she was owned successively by American businessman Larry Green, Irish brewer Löel Guinness,
film producer Robert Stigwood, and latterly by a wealthy recluse before being sold into Japanese ownership
in 1981. Later she was acquired by Andreas Liveras, who chartered her for many years and then sold her to
her current German owner, who returned her name to Haida G. A comprehensive rebuild at Proteksan-Turquoise
Yachts in Tuzla, Turkey, has replaced her entire interior and rebuilt her original engines.
She was sold in June 2011 and was subsequently renamed Dona Amélia. She is featured in The Superyachts,
Volume 19 as Haida G.
Builder: Germania Werft
Naval architecture: Cox & Stevens
Interior design: Verges
Former names: USS Argus, Haida, Haida G, Rosenkavalier, Sarina
I wonder how many years into the future our heavily built Commanders will last? They are capable of wearing out several sets of engines, many have been brought back to new or better-than-new condition, and many are still running proudly with original power. Just one more bit of "boat soul" for the day.