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.

We extend to you a cordial "WELCOME ABOARD !" Come on in, make yourself at home, we are a friendly group of enthusiasts, and we also appreciate the classic Chris Craft Roamer, Corsair, and Lancer boats too , as they are all on the same family tree and share much in common !

This forum is registered as chriscraftcommander.com

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Original Message
  • You can thank Google for helping you find this thread !!
    • Paul (no login)
      Posted May 18, 2012 9:11 AM

      Hey Tommy "WELCOME ABOARD" and congratulations for scoring the 1967 Sport V. You may love Google but this is the place with the most info about these boats that I am aware of freely accessible to the general public, anywhere, thanks to the consolidated contributions that exist in this main thread alone. This main thread is the "Holy Grail" of Corsair information happy.gif

      The series begins in 1963 so it is one of THE VERY FIRST boats CC built of fiberglass at Cortland New York after acquiring Thompson Boat Company of New York. It has the traditional early Corsair raised nose, prevalent on some of the later models, a feature that eventually disappeared.

      ORAO-17-001 TO ORAO-17-161 (1963)
      ORBO-17-1001 TO ORBO-17-1225 (1964)
      ORCO-17-1001 TO ORCO-17-1100 (1965)
      ORDO-17-001 TO ORDO-17-160 (1966 Sport V)
      OREO-17-001 TO OREO-17-025 (1967 Sport V)

      Your OREO-17-016 was in the shop when the last 9 boats of this series were made. A total of 671 hulls were made during those years and I suspect many stayed in the New York Finger Lake area close to Cortland where they were made.

      The boat was an early design that used a foam "sandwich panel" design, and in architecture (my line of work) stressed skin panel design can be very strong indeed. The potential issues may be water infiltration and delamination, both of which can be fixed but not as easily as opening a can of soda or beer. Bill Basler, former Executive Director of the Chris Craft Antique Boat Club (a club that until recently didn't give much or any attention to fiberglass) restored one of these with a small 4 cylinder inboard and Transdrive outdrive system, but the basic hulls are the same. I think if you do a search for "Basler" or "Blue Bomb" you'll find his extensive restoration thread which was the starting project featured in a recent book on fiberglass boat restoration.

      Although a fair number of these were built, I think the attrition rate surely must have taken many boats due to hard use, outboard motor issues, damage, etc., over the years. I have seen many thousands of boats at boat shows but have never seen ANY CORSAIR SPORT BOATS from thie era at ANY show. These boats are basically transparent at boat shows, many people don't even know they were made in the first place, and Chris Craft built a heck of a lot of wood boats after this fiberglass series was started in 1963. Therefore this is a worthy restoration candidate. It has some pretty nice and sharp lines, the windshield is iconic of the early Chris Craft Sport Boat era, being similar to many other Corsair boats also coming out of the same plant at Cortland at the time. My 1966 20' Fiberglass Sea Skiff, by the way, also came out of the Cortland plant.

      People think Chris Craft made a 1957 boat called the Lake'n'Sea but CC actually contracted that boat out to someone else to build for them, it is in my humble opinion disasterously ugly from the rear and it ended up getting the nickname of Leak'n'Sink due to the use of plywood laminated with fiberglass, etc.

      Your boat is the first Corsair outboard featured here so we are quite happy to see the photos and learn more about this model. Cleaned up, you put that thing in the water and people are just going to look-and-look, some will know, but most won't have a clue what they are looking at. I dare say no judge I've been around for a LONG TIME would even know how to score one of these in a boat show because they had never seen one.......although they would have seen a bunch of the high end wood Cobra and U22 boats, etc.

      As you get into the clean up and restoration, I would resist the urge to personalize and customize this boat simply because it is such a good example of the original series. It looks to be a pretty well cared for survivor. The seats will be a challenge to get right, unless someone is selling the whole assembly as new now which I doubt, these could cost you a bunch of spare cash at an upholstery shop but again it is a part of what makes this boat unique, the fold down sun lounging feature of the day. Also if the Evinrude works that is fine because 80 horses behind this boat would make it fly. Otherwise I would hunt for some motor that has a vintage look to go along with the lines of the boat, which as you can see are suprizingly crisp and nice even 49 years after they were penned.

      Regards,

      Paul
      forum moderator/host



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