* The worthiness of the classic fiberglass Chris Craft Commander, Lancer and CorsairNovember 29 2011 at 10:50 AM
|Paul (no login)|
This is an exerpt from the book,
"RESTORATION OF THE FIBERGLASS CHRIS CRAFT COMMANDER,
Also featuring classic fiberglass Lancer and Corsair Runabouts !"
that I published in 2011.
The following copyrighted material is an exclusive here on The Forum.
It can be copied for your own personal use but it can not be copied to any other
web site or publication without written permission from me.
This represents 7 pages of 242 pages in the RESTORATION book, and more information
about the book can be found at the following link.
The information is published on the world wide web to help get the message
out about the value, style, and integrity of the classic Chris Craft boats, and to motivate
more people to appreciate and save these boats world-wide. It is a part of stated goal here
"to have fun and share information".
|This message has been edited by FEfinaticP on May 17, 2012 12:58 PM|
What about Catalinas?
|November 29 2011, 1:59 PM |
Are they substantially different? I have a thing for those 281's which are what got me interested in CC's
Good boats !
|November 30 2011, 12:01 AM |
I don't know much about the Catalina line, except it seems they were an evolution of the Commander line, using some hull forms, and lots of similar engine and hardware. I have a 38 Catalina docked next to me at my marina and it is the same length as my 38 Commander, twice as tall and with twice as much interior room, being a totally different boat in every way. They were built after the prime Commander era, using lots of Commander techniques and knowledge, and everything I have heard suggests they are good boats. The Catalina next to me is in better condition than my own 38 Commander, but I have the better looking and faster boat, and you can hear my motors when they are running. The 38 Catalina is so quiet it has actually started and departed the harbor while I was inside my boat and I never heard it.
Chris Craft 25' Catalina Express Cruiser (1978)
|June 8 2016, 10:42 AM |
TO: Paul Pletcher
Jim Staib suggested I contact you concerning the following:
We have owned a 25' Chris Craft Catalina Express Cruiser, (1978) for over 30 years and it is still in the water and running again this year. We would like to give it some TLC and I am wondering if you would happen to have or know where I can obtain any used parts for inside the Cabin. I am particularly interested in obtaining two plastic square light covers, approximately 7 inches tall, and 7 inches wide, that go over the light bulb area--one for the head, and one for the galley. I have one, which is quite stained, and the other got so broken we threw it away. The light mechanism has the following part number from Progressive Dynamics, Inc. Marshall, Michigan engraved inside: PD100514SAE1141. I only need the cover for this but I thought I'd give you the PD number anyway.
Also, we have a type of shag carpet on the ceiling and sides of the cabin and it was originally white, but now it is covered with so much mold and mildew it has turned grayish/black in places. We have tried cleaning it but nothing seems to work. Would you happen to know of anything that would clean this? If not, we are considering removing it entirely and painting the ceiling, etc. white. Is this what other boat owners have done?
I hope you, or someone in your blog, have some suggestions. We love this boat and have enjoyed it for many years. Thank you.
Some better than others...
|November 30 2011, 12:20 PM |
I've looked at a large number of Catalinas over the years. The smaller ones, (25 and 28), seem to have been built on a budget, having aluminum hardware as opposed to stainless for rails, for example. The larger ones were built to a higher standard, to be sure.
I had the opportunity to own a very nice 1981 310 Catalina this past season, and put over 100 hours on her, including the annual 75 mile (each way) run to Put-In-Bay. The things I felt that made her a worthy vessel were solid 'glass hull and 'glass stringers... much like the original Commanders. That, combined with lots of stainless, and teak trim garnered many compliments at the docks. I will say that the glass and gel are not as heavy-duty as the original Commanders, but we all know why.
There is a lot of value in a well maintained Catalina. In fact, this fall when I put her up for sale, the first guy that looked at her bought her on the spot! I am now searching for next year's ride... but that's a subject for a seperate thread...
|November 30 2011, 12:25 PM |
Here are a couple shots...
|November 30 2011, 1:39 PM |
Ultra clean boats of nice lines and good design always seem to sell, especially if they have the Chris Craft name too.
John, just remember, friends don't let friends buy SeaRays.
Was there a downturn?
|November 30 2011, 2:00 PM |
I understand that the scope of this website (and this excellent book that I mean to buy soon) is "classic" fiberglass Chris Crafts. Is there a point where they are new enough to not be considered "classic"? Or is it more of a relative term, like with what's considered a "classic" car. Do things end with the Murray era? I can see how Amerosports are much different than a Catalina 281 or the 301 pictured above even being from around the same era. Then again there's an 84'alarm or so 42' Commander at my marina and the guy that transported my Coho has a 501 Constellation both awesome vessels
I think it is a situation where you have to evaluate each model on its own merit
|December 14 2011, 10:34 AM |
You bring up some interesting points.
With the Department of Motor Vehicles in some or most states, there is a clear cut off date for "antique" plates. However, when it comes to the word "classic", the definition includes the style and design, rather than just the age. You could have a true "classic" or a piece of plastic junk, both produced on the same day. One would be classic becaue of the lines, build quality, and power options, the other would be............well.............just as quickly forgotten as a Renault Fuego. Unflrtunately Chris Craft built a few boats I would not really care to own, mostly due to change of ownersip and the parade of presidents Herb Pocklington has mentioned they marched through one door (and out the other) during the downward graph of financial stability at Chris Craft. On some of the more modern boats, I would look them over for what they are on a one-at-a-time basis for each model. Some would pass the test, some would most likely be set aside, as my preference is for the older "classic" build quality, detailing, and style.
Some of the lines on Avery designs are almost "Gothic" in style, and you can easily call those "classic lines". Age comes into play because some of the provenance associated with a boat is the era in which it was built, with the credibility of the types of resin and construction techniques, power options,etc., so age does matter (too). The Coho series are classics in my opinion, they are good looking boats, the interiors are thoughtfully designed, they are highly functional, they use the knowledge Chris Craft learned by producing lots of other boats and they share common power options with other boats that are also called classics. A classic Coho would be very welcome at any Chris Craft Commander rendezvous, and I think it would get a lot of attention. People just don't see many of them due to the fact that not all that many were built.
Prior to the Catalina
|November 30 2011, 5:01 PM |
I have to disagree slightly with the 25' and 28' Catalinas being lower quality. The 25' boats were actually in production as Express Cruisers as early as 1973 and evolved into Catalinas. I have a 76 and other than the aluminum trim you mentioned the boat is remarkably sturdy and heavy. Jerry has a 25' Tournament Fisherman that was built on the same hull. While they don't have the panache or elegance of the Commanders, from everything I've read they are pretty well built and nice riding boats. I have to say, the 25' has a lot of cabin space and a nice sized deck for a 25. They're also dirt cheap, selling on ebay regularly for $3-$5k in the water and ready to cruise.
Well.....here are some Amerosport issues from the past, and 272 Crowne
|November 30 2011, 5:38 PM |
Is is not the intent of this forum to bash Chris Craft boats of any kind and I hope nobody thinks this post is doing so. It is a fact, however, that during the numerous transitions of ownership and presidential turnover at CC, various techniques and standards were used, and it is pretty clear the top quality boats are the oldest ones..........this quality is verified pretty much through the mid 19070s and then I personally lose the trail because our main focus is on the older classics.
It is my understanding (need to be verified with Boat US) that Boat US filed suit against Chris Craft due to call backs on this model. As I understand the issue, CC wasw taking short cuts by cutting the main fiberglass structural supports in order to install wires. This is obviously contrary to their present day and past performance, but I understand it did happen during a particular management regime and it was corrected as a result of the Boat US insurance claim action.
I would naturally be sure you were not looking at one of the boats built during that particular dark period of the otherwise brilliant CC history.
Someone please help me verify this, as I do NOT want to give out any incorrect info about CC or anyone else. As noted, I think you should contact an informed person who knows the history at Boat US.
As the boats evolved into the 1990s it seems the old quality was certainly gone.
The following is from the Boat US database, offered here only as a point of information, certainly due for follow up.
The 31-ft. Crowne is Chris Craft's
1992 Chris Craft 272 Crowne:
07/27/92 Freshwater tank cracked, is leaking. Boat had to be
at factory to access & remove tank. Faulty bonding system caused
extensive galvanic corrosion. Transmission failure. NUmerous minor
problems. Owner wanted both outdrives replaced; replacement all head
thru-hull fittings; replacement freshwater tank; guarantee that any
undetected electrical problems will be corrected by manufacturer. Owner
says Chris Craft took care of all problems.
1991 Chris Craft Crowne 272 (CCBFT179D191):
06/11/93 Cracks throughout boat's interior, surveyor attributes to
manufacturer's defect: especially vertical displacement of liner. (Owner
also reports same problems w/ a 302 Crowne CCBFT180D191 owned by a
friend of his) Owner says manufacturer wants to make more repairs but
more problems are surfacing. He wants replacement boat. 9/8:
Manufacturer maintains that boat can be fixed.
1991 Chris Craft 272 Crowne (CCBFS102A091); twin OMC 5.7L King
01/09/95 Blisters: extensive on bottom & sides; cracks pt/stbd @
& strakes from trim tabs fwd. Prior to purchase, boat trim tabs were
repositioned 3 times & holes weren't filled properly, stress cracks have
developed in adjacent areas. Pt side appears to have been repaired
(why???) prior to purchase, repairs are inadequate & full of pinholes.
Corrosion on engine even though boat is kept in fresh water. Leaks
through rubrail into cabin & windshield. Canvas doesn't fit properly.
Owner has already spent several thousand $s on hull repairs. Chris Craft
is willing to pay for repairs but won't say how much, describe how should
be repaired or guarantee against further problems.
That may be true
|November 30 2011, 6:11 PM |
Last year the '84 (or so) 42' Commander received a lot of bottom work due to blisters, while my Coho has none and from what I've read here, probably never has had blisters and never will.
'71 33' Catalina Coho Sedan under restoration
'85 Bayliner Capri 19' cuddy 3.0L OMC, new deck and stringers
'87 Kawasaki JS650SX
'70 Amphicat 6x6 AATV (future Coho tender)
'74 Buick LeSabre Luxus convertible, '07 Subaru Forester 5MT
Chris Craft Management/Ownership History
|December 18 2011, 11:56 AM |
Paul, and All
If you chart the ownership of Chris Craft I think it is possible to chart the quality of the build based on the passion/investment that was or wasn't there...
My take on it:
Shields buys CC in 1960 and was a good steward who left Chris Craft do what they did best - he invested heavily in the 60's until;
Siegel (Montrose Chemicals) wrestled it away in a takeover in 1968, and they diversified heavily into TV, DDT was banned in the US in 1972 - major cash-flow for Montrose gone overnight. Then the fuel crisis that hit with the OPEC embargo in 1973.
Last wooden boat built in 1971 and the mahogany interiors in the Commanders disappeared around this time. The cost cutting had started.
1970-1980 Lack of passionate ownership period. It must have been hard for the Chris Craft employees to be under the control of a company that lacked the passion for quality and had to be more concerned about survival and the bottom line. Add in rising fuel prices and the related additional cost to production and shipping.
1981 Murray Industries passionate but always under-funded and competition stiff from Brunswick Corp.
Bankrupt CC Murray Industries sold to OMC in 1989 until they in turn went bankrupt in 2000.
1981-2000 Lack of cash-flow period - early focus on racing. Competition fierce to build more boat for the buck.
Stellican Industries buys the name and they are all about the passion - they restored Indian Motorcycles to their former glory and Riva boats in Italy was the first company they resurrected.
|December 20 2011, 7:01 PM |
Norm and all,
Thanks for the history. Hopefully they can keep the name alive.
|November 30 2011, 8:16 PM |
Paul, have you ever considered a hull registry for early fiberglass? The registry on
Chris Craft Club will always have more wood than glass due to the sites focus. As I mentioned,
I'd like to put together a Lancer Spotters Guide and this would be a great tool to gather info.
It's amazing how many small changes occur over the years. Just a thought. As an example of the
small changes that happen, take a look at the subtle changes between these two 19' Lancers.
And that's just what we can see in these small photos. In addition to being informative it could be a lot of fun.
|This message has been edited by FEfinaticP on Dec 14, 2011 9:32 AM|
(Premier Login FEfinaticP)
|December 14 2011, 10:08 AM |
Please excuse the delay in responding to your question about the registry. I actually did respond but it got so lengthy I just
deleted it and now I'll do the short version days later!
The Forum is intentionally managed like it is due to the fact that it has carefully evolved into a very strong format that
continues to increase in popularity essentially without any real promotion energy or cash on my part. The Forum is focused
on what really counts, and that is having fun and sharing information. We focus on what works best, and avoid trying to be
all things in boating. As a result, we focus on the essence of why an online forum exists in the first place, time and funds
are used efficiently where they produce the biggest benefit, and we leave the administrative work in the wake while we enjoy
a little bow spray along the ride.
One thing about a registry, it instantly becomes obsolete unless it is "constantly" maintained. Even during the course of a
single week a registry will change. There are some organizations who claim large numbers of members due to the fact that those
people once upon a time actually signed up for membership or registered a boat, but in reality some of the people listed as members
have sold their boats, turned into gentleman farmers, moved on to the afterlife, etc. Some of those organizations really do not
have a clue how many "members" they really have. Unless you are a full dues paying organization with the overhead and budget
to do it right, like ACBS, you will never be able to back up any claim of membership or be able to maintain an accurate registry.
For that reason I maintain a membership in ACBS and the Chris Craft Antique Boat Club. ACBS does a very comprehensive job at
the registry and part of the benefit of all that overhead, cash, and administrative structure they maintain is an accurate
directory published each year.
I hope I didn't throw water on your parade!
1967 20' Chris Craft Sea V Project For Sale
|December 13 2011, 7:17 PM |
Howdy folks, I have a 1967 20' Fiberglass Sea V for sale. Rare boat that I purchased for a project, but things have changed and I can't take it on. Seems like this forum is a good place to get the news out. Here is the Craigslist ad: http://austin.craigslist.org/boa/2751856743.html
Please feel to contact me at mbutler555(at)gmail.com if you'd like to discuss.
(Premier Login FEfinaticP)
Hi friend...........tough to sell a boat without photos !
|December 14 2011, 10:11 AM |
Hey I looked at your note last night and saw some very good photos but today they are gone.
I would love to help you find a good owner for this rare boat, as I think we can do this for you
and for the boat, as well as for the future owner too, but we NEED photos!
Here are the PHOTOS !
|December 14 2011, 10:56 AM |
Well it seems that Internet Explorer won't open your photos but Firefox will...............
What I see here is a boat NEEDS to be saved.
It has the upgraded windshield that still has large operable sections, but it also has those lower fixed sections in
the frontal part of the windshield that serve as an additinal brace for stability. This is an evolution Chris Craft
applied to the boat based upon learning more as they produced more boats of this kind. I see the large fuel tank just
like mine in the 1966 Sea Skiff of the same basic hull design. This boat would be in the very same condition mine was
when I started my restoration, and today I can twist the key and ride in style with it.
You will note the literature I posted above still shows the single large pane of glass for the windshield, while
your boat has the improved design.
You can see here, the 80 boats built with the Sea Skiff badge in 1966 and 1967 are essentially the same boat but in
Here is a complete thread on the Corsair line for cross reference purposes.
Here is my restoration thread on an almost identical hull as a guide (and inspiration) for anyone considering this boat.
Not all that difficult a restoration either, and they are great lookers. I like the red and white too.
Question 'O the day
|December 17 2011, 11:19 PM |
Corsair Sea V's, Sea Skiffs, etc. All pretty much the same hull and layout and many of the same options and standard equipment. However, it seems a universal truth in these threads that the Sea Skiffs had 327 engines (and that one 307 I noted in the 1972 model), but the Corsairs all seem to have had 283's. Any explanation for that?