The Legacy of the Fiberglass Chris Craft Commander
Paul Posted May 27, 2011 5:38 AM
Here is some additional insight into "The Legacy" book,
and outlines how it can be purchased.
The intent of this book was never to make money. It was (and is) intended to share
information and have fun with classic fiberglass boats, and by doing so help in some
way to preserve the remaining fleet of Commanders by focusing more attention on these
fine boats. Therefore the original book was printed in very limited numbers albeit at
very high quality and cost per copy. Copies were first made available to contributors
and participants, and then the remaining limited quantities were sold, and one copy was
donated to the ACBS fund raising auction at the 2010 ACBS Annual Meeting.
Limited copies of the Second Printing are still available, but I antiipate these will
all be gone soon. At that point in time I will be faced with another major expenditure
to print a third edition and I will likely do so in late 2011 or sometime during 2012.
Here is a peek inside THE LEGACY: The image quality you see here is compromised due to
the use of JPG electronic reproduction on the web.
here is a photo Lenny sent in from Australia!
This book outlines the general history of Chris Craft during the transitional years when
the Smith family sold Chris Craft to NAFI (National Automotive Fibers, Inc.) and the line
of fabulous fiberglass Commanders that followed, commencing in 1964 with the first 38'
Express designed by Fred Hudson and Bill MacKerer. The initial 38' Express was designed
and shipped in secret to the 1964 New York Boat Show, where it was unveiled amid much fanfare
and shook the boating world with it's awesome shape and style. The boat had a pointed transom,
and continuous foils that extended all the way along the port and starboard length of the hull.
The shape of the original 38 hull was so unique, it could not be pulled from a mold, and had to
be constructed from three pieces. This was an expensive process, partially due to the height
limitations at the plant in Michigan, but Fred and Bill exploited this fact with features that
make these 38' Commanders still appreciated and coveted today. Much of the insight into how the
original 38 was designed came directly from my contact with
Fred Hudson, Herb Pocklington, and Chris Smith.
After the initial 38, Dick Avery styled many fabulous Commander models from 19' to 60', many
with options of Express, Sedan, and Command Bridge features. This line of early fiberglass premium
boats from Chris Craft securely established the company as a builder of high quality,
functional, durable, and exquisitly styled boats. There was a model for virtually every boating
need, style, and budget. Due to the high quality fiberglass resins and construction techniques,
these boats still represent very solid investments 40 or more years later, and many are still in
good original condition, many have been upgraded, restored and repowered, but they all represent
"the Golden Era" of Chris Craft fiberglass boat manufacturing.
This Book outlines the Commander line from 19' to 60', giving an overview, impressions, some
specifications, and lots of documentation photos. It is an ideal reference piece for any
classic boating enthusiast, and an indespensible reference for any Chris Craft Commander owner
or fan. The book has "hundreds of photos" and all but a few are printed in 4-color offset printing.