Saturday, December 22, 2007
I saw this boat advertised on http://www.tradingdock.org/ with no photos attached but at a price that got my attention. I contacted the seller and soon received photos of her. For some reason my wife couldn't get too excited about it. But I saw an opportunity to undertake a worthy project of restoring this bit of boating history to her original beauty. After the deal was final, I drove 24 of 36 straight hours to drag her home. My wife's first comment when I arrived was "What were you thinking?"
For most folks, this boat is beyond hope of ever looking new again. It's no more than an organized pile of kindling wood on a trailer or needs a ceremonial burial at the nearest land-fill. Even for some folks in the restoration business, she's probably beyond hope as the cost could easily overcome her restored value.
The truth is, they would have a pretty good argument. However, to me it represents a part of the history that needs to be saved. It's one more of these classics that can be saved, that may otherwise have been lost. She represents a romantic past, a gloomy present state, but an exciting , fun and adventuresome future. It represents one more of these old boats that may survive another 60 years, preserving the history of that era for another generation to enjoy.
So, Burn Pile or Restore? Definitely, RESTORE! Will her restoration cost more than her restored value? Probably. Will it be worth the effort? Absolutely! Here's a photo from a 1948 Sales brochure found in the Chris Craft Antique Boat Club Archive. It's quite an incentive.