I love a lazy Sunday morning with a cup of coffee and the latest TotalBoatShow.com post… don’t you? Well, after reading up on the day’s latest blog post I try to tune into the serene news program I have come to love: CBS Sunday Morning. There is rarely a stressful, controversial news story offered by the veteran news team led by Charles Osgood. Instead, they focus on the pleasures of American life. And a few weeks ago they hit the nail on the head: Conor Knighton dug into the passion we have for beautiful wooden boats. Powerboats, to be exact. He credits On Golden Pond and Chris Craft for keeping us enamored with these fine vessels and all the work, varnish and love that goes into owning one.
So, even though it’s only Wednesday – grab your cuppa joe and enlighten yourself in 4 minutes of sublime Americana. The wooden kind. It’s a rare treat to have a major news program focus on our watery world that we already appreciate. But to share in the enthusiasm from the popular media somehow gives merit to our brush strokes and planking tribulations. And we get to delight in knowing we can enjoy the real thing for more than just 4 minutes.
I was raised on a Chris Craft, so I, like many of you who loved wooden boats in your youth before you knew what it meant, have a sweet spot in my heart and memory bank for the wooden lines and lapstrake planks of my dad’s old Sea Skiff. Growing up on a wooden power boat (summers of my youth – winters spent ashore in Connecticut) forged long memories of LOTS Of paint jobs, seepage seeking, ding and dent repair and the other joys of wooden boat ownership. In the 70s when we cruised our SeaSkiff up and down the New England coastline, boats like ours were a dime a dozen.
Just like the super stylie Chris Crafts that can be seen on lakes and even ponds around the US, the boats are head turners and they define an entire historical segment of the wooden powerboat coming into its own in America. So take a trip into the history of these iconic American boats and understand that as Riva is to the Italians, Chris Craft has succeeded in becoming a cult classic amongst a market full of beautiful wooden boats.
Chris-Craft’s first “commuter cruiser,” launched in 1929, is a rare masterpiece, fully restored to original grandeur.
This is how to pinstripe on the deck of a 1955 Chris Craft Continental.