It is often difficult to persuade an individual who has the opportunity to acquire an old boat of the difference between an asset and a liability. In this case Mark has examined the literature, which for Chris-Craft boats is extensive, and is now involved in a painstaking dismantling and recording of the structure. With the chine guard and the chine plank removed it is possible to make a decision about what stays and what goes, and the order in which it must be done.
The resurgence of interest in traditional style launches has been slowed by the very few examples left that are suitable for restoration. This will be a stitch-and-glue fan-tailed launch that we have developed with our CNC cutting system in mind, it will be assembled and internally glassed in two weeks, and will be finished glassed externally to be ready to hand over to the owner very soon for finishing.
Designed around a two-cylinder 15hp Yanmar diesel engine it is specifically intend for inland water cruising. One of the big changes that computers and modern materials has brought to boatbuilding is the sharp reductions in time it takes to complete a project. With the Fantail Launch, it was also a luxury to develop the boat on the computer, manipulating the proportions and size to meet the client's needs.
Then, in usual stitch-and-glue procedure, the panels are loosely held in a cradle while the whole structure is braced and trued. This is where you have the chance to make significant savings in time and to get a first class result at the same time.
Wooden boat building plans for small boat, dory boat,runabout, fishing boat, wooden houseboat, plywood boat, sailboat and more! To engage in the expensive and time consuming process needed to bring a wooden boat back to life takes a lot of faith not to mention courage.


Mark is an experienced restorer and is under no illusions about the task he has set himself.
The engine beds are checked for accuracy and all the bottom frames (whether they will be replaced or not) are leveled. Consequently potential owners are searching out new paths to find a boat they want, but is not available in the show rooms of the boat dealers. Designed to live on trailer, it will be a low-maintenance boat with very small fuel consumption. Cutting the panels on the CNC machine took just a day, gluing the sheets together was also easily accomplished with the finger joint system, and stitching the panels together followed on with ease. Once the filleting starts, work does not stop until all joints are neatly and cleanly filleted with accurately radiuses fillets, two layers of tape of different widths applied to all seams, four on the centre line, (tapes are hand-cut from rolls of bi-axial cloth) and the sheathing cloth (in this case bi-axial) on the bottom and sides is applied with generous overlaps at the seams and centre line. The decisions to be made centre around the intrinsic value of the boat under discussion, its place in history, the contribution it made to the evolution of boats or boating and the actual condition of the example under discussion.
It is easy to waste lots of time and money by taking a piece-meal approach because of the intimidating effect that thinking about the whole job has. Firstly, removing the bottom panels in one piece (each side separately) by the expedient of removing all the screws that held it to the frame. The sheer is braced to the floor to ensure that the shape of the boat is retained while construction is undertaken. These are quite strong enough for the job, and although we try to cut them all out, being plastic it does not matter if a few get glued into the final fillets. The joints are then tacked with well-thickened epoxy and when that is cured the ties are cut and the next stage takes place.


It takes organisation (all tapes cut to length, all panel cloth cut to shape and labeled), commitment from the crew to continue the whole job in a time frame that means that they are always working over wet epoxy.
And a great feeling of satisfaction the next morning when a collection of loose panels resembles a boat.
It's precise history is known, it's place in the continuum of boat evolution is important (look at that superstructure).
Acquisition of an old boat usually means  a commitment of funds and energy which, if applied to a new construction, would demonstrate our adage "you can build a new one in less time for less money". These panels can be used as templates for new material, and give a fascinating insight into how a Chris-Craft was put together. The use of threaded rod with large backing blocks, hot water and a little patience got the required result, however.
Mark sought out a boat in the best possible condition but, most important, one that had all the original equipment and was unmodified. With over 5000 screws used in the original construction this may seem a long way round but the boat has now given up its secrets.



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