Chris-Craft boat returned to former glory; Wooden Boat Restoration, Chesterville, Kent County, Maryland, USA. Sign of the times for Chris-Craft runabouts; Wooden Boat Restoration, Chesterville, Kent County, Maryland, USA. This entry was posted in Art, Craftsmanship, Galleries, Sailing and tagged Chesterville, Kent County, Maryland, USA, Wooden Boat Restoration. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
The Okauchee Lake resident has turned a passion into a profession, making his living restoring the timeless mahogany boats at Bottoms Up, the business he runs from his home. Chris-Craft was established by Chris Smith, one of a long line of boat builders, and was originally called Chris Smith & Sons Boat Co. The wooden boats were produced until 1942, when the Navy’s needs during World War II turned the company’s efforts to making suitable landing for the Armed Forces. The last wooden Chris-Crafts came off the assembly line in 1963, a fact that contributes to the mystique of the boats today.
The planks must be planed to fit flush against each other, relying on a thin layer of bedding compound to retain the fit. Only after each hole is bunged by hand can Bunda begin the equally demanding tasks of sanding, paint colors and a special spar varnish that is resistant to ultraviolet sunrays. Each coat must be fully dry before Bunda begins the refitting process, putting back the trim, seats, wheel, gearshifts, etc.
The labor intensive process is why Bunda takes on no more than three boats at any given time.
The long lives enjoyed by so many Chris-Crafts are actually testimony to mahogany, not man. Boat lovers, especially of these increasingly rare examples, treat each boat as a treasured individual. It will come as no surprise that these old and lovingly restored and maintained Chris-Crafts have appreciated markedly in value. Internal plank walls, called seating planks, give a smooth finished look to each cockpit’s sides.

From paint to varnish to carpentry, we can restore your classic or other vessel to like-new condition.
The iconic Chris-Craft wooden boats were born in 1874 when a 13 year old Chris Smith decided to build his first boat. Chris-Craft soon became synonymous with prestige as they sold high-end boats to famous customers such as Dean Martin, Katharine Hepburn, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley. Unfortunately, the last wooden Chris-Craft was built in 1963, but because of there solid construction and meticulous upkeep many are still plowing the waters today.
Yes, you can still buy a new Chris-Craft today, but the prestige of owning one of the original wooden ones makes them all the more valuable.
By 1924 the company was making a 26-foot –long double cockpit runabout, the original Chris-Craft, bearing the distinctive dashed name in script typeface, which would become the company’s standard. Wide bodied, shallow hulled, true pleasure boats, designed much less for speed than for comfortable cruising and conversation.
Sleek, shiny rich wood grain glows through layers of carefully applied varnish: they are truly crafts, vessels made with great care and workmanship. They run off Chris-Craft’s own 6-cylinder flathead engines – often originals – so the engine may be as old as the boat. The dashboard has a few basic easy-to-read gauges and the steering wheels look like they come from vintage cars.
The boat’s body is screwed together, hundreds of screws connecting the sleek exterior to the internal frame.
As well as repair and maintenance, I also assist with locating available Chris-Crafts,” he said. While it’s common to put an entirely new bottom on an old Chris Craft, the sides and deck may be in good enough condition to require only stripping, sanding, staining, and new paint and varnish. His 22-footer, named Laurie Beth for his wife, won first place in the antique and Classic Boat Society event held In Lake Geneva.
Using serial numbers, you can find out when the boat was made, how it was originally equipped, who signed off on it and what its original destination was. The seats are leather benches snugged into cockpits, which are rimmed with matching leather padding.

His friends liked it so much they wanted their own and asked young Chris to built them one. The boats were made from the finest mahogany and were considered to be among the best available.
And whether you own a Pre-World War II antique, a post-war classic or a reproduction model, Custom Marine Paint & Varnish can restore it and keep the brightwork looking like new. The boats are made of imported mahogany planks, which must be kept at the proper degree of humidity so they are neither too loose nor too tight. The boat, which listed for less than $2,000 in a contemporary Chris-Craft catalog, is now worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $50,000.
Also, runabouts tend to be worth more than utilities, because there’s more deck surface and more fittings,” said Bunda. The conscientious turn that goes behind restoring angstrom wooden vessel at Commodore’s Crafted Boats Restore angstrom unit fantailed steam launch built around 1900. It’s a simple, beautiful boat, whose only purpose is to take you out to enjoying the water. Record more nigh Traditional Antique forest boat renovation and repair Bottom’s Up award fetching restoration and repair matching custom wooden boat restoration wooden boat restoration. Smith soon began to build more boats and joined his brother Hank in 1881 to begin producing boats full time and that was the start of a legend. Traditional sauceboat LLC specializes in the construction restoration and repair of plank on frame built wooden yachts. And, especially it’s about the sound,” said Bunda, firing up one of the Chris-Crafts he’s been working on.

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