Saved And Secure For The Next Generation.

Candlelight just out of storage. Still dirty and ready to be secured.

Candlelight just out of storage. Still dirty and ready to be secured.

Thanks to fellow next generation Woody Boater Joey Sauers from Katz’s Marina for sending in some fun shots of the Marinas latest find. Tucked away in a storage facility in upper New York, after a 4 year effort. Candlelight is saved for the future and will be preserved for the Woody Boater world to enjoy again.

Meet Joey. The future is here.

Meet Joey.  AKA Waldo by the way. It’s a Jersey thing.

She is a one owner boat. Hull # D-17-091 there were 136 rockets manufactured out of the 243, 17′ Chris Craft runabouts manufactured in 1953-54


Still dirty from above

Still dirty from above

The very very rare yellow paint is correct and original, the Chris Craft logo on the sides was hand painted when they had the reg #s painted on, so that is not factory. It has it’s original Chris craft KBL engine still in its original finish… Well what’s left of the finish. The original white bilge paint is still visible is many spots but someone had painted red over most of it.

Engine area, note the white bilge area

Engine area, note the white bilge area

More dirtyness.

More dirtyness.

Then the fun part, all cleaned up ready to go.

Now all cleaned up

Now all cleaned up






Just hop in and..well. you get the idea

Just hop in and..well. you get the idea

Candlelight is now tucked away safe for the winter

Candlelight is now tucked away safe for the winter



thanks Joey for sending in the find.

31 replies
  1. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Very rare and nice boat, A little surprised that their rack support seems to be at the chines rather than the stringers. Any story on that?

  2. Rick
    Rick says:

    I may be wrong but it seems that not too many years ago (maybe 10?) there was a discussion on the CCABC site about whether yellow was factory delivered or not. They were trying to decide from looking at b&w photos and here is a picture today with 2 of them. We’ve come a long way baby.

  3. donald hardy
    donald hardy says:

    East Coast / West Coast, all in between. These boats are still coming out of the hidden spots. Wonder what is still out there? Keeps the hunt exciting. Thanks for sharing

    • donald hardy
      donald hardy says:

      I found the same model in a wrecking yard many years ago, went up for auction, bought it for $2200. Now it is in our storage facility for the next generation. I have over 44 boats waiting for who? One thing for sure, new owners still keep coming, wanting that special wood boat. We keep delivering.

  4. matt
    matt says:

    It’s funny, while some folks love the fresh barn finds, the best part for me is the original lettering. The hand of an artist. Or old drunk sign painter. Either way, its great to see.

  5. WoodenRokie
    WoodenRokie says:

    ok we pool our money and buy some satellite time. Somebody call NSA or DOD and buy us some barn penetrating radar images. If they can read a newspaper from outer space surely they can use one of these thermal imaging dohickeys and find us some treasures. Does anyone know the correct thermal imaging signature of aged mahogany plus variables like, herc, scripps, hemi, etc. We get the reports and he who is closest wins!!!!

  6. brian t
    brian t says:

    There is a great classic song by Queen about this….

    Joey Waldo walks down the street
    red and white hat down a bit low
    ain’t no sound but the sound of his feet
    cell phone camera ready to go

    Are you ready, are you ready for this
    are you hanging on the edge of your seat
    out of the doorway the camera clips
    ah to the sound of the beat

    Another one don’t bite the dust
    Another one don’t bite the dust
    and another one saved, and another one saved
    another one safely saved

    Hey, I’m gonna find yours too
    Another one don’t bite the dust….

  7. Tom
    Tom says:

    So to continue the discussions form the last few days does Joey decide to invest ??? thousands of dollars to restore this boat or does he offer 1/2 the amount he will spend restoring this boat and buy the boat below?

    • Alex
      Alex says:

      Depends who Joey is. If by Joey, you mean the likes of Matt Byrne, then yes, he buys it. Because he can do much of the work himself, enjoy doing it, not go “underwater” mid-way, have an award winning boat in the end, and profit if he ever decides to sell it. If by Joey you mean the likes of someone who is not a woodworker, then it comes down to this… Does that Joey care if he loses money on the boat? If not, he buys and restores. But if he does care, he waits and watches patiently for his “deal.”

    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      Matt, can we have a “pictures of Seth working day” featuring hundreds of photos of Seth at work in order to blow Jim’s mind?

      I am sure with your photoshop skills you could make it happen! 🙂

      • Jim Staib
        Jim Staib says:

        Seth always seems to be “At work” just never seems to be doing any work, unless you count “Jersey pocket pool”

        Actually here is Seth working! It’s a collectors item. He’s so confused he has his name tag on backwards.

  8. Grant Stanfield
    Grant Stanfield says:

    That’s a really wonderful little Rocket! I don’t know much about these models…but the unusual paint schemes and Hi-Po engines are way cool! How about a little more background info on these Rockets from the WoodyBoater panel of experts? Was the Rocket sort of an entry-level speedster? The hull shape looks very simple- were these factory hot rods? (reminds me of the Tempest/GTO or Satellite/RoadRunner relationship in the muscle car vein…)

    I’m with you, Matt…hand-lettered registration numbers and boat names RULE; It’s becoming a lost art in a way. I enjoy seeing the fonts and lettering sizes that the sign painters used back in the day on preserved or barn-fresh boats. They’re only original once, folks!

    • Dennis Mykols
      Dennis Mykols says:

      I agree, the art of hand painting is a dying art. I had the Lyman hand gold leafed and painted, by a lady who only charged a little more than 20% if I used fake vinyl gold leaf.

    • Paul H.
      Paul H. says:

      I have the names hand-painted in real gold leaf on all my wood boats, though I did use silver leaf on my Skiff for something different. It turned out very nicely and I agree, it is hard to find these skills. Justin Riede in Portland has done several of my boats and they look great.

      I like this little boat, and no doubt that Katz’s will have it looking better than new. Great to see another old boat brought to the light of day.

  9. Mark
    Mark says:

    Sorry to see this so late. Great to see another Rocket saved ! I am restoring D17-098 as we speak.

    Yes, the yellow is factory original as well as the lack of a bootstripe. Also looks like someone painted the interior red as they did with mine but it came white from the factory.

    Won’t be difficult to figure things out with Reneeshins sitting right there nearby.

    Here is mine on coming hotme day four years ago. Ignore the crazy teenager.

  10. Jason
    Jason says:

    I love these boats. I have D17-005. Great little boat, use it every summer. To bad we have winter or I would use it all year.

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