I have loved this U22 from the distance of my key board and wanted to know more.What a cool way to add a custom features on a standard boat. Mike Teusink from the Wooden Runabout Company was kind enough to share some info on Ronda Beth.
For most Chris-Craft restorations, originality and authenticity are major goals. Because of their high production numbers, however, U22’s can occasionally provide a platform for extensive customization that can serve to enhance the utility and aesthetics. Ronda Beth is a pre-war U22 that was restored from gray condition. The owners wanted a 3/4 seat added and grated mahogany floors. These requests led to the boat that you see pictured. Kirk Wingard did this restoration approximately 12 years ago. The main features are the built-in seats with the mid-seat deck serving to cover some of the mass of the engine and the front seat backs housing storage cubbies. The styling was meant to have an art-deco flair with cloud-lift themes used several times, most notably in the front seat backs and the panel holding the Iva-Lite controls. The bird’s eye maple dash is a custom feature, although done in the correct style as a traditional mahogany dashboard. I don’t know of any U22s that came from the factory with bird’s eye dashboards, but if someone was willing to pay for one, they probably got it. The windshield is another interesting feature of this boat. It is one of the most striking windshields that Chris-Craft ever used, yet it was only used on U-22s that went into military service during the war.