Last evening, we went for a ride in our 19′ Chris-Craft Commander Super Sport.
As you can see from these images, we had an incident. It started with me surrendering the wheel to my wife, something I struggle with doing, to anyone. Then our 3 year old son Salter (nicknamed Salty) sat in her lap to drive. Then Salty stuck his fingers in the holes on the steering wheel. You guessed it. One came out, the other did not.
I had to retake the controls and dock the boat very carefully, because I could not really steer it for fear of breaking his finger or swelling it up worse.
I probably already need a new steering wheel for “Lush Life” (our U-22 Chris-Craft) as the bearings are shot behind the original one and taking it off to repair those very well could break the wheel as it has been on since 1946. So I was damned if I would have to break the wheel on the Commander too! I could just picture the fire department there, sawing into it (the wheel, not the finger).
In the end, we used an ice pack and some cooking spray to work it free. This series of images shows what happened.
1. Salty takes wheel.
4. Wife still oblivious, keeps turning the wheel. Salty apparently enjoying the novelty of it all. (Docking pic not provided as Daddy could not do so and dock at the same time. Thank God is wasn’t windy!)
Thanks Alex – Great story and were glad to see that Salty came out unscathed, with all 10 fingers…
Alex suggested (and we agree) that if any of our regular viewers have a story about the next generation of classic boaters, and their experience in the boat, send them in… We would love to see them!
Along with his impressive collection of classic wooden boats, Alex has a pair of very cool non-wooden Chris-Crafts. We are hoping to get up to visit Alex and Salty in Hessel some time this summer to do a “Full Throttle” story on these two classic speedboats.