Recently Woody Boater published a series of stories about the unique and rare 1930/31 17′ Chris-Crafts known as the Model 99/199. The Model 99/199 stories ran for an entire week, and were popular with our viewers, with many sharing information and history they had throughout the week… Although not planned, it became “viewer participation week”, and it was fun to see the stories develop as the information came in from around the country and beyond. We did our best to keep up, and even developed one story to document the surviving Model 99/199’s do date. For those of you who missed it, you can see that story by clicking here.
Since then, some additional information has been trickling in on the featured boats, so we decided to bundle it up into one last story on the Model 99/199’s.
“Miss MJ” (shown above) is a 1930 17′ Chris-Craft Model 99 (Hull # 14032) which was restored by Macatawa Bay Boat Works (MBBW) in Saugatuck, Michigan around 1993. Macatawa Bay Boat Works is one of the top antique & classic boat restoration shops in the country, celebrating over 40 years in the business. You can check out their great website by clicking here.
Fellow Woody Boater and noted restorer/author Don Danenberg worked on “Miss MJ” during the restoration. After seeing the Model 99/199 stories on Woody Boater, Don shared the following photos with us of the restoration. Don commented…
Hey Texx – Miss MJ is the boat I framed and planked for MBBW, I believe in 1993.
When I worked for MBBW (92-96) I did the framing and planking, Kirk Wingard (woodenrunabout.com) did the interiors and finishwork and engine installations. The bottoms were done by Bob Vanderwegge in the “MBBW Bottom” style of 5200 for the inner plywood, but bedding compound and canvass for the planks. Here are a few photos I have from when we restored of “Miss MJ” – I thought your viewers would enjoy seeing them.
When the boat came in, she was one sad, tired, oil-soaked little gray boat.
At the same time we received the restoration photos from Don Danenberg, we also received an e-mail from “Miss MJ’s” current owner, Todd Cook. Todd lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and has owned “Miss MJ” for almost four years now. He purchased her from the boat’s namesake (Meryl Jane Tailor) a widow now and he has no plans to change the name. Todd had a few old photos of “Miss MJ” which he kindly sent to us. The photo at the beginning of the story today is (according to our sources) from the mid 1990’s. The boat in the background was named “Stacey Ann” a 1929 26’ Chris-Craft triple with the original A-120. That photo and the two below were shot on Lake Macatawa with the Heinz pickle plant visible in the background. This boat (the 26′ Triple) is believed to be currently for sale with the Antique Boat Center in Ohio.
“Chrissie” which we are told is an original, unrestored Model 99 – was purchased/delivered from the USA in 1988, and now lives in Norway. Hull number unknown. Since our last report, fellow Woody Boater Bob Kays from the Lake Hopatcong, NJ area did some further research on “Chrissie” – It was owned in the 1980’s by Bill Donegan from Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey. When he was ready to sell in 1988, Wayne Mocksfield of Wayne’s Marine sold the boat for him to Hans Emron in Norway.
Bob managed to find the following three photos (from the 1980’s) of “Chrissie” when she was still on Lake Hopatcong.
“Kings Transom” – (# 14191) Is currently owned by Don Gulliksen. Bob Kays was also able to find a few new photos of the boat and a rare original Hull Card for the boat from 1931. It’s difficult to read but here it is, very cool stuff. As noted on the hull card, it is a 1931 Model 199 with an inspection date of April 1931. (You can click on the hull card image to slightly enlarge it)
“Pal-O-Mine” – (# 14197) And last but certainly not least, we received an e-mail recently from Russ Murray in Greenwood Village, Colorado the owner of “Pal-O-Mine”. Russ has also done a great deal of research on the Model 99/199 and here’s what he had to say…
I purchased your “6th Model 99” (Pal-o-Mine), Hull # 14197 three years ago and am working to get it water ready. Name to be changed. The wood did not take well to the hot and dry Colorado summer so there is a fair bit of topside and deck work to do. I have attached a copy of the hull card indicating that the boat was initially shipped to the New York Boat Show in 1931.
It has been a bit of mystery to me that the hull card designates it a Model 199 rather than 99. I have seen both designations used. The “Chris Craft Essential Guide” only calls it a “17” Runabout: 1930-1931”. The engine has been swapped out to a Kermath equivilant of a Chris-Craft Model H. Same Hercules block, etc. All parts are present and original except I am missing the very rare and unusual “horizontal” disk AC tachometer. I have been looking and asking and cannot find one. I’d be happy to communicate with other Model 99/199 owners.
In 2008 when I was beginning the process I found five other Model 99/199 owners in the ACBS roster. Talked to Stephen Ladue on Lake Champlain near Plattsburgh, NY was also working on a ’31 Split-Cockpit. His current ACBS listing shows 15 others, but not the 99/199 Peter Patch, owner of Betty Ann #14327 (already on your list) was REALLY helpful and sent me some great pix that helped with the instrument question. Don and Marie Challoner of MD are currently listed as owners of #14062.
Judson and Marie McKinley of MI are listed as owners of #14053, Little Leenie Nicola Da Bica of CT are listed as owners of Little Zip. No Hull # It is more difficult to track through the ACBS listings now. They formerly were by year then length. Now by year then by whatever the owner calls theirs. So the boats may be found under 17’, runabout, split cockpit, 99 and 199.
I enjoyed your article on Woody Boater – Russ Murray
Thanks for chiming in Russ, great information.
Story Update Nov. 27, 2011 – Fellow Woody Boater “WoodyGal” commented that on both the vintage Chris-Craft Hull Cards (shown above) there was a line item for “Anti-Rattlers” and she was interested to learn what this referred to. Brian Robinson from Robinson Restoration sent us this photo which shows the Anti-Rattlers installed on the windshield frame, below the windshield, to prevent it from rattling when fully closed. Thanks Brian.
So there you have it, the information that we have to date on the Chris-Craft 17′ Model 99/199 Runabout. We have received a great deal of positive feedback from the Woody Boater Community about the series of stories on the Model 99/199 and we appreciate everyones input and cooperation.
Stay tuned, and if / when we get more information we will update the stories.
Update – Tuesday, December 20th. Hull # 14013
Texx: I found this classic boat site (Woody Boater) a few days ago, GREAT SITE. I’m intrigued by your articles on the cc model 99/199.
I acquired a Model 99 about 20 years ago, a barn find, a hole in a plank on the side lots of bird droppings and dust. The previous owner said it was put in the barn in the early 50′s, he remembered water skiing behind it in the 30′s and 40′s. The boat is completely original except for 1 plank and a piece of combing. I started to restore it in the early 90′s I got discussed with it when the plank I replaced split as I was screwing it in place,I replaced a small portion and when I stained the boat it stood out like a sore thumb. I put the boat aside as I had 2 other classics to use.
After reading the articles I have renewed interest in the project. It’s No.1 on my bucket list when I return from Florida in April. Its a cute little boat not very well constructed, thin bottom and side planking, puttied screw holes in the side planks (to save expenses during the depression). I have a rebuilt Model B 60 hp, just right for 2 people more than that take it easy. Hull # 14013 (an early 1930 Model 99 shipped from Chris-Craft to a dealer in New York City on April 12/1930. I’ll keep in touch as I progress’
Thanks Tom for the update on yet another original 1930 Model 99 Chris-Craft Runabout.