Thanks to long time fellow West coast Woody Boater Richard Dow for sharing this extremely rare chance to save an amazing boat! If you are interested in saving the boat please email Richard at the email at the bottom of the story! This boat NEEDS to be saved ASAP!
Another Dusty 25’ Chris Craft…
As long as we are on the subject of saving the wonderful boats Chris Craft built based on their proven 25’ hull, I’ll add another to the mix, my favorite model, the 25’ “Red & White” Express Cruiser. In this case, one that I’ve known about for 28 years but thought was gone. And better yet, – it’s one of the rare twin-engine models!
In 1939, Chris Craft introduced their newest, most advanced concept at the Chicago World’s Fair. The “Boat of the Future” was stunning: An exercise in Art Deco with a large swooping windshield, streamlined hardware, wing-shape influences in the bow light and stern pole, a tapered, painted horn cover with stainless steel accents and the largest cutwater they had ever installed, one that split at the top to show off and accent the new, rounded bow design, the first use of what would become known later as the bullnose, a defining Chris Craft feature for years. Topping it off was a radical finish scheme – there was no varnish anywhere on the boat! Everything forward of the windshield and below the gunwales was white, (with a few red accents) everything aft of the windshield? Red. Chris Craft built 370 of these boats, 68 prior to WWII. The consensus is that a total of 70 were twin engine.
Late last week the folks at the Foss Waterway Museum in Tacoma contacted Rob DaPron with the information that one of their neighbors had asked if they knew anyone who would be interested in a boat that had been in their possession for over 30 years – A 1947 Chris Craft Red & White. Rob contacted me, as he was out of town and knows I have a passion for this model. I arranged to go look at the boat a couple days ago.
I had been told about this boat when I was beginning the restoration of “Tango” in 1986 and saw it from a distance in their main building when I cruised by the boatyard. It was gone the next time I went by and I assumed the worst. It turns out the boat, owned by the son of the family operation (3rd decided to put it away for a while, intending to restore it at a later time. We know how that often turns out and now, 30 years later, the passion for the boat remains, but the project is no longer a priority and the goal is to find it a new home. The shipyard has a new owner.
You can see by the photos that the boat has been sitting for a long while. It is correctly blocked, dry and straight, just as you would expect to see in a shipyard. The cutwater, windshield and most of the stainless hardware is there. The manual shift levers and steering gear are in place. Missing, but presumably in a box on the premises are the lifting rings and other miscellaneous bits and pieces. The horn cover is not there but the bow light in the picture is likely original. This is a late 40’s hull and many were not shipped with the unique “witches cap” casting after the war.
The boat is available and a worthy project for someone with the energy, vision and passion. I’m tempted, but it makes no sense for me as I still have my 1936 20’ GarWood Sedan as well as a Morgan +4 to do, not to mention the boats that are already done and need maintenance. Besides, I’ve already restored one of these – but it wasn’t a twin – Darn!
Oh, one last thing about this particular boat – see the oddball engine boxes? It was repowered with Chris Craft 283’s! The motors are early conversions with all-aluminum housings, including the exhaust manifolds…
Let’s save this one! Once again, if you are interested in Saving this rare Red And White, email Richard here. [email protected]