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Jay and Cindy Peterson’s beautiful 1941 Chris-Craft 19′ Custom Barrelback “D.D. Gorgeous”

Last weekend a freshly restored 1941 Chris-Craft Barrelback was introduced to her new home on Lake Steilacoom, near Tacoma, Washington – And her name is “D.D. Gorgeous”. And did we mention she is Gorgeous? And we should also mention that Lake Steilacoom is believed to be haunted by the female monster… More on that later.

One thing we can all agree on here at Woody Boater – Any day a classic wooden boat is re-launched after a major restoration, is a day for celebration. This particular pre-war boat was described by her owners as – “Nothing more than an old rotted out flower box at best”… So she must have been rough.

Thanks to new fellow Woody Boater Andy Gustafson we have the story today. – Texx

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Hello Woody Boater!

As most of us have put our classic boats away in preparation for the cold fronts heading our way this winter, Jay and Cindy Peterson just took delivery of their newly restored 1941 Chris-Craft 19′ Custom Barrelback yesterday!

Jay and Cindy have owned “D.D. Gorgeous” for 10 years, but over the last 3 years she has been fully rebuilt by Pacific North-West restorer Bruce Bronson of Bronson Boat Works in Gig Harbor, WA.

The Peterson’s have told me a few times that D.D. was – “Nothing more than an old rotted out flower box at best when they bought her years ago.”

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As you can see, “D.D. Gorgeous” is far from an old rotted out flower box today – and thankfully has been saved to live another day.

My wife and I recently bought a house on Lake Steilacoom, near Tacoma, Washington – and we were lucky enough to have Cindy and Jay as our next door neighbors! They also own a couple of other wooden boats, one being a 1948 17′ Chris-Craft Deluxe Runabout and a 1947 Fairliner (still needing restoration).

I was always admiring their 17′ Deluxe Runabout sitting on the lift, and thought to myself – “I need a old wooden boat!” I found myself searching out Century’s and finally bought one – a 1960 Century Resorter 16 – which I then completed some light restoration to myself over the spring and summer!

I only have a couple pics of my Century “Sadie Gal” before I launched it in our lake and never got around to taking any better ones after she was launched.

Century, Fullerton Clips 076 - Copy

I bought my Century from Don Hardy at McCall Boat Works in Idaho this past spring. She was defiantly a rough boat when I picked her up and sort of had buyers remorse – but after talking to a couple of his guys in his restoration shop, they gave me some inspiration and pointers on how to get started. Once I got her home and started stripping her down, Bruce Bronson was also very accommodating with sharing information for my DIY project.

I have a few winter projects to still work on with my Century, like engine detail and want to polish the windshield and replace a couple things on her. I’ve been trying to track down a correct chrome bow pole as well, if any of your viewers know who I should contact.

Century, Fullerton Clips 087 - Copy

It has been a absolute blast taking family rides on “Sadie Gal” and can’t wait for next summer to put her out again!

Anyhow Jay isn’t the type to show off so I figured I would share a few pictures they allowed me to take of “D.D. Gorgeous” during her first Sea Trial yesterday!

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Hoping you guys might be able to post these photos to show that the Pacific North-West has some fantastic classic boats, as well as Bruce Bronson’s first class craftsmanship!

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We also have a 1957 Chris-Craft 17′ Sportsman here at Lake Steilacoom that is original to the lake, we often see it out for evening cruises around the lake, but I’ve only met that owner once before.

I love the website and photos you guys take making it fun to get involved in Woody Boating!

Kind regards,
Andy Gustafson – Lakewood, WA

About Lake Steilacoom
Courtesy of the Lake Steilacoom Improvement Club

Digital StillCamera

Photo Courtesy Lake Steilacoom Improvement Club

Lake Steilacoom is located just two and a half miles southwest of Tacoma, WA in the city of Lakewood. The lake was originally formed in 1853 when Andrew Byrd built a dam across Chambers Creek (then known as Steilacoom River) to supply his sawmill with water. At the time the lake was a small pond amongst a larger wetland area and was eventually increased in size.


Mt Rainier in the background – Photo Courtesy Lake Steilacoom Improvement Club

Today the lake covers 53 acres and is a shallow lake with the deepest points never reaching more than 25 feet. The lake is freshwater and outflows to Chambers Creek. Both Ponce de Leon Creek and Clover Creek are the inflows to the lake at the southern end.


Ghostly mist surrounds Lake Steilacoom – Photo Courtesy Lake Steilacoom Improvement Club

Lake Steilacoom is believe to be haunted by the female monster known as Whe-atchee and the local Nisqually tribe refuses to bath, swim, or fish in the lake. Legend has it that this female monster rises from the water lifting her little finger and thumb making a pinching motion between the two.


Photo Courtesy Lake Steilacoom Improvement Club

The lakefront homeowners have a non-profit organization, Lake Steilacoom Improvement Club, that is charged with the duty to oversee the lake quality, budget and plan for lake treatment for safe and great quality water for recreational usage.

Special thanks to Andy Gustafson for sharing the story of “D.D. Gorgeous” with us today, and also congratulations on finding and buying your new (old) wooden Century Resorter. It will provide many hours of enjoyable service for you and your family. If you haven’t had a chance to hook up with the great group of classic boating enthusiasts at the Pacific Northwest Chapter ACBS you should. They stay busy year-round hosting monthly meetings and workshops in the Seattle area.

Congratulations also go out to owners Jay and Cindy Peterson for saving this rare Barrelback and to Bronson Boat Works in Gig Harbor, WA for bringing the “old rotted out flower box” back to life.

Finally – If anyone here can help Andy locate a chrome bow pole a 1960 Century 16′ Resorter that would be great. (Frank Miklos – are reading this today?)


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24 Responses to “Nothing More Than An Old Rotted Out Flower Box When We Bought Her – Until Now”
  1. Troy in ANE

    What a GREAT looking boat!

    Love the stern art!

    I always start any parts search with Jim Staib @ finewoodboats . com. If he does not have it he has good suggestions on where one might be.

  2. Don Ayers

    Bruce Bronson is a First Class, stand up guy. He helped me more than a decade ago when doing Barrelback research.

  3. Alex

    Very nice success story. Congratulations! And thank you for sharing such beautiful photos.

  4. floyd r turbo

    A lot of chrome on that Century bow piece as Andy probably already knows if he had to rechrome it. Nice transom art on the barrelback. Any pictures of who posed for that? lol

    • trudy bronson

      Are you the John Gambill who had Mr. Martin in 6th grade at Harbor Hights and sold bags of hazel nuts or was it filberts from your trees? If so, I am Bruce Bronson’s older sister and we were in Junior High School together. Any opportunity I have to brag about his incredible gift, integrity, and an appreciation for exceptional craftsmanship, not to mention that he is a great dancer and a really fun guy, I can’t resist bragging rights.
      Trudy Bronson, a true Gig Harbor native

  5. Elizabeth Peterson

    I know my dad took pictures throughout the entire restoration process. We’re all so excited to finally welcome DD Gorgeous to the family. Hopefully the next restoration will be coming soon. I know the Fairliner is the one I’m excited about!

  6. TommyHolm

    Nice thoroughbred Resorter.
    Those chrome plated brass bow poles are very rare. Check the bottom of the lake:)
    Consider having one fabricated out of stainless steel and then tie a safety line to it.

  7. AndyG

    Thank you to those that have given me info on the bow pole! Don Hardy suggested it probably was on the bottom of McCall lake as well as they vibrate loose. I do believe skipperrudy.com is working on producing some. If anyone is interested I have a 1957 Lincoln Capri wheel I’m working on restoring that was for another Century I owned before Sadie Gal. I too can’t wait to see the Fairliner completed and D.D. out cruising the lake! Congrats again Peterson family!

  8. Tracey Barrymore

    Just got off the phone with Bruce Bronson…..His contact # 253.851.5763 Bronson Boat Works…..He says, Tracey, Go on Woody boater…am I really on there!!!!..I laughed and said Yep..yur there…He says, Just another unit out the door!!!!! Gotta love him..Ive known Bruce for years. I drove my boat up from Arizona It was Jimmy Jones’s/cowboys old boat a 20 ft. Holliday….It had white shag carpet….Marmolium took care of that….Bruce dropped everything to work on my boat…I named her “morning Wood”..im a chick…go figure…anywho …hes a great friend….Tell ya what if you got a great Jeweler,Hairdresser, and boat guy….a gals got it all!!!

    • Texx

      Hi Tracey – Thanks for chiming in. Due to popular demand, ware currently preparing a follow up story on D.D. Gorgeous & Bruce which will be published on Woody Boater in the morning. Check it out then… – Texx

    • Cindy Peterson

      Yes Tracey you are right….
      I’ve got a good hairdresser and Jewler
      And Jay has a great Boat Restorer in Bruce!!
      We are in wedded bliss!!!