On Monday this week we ran a great story about the successful re-launch of “D.D. Gorgeous” a (now) outstanding 1941 Chris-Craft 19′ Custom Barrelback owned by Jay & Cindy Peterson from Lake Steilacoom, Washington. Fellow Woody Boater (and neighbour of the Peterson’s) Andy Gustafson was on hand with his camera last weekend to celebrate the re-launch, and he sent us the original story.
In the original story, Andy noted that the owners Jay & Cindy referred to the old 19′ Barrelback as “Nothing More Than An Old Rotted Out Flower Box When We Bought Her” – which of course we had to use for the title of the story – in case you missed it, you can click on the title (above) to see the original story from Monday. (Also for the newcomers to the Woody Boater website, you can always click on the photos to enlarge them.)
Since the story was published (with a title like that), we have received a number of inquiries from our viewers asking to see what “D.D. Gorgeous” looked like before the three-year restoration began at Bronson Boat Works in Gig Harbor, Washington.
Well, fortunately for us, Jay Peterson made his weekly Saturday visits to Bruce Bronson’s workshop throughout the restoration process, with his camera. Thanks to his wife Cindy and daughter Elizabeth, yesterday we were able to get some of Jay’s photos to share with our viewers today, and some more information on the ’41 Barrelback. Jay & Cindy Peterson are seasoned classic boaters, and currently own a few unique wooden boats. – Texx
Hi Texx – We bought the 1941 19′ Barrelback (Hull# 48805) in May of 2007. We had a 1929 Chris-Craft we were going to restore and then “D.D.” came along. We bought her from Mitch LaPointe at Mitch LaPointe’s Classic Boat & Motor in Minnesota. It came from Wisconsin and was originally delivered to someone in New Haven, Connecticut in 1941.
Bruce Bronson told us about her and that she was a much rarer boat than the 1929 Chris-Craft, so we made the deal with Mitch. We stored her for 3 years in a space near Bruce’s shop in Gig Harbor along with our 1948 Fairliner Torpedo (the next boat to be restored…”Tacoma Boy”).
D.D.’s restoration started on August 15, 2011 which lasted just over 3 years. We decided to put modern power in her – Our 1948 Chris-Craft Deluxe is always breaking down and we wanted a more dependable engine for this one. “D.D. Gorgeous” now has a “closed system” Crusader Marine 5.7L. 300 HP V-8 engine. With the closed system Crusader we will not only be able to take her on fresh water, but salt water too – The Puget Sound area here is absolutely beautiful.
She ran beautiful on her test run last Saturday. Such a smooth ride. We can’t wait for May to come. – Cindy Peterson
Thanks Cindy, you and Jay certainly have a beautifully restored and rare wooden boat. A total of 393 – 19′ Custom Barrelbacks were built by Chris-Craft from 1939 to 1942 (Hull #48500 to #48932 – with a gap in the numbers between the 1940 & 1941 models). Of those, only 93 19-footers were 1941 models (Hull #48800 to #48891 plus #48894). Only 48 – 1941 19′ Custom Barrelback models are known to exist today. So “D.D. Gorgeous” (Hull #48805) is a very early 1941 model.
As you can see by Jay’s photos, they were not exaggerating when they said is was “Nothing more than an old rotted out flower box” – but thankfully, with Bruce Bronson’s help, they forged on to eventually save with rare boat.
The point of no return is when you first remove those old original 70 year-old bottom planks, discover what you have lurking inside, and give the restorer the nod to move forward – as restorer Bruce Bronson takes a deep breath…
“Her transom art was painted by noted artist William Dalton from Dalton Art Studios in Bremerton, WA. We originally wanted a blond bombshell, but once he drew her and gave her the ginger hair – it was perfection. Her bikini also matches the color of the bottom of the boat. We had the image of her in our mind for several years.” – Cindy Peterson
Over three years of restoration work condensed into 24 photos hardly begins to describe the amount of hard work, time and dedication Bruce Bronson from Bronson Boat Works put into this project. His talent certainly shines in the finished product, and best of all, Bruce has a happy customer in Jay & Cindy Peterson.
Hat’s off to Jay & Cindy for their part in saving this antique boat, and congratulations on a successful conclusion and re-launch last weekend!
Also thanks to fellow Woody Boater Brian Robinson in California for providing us with the Chris-Craft production numbers and related information for this story today. And to Andy Gustafson for the lake shots from the re-launch on Saturday.