We got this fun story in from Dave Bortner at Freedom Boat Service yesterday regarding a little suspicious confusion on another site. Wait, I will let Dave tell the story.. Take it away Dave.
I swear Dane Anderson runs some sort of home desktop version of the NSA ECHELON program pointed at all things vintage boat. He comes up with all kinds of arcane data points that I’d never find. And fast, too!
Last night, he forwarded a couple Website posts about a boat we posted for sale a couple days ago. On one of the discussion threads another vintage boat site felt a document I posted was “highly suspect,” and went on to question the originality of some of the features of the boat in question.
After I got over my initial mild annoyance, it occurred to me that perhaps there’s a generation of Woody Boaters out there who didn’t realize the Chris-Craft archives, at one time, belonged to, um, Chris-Craft.
The document in question above was the original data sheet requested from Chris-Craft. When my dad and I began restoring boats in the mid 1970’s, we’d call over to Algonac, and ask Joe Morrison a bunch of stupid questions, and he would (very patiently) answer them, generate a data sheet, and send it off in the mail. I believe Joe follows WoodyBoater, and could probably flesh out how that worked on the Algonac end.
When I saw this one in the file with the boat, I thought, “huh, haven’t seen one of those in awhile, I’ll post that with the listing.” Apparently, our intrepid comment guy wasn’t aware of that history, and thought it was made up. Nope, that’s just how it was done back in the day! Of course, later on, Chris-Craft donated the archive to the Mariners’ Museum, and that’s where we’ve gone for Chris-Craft research since, like original hull card copies The commenter on the forum went on to question certain features of the boat, and since I was in the file, I got curious about the differences between a “Deluxe” Utility, and a “Standard”. Page 4 of the 1939 Chris-Craft Catalog shows the two boats right next to each other, so some of the differences can be seen.
A deeper dive into the spec page below, tells the more complete story.
If you ordered the “Deluxe” version, you received the following upgrades over “Standard”: boot top (waterline) painted, cutwater, five seat cushions versus two, chocks, fire extinguisher, Linoleum floor covering, three-unit instrument panel, upholstered seatbacks, paneled cockpit (ceiling boards), box spring seat bottoms, step pads, ventilators, and folding windshield. It appears the price differential for all that equipment was approximately $200. Standard engine was the 60 hp Model B four-cylinder, optional in the Deluxe was 95 hp Model K.
I’ve also included some original photos, wherein many of these details are confirmed. Oh, yeah, and here’s the listing on our web site: RIGHT HERE
You just never know how you’ll end up spending a January Saturday in Minnesota, but it confirms the best part of my job: I get to learn something new every day!
A huge thanks to Dave Bortner from Freedom Boat Service and Dane Anderson from the WB-NSA for finding the fun in this over a winter day.