20 Foot Chris Craft Custom, The Next Hot Classic Boat.

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There are timeless classics out there, Barrel Backs, Triples, Cobras, Racers, and now emerging from the pack, the Chris Craft 20 foot Custom. Built between 1946-49 these were the next generation boat from the pre war 19 foot custom, also known as the Barrel Back. This is a stunning boat and one of the most attractive of the post war series, other wise known by the ACBS as a Classic. The lines are flatter, and were easier to build, clearly learning from the mass production of the war. There is a ton of chatter out there for these boats, forums are a Buzz, the Chris Craft boat buzz has a 5 page thread going. EVERYTHING you would want to know on the subject. Size of bungs, step pad tread size. Who’s father was in the ad photo. I mean everything. The point of this story is to open up your eyes and look around. If you find one, it’s defiantly worth the money to restore, and with this much interest very likely will go up in value, like the Cobras and Racers have. You can still find some restortable ones out there in the 5-10K range and very nice ones for 60K. At 60K its well worth the money. These are very nice riding boats. Classic design with many interesting design starts. Blond wood being one of them. You can find some nice ones right now at the Antique Boat Center, and Classicboat.com and soon in my boat house.

3 replies
  1. drrot
    drrot says:

    You can also buy a new one! The antique boat center in Cincinnati is reproducing the boat.

  2. gsg48
    gsg48 says:

    Hi Matt. I agree with you on the emergence of the Custom as the next "hot" classic boat. Even though I may be biased because mine is justcoming out of restoration, there is a good amount of "buzz" surrounding them. I have found that Customs with original power are slightly harder to find as many owners have re-powered them. As you know in your efforts at helping me find mine, patience, perserverance and a little luck will produce good results. I'm hoping you add a Custom to your fleet soon!

  3. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    There were four 20' Custom's on display at the Lake Tahoe Concours this year, two 48's and two 49's… and they were beautiful. When you have the opportunity to see a 20' Custom beside a Riviera, you quickly appreciate the sheer size and scale of the post war 20' Custom runabouts. Texx

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