A Story About Patience, Persistence, Discipline, Never Faulting Will, Dreams, And A Loving Son.

Some days

“Some days, not so pleasant, and some oh shit days! ” Bill Brooks.

First, if there was an Academy Award to be handed out to best restoration film, this short film by Craig Brooks would win best of show, sorry Brirdman, this hit me much more deeply. Late last night we saw this short family love story from a simple posting on the Chris Craft Antique Boat clubs Facebook page. We had shown pictures of Bill and Suzanne Brooks 1948 Chris Craft Sedan Deluxe a while back, but this story just makes the cruiser so much more important. It’s living proof that our beloved Woody Boats are really mahogany capsules of our souls.

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I have seen these style of boats sitting in lost forgotten boat yards for years that the owners couldn’t give away, and yet this stunning boat is priceless because of the love, sweat and curse words all rebuilt into her now. A true vessel of family love and respect.


They had me with old family footage.

I can only dream that my love of boats somehow inspires such love and values to my family and clearly shows through example how patience, persistence, discipline, never faulting will, and dreaming are the core principles of happiness and success.

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Did Aristotle restore boats? Clearly the answer is YES!

This short video also should lead as inspiration to how to make such videos, Director Craig Brooks, Bill and Suzanne’s son is one of the nations top commercial directors. Within seconds of watching this you know you are watching an artist executing his craft on a personal journey. This video took years to produce, like the restoration. Which clearly shows where Craig got his core values from. His parents. Sorry Craig, the Oscar goes to Bill and Suzanne!
Now without further ado, lets all watch this video and then call our parents!

33 replies
  1. Texx
    Texx says:

    This is a very well directed video that tells a wonderful story about a beautiful family boat from the Great Pacific Northwest.

    I have had the pleasure of meeting Bill Brooks a number of times, he is a complete gentleman. Congratulations to Director Craig Brooks on the video. Texx

  2. Mike
    Mike says:

    Thank you for sharing this! It was awesome. Reminds me of my Dad (same age) who has the same passion and technique with older cars (starting with the restoration of a 1965 T bird that my mother had given him, before she passed). The story was great and the boat, beautiful. Maybe you can start a new tab “Woody Theater” and feature several of these videos. We could vote on those to be permanently displayed in the theater and suggest “coming attractions” or those “now playing”. I could watch these all day (during our -5 degree winter days).

  3. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Wonderful video and story. Since I grew up on a 1948 30 ft. CC Sedan, it is also a boat I can really relate to. Thanks for sharing.

    • Greg Lewandowski
      Greg Lewandowski says:

      After looking at all of the great photos of those CC Sedans, I though I would post a shot of me (at 13 years old) aboard my Uncle’s boat. We lost him about two years ago, but today’s story brough back a lot of great memories.

  4. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    Great video, clearly produced by someone with more skill and talent than most of us!

    I noticed the addition of a bow thruster. Seems like a good move. I can’t imagine trying to maneuver a boat that size in tight windy spaces with a single screw. What was Chris Craft thinking?

    • Wilson
      Wilson says:

      Maybe they didn’t install bow thrusters because they thought everybody should be able to drive a boat like the Smiths did…You notice Chris Smith and his daughter Chris Ann with her 28′ Chris Cruiser at the Couer d’ Alene show a couple of years back ?…Or maybe bow thrusters just weren’t an option back in the ’40s & ’50s

  5. WoodyGal
    WoodyGal says:

    Bravo! Beautifully done videeo, great story and a totally awesome cruiser! I will be watching this again & again. Thank you!

  6. Chris Finks
    Chris Finks says:

    Well done on many fronts. First to the the Brooks family for persevering on such a great piece of boating history, their son who directed an incredibly well-done (his love and respect is abundantly clear) and lastly to Woody Boater for sharing. The short film was intentionally touching and deeply resonated with me for some very personal reasons.

    I’m especially pleased because the subject matter was built around a classic cruiser which is something not seen as much on these pages. For the past several years, my family and I have been dedicated to a 55-year-old Chris Craft cruiser that was found by my mentor and friend. Similarly to the Brooks, our boat has brought great pleasure and some “oh shit days.” It is now also a welcomed and perpetual reminder of my mentor and friend who is tragically now no longer with us.

    Thanks again for sharing and keep up the good work!

  7. JFunk
    JFunk says:

    A beautiful film, it even brought a tear to my eye. A story of two great relationships…a man and his beloved wife, and his boat. Both passionate. It’s inspried me to dig that 26′ Lyman Cruisette out of storage after many years and finally begin working on her again. Thanks WB!

  8. John Mears
    John Mears says:

    Excellent video and story. My wife and I parallel this story with our boat and restoration and we are thrilled to see another grand lady like ours, not many left. I’m with Troy….more “Cruiser Love” is always good! Thank you for sharing and take a well deserved bow for the Academy Award winning video.

  9. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    I was warming up the truck after scraping off the ice…getting ready to go to the curiser and check on things…..and then this vid.
    Well, I am blown away again. Just when I think all the best boat stories have been published on woodyboater…up come this!

    So……high on inspiration…..I am off to the boat!!! weather be damned.

    John in Va. a cruiser guy

  10. Rick
    Rick says:

    Great video. Love the boat. Dad is 87 and still comes out every chance I give him, and he is definitely partial to woodies. I would love to do a project like that. 1st I need a shed like he has. Thanks for the video today, needed it.

  11. Paul H.
    Paul H. says:

    Great way to start a Saturday. I have met the owners and toured the boat at Sandpoint when it was just finished and it was a very special treat to see it, and to meet them. All round great story and so nice to have a talented son to produce this wonderful ode to his parents and their boat. Thanks!

  12. reddog
    reddog says:

    great boat video today. matt who ever posted previously about video theatre had a great idea. if you could arrange that it would be fantaastic. also the people that sent in pictures of thier cruisers, all very nice boats. thanks. how many readers have noticed the comments of how this video brought back memories of thir old cruisers?

  13. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    Wonderful story, great family and a cool boat. Having been there a few times now, there is nothing that compares with restoring a cruiser – so aptly shown in the video. From the less-than-perfect moments, the victorious feeling when another milestone is reached to the joy of having family and friends aboard, it is a very rewarding journey.

    Thank you.

      • Dick Dow
        Dick Dow says:

        Here’s a shot of “Itchin” from 2006 – on our way to the San Juans with the Classic Skagit/Fiberglassics NW group. We were the guide/Mother Ship on a four-day introduction to the islands for several boaters who had never ventured there. Aboard with us was a couple from Australia who have two Skagits down under. It was a great adventure for all!

  14. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    Great story, beautiful setting. Congrats to Bill for completing an incredible accomplishment and kudos to Craig for your production. Thanks for sharing. A little daunting for us older folks who have that dream but are not there yet. Someday hopefully.

  15. Ed F.
    Ed F. says:

    Great story about great family relationships and a beautiful boat. You cruiser guys are SO inspiring! I can’t imagine tackling such a huge project. Thanks for sharing the video And the pictures that followed.

  16. Bill Hammond
    Bill Hammond says:

    It’s truly inspiring to see such a wonderful boat brought back to life! Even more inspiring is to see evidence of the reason for doing so! We all come at this for different reasons; •the desire to see a historical boat preserved, •the journey of the actual restoration, •the joy of a shared family activity, •communing w/the sea, lake, river, •singular solitude.

    For many of us, it seems especially true for Cruiser Owners, we get to experience all of these things in our journey. This video shows one family’s journey and thanks to sharing with us now, in turn, inspires us all! So I’m waiting for Spring and getting back at it!

  17. Nautilus
    Nautilus says:

    That was a great video and I particularly liked the accompaniment of Debussy’s Clair de Lune. I have always loved antique cruisers. I restored a 1940 Elco 57 over the course of 2 years full-time labor…damn near killed me, not to mention my bank account! I wish my father could have lived to see it all. I should have taken videos of the restoration but I did manage to take a poorly-shot one of the sea trial:

  18. Wes Yandt
    Wes Yandt says:

    Craig- Wow!! What a great video. Thank you for putting that together so that we can all enjoy the passion that you have seen throughout your life. Your Mom and Dad are wonderful people. My family has had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with them over the years. We share membership in the Inland Empire chapter of the ACBS with them. We have had the opportunity to hear many a story from your Dad about the trials and tribulations of his restoration project. The patience he showed when after all those years of restoration and the thing would not “soak up” and quit leaking was absolutely amazing to me. He ultimately had to pull the boat back out of the water and refasten the bottom again. Wow!! There are tons of seminars that we see about how to varnish or replace a plank. We should have your Dad teach one on persistence and patience.


  19. Bill Brooks
    Bill Brooks says:

    A very heartfelt thank you for the very humbling comments submitted by each of you.
    Thanks again and we look forward to seeing you at the Sandpoint show in July.

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