Don’t Mess With Woody Boaters, Or We’ll Get All Dane Anderson On Your Aft!

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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!

For Sale On Freedom boat Service Site

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.

Screen grab from – BTW a very cool site on Fiberglass classic boats

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.

The old plant in Algonac, now a marina owned by fellow Woody Boater Pete Beauregard. And… mmm some sort of show late summer close by. I cant recall, but someone will no doubt chime in.

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.

Holds the entire family

In the boathouse

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

Ready to go

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!

We here at Woody Boater went a bit further and overlapped one new photo over the old. Perfect match

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.

27 replies
  1. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    OK, I know our good friend, Dave Bortner, knows about the big ACBS Port Huron International event in September, but our WoodyBoater leader still seems a little confused.
    A full week of Blue Water fun, including a Poker Run and Old Club luncheon in the Algonac St. Clair flats, known as the Venice of America. The Michigan chapter and the ACBS are putting together a great event. Make your reservations early, rooms are booking up, and Bring your Boat Home!

    • Wilson
      Wilson says:

      Algonac is beautiful & historic and the people are wonderful but Venice of America ?..I thought that was Ft. Lauderdale’s claim to fame.

  2. Dan T
    Dan T says:

    The add photo of the Deluxe vs. the Standard cracks me up! You’ll notice, in the Deluxe the woman is driving and the man/husband is sitting in the back. Show that add to your wife in 1939 and she’ll say, “honey, if we’re getting a new boat we may as well spend a little extra and get the Deluxe”.

    • Porcupine head
      Porcupine head says:

      The woman passenger is giving the driver a fist bump as if saying “look at you. You go girl” I’m still working on ol’ boy to let me take this one by myself. And you can tell by the water color. That’s definitely Algonac : -)

  3. Mark
    Mark says:

    This is exactly why I hate reading wooden boat posts on the facebook. Anyone can just lay there uneducated comments out there.

  4. Rabbit
    Rabbit says:

    Dane and Dave are both walking, boating encyclopedias! Two good people to have in your boat club, especially for a guy like me who knows diddly squat.

  5. Bob Huff
    Bob Huff says:

    Is the copper water return shape shown original or should it be a “Shepherd Hook” shape? Anyone have a picture? I want to change mine.

  6. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    It is interesting how people can get confused over the different options that Chris-Craft offered. I have even heard very knowledgeable members of our hobby criticize certain aspects of a boat as “not original” until they are presented with the hull card that shows that the boat was custom ordered from the factory with specific changes from the generic models.

    • Dan T
      Dan T says:

      Good point Troy. Chris Craft was a production builder, but, I’m sure if a buyer custom ordered a boat other options would be available for a price.

      • Jimmy
        Jimmy says:

        You could special order your Chris Craft almost anyway you wanted it. For example there was a special ordered prewar 25’ Sportsman you could steer standing on the floor or on top of the engine box. The boat also had no interior and was special ordered with an RM8 Royal engine which was only available in the postwar 25’ Sportsman’s. If you had the money Chris Craft would build it the way you want.

  7. Mike D
    Mike D says:

    I always wonder about those who put question marks after statements. As in the critics comment “Please prove me wrong?”… Unless that sentence is actually a question as “would someone please help me”

  8. Jimmy
    Jimmy says:

    The Mariners Museum is planning to have the Chris Craft collection reopened in June so until then everything is in deep storage and no getting hull cards or information until then.

  9. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    I tried to read that hull card but all I could ascertain was that it was a 1940 CC model 6 with an MB delivered to Algonac so it had to be over 20′. Anyone interpret all that handwriting. Would actually be interesting.

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