Looking For A Used Red Leather Interior!

1948 Chris Craft 25 Sportsman 14

Current Dark Red Vinyl Interior

1948 Chris Craft 25 Sportsman 14red

Correct Red leather photoshoped.

This may be my craziest idea out there. Soon to be topped by what will be another of course. I am looking for anyone that is about to restore there original red leather interior from a 25 Sportsman. Yes it’s a needle in a hey stack. But just maybe? Heck we have found boats for long lost relatives and all sorts of stuff on Woody Boater. How about an original worn red leather. We know you can find a nice match for new Red Marine Leather at Macatawa Boat Works in Michigan. We did have a great talk with Jon Reus at Macatawa who got what we are trying to do. Pointing out when folks do a full refinish a worn interior doesn’t match, but in our case a new interior may look wrong. The guys at Macatwa totally get this and are a fantastic resource.

MBBW Chris Craft red

Reproduced Red Marine Leather


But what fun is that? OK, maybe fun, but we want to have the interior match the patina of the boat. Aged, well loved and used. Right now we have a nice dark red high grade vinyl interior which looks fantastic, but the idea of it being original…like the zipper and tool kit etc is part of a different style Restoration. So know anyone restoring a 25 Sportsman? This might be a cool way to have your interior live on!

26 replies
  1. Dan T
    Dan T says:

    That’s IS crazy. What you should do is get the correct red new stuff and let some teenagers use your boat regularly. The leather will got that nice old beat up patina in no time and the youngsters will get hooked on the woody boat life style.
    Restoring a Red and White and I was looking for the correct leather. Thanks for the info.

  2. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    I am with Dan. Get the new stuff and then use it. It will look perfect in no time. Any original leather that is 6-7 decades old will look too old and not hold up to use, and artificial aging looks fake and or slovenly.

  3. Jack Schneiberg
    Jack Schneiberg says:

    Interesting! Now Matt is going to unrestore the boat. Be sure and take lots of photos along the way.

    • Alex
      Alex says:

      Oooo Mark. Please do send us pics and info on the boat. Also, is it by chance a surviving Scripps-powered boat?

  4. Rabbit
    Rabbit says:

    Matt: I know you take great pride in your poor spelling and grammar skills. But two typos in a header? Is nothing sacred?



    A Writer

  5. Mike K
    Mike K says:

    how in the hell do you get that cover on at the dock. snorkel gear. does that go around the pipe or is it snapped.

    can the boatress make a video of you putting that on, now that would be a story!

  6. Alex
    Alex says:

    I watched Matt put that cover on. It’s as tight as 70’s shorts. Not an easy task. Like everybody in Florida, I think the boat put on weight down there. Too much early bird all u can eat smorgasbord stretched her covering boards.

    • Matt
      Matt says:

      The top is a cotton Canvas thing, She made it about 1 foot larger all the way around. Its saggy on there dry, and holy crap that sucker shrinks when it gets wet. All good now and being adjusted and fixed. Its main use is in a boat house. The boat is only in the sun when in use.

  7. Alex
    Alex says:

    P.S. Leather can be dyed. That’s another route. However I’m with those who say pony up for new and let it wear. And yes, it must be leather. Such a key part of a 25’s elegance and scent. Avoid the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Leather -type stuff.

    Ostrich would be cool too. There’s also croc.

  8. Bill Anderson
    Bill Anderson says:

    Weirder things have happened, I found the exact top I was looking for for several years for this big finned Herters,When we get to it it will fit fine,Keep lookin Bill

  9. Kentucky Wonder
    Kentucky Wonder says:

    I agree with most of the opinions above – get new leather, and use it. Upholstery is like the other consumables on the boat. It must be replaced every once in a while. Did Van Ness put back the original rubber hoses and gaskets?

  10. Briant
    Briant says:

    Matt, you should try something More exotic….Stingray Leather!!!

    Of all exotic leathers, stingray is often the most underrated. It is highly durable (25 times more durable than cowhide leathers) and has a unique supple texture. This leather is one of the most durable skins and is widely available. Under no threat of extinction, this fish provides a useful protein food to many regions throughout Southeast Asia.

    Check out the website below, they have a beautiful deep red colour available.


  11. Bert Harris
    Bert Harris says:

    This is where I got the leather for the Barracuda. Good and reasonable. And he will have a match or he will make it for you. Did I say they are reasonable? About the same price as vinyl.

  12. Andy C
    Andy C says:

    Matt, I have an original (I think) red leather interior that I was going to replace. Now you have me thinking……

    • Matt
      Matt says:

      If you are restoring your boat, an old interior can look rough, or if its in great condition, may be worth saving. The new Leather is exact and softer for sure. I am looking to un restore mine. THe flaws fit my finish. If I was to refinish the boat i would go new.

  13. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    Dang! Does this mean we have another new category?

    First you came up with PreRestoric, and now you are doing an UnRestoric? I think you are just trying to create a category that only you can win.

    Love It!

    Yup back home in the ANE!

  14. Matt
    Matt says:

    ROAD TRIP! I love this community. In a bazillion years who would guess this. Only close to 50 were made with a red interior. Now the question. how can you tell if its original?

  15. Paul H.
    Paul H. says:

    I have to come down on the side of wearing the existing interior into consistency with the look you want. That is a more natural and less contrived way to achieve what you want than actually is engineering a synthesized distress about the boat.

    The look conjured created by the deliberate infliction of a distressed appearance would be incongruous, and the collar would not match the cuff. You have a hull with some genuine patina but not genuine distress, but you already have a brand new bottom and a freshly rebuilt engine. If you wanted the appearance that only survivor originality can provide, you should not have rebuilt the engine and the bottom would have to be original. I say if you put in a ratty interior, you should also remove the new bottom and install and original style, but worn. Don’t try too hard ot make the boat into something it’s not – wear it into consistency.

    I also think that installing such an interior in any serviceable form at all would be virtually impossible, with the result unusable and far worse in appearance than the gentle wear the boat currently exhibits.

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