Live-ish From Cruiser Heaven – 24th Annual Chris Craft Rendezvous, In Port Orchard, WA

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CC Rendezvous 1

“Liberty” owned by Gary Humiston and Karen Moe. It’s a 1941 35′ Chris-Craft enclosed quarter deck cruiser with a cool aft cabin. BTW Gary is an amazing man, being a paraplegic, working on and running this boat!

Today we have a great Live-ish report from fellow Woody Boater Ron Stevenson, where he is in the middle of 100 classic Chris-Craft cruisers gathered together in Port Orchard, Washington. One thing is for sure – Ron knows his cruisers, and knows them well! Here is his report. – Texx

Live-ish From The 24th Annual Chris-Craft Rendezvous
by Ron Stevenson

Welcome to the 24th Annual Chris-Craft Rendezvous in Port Orchard, located on the east side of the Olympic Peninsula in the state if Washington.


This great shot is courtesy of Michael Craft of Michael is also the founder and Commodore of the OCDYC, an international yacht club which can be found on Facebook. You must clock all your screws to be a member….

This is the largest gathering of Chris-Craft cruisers in the world. Because it is salt water, all these vessel have fresh water cooling, so no wimpy raw water cooled runabouts here! We are hoping for almost 100 boats this year!

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“Seascape” – a beautiful 1956 46′ Constellation owned by Doug Simpson.

The big event “starts” on Wednesday with committee members gathering to stuff packets and get things set up.

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“Destiny” could be yours. Brent and Ginny Johnson picked up another larger cruiser. So this 1946 Chris-Craft Constellation is for sale. A blatent plug for my broker buddy Tim Dies who is the agent. His number at Herbert Yacht sales is 206 817-4577.
Brent and Ginny have done a remarkable restoration of this boat!

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The transom of “Destiny” – Is that a movie title or what?

Lots of activities, great raffle items, an auction, CCR stuff for sale, a swap meet, live music, dinners, free coffee and donuts, and more!

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Beautiful glass! “Tuppence” is a 1969 42′ Commander which is owned by John and Hazel Smythe, who come all the way from Coquitlam, British Columbia. Next weekend is the Canadian CCR, eh! Some of us will be headed up there for that.

The gathering is about the boats, all are welcome, I will try to include a picture of the Chris-Craft with duct tape over the hole in the planking, to the finest classic show boats on the west coast.

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A past winner of “Best Glass” is “Amnesia” a 1977 36′ Sport Fisher, owned by Glenn and Sherry Ryan. The engine room in this boat is Men’s Jewelery!

The only awards are “Skippers Choice”, “Best Glass” and “Best Woodie”, “Peoples Choice”, same categories, and “Most Improved!”

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“Maranee” – a spectacular 1940 Chris-Craft 42′ DCEB owned by committee members and the registration boat Jim and Margie Payton. Him is also our excellent Master of Ceremonies.

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“TomKat” is a huge 1956 Chris-Craft 54′ flushdeck Constellation owned by Jon an Adrian Deane – a magnificent example of a big classic cruiser. Note the reverse stain of the name in the shot transom below…

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The perfect rear-end of “TomKat”

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It occurs to me that maybe I should send you a shot of my boat! In the evening light no less. “ITCHIN” is a 1953 35′ Chris Craft Commander. Bought from the original owner in 1997 for $100. It had been unused for about 30 years and sank in its lifting cradle in its boathouse in Lake Washington east if Seattle. Dick Dow and myself spent three years, every nite and every weekend taking it all apart, redoing everything, and putting it back together. With twin 350Q motors, I cruise at 2500 RPM, at about 20 MPH, using only 1 gal per mile. Top speed is over 30 MPH.

A very comforting side note here – I have done a lot of cruising in the Pacific Northwest in the San Juan’s and Canadian Gulf Islands, and the Port of Port Orchard had THE cleanest, nicest, and free restrooms anywhere! What a relief!

Now after seeing these wonderful old classic cruisers in such remarkable condition, you have to wonder “Are the owners too tired from working on their boats to party?” Do classic cruiser folks know how to party?

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Well – you decide. One of this year’s “Themes” at the Rendezvous is “Mardi-Gras.”

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Cruiser heaven – Image courtesy of Michael Craft of

If you are interested to learn more about the 2013 Chris-Craft Rendezvous you can Click Here to go directly to their cool website at

Ron Stevenson

19 replies
    • Texx
      Texx says:

      Me too Jim.

      Let’s see, if there are 100 boats at the show, and we had 12 hours to get around to see all the boats, that would mean we would have to limit each visit to 7.2 minutes per boat.

      And if each boat owner invited us on board for a beer, can you drink a beer in 7.2 minutes?

  1. Brian Robinson
    Brian Robinson says:

    The name treatment on TOMCAT is over the top! I wish I would have thought of that.

  2. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Just finished installing a new garage door opener at the cottage instead of spending this beautiful July day boating. With all the damn safety features to be set up and adjusted, it turned into a four hour job. Came in in a foul mood, but a quick look at those georgeous cruisers and I feel much better. Grill up some dinner and get out on the lake for an evening cruise. Life is good!

  3. Troy
    Troy says:

    Posts like this make me sure that I want to hang on to American Beauty, get her wet, and CRUISE!

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      Troy – That big cruiser looks great. How long before American Beauty goes back in the water?

      • Troy
        Troy says:

        Still hoping to get her in this season.
        She will not be fully ready, but she needs to get wet.
        I will keep you posted and send you some pix as I progress.

        • Kevin
          Kevin says:

          35 ft Connie? Looks great. I wonder what a new bottom on a boat that size would cost? I would love to get one!

  4. Texx
    Texx says:

    I had the opportunity to attend this wonderful event a few years ago. It was a giant floating party, a celebration of classic boating and the people involved were great fun.

  5. Randy Rush Captain Grumpy
    Randy Rush Captain Grumpy says:

    Gee I spent all day working on my baby 23′ Express Cruiser. Just cant begin to think of how much time and money it tales to keep a 35′ Connie in the water!

  6. Paul H.
    Paul H. says:

    We are at the Sandpoint Wooden Boat Show in Idaho, one of our favoruite events of the season up here. Great small town flavor, and lots of bataing. But man, this cruiser deal looks stunning. I was captivated by a 1940 34′ CC (Aphrodite) at this show – love the cruisers. As a veteran of the smaller stuff, I can only imagine the dedication that these cruiser folks must possess in order to keep these gorgeous boats going. I simply must get out to this event, perhaps next year. Thanks for the report!

  7. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    Love that hardtop Commander, Ron. You should change the name from Itchin’ to “Bitchin”. So nice – Cruiser heaven.

  8. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    Wow, great CRUISER STORY…I need to get out there…..a wonder that some many bib CC did…..long way from the major factories…..rail I guess.
    Neat story, thanks,

    John in Va.

    • Tim
      Tim says:

      My 65′ Connie came across country on a custom railcar, the handrails were removed before shipment and reinstalled at Bryant’s Marine.

  9. Alex
    Alex says:

    Everyone of these is a boat I’ll never own, but can really imagine owning. It’s just like looking through a Victoria’s Secret catalog.

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