1961 Chris Craft Continental. Classic Boat Lust!

The ad still works for me. I see myself in that sucker.

The ad still works for me. I see myself in that sucker. Note the turquoise?

First, clearly my life has turned the corner of what I lust after. Maybe it’s being married to a beautiful gal for 25 years. So my lust genes focus on other things. Or maybe I am just an idiot.. But, regardless.. I have boat lust. AGAIN!

Paul and Karen Harrisons in BEFORE condition

Paul and Karen Harrisons in BEFORE condition.. White?

Ever since the Warner auction when we first saw one of these hard tops in person that Paul Harrison got, and then at Katz’s Marina..

Ohhh momma!

Ohhh momma!

And then just last week trying to help a fellow woody Boater find his pops 21 Continental it fever has taken over. Someone talk me out of it! Please… I love our big Sportsman. but our new boat house may require a smaller boat. Ahhh crap, here is one at Antique boat Center. DAMMMIT! HELP ME!

Looks nice.. Gull wings!

Looks nice.. Gull wings!

I have heard that the hard top is a bit of a pain? But who cares I say. All in the name of beauty.. And what about the painted rear. Is it white? Or a mix of turquoise and white like this factory ad? has anyone owned one? Any info…

62 replies
  1. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Go for it Matt. I gave in to my lust when I bought my 20 ft. Continental 2 years ago and it still feels good!

  2. WoodyGal
    WoodyGal says:

    You’ll be sorry you gave up that ventilating windshield! I think this boat could be a bit of an oven…..it is beautiful! Love the engine turned interior side panels!

  3. WoodyGal
    WoodyGal says:

    You won’t have to change the name, “Monkey Business” This boat used to come to our Grand Lake Oklahoma show, it has my drool all over the interior! Good luck.

  4. Troy
    Troy says:

    Never been in a ’61 but grew up with a ’57 Continental that I now have the privilige of stewarding.
    They are comfortable and you can fit a pile of people in them if you want too.
    There has been a ’61 topless for sale for $9,600.00 that looks like its in pretty good shape (pictures can lie), but I think it may have finally sold since I don’t find it anymore. Last listed on Bone Yard Boats.
    Good Luck!

  5. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    My current first boat lust is a 20 custom, but next in line is a ’61 CC utility. Not set on a specific model, but they are the last of line before the vinyl deck took over and the interior styling is like nothing else on the water.

  6. Sheila
    Sheila says:

    Hey there! It’s Sheila from Antique Boat Center. The “Skipper” (Captain, Skipper, Dennis… you know who I’m talking about…) said I might be able to satisfy your lust this morning. How exactly can I help you?

    • Dennis Mykols
      Dennis Mykols says:

      oh boy, now that’s an offer even I could not resist, I have met Sheila, and… Opps, going down the wrong path…blaming it on all this talk about “lust”…

  7. Matt
    Matt says:

    Oh boy! This is not good. By the end of the day I could be continetal boating. Ok. Do you have any info on the boat?

  8. Alex
    Alex says:

    Sheila might be able to satisfy your lust this morning? Spring must be here, when a man’s thoughts turn to boats.

  9. Cliff
    Cliff says:

    Go in the ACBS directory and look up Les Demiline. He lives in Ohio ans owns 2. He had one for show and the other is for go. He probably knows these boats best. The inside of these boats have a black checkerboard vinyl ceiling boards each square has a machined circles pressed in the all black plastic. This is the only thing not reproduced for these boats if you want a show boat (100points) look that part over very well. Whenever these were heavily used by people who were water skiing and the skis were put in the boat that was usually what tore the vinal. I think the 431 Lincoln engine was the big mother power for that model. On the transom there is a center circle with 21 in it to let everyone know how many beers it took to get those fins bolted and glued in place finally. Jeremy Goldstine of Custom Marine in Sandusky Ohio told me while restoring his that the fins are fiberglass and held in place with something that looks like 5200. One of his fins is damaged. I say go for it, call Dennis Ryan and make a trade.

  10. Dennis Mykols
    Dennis Mykols says:

    this time last ytear, this boat was on my short list, because I am a sucker for “STYLE”, always have been always will be, either in classic cars or boats. But I agree with WoodyGal, i thought getting around that roof all day, and when trying to crash land at docking, it would be a BIG pain in the a$$ not to count the head banging from forgetting to “duck”.
    BUT a small guy like you Matt, maybe it would be ok.

  11. don vogt
    don vogt says:

    why not, Matt? The picture in the brochure seems to suggest that the side panel was two-tone. Did they ever make any like that?

  12. Chad
    Chad says:

    There is something about the combination of wood and fiberglass that grows on you. My wife was delivered in a ’59 Continental on our wedding day. She was delivered a little “wet” but she handled it well. I watched it all from the boathouse. I didn’t want to get my hair wet – it gets real frizzy.

    • Troy
      Troy says:

      I took my brother and his wife away from their wedding in our parents ’57. I was reminded just last week that I did a “Hang On” (hairpin, 180, whatever you want to call it) while they were in the boat and she was in her wedding gown.
      You would think I would remember something like that.

  13. Sheila
    Sheila says:

    WOW! You’re sure maaking a girl feel good this morning! “Thanks” guys! 🙂 But let me give you a little info on the “girl” you’re REALLY interested in! (The one that won’t get you in as much trouble with your wives. On second thought, maybe more!) Be right back…

  14. Sheila
    Sheila says:

    Here she is guys! Sexy boat! A 1961 21′ Chris Craft Continental. #43 out of 96. Powered by a Lincoln 431 V8 (275hp) that was completely rebuilt in 2009. She has her original bottom (so do I) but had some work done in 2004 (I have not had work done but could probably use some!). We’ve got her listed at $19,900 but would be happy (are you listening, Matt Smith?!) to present any verbal offer to the owner. Check our more pics on our site. http://www.antiqueboat.com/boatdetails/14010-U21.aspx

  15. Scott Robinson
    Scott Robinson says:

    Go for it Matt, on my first trip to Tahoe Herb had one for sale, I should have bought, been kicking myself ever since!! Scott

  16. Tommyholm
    Tommyholm says:

    You deserve a Century Coronado. Go for the best. The Lincoln will disappoint ya, girls ride Thoroughbreds, and the CC Cont is your grandpa,s boat.

    • Paul H.
      Paul H. says:

      yes, Tommy, how about a ’59 – ’60 Coronado. The highwater mark in sophisticated, understated styling and genteel dignity!

      These Conti’s are positively visually restrained in comparison.

  17. Paul H.
    Paul H. says:

    I loved this boat when I saw it at Mecum, and I am glad we have it. It has been on a slow project road due to other priorities and expenses, but I have had the 430 engine done already. Mine needs interior to be correct, strip and stain and restack on the sides. I will have the bottom done as well. It should be in the water next year, and I am going to try to do it as authentically as possible. There is very little wood to be replaced, it is kind of a Barnwood style preservation project. I have allowed myself to balloon in girth this past year, and this boat is a bit tight. For a lardpail like me, there are probably better choices, but I guess I will try to shrink-to-fit.

    I have thought about the top and it being close in there. I wonder how hard it it to just un-bolt it and use the boat as an open boat if you wish? Many of these T-tops were dealer installed, not installed at the factory and look fairly easy to remove and replace. The boats lack side glass and with the t-tops are more like a hardtop car than a sedan so air flow may be better than we expect. But, ventilating windows on a sedan are an absolute must have.

    I think these are stunning when done up well.

  18. m-fine
    m-fine says:


    Don’t replace Suzy, if you must get a new boat, add to the collection.


    IMHO a beautiful boat, much like a beautiful woman, is better topless. Topps are nice for foul weather fishing or to get out of the sun on an all day cruise, but if you don’t use the boat that way I prefer open sky.

    As for the Coronado, if she starts looking good, you know you’ve had too much to drink!

  19. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    or you could go for the ’61 23 footer, 1 of 3 produced. Have you tried the 12 step program first? or not. I tell my wife I could be dropping dollar bills in garters in “gentleman’s clubs” and she responds, you could then be dropping larger bills in envelopes to my divorce attorney.

    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      BTW, Tyson K has one “Muzzy” and there was another “Wah Hoo” that may belong to the Kadimiks that was on woodyboater a couple years back, but I don’t think either have the original aqua white and gold interior. When I find one in perfect condition for under $1000 I’ll buy it and post more pics.

    • floyd r turbo
      floyd r turbo says:

      Instead of saving image you can right click mouse over picture and get a “drop down menu”, select “view image” and it will enlarge, and if your cursor turns to a “+” symbol you can “click” on it and it will enlarge even further. To “get back” hit your back button. Hope this helps to allow you to see larger images

  20. brian t
    brian t says:

    Regarding the header photo with Bob and his boat….

    What’s with the green bucket? As we have all seen in WB Posts From the Past, the proper bucket is in fact a 5 gal. Ace, white in colour.

  21. Texx
    Texx says:

    I think John & Kim sold “Wah Hoo” to someone in Tennessee right after the 2011 Sunnyland show. It was a very nice looking ski boat. At the time it had burgundy upholstery…

  22. donald hardy
    donald hardy says:

    I have one stashed up here in Idaho, in the storage bldg some where. All original, top and all with the 430 Lincoln.
    Hard to believe, it has 100 hrs on it. I would be willing to get it to Tahoe finished, if someone want to go? It has been in side forever, dirty, the original owner put water in the boat an forgot to shut off the valve. Filler it to the top.
    He then disassembled the boat, motor, never put it back together. So it sits for that special customer. It is a very special design. Very different from the 57 Twin Finn we did.
    Buy the way we have a 57 CC 21 Capri also. Don

    • Chad
      Chad says:

      Don, was TWIN FINN purchased from MBBW years back? I read on another forum the TWIN FINN was owned by a professor from Ball State University. If so, his name is Cyrus Reed and he is the gentleman at the helm in the above wedding photo. Cy was nice enough to lend me a hand as my woody was mid-restoration at the time.

      • donald hardy
        donald hardy says:

        You are Correct. We had alot of fun doing that boat. Now we are fond of the finns. Very few made and few left. Nice to see the boat before Dr Atkinson bought it. I will pass this on to Jim.

  23. Texx
    Texx says:

    Troy – Thanks for tuning in… I believe the finned 21′ Capri (runabout) & 21′ Continental (utility) was first introduced by Chris-Craft in 1957.

    Here’s a copy of the 1957 brochure showing both.

    • Troy
      Troy says:

      Thanks Texx! It is nice to find you and be here. My assumtion came from Speltz’s RR III where the 21′ Continental is pictured and listed for ’57, ’58 and ’59 but the 21′ finned Capri is not shown or listed till ’58. Would LOVE to have a finned Capri one day.

      • Texx
        Texx says:

        In the above brochure, in the bottom left corner it notes –

        “Copyright 1957 Chris-Craft Corporation” so that’s what I was going on, but maybe this would be worthwhile investigating further. It’s always fun to learn more about the later post-war boats.

        • Troy
          Troy says:

          In “Chris-Craft Boats” by Mollica and Savage it states that 44 21-CP Capri’s were built across the years of 1957-1959.
          Very interesting!

  24. Texx
    Texx says:

    “Sea Sharp” – A rare finned 21′ Capri at the Sunnyland Show in Florida this year, one of only 44 – 21′ Capris built between 1957 & 1959.

      • Greg Wallace
        Greg Wallace says:

        I believe this was done to add the perception of length and maker her look lower (sleaker). This a lot of boat for a 21 and tall for its length. This practice was used on other models as well.

      • Troy
        Troy says:

        Not sure why the styling put it so high, but you will notice it splits the huge chrome exhaust ports in half.
        The water line does get much closer when loaded.

      • frank Miklos
        frank Miklos says:

        I don’t know why they are so high. But my 59 continental , the previous owner raised it even higher. He did not like the scum from the water to get on the varnish…

  25. frank Miklos
    frank Miklos says:

    I have one question about these, They were in the 1960 Catalog were any built in 1960. The CC Essential says 1961 but there are other mistakes in the book… I also have a 1959 with a hardtop. This photo is mine as I got it. Not the correct vermilion stain and not the correct hardtop color.

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