A Continental Winner.

Winner winner Chicken Dinner!

If you have been reading the comments for the past week, you now doubt have been reading about the 1961 Continental. And her interior more specifically. Part of the fun of all this is that we can all enjoy some back and forth about boats and the details that go into restoring and preserving them. These Continentals are amazing boats. They are quite possibly the best design/styled of that era of Chris Craft. Proof of that is that over the past couple years 6 have been restored and all have won big gun awards at the shows.

Just finished before the show

The Winner this year of Best In Show drew some heat because of the interior not being exact. BTW, something that everyone knew. Judges, restorer, owner. Everyone. It was a conscious choice, a very well researched choice. Top restorers around the county that all have restored these models all agreed on the best option/compromise on the interior.

Discussing interior material

Restored wheel. These are insane to restore. Harder than a banjo wheel

Interior – In different light it looks different

What was there. YIKES


But what makes a boat a winner with a small compromise? How did the judges come to that conclusion. Well. It’s simple. The boat is a masterpiece of perfection down to the smallest detail, and done with amazing craftsmanship.


Now, also this. The restorer is a Marine Services Unlimited. A sponsor, and have a great sense of humor and all around great guys that do great work. And here we are taking shots at the boat the day they won a huge award. We never received any email from them asking us to stop. They get it, and are having fun with all of us in the debate. Thats what it’s all about. And a testimate to what it would be like to work with. Patient, fun, and detailed.

new tank

Further more, after talking with several judges, it became very clear that everyone understood how wonderfully done this boat was done. How after 6 being restored this may be the best of them, regardless of the slight interior thing.

In this light, looks dam close

When a boat is judged, it is fare to judge the boat in an over all way. Yes its emotional, we are human, and all sorts of human calls are made, using points as a guide. We were not at the show, Painful reminder BTW, to see how wonderful she was. But from speaking to many, she was a winner! And best of all, we are all winners for enjoying the debate, and Unlimited Passion that went into restoring her.

Lincoln Power

Here is a note from Tim at Marine Services Unlimited.

According to the mariners museum this is one of 11 boats that were built with a 430 cu in Lincoln and a hardtop.  The engine is a 430 cu in Lincoln V8, 275 hp. We found the boat in Iowa. The previous owner in Iowa had purchased 4 of these boat with the intention of restoring them.  After owning them for about 15 years he decided to start selling them.  The current owner, who has a car collection all of which are Ford products, thought the boats were interesting because the engine was a Ford product, the fins looked like fins from a 1957 Ford, and the upholstery was the same design and colors as Fords of that era. We actually purchased two of the boats, one with a top and one with out. Both boats have the numbers matching 430 cu in Lincoln engines. We are starting to restore the non hardtop boat now. As far as history, all we know is that the boat was built in Cadillac Michigan, and delivered to Boats Unlimited in Indianapolis Indiana on 5/26/1960.

Stunning, and in this light more on the blue tone. Which many actually prefer.

At this time the boat has no name or registration numbers because it is now for sale. For information, interested parties can contact us either by email or the shop phone that is listed below. We put a lot of work into this boat and the owner spent a lot of money to get the boat as close to original as we could. It was a real shock and a real honor to win the awards especially at the largest International in the history of ACBS.  The owner will keep the non hardtop boat when we have it completed. We hope to have the non hardtop boat at the International Show in Bay Harbor Michigan in 2020. 



You can see a bazillion restoration photos HERE

Any other question feel free to contact us either by email or phone. Shop phone number is 989-422-6563.

Tim Lukasavitz

Marine Services Unlimited

9 replies
  1. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Having worked with Dave and Scott at Marine Services Unlimited on two projects over many years, I can attest to their craftsmanship and high standards. They are also great people and we have become friends that will continue to keep in touch with occasional visits to their shop. It was a thrill to see them win the Best of Show for that amazing Continental.

  2. rob
    rob says:

    It is very, very generous of the restorer to share these excellent pictures of their process and techniques. Thank you.

  3. dreed
    dreed says:

    There is a partially restored Continental w/ Lincoln at Coopers Marina in Baldwinsville NY. I am not sure of their intentions. Feel free to inquire if you are interested.

  4. Rich
    Rich says:

    What’s there not to love about a turquoise interior? If we would have kept this boat original it would have blended into all the other Greavettes out there. Instead, the customizing and modifications allows it to run better, look better and get compliments wherever it goes. Originality is good for preservation and judging, but arguing over if it should have Phillips or Robertson screws is going to turn away anyone new that just wants to appreciate a good looking boat. The custom car industry is massive and very well accepted. Our fixed focus on originality within our boating hobby is dating itself out of popularity with the newer generations. Time to stop this bickering among ourselves and take a close look at what the public is interested in. As far as the Continental goes, beautiful job and good choices on the interior!

  5. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    I for one am glad to see these boats get the recognition they deserve. It is not than many years ago that they would have just about been laughed out of a high end show because they would have been considered “post-war bling boats”.

  6. Richard Daley
    Richard Daley says:

    Just spent 2 hours reviewing all the restoration pictures.
    That was schooling in its self.
    Would love to know how many man hours were put in over what period of time to complete this restoration?
    Truly an amazing job, my compliments to all the people involved,a real team effort.

    • Dave Wrzesinski
      Dave Wrzesinski says:

      Can not really say how many hours. My son and I completed the 61 Continental and a 57 white fin Continental this year.
      The two projects together ate up three years. The 57 Continental is also on the web site. The 57 won a silver award at the 2018 Port Huron boat show.

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