Caring For Goose – An Eighteen Month Restoration of Continental Proportions


Last week Alex Watson prepared a great report on the 13th Annual Bay Harbor Vintage Car & Boat Festival from Northern Michigan. One of the classic boats Alex included in his report was a very cool 1957 Chris-Craft 23′ Continental named “Goose” which was freshly restored by The Wooden Runabout Company from Holland, Michigan.

Only 170 23′ Continental’s were produced by Chris-Craft at the Cadillac, Michigan plant from 1956 to 1958, the 23′ hull design was based on the 1955 22′ Continental with the transom moved aft. “Goose” (Hull No. CL-23-132) has MCL-175HP Hercules power and was shipped to Algonac Boat & Motor Sales in Michigan on April 23, 1957.

We got in touch with Michael Teusink from the The Wooden Runabout Company and he told us the story about the restoration of “Goose” – A family treasure for three generations.  So, take it away Michael…

Texx – A year and a half ago Tom Stinnett brought us his 1957 Chris-Craft 23’ Continental for restoration. Tom is the third generation of his family to care for the boat. Tom’s great grandfather purchased the boat in 1968, ten years after it was originally built by Chris-Craft.

After inspecting the boat and discussing the goals of the restoration with Tom, we suggested that this Chris-Craft would be well-suited to a restoration aimed at preserving as much of the original wood as possible. The boat spent much of its life in a boat house in the Algonac area and was always well cared for. The plank seams on the hullsides and decks were still fairly tight, although they showed the typical plank movement of a fifty year old boat due to broken fasteners and years of seasonal movement.

In the course of the restoration, we installed a new bottom and replaced all suspect framing. All of the hullside planks were removed, cleaned up, sealed, and re-installed bedded in 3M 5200.

The decks received similar treatment – even the tight seamed areas of blonde decking were in excellent condition and were able to be preserved. The only new wood installed on the topsides during the restoration was for the aft deck and the transom. Transoms receive a lot of torque and typically need replacement, and 23’ Continentals have a weak design where the aft deck meets the cover board which results in cracked cover boards on every one of these models we have seen.

The restoration was finished off with refinishing of the shipside planks, new flooring, and new Tango Red & White upholstery, as originally delivered from Chris-Craft in 1957. The springs from the original upholstery were in such good shape that they were able to be media-blasted, painted, and used for the new upholstery.

It is interesting to note that this boat was shipped from the Chris-Craft factory in Cadillac, MI with a non-standard windshield. The standard windshield was Plexiglas and matched the curve of the blonde decking, but the glass windshield on this Continental, originally used on the Chris-Craft Holiday, is striking as well.

“Goose” was shown by the Stinnett family in late June at the Bay Harbor Vintage Car & Boat Festival  and received the award for “Best Utility.”

We asked Michael about the boat’s name “Goose”. He said – “The boat did not ship from the factory with a name, and it did not have a name when it arrived at our shop. “Goose” was chosen by the owner for a variety of reasons, one of which is that his work often takes him south for Winter.”

More photos of the restoration can be seen on their website by clicking here

The Wooden Runabout Company, LLC is a full service boatshop specializing in award-winning restorations of the finest antique and classic boats in the world. We offer over 25 years of professional restoration experience to meet the needs of every wooden boat owner. Contact us today for all your wooden boat needs!

Michael Teusink
The Wooden Runabout Co. LLC

Thanks Michael – It looks like “Goose” is now ready for many more years of enjoyment by the Stinnett family.  Nice work.


3 replies
  1. chad
    chad says:

    I love the Tango Red with the green flooring. IMHO, this is a great replacement for the original “Raybelle” flooring. While it doesn’t retain the high contrast stripes of the original, it captures the vintage green color nicely.

  2. Alex
    Alex says:

    The way the colors work together on this boat is amazing! I have never admired a Conti as much as this one because of that.

    Not sure here Tom keeps Goose, but I sure hope he will consider taking it to shows. It is a must-be-seen boat.

    Hessel’s is August 13. Hint hint.

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