I Just Found Commander Love On The Internet! Once A Dreamer, Always A Dreamer!
All this talk of spending ones retirement money on boat restorations yesterday had the reverse effect on me. One would think it would send me running to the Antique Boat Center to trade in my 1960 for a 2013 Chris Craft. If you thought that you would be kinda right. First, Suzy aint going anyplace but in front of my dock and out on the water. But I did get a hankering for a new……er Chris Craft. And wouldn’t ya know it, there is one on ebay! I LOVE EBAY! Here.. click here.. is a very sweet 1969 Chris Craft 38 Commander on ebay all ready to go….to the mechanic, and then the boat house. BUT wait.. It won’t need to go to the flip it over and get a bottom guy. in fact that 5 inch thick fiberglass could double as the foundation to a high rise. All I would need to do is get those twin 454’s running, and some carpet, set off a lysol bomb and go boating!
The owner even figured out a cool way to add a vintage flair to the transom. It looks all original, just not anyone’s top priority lately.. That joke will be very funny if you go to the link. Otherwise it just lays there. OK, sorry back to the drool fest. Even the bathroom Turquoise is coll. Dang, how did this happen? I am like a 15 year old looking into the girls showroom when it comes to these dam things.
The only issue for me, is that it’s to far away. I know the logistics of getting it here to DC would be as much as the boat. UGH! Maybe that’s saving me from myself.
I’m headed that way with a Top-Notch mechanic in a couple weeks. Buy it and I’ll go a day early and get it running for you. Could be a nice cruise cross state and up the ICW home. Nice way to unwind from Tavares.
Are you young enough to start a project of this size??
Glass is practical to be sure. Well, practical for a cruiser. My favorite part of these boats is the part where the owner lists the things that have been done. Each one reads like a drop of blood that has been lost. And when the list is done, the owner is easily down a few pints and anemic. I know there’s no bottom to be done on glass. A bottom job on a cruiser isn’t a pint of blood loss. It’s a double kidney donation, and all that implies.
Still, throw all that caution to the wind and buy a cruiser. A wooden one at that. It’s only a matter of time before one of those asteroids in space slams into us and BOY would you regret not having owned a cruiser when that happens.
Here’s my fav, he wrote, drooling into his keyboar….hHgyxlaleP ____________________ (flatline).
I don’t understand you guys with the cruiser bug. Call your doctor, they can treat that kind of thing these days.
Come Matt, go for it! Just think of that Commander last summer in Algonac. This is just a little elbow grease away……he he.
Keep this picture in mind.
Stop talking Matt and buy one! I dont understand you guys with the runabout bug…cruisers are where its at!
Make Suzy happy and go for it! Think of the shade, bunks, and galley! You had a cruiser once, you do remember don’t you? There is something good to be said for fiberglass on a cruiser bottom. Dooooo it……….
She does have nice lines and the interior is cool! Watching the tachs synchronize will be great fun too! Those 454’s will suck gas, new gas.
New $5/Gal gas by this summer on the water.
Was $5 last year. Could be $6 the way it is going. Arrgh! Floating condos.
… and what else can you comfortably fit 20-30 of your best friends in for an ‘after event’ party?
If your interested in a classic cruiser Commanders are one of the top selections for many reasons. Hand laid mat glass, hollow glass stringers and most have the original gel coat that can be buffed to an almost new shine. The 38 was the first CCC glass boat introduced in 1964 at the NY Boat show. They are still a great performing hull and are platform for the 42. The 38 is not a personal favorite but that is just me. It does not have a separate shower in the head which is less than ideal if you overnight. I would consider myself a CCC addict. But as far as cruisers with class go they are the most trouble free you will find.
Trouble free and ready to run? Ya you betcha!
Saltwater boat means everything is suspect from the brightwork to the mufflers. Express boats could have rot in the cockpit area, electrical is likely suspect…………
From heated storage, dock fees, fuel, replacement gens, engines, water heaters, interiors, refrigerators, props, shafts, canvas, acquisition costs, shipping it all adds up and I’ve done it all. But like a restoration, I have never added the hours and dollars up. However, as we all know it only it takes is one person to say “what year is it?” “It’s a 1969.” “Wow, it still looks great” and all the above is forgotten. Until the next round of surprises. Anyone have a new set of 8.1 Crusaders they would like to donate?
I love how you keep being attracted to cruisers ! Susie told me at Lake Dora that she is definitely on board. Glass bottom helped me get started with my Trojan which is also small enough to be trailerable. As I worked on her, I gathered some know how to tackle my runabouts. I guess most start with the smaller boats first. So many boats, so little time.
Cruiser bug. Its the only way to go!!!!!
Its the Martinique or Chris Crafts lapstrake knockoff of it for me. I could give up…something really important in exchange, kidney? But then you’ve got dockage fees and I’ve already given one kidney away. That’s it, TESTICALS. Damn, my wife’s already got those. Okay, I’m out.
Maybe the US Navy could retrofit a few old cruisers in lieu of building more Littoral Combat Ships. Here’s a story about them (they have two kinds – one complete with “Klingon styling”) on Bloomberg today: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-21/ships-leaking-37-billion-reflect-eisenhower-s-warning.html
If the US Navy had some spare budget, I’d like to see them help restore this ol’ gal…
A little big for the name Cruiser but, it’s just plain fun to say the word “Dreadnaught”. Talk about restoration budgets……Honey, can we buy a Battleship?
Ok, that 38 Commander is my dream boat of all time…I was AT the 1964 NYC boat show….in a stoller…..ok, actually when I was in High School…..but what a tank! As I recall the “first big CC cruiser” was at the top of an escalator in a huge building??? Madison Sq. Garden? don’t recall.
That is a good layout on that version too.
I have the itch for the 64 and 65 versions….and have never seen a 69 that did not have a lot of white plastic wall panels and etc….not as much interior wood…this ebay boat has wood….if needing care.
As to the Big blocks….hey…big bucks….but you can run at idle and have a trawler that you can maneuver.
Someone will get a great boat here.
John in Va.
The new york boat shows in the 1960s were at the ny coliseum at columbus circle just down the street from the century boat showroom/office on broadway. In 1964 was the worlds fair over in Brooklyn as well, the intro of the Mustang. Go ponies!
Matt – hold on until after our adventure this summer – cruising in Turquoise on the Tolly and along side a certain Commander – and there are a few of those ‘glass ones available around here as well.
Heck, we may even get Randy to show you his boat in the process…
Mike U and Sean, stop thinking small.
THIS is the boat for Matt. The SS United States. The ship screams king of the hill. True, it needs “between $100,000,000 and $300,000,000 in restoration work” (which we all know, based on our own restoration experience, will be more).
“Mr. Smith? Hi. We flipped your liner, dug into the bottom and, well, it needs more than we thought…”
But hey, there’s no possible finer WoodyBoater HQ.
Its fastest Atlantic crossing remains unbeaten. Average speed of 35.59 knots. Top speed is/was 38.3 knots (44.1 mph). Not bad you say? The boat is a 990 ft long ocean liner. It’s so fast, you can barefoot water ski behind it. Though getting out of the water from “Stop” might be a tad tough on various muscle groups.
Seeing the SS United States at speed in this video will give any classic boater chills.
The SS United States truly is a project.
She has Essex class aircraft carrier engines that were highly classified (may still be) to push her along…. We just had this discussion on Donzi.net.
Apparently she`s in great mechanical shape…but been gutted to remove the asbestos insulation. So, an interior job and some cosmetic work and she`d make a great woodyboater HQ!
Seriously, I really hope she is saved and returned to her former glory.
Cruiser…just saying the word makes me stand a little taller…which of course I can do in a full size Cruiser!
I have a 1968 36′ CC Cavalier that the previous owner (bless him) re-powered with twin 60hp Nanni Diesels.
She Cruises all day long at 9.5 and gets 4 mpg in calm waters.
Truly a summer home with cruising range.
Go get a Cruiser.
I have lived both worlds, the cruiser life style and the trailerable life style. While both have trier advantages, I have come back to the trailer boat size because I get to vist many more places around our great land of lakes, both inland and intercostal waterways.
When I did my three month cruise from Spring Lake, Mi out thru the Erie Barge canal, down the Hudson, and all the Chestpeake Bay, ending up in Key West for New Years, I got to see a lot, BUT missed alot. Every town I docked up in I could only see/ visit what was close by.
But with my trailer boat, I get to see the same waters, but I can visit the whole area and see more local sights.
And ALL the maintanece, storage, haulout and fuel COSTS are WAY more with a Cruiser type boat.
I guess I can say “Been there, done that” and when I see those BIG CLassic Cruisers, i also amire them for thier style, but my stomace turns a little, to remind me of the “Moneypit”
feeling I expierenced with 40+ footers…