Tom’s Rocket!

Tom and His trusty Rocket!

This is not in the under $5k range, but still is a very affordable fun boat. We love these simple painted Rockets, and so did Tom. One of two owners. The other good news is that lots of work was done, like chrome, engine etc.

The Rocket, where is Tom? Poof! You can put yourself in the picture!

Nice interior

Her Hull number

Nice and clean topside

The not so good news is that she is still on her original bottom. Now, its Wisconsin, and maybe she will soak up.

Tom’s Rocket in the water!

As you may recall we featured one a couple years ago, with a new bottom for around $18K and that was a bargain. The varnished ones that are later years, 1950’s are AMAZING little boats and can handle rough water. The price range for these painted ones is 10K -15K with original bottoms, and not a whole lot more with a new bottom. These are a softer period look for the 1940’s though which was an amazing period for Chris Craft.  But that was then and this is now, and now on ebay. So are we just alone in our love of these fun painted boats? Red white racers? Red and white anything? Where there other colored boats?

15 replies
  1. Wlson
    Wlson says:

    I remember a couple of years back when West Marine had a poster with a varnished Rocket on display in their stores. I thought, at the time, what a great ad for vintage Chris Crafts.

  2. matt
    matt says:

    How about a cool graphic on the side. Not sure of the year this rocket was an option or standard. but its one of the coolest parts of the look of these. Not sure why its not done more.

  3. Mike D
    Mike D says:

    There are three Chris Craft in a clothing store chain in Door County Wisconsin. The boats are draped in fancy smancy summer cloths for the well-to-do flatlands to purchase. The boats get plenty of oohs and ahh.

  4. Mo
    Mo says:

    Don’t knock original CC bottoms! Properly cared for they will last upwards of 50 + years! They require some patience and many of us in this rush-rush world don’t have much of that! Don’t calk the seams – more original bottoms are destroyed by calking than any other means. Of course eventually the original bottoms will probably have to be replaced, but meanwhile don’t assume the bottom is bad because it’s original.

    • steve stevenson
      steve stevenson says:

      Hey Matt thanks for sharing my add on woody boater, I’m helping Tom sell his boat . I have all the documentation on this boat including the Mariners report, including the hull card. Tom saved everything related to this boat all the receipts. About the bottom it was kept in the water at the Waupaca Chain of lakes. Here’s Tom in his own words

  5. Matt
    Matt says:

    My point was more about the price. There is of course a long argument about the degrading aspect of old wood and it being weak. But yes, if it will soak up and stay in the water one could have some fun. BUT, if you are asking $17K for a boat like this with an original bottom, and there is one with a new bottom for $1K more. One must consider all sorts of items in the value of a boat. For example, the Trailer? That can be between 1500-5000, who did the engine work? How strong is the bottom? But with all those questions, a cool blue rocket is worth it as a restoration project. People that have these have them for a long time. What does that tell you. Like the 25 sportsman. They are owned forever.

  6. Dan T
    Dan T says:

    Great point Mo. I think a lot of good condition original bottoms are replaced more for the convince of having a no leak bottom. In the old days boats were kept in the water and used more and time for the swelling wasn’t a factor. Of course, no wooden bottom lasts forever. Even the 5200’s will need replacing eventually.

  7. Cenger
    Cenger says:

    I sold my 1942 Special Runnabout at no reserve on eBay for less than 10k. Had a new 5200 bottom, rebuilt engine and new upholstery. You can still find great boats at reasonable prices if you look long and hard enough.

  8. MikeM
    MikeM says:

    Here’s an all original, totally gone through beauty on the West Coast for $15K. Nice Tandem axle trailer too

  9. Les Best
    Les Best says:

    My second CC was a 47 Rocket, Atomic blue, had been stripped before I bought it. Blue was under the cutwater. Never got it together, Chrysler Ace block was cracked, sold and it went to Mi. Still have the engine box, boat was cedar I think, mahogany was still hard to get after the war.

  10. Mike Green
    Mike Green says:

    I restored a couple of Chris Craft Rockets years ago. One of them were the Atomic blue color and it had the rocket on the side. We made a pattern of it and put it back on and all that I have seen came with the Chrysler Ace which made it a pretty fast little boat. I heard that Chris Craft made the Chris Craft Rocket in Atomic Blue in honor of Chuck Yeager being the first human to officially break the sound barrier, on October 14, 1947, he flew the experimental Bell X-1 at Mach 1

  11. MikeP
    MikeP says:

    I bought this boat in pieces for 3.5k 3 years ago , shipped it from Indiana to New York … put it back together with 5200 bottom for 20k … absolutely fun , fun, fun!

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