1961 Chris Craft Continental Hardtop Heaverweight Fight Going On, On Facebook!

Mike Green flips over the 21' Continental!

Mike Green flips over the 21′ Continental!

In this corner weighing in at 4000 pounds is the barn find Continental being restored by Mike green of Maritime Classic s in Michigan. And in the other corner weighing in at .. wait.. 4000 pounds is the barn find all original low hours Continental hardtop being restored by Don hardy of McCall Boat Works. yes, thats right, two stunning 1961 Hardtop 21′ Continentals being restored for the big Lake Tahoe show next year.

The 21 Contintal at McCall Boat works. Barn find with just  tad over 100original hours. OUCH! Thats a nice original interior.

The 21 Contintal at McCall Boat works. Barn find with just tad over 100original hours. OUCH! Thats a nice original interior.

Both restorers have won big at Tahoe, Mike Green though has a very impressive win record at the huge International show, have won best of show 3 years! Don Hardy has slammed it out of the park at Tahoe and other west coast shows. So who will it be.. You will be the winner.. Other than us, who don’t have to do any of the work, or spend any money.. We just get to watch the battle of the bungs!  Kinda like the thrilla in Manilla! Anyway, I digress. Through out the winter we will be reporting in, but if you want a blow by blow battle, just like or friend them on facebook. They are very generous with there bragging, and pictures..

A page right of the book! A original 1st edition Chris Craft book! HA!

A page right of the book! A original 1st edition Chris Craft book! HA!

We can of course all comment here and sit back as they find the little hidden “issues” that no doubt we will find. All though from reports from Paul Harrison, the owner patron of the Mike Green Continental. It was very clean and nice. Somehow though I have a feeling that he will issue a full Harrison comment below.. Get out your thesaurus.. and yes I had to google thesaurus! Smart asses!

The McCall boat just pulled from a barn of dust!

The McCall boat just pulled from a barn of dust!


The Maritime Classics Cont before, sold at the Warner Auction

The Maritime Classics Cont before, sold at the Warner Auction

Here is the link to Maritime classics Facebook page. AND here is the LINK to McCall Boat Works Facebook page


Here is an ad for the 21' Cont

Here is an ad for the 21′ Cont

41 replies
  1. Steve Moreau
    Steve Moreau says:

    Man I like those continental’s! Was looking at one in Oklahoma before I found my Higgins. Hey what’s a thesaurus? Is it like a turtle? I’ve some real good recipes for turtle.

  2. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    I love the 61 interiors, and those Continentals are a truly useful utility design. I should team up with Alex and together we can help Paul fill his with kids and ice cream and pizza and…

        • Steve Moreau
          Steve Moreau says:

          Yea and the white and stainless swim platform, and the gunnel mounted SS BBQ pit from West Marine! Got to have the total package.

          Sorry Paul too much time on my hands this morning!

          • Paul H.
            Paul H. says:

            It had the floor/frame mount for a Chris Craft ski tow bar, but the bar is missing. I don’t think we are putting it back. With the 430 and lots of interior space, this would have been the sport-boat ticket back in the day. Maybe not the best flat-wake ski boat, but it would have been a great social/ski boat.

  3. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:


    Still not sure how much I would like a hard top boat. Even my cruiser has a soft top and it is out of the way as often as possible.

  4. Rick
    Rick says:

    To figure out the winner someone will have to count the number of bungs off by more than 2 degree from the planking grain. Or maybe the exact to the .0000x second drip rate of the shaft log.

    • Mike Green
      Mike Green says:

      I’ll take that bet Chad! The only piece of wood that will not be original in this boat is a 1” by 10” support for the battery box.
      I looks like Don used a little more lumber and not sure it will be a preserved boat just because of the outer planking. he’s doing a great job though.

      • Chad
        Chad says:

        Hey wait, I thought this was a battle? It’s not a battle if you’re in 2 separate weight classes. All bets are off!

        I’m sure they will both turn out fantastic. I can’t wait to see them both in Minnesota.

  5. Paul H.
    Paul H. says:

    Only a fairly short comment from me today – to the likely relief of your readers, Matt. I won’t be taking mine to Tahoe next year – sad to say but it conflicts with our local show. It will go to the International, and likely the Sandpoint Id. show. Aside from that, you will find us using it on our home lake as much as possible.

    I will add that myself, Mike, Don Hardy and Don’s client are collaborating very closely on these projects, and providing much mutual assistance. The interior’s are very complex on these boats, as has been pointed out and getting them right is a challenge. My boat will retain every original plank, except the bottom transom I believe. The bottom was done but the only structural work required was the replacement of one frame tie. It was a remarkably well preserved Texas boat, as was presented to be the case at the auction.

    We are also talking with the other restorer handling the job in Houghton Lake, and helping each other wherever possible as we round up parts, grab patterns and do whatever we can to get a new clutch of these hardtops out on the water, looking great. The hulls are pretty basic, but all the other adorning accoutrement is not. To say I am pleased with the condition of my boat and the progress so far would be an understatement. Can’t wait until spring!

    • Ricks
      Ricks says:

      Adding to Pauls statement. The one at Marine Services is mine, and I have another one there without the hardtop waiting in line. They are both in for a complete restoration. The phones have been very busy this morning, because of this thread.
      It is truly wonderful that all of us are bringing these boats back to the water. And from speaking to Dave at MSU this morning. I find that the help / info between the folks working on them is fantastic!
      It would be really great to have them all together cruising on the water!

  6. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    The ad for the 21 shown above shows a subtle feature I’ve not seen on any of these “in the wood” – the slight aqua tint on the outer tail-fin detail below the shear.

    I think it looks good, but have never seen one actually done that way, nor have I seen any other picture showing that.

    So, coming at it from a judging standpoint – What is correct? Hmmm… 🙂

    These are great boats and I can’t wait to see them finished and (hopefully) on the water together one day. Thanks for saving them!

    • Paul H.
      Paul H. says:

      Interesting observation, Dick. I had never noticed, to be honest, even though I have the brochure at home. There is no evidence that the fiberglass on mine was ever touched and it certainly did not have that tint. I have never seen it elsewhere either. I have to suspect that it was hand-colored for the brochure, or perhaps a prototype. We have all the finish spec’s and codes for the boat, straight from factory documents, down to the gel coat, and there is no mention of that tint. I have to assume it was therefore not a production decision. I’d love to hear from anyone that has seen it though – nothing is known to be 100% certain, that’s for sure.

      • Dick Dow
        Dick Dow says:

        Paul, I suspect it is colorization on the ad as well, but is a nice touch (to my eye) and could not really be argued if someone wanted to do their boat that way. – Just look at the ad! 🙂

        It would certainly set a boat apart from the others, but is also a personal choice and as you indicate, not documented anywhere else.

  7. reddog
    reddog says:

    M. S. U. does really nice work Rick, was the bueller dave worked on yours? i know the person that owned the sportsman they were working on at the same time. they did amazing work on the bueller it turned out very nice maybe better than new. steve m. a thesaurus is an OLD book, from back in the dinosaur days when books were popular.

    • Ricks
      Ricks says:

      Yes, reddog. They actually did another Bueller before mine. That is how I found out about them. Mine is the Blue/White ’62 on the facebook page. Couldn’t be happier with their work. Thank you for the compliment.

      • Greg Lewandowski
        Greg Lewandowski says:

        Dave and Scott at MSU have done two boats for me. My ’47 17′ CC Deluxe, Water Lily, and now completing my ’57 20′ CC Continental, Tiger Lily. They are great guys that do very high quality work.

  8. Chad
    Chad says:

    What about the other ’61 hardtop found in Shreveport? Owned by David Harris. He surfaced when WB ran a story of Don’s barn find in 2013.

  9. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    I really do find it AWESOME that people are showing so much attention and interest to these and other “Late Model” woodies.

    (Photo thanks to CCABC)

    • Paul H.
      Paul H. says:

      Very true, Troy – there were fewer and fewer carvel-planked boats being built and sold by the late ’50’s – early ’60’s and they more or less vanished quickly thereafter. The later boats are some of the best, having more power etc, and I am glad to see more of them being restored. I hope the trend continues.

      • don vogt
        don vogt says:

        Paul, this will be a fabulous restoration. these are neat boats and it is wonderful that there are several being worked on at the same time. No doubt designed to compete with the century coronado, but still more restrained in styling. Will look forward to the result. You may be the only guy who got the better of warner at the auction! Ha.

    • don vogt
      don vogt says:

      Right, Texx, when you compare this to the continental, it seems that the continental is pretty conservative. they did add the fin element to the back and the top, of course, but aside from that the boat is quite traditional in appearance. The coronado has a number of eye catching elements, doesnt it? thanks for the pictures.

      • Texx
        Texx says:

        Dave Bortner and I spent the day touring around Lake Minnetonka in his (this) Coronado, with many different stops along the way. The gull wings work great around the dock for ingress – egress, etc.

        • Paul H.
          Paul H. says:

          I have discussed with Dave the prospect of putting my ’21 ’61 Conti in the water side by side with his ’21 ’61 Coronado at the International next fall in order that this comparison can be made directly. I think that would be cool to see two such direct competitors like this.

          Now there’s a shoot out idea for you, Matt! Just like Alex and Mike facing of the glass, Dave and I could do the same with these two!

  10. Steve Moreau
    Steve Moreau says:

    Ok Redding I think I got it. It’s like a garfish, my old mom could may great garfish ball in a tomato sauce!
    Paul send me a hand drawing I weld and bend aluminum and stainless fairly well. Old school style using trees and come-along. Here’s a sample of a 32′.

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