The Search For The Missing 17′ Runabout – How Hard Could It Be?

Chris-Craft 17' Deluxe Runabout - Image Courtesy Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club

Yesterday we received a request for help from our friend and noted artist Roy Dryer – and his friend Ted Lyman – who is trying to help his good friend Ann locate the owner of a 1947 17′ Chris-Craft Deluxe Runabout. After all, how hard could it be? There was only 1,880 17′ Deluxe Runabouts built by Chris-Craft between 1946 and 1950.

As noted in the following e-mail from Ted Lyman, they do have a hull number for the missing boat which is No. R-17-656 – so based on that number, we know that it’s a 17′ Deluxe Runabout. And there is a section deep in the ACBS Directory that you can go to, and see all the members that currently own this model of Chris-Craft by individual year, which then directs you to the individual owners names / directory page numbers where you can check the hull number for a match. We did search the directory hoping for a match, and came close – within 10 digits listed, but no R-17-656 was found. This confirms that it should be a 1947 model year within the five year 1,880 unit production run. However, there are a number of 1947 Deluxe Runabouts listed in the directory that do not have the actual hull numbers registered, some of which appear to be located in the west.

We also checked the Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club Registry, and came within 2 digits, but again – no luck.

Here’s the original e-mail we received from Ted Lyman.


A good friend of mine recently passed away. Years ago he bought and partly restored a 1947 Chris Craft Runabout (I’m not 100% sure of year and model but this seems most likely.)

His widow was going through all the collected hobby stuff and came across the original plaque (in quite excellent condition.) I would like to locate the current owner of this boat, Hull No. R-17-656. How I can proceed to find this person? The ACBS book doesn’t cross reference by hull number or organize names by year and model of boats.

The only other information I have is that the boat was sold to urber collector Alan Furth in the late 80s or early 90s at the time he began putting his collection together. Any help on this would be most appreciated (especially by the current owner!)

Ted Lyman
Green Hornet
Phone: 510-835-5070


Below is a section from an original 1947 Chris-Craft Price List which shows what the 17′ Deluxe sold for and what power options were available. (You can click on the image to enlarge it)

Vintage 1947 Chris-Craft Price List - Courtesy Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club

As collectors / custodians of antique & classic boats, most of us are always on the lookout for a specific part or certain piece of history that adds to the originality or patina of our boats. If you or any of your fellow Woody Boaters own a 1947 17′ Chris-Craft Deluxe Runabout, here’s your chance to find a piece of the boats history.

If you have any information on this, you can use the comment box below, e-mail it to us here at Woody Boater at or call Ted Lyman at the number above.


18 replies
  1. brian
    brian says:

    Very sorry, I have no idea where this lovely 17 ft. CC is but I did managed to locate that wood boat with the Lamborghini in it.

  2. Frank Miklos
    Frank Miklos says:

    Just went through CC that I know of and are not well known…. I have know where R-17-725, R-17-1133, R-17-1298 are .  Sorry I was hoping that 656 was here… One note 1880 Units is in no way considered rare for one model…  That is an average of 376 a year… that is about.  With  an average of 261 (at most)  work days a year .  That is one boat every .69 work days.   That is just one model.   I consider boats built in numbers under 100 in a single model year as being a little rare.   somewhat  rare unless it was built in numbers under 50 in a mode year….   Under 30 as very rare,  Under 20 as extremely rare…    This model does not fall in to any of the classes of rare…  

    • Rick Smith
      Rick Smith says:

      I just purchase my 13 wooend chris its a 17 delux with the number R-17-1143 I saw where m you h=know where # m1133 is could you tell me the year it is so I can get the bill of sale correct ?

      thanks Rick
      I also have a 1942 Special 17 (2) 21′ seackiffs a 20′ sea skiff a 24′ sea skiff (3) 22′ cadets and a 40′ DCFB and a 1955 utility and a 1960 ski and a 1966 ski …

  3. thomas d.
    thomas d. says:

    i have a 1947, hull #R-17-511. i had that same picture of one for probally 20 years before i finally found my boat. there has been several on ebay in bad shape lately with numbers over a hundred higher than mine. i always check the hull #’s to see if it’s close to mine. they are great boats, good luck.

  4. Bob B.
    Bob B. says:

    Ours is R-17-1539, which according to Mariner’s Museum was built July 20, 1948.  On Lake George NY all of its 64 years.

  5. Larry forget
    Larry forget says:

    You just need to keep putting the word or request out via the clubs.. It took us 18 years to re-locate our award winning 16 ft 1947  Chris , Blue ROCKET..Tried the Chris club & their web site..
     Anytime a boat came up For Sale write the seller & ask for the Hull #… Sure enough ours was For Sale west coast of Florida , all restored after many years..  Wood boats fair better than Classic Fiberglass, because  of the collectible $$ value.

  6. Brian Robinson
    Brian Robinson says:

    Looking at the 1990 Furth list, there were two 17′ Deluxes – neither show a hull number.  One was “Rolf Juel” that sold to Jim Thompson, then to Pete Lahti.  I don’t know the hull number.  It was a gray boat, and was restored and named “Sticks”.  

    The other was named “Miss Behavin” and was listed as an older restoration.  I think this is the boat you are looking for. 

  7. jerri
    jerri says:

    Checking in the handy ACBS directory there is only one “Miss Behavin”.  It is owned by our good friend and heck of a boat bailer Phil Jones.   The trouble is… it’s a 1957 and the numbers are not close. 

    There was another Miss Behavin in the 2008 directory, but not even close to what you are looking for. 

    Does anyone out there have directories from 1990 through 2008 to see if it can be found there.

    This is fun!  Let’s try another.


  8. Phil Jones
    Phil Jones says:

    Jerri, Old saying “Keep your friends close and your bucket closer”?????????
    I sold Betty Boop at the Hilton Head Concurs. Guy walked up, said his wife colected BB stuff and he had been looking for something to buy her this year. Wrote me a check on the spot. Said he wasn’t even going to put her in the water. Said he was going to have a special stand made to tilt her on the wall in there play room.

  9. John Kadimik
    John Kadimik says:

    Jerri, I have ACBS directories from the early 80’s. I looked, but the problem is ACBS did not list boat names until 1999. From 1forward reward,I had no luck.

  10. Ted Lyman
    Ted Lyman says:


    Thanks for the help on this ACBS’ers!  It took exactly 18 hours to locate the owner of this boat, for which I have the original hull plaque.  Brian Robinson did the sleuthing, determining that one of the two Delux Runabouts that were sold to Alan Furth in the late 80s-early 90s was owned by Rolf Juell.  He is the friend I wrote to ACBS about who recently passed away. Rolf  and his widow Ann Juell were friends of JoAnne and I since kindegarden!  Rolf died last year and Ann has been slowly working her way thorugh all of Rolf’s hobby stuff (model submarines, airplanes, metal toys, real Citerion 2CV’s, etc.).  Brian writes that the boat went through a few owners and was last in hands of a Pete Lahti.  I know John Lathi (Pete’s brother–John has a place at CA’s Clear Lake and hosts a long running ACBS event–Wood and Glory– every year).  So, the hunt narrows.  This near perfext hull plaque from 1947 is about to find its way back to the boat on which it was originally installed.  Go ACBS!

    Ted Lyman
    Green Hornet
    AH 1060

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      Great news John – We are always happy to help.  Let us know how this all plays out.


  11. Texx
    Texx says:

    Thanks for your help with the search for the missing runabout Brian. 

    It’s great to see that together as a group we were able to locate the current owner of R-17-656 for Ted and his freind Ann Juell.

    And thanks to everyone who chimed in as well.

  12. Jon
    Jon says:

    I just found R-17-1092 in a barn in Arkansas… Who knows how long she’s been collecting dust. What’s my first step in discovering info on her?


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