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Another boat that needs ID help!!

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Another boat that needs ID help!!

Post by brian.david.roberts » Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:56 am


New member here... Bought a boat a couple of weeks ago advertised as an "18 foot Chris-Craft runabout" but I am having trouble identifying it. Haven't found any hull ID numbers yet. Most of the top deck and engine hatch area is missing. It seems to have hardware from a post-war Custom, but my understanding is that they were only 20 foot. Has shape of Riviera, but the construction details don't seem to match photos I have found online. Engine stringers and mounts look home-made, so I am guessing this engine is probably from the same Custom that "donated" the other hardware. The engine is a Chris-Craft "M" number 12606. The LOA is around 18'-1" and the beam is in the 70-71" range. It also seems to be blind screwed. It appears that a previous owner was trying to make the Custom fold-down windshield fit this narrower boat. Did Chris-Craft make a boat with these dimensions? Did they ever do blind fastened? Shepherd? Century? I'm in NC so could it be a Barbour? Backyard built? I'm totally baffled.

Thanks for any help y'all can offer!

Brian Roberts

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Re: Another boat that needs ID help!!

Post by jwmccman » Sat Mar 23, 2019 7:08 am

According to the C C Engine Master Record books I have, the
Model M 12606 was originally installed in Hull R-20-079, a
1946 20ft Custom, and it looks like all of the hardware is from
the same boat.
Joe Morrison

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Re: Another boat that needs ID help!!

Post by brian.david.roberts » Sat Mar 23, 2019 9:49 am

Thanks for that info, Joe. This is a great start. Isn't there a registry somewhere that I can search? I assume that the boat has been destroyed since I have all of its stuff, but it is worth a look.

I heard back from Jim Hooker at the Mariner's Museum and he relayed that the 18 foot runabouts (1932-1935) and deluxe runabouts (1934-1936) have similar dimensions to my hull, which was promising. However, the bow of my hull appears to be more blunt that those hulls?

I have been trying to find out who made blind fastened plank and batten hulls back in the day, but haven't had much luck yet.

Also, the frame knees look pretty specifically cut into the curved shapes. Is that indicative of a specific manufacturer or builder?

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Captain Nemo
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Re: Another boat that needs ID help!!

Post by Captain Nemo » Wed Mar 27, 2019 3:33 pm

Hi Brian,
I looked at the pics and can say with certainty that the hull is not Chris Craft. It looks to be more like a homebuilt job to me. They made an attempt to replicate the bullnose bow from the fifties. As you said, the engine stringers are a bit crude and they should run about 3/4 length of the boat and all the way to the stern.
The hardware seems to be a bit of a mix and match also, for example, I see a pull handle shift lever from a Garwood in there.
I'm not quite sure what I would do with this one. :?
Boats are to be made of wood, otherwise, God would have grown fiberglass trees.

jim g
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Re: Another boat that needs ID help!!

Post by jim g » Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:22 pm

Definitely homebuilt. It has an engine bed for the motor. It does not have stringers which run most of the length of the boat. The boat will probably flex a lot since there isn't anything tying all the frame work together.

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Re: Another boat that needs ID help!!

Post by brian.david.roberts » Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:26 am

Thanks, I agree with all of that. I did notice in all of the hull structure photos I looked at online had the longitudinal stringers, which are absent on my hull.

So do we think it was from some old plans, or did someone just make this up? It's old enough to use slotted bronze (or maybe brass?) screws, but it is blind fastened. Does that help narrow down the time frame?

I have been trying to find old boat plans online to see if I can find something similar, but most of the stuff I have found are from stuff back in old Power Boating magazines from the 30's. Anyone have any sources for any of the "knock-off" plans from back in the day? I would like to try and find SOMETHING concrete before I figure out how to proceed.

I guess my options would include...
- Find someone with a 46-49 Custom that needs the parts (maybe search for 079?) and then build what is left however I want and put modern engine and stuff in it (or just light it on fire).

- Continue this Frankenstein project and see how it goes.

- Or, if it turns out that 079 has been destroyed (by either human and/or natural causes) rebuild it from "scratch?" Although I'm not quite sure how I, or all of you, would feel about this. I wouldn't want to commit a wooden boat faux-pas, especially since I'm the newbie.

Thoughts...? Opinions...?

Thanks again for all your help.

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Don Vogt
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Re: Another boat that needs ID help!!

Post by Don Vogt » Sun Mar 31, 2019 9:18 am

Your best chance for capturing some of your labor and other expenses of restoration when it comes time to sell the boat, is when you start with a production boat rather than a home made one.
1938 Chris Craft 17' Deluxe Runabout "Jennifer II"

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