Here is another bit of information from a new book I am presently having published, which is just days from being released; "Restoration of the Fiberglass Chris Craft Commander, Including Classic Fiberglass Lancer and Corsair Runabouts, A Photo-Intensive Documentation of World-Class Restorations"
Of the 14 chapters (each one spending up to 15 to 20 pages each, on a notable restoration project) one of them will be familiar to Boat Buzz and CCABC fans, as it focuses on a certain XL-175 project by a guy who was "formerly" known as a dyed-in-the-wool wood boat guy. This particular restoration is proof that you can have full respect and admiration
for our awesome Chris Craft wood boat heritage, but you can also respect (and enjoy) the fine products Chris Craft built in fiberglass during a very competitive and dynamic time frame, beginning in 1963 (a year before the release of the first Commander). After all the work is done, and this particular boat is splashed this spring, then I think we will all begin hearing more about the on-the-water performance of this "bomb" of a boat (to use Chris Craft's own marketing words of description for this model).
I think there is some good information here, please overlook any talk about "the book" because this is a direct exerpt taken out of the book. I hope you enjoy this as an information piece, it is the first time anyone outside of the internal editing group has seen it.
Here is a perfect indication of how "the classic fiberglass revolution” has gained respect
from antique and classic boating fans world-wide during the last twenty years, from my
friend, Curt Radford:
“Several years ago, I attended an antique and classic boat show on the Lake Winnebago
system in Wisconsin. As I was docking our 1967 38' Chris Craft Commander, I was met by
a very angry show representative who demanded that I leave. When I asked why, I was told,
"You know why." The implied reason was that our boat was of fiberglass and not of wood
construction. I argued that our boat was older than many there on display. Despite this
fact, we were not able to tie up the boat.”
The above quotation by Curt Radford, MD, was originally published in an article he wrote for Classic
Boating Magazine, published in the July / August 1997 edition.
My how times have changed! Many thanks to Dr. Radford, for being a mentor and spark-plug in putting such a focus on the Commander series.