It appears that the color of the steering wheels installed on the post-war 17' Deluxe may have been random between white and black throughout their production years from 1946 through 1950.
I don't recall any mention on the hull cards which color was installed on them so either color should be acceptable. If the one you have is black then refinish it black and you can't go wrong.
I'll see if I can find other topics which may help with the refinish process and post a link here later.
Well, I found this thread; http://www.chris-craft.org/discussion/v ... t=steering
after a few minutes. The final post may be of some help. There are others on the same topic dating further back.