1954 36′ Chris-Craft Commander

Location: Westchester County, NY

Project Boat: 1954 36' Chris Craft Commander, twin MLRs.  Mystere was built at the pinnacle of the last Deco styled wooden cruisers, a hardtop 6-sleeper in quite original condition (second owner).  She has won many show awards and used for calendar cover photos.  She is very easy handling with a completely flat sole from the helm to the stern making it simple to single-hand.  Maneuvering is a dream with the mechanical reverse band 'transmissions' (not Velvet drive!) allowing for slow speed prop feathering and easy docking.  The electrical system has been converted to 12V and a modern AC panel.  Original fuel filters are in place but hidden modern fuel filters/water separators precede them.  Pertronix ignition allows for quick starting, excellent running at speed and smooth idling.  Added Federal couplings smooth out shaft vibrations. Complete and original hardware, twin turtle-top horns and Half-mile Ray spotlight.   Now for the bad news.  Although when I put her in dry-dock 8 years ago, she was in sound mechanical, structural and electrical condition, the years outdoors under tarp have proven to be painfully detrimental in terms of cosmetics.  Every single surface will need extensive prepping and refinishing. There is wood damage in gunwale ‘cubby’ areas and a stern corner, and much of the upholstery and carpeting should be replaced due to mildew and staining.  Even if you are skilled and meticulous, it will take much effort and many hours before she is once again presentable and show winner.  In the 23 years I have owned her I have done this myself a few times, but I am older now and simply can’t keep up with the effort required.  She is a beautiful boat when refinished and I am sorry to have to let her go.   I will accept offers from motivated collectors willing to put her back in shape, or will donate to an established boating museum or boat building school.  Please contact me at [email protected] for details.

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