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U22 with Cedar Bottom

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U22 with Cedar Bottom

Post by Lowkey » Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:08 pm

I just purchased a 1947 U22 that has been out of the water and stored inside for 5 years. I had it surveyed at the time and it is not the original bottom, it has a single plank cedar bottom with batten running the full length of the boat. One plank was bad which I have removed and will replace. The remainder of the bottom is in average to good shape. My Question is, given that the bottom is well dried out, would it make sense to strip the bottom paint and apply some type of sealer to the wood? Any suggestions would be appreciated

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Chad Durren
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Re: U22 with Cedar Bottom

Post by Chad Durren » Thu Oct 23, 2014 10:29 pm

Welcome Lowkey, U22s are fantastic boats and you're sure to enjoy it.

As for the bottom, you might might want to post some pictures of the bottom so others can chime in with words of advice. Your original bottom would have been double-planked. If your current bottom is in need of extensive repair, you might consider a new 5200 bottom. I'm not saying your batten-seam bottom isn't seaworthy, but let some of the pros here take a look and perhaps they can suggest the next step.

Also, if you have not already done so, try to get your hands on a copy Don Danenburg's "How to Restore Your Wooden Runabout I & II" books. They are an invaluable resource for any wood boat restoration.

Good luck!
1952 CC 18' Sportsman
1969 CC 19' Commander Super Sport

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Re: U22 with Cedar Bottom

Post by offshorespars » Sat Oct 25, 2014 6:54 am

Hello Lowkey:

I also have a 1947 U22 with a cedar bottom, cedar ceiling boards and cedar instrument panel. My hull sides and deck are mahogany. My bottom is original. Cedar was used because of the shortage of mahogany after WWII. What I find most curious is that when the bottom was replaced that someone would have taken the time and effort to notch all the frames transom bow and stem structure for the longitudinal battens! A photo or two of the bilge would be interesting to see.

When I purchased my U22 it had been stored inside for several years. I knew the boat yard manager that had done work on the boat for the previous owner so I did not have a survey. I knew there was some bad wood in the transom area and fully excepted the fact I would have to replace some of those areas. What I was not prepared for was the amount of oil, grime and grease that was in the bilge. The way the U22 floor boards are installed makes it very difficult to inspect the bilge area. With the exception of the two small, removable floor boards that are forward and aft of the engine cover the other floor boards are screwed to the frames and covered with linoleum. This was the factory installation process as far as I know. The linoleum covers the screw heads so the floor boards are not removable. In my case the previous owner had indoor/outdoor carpet installed over the original linoleum as well. When I removed the carpet I was fortunate to find the linoleum loose as the adhesive had given out many years previous. The floor boards were easy to remove but what I found was 67 years of dirt, grime, oil and grease. Some of it was loose enough to remove with a putty knife and power washer but the hardened grease took multiple cans of brake cleaner to loosen. Once the grime was removed I found several rotten ribs that were easy to replace along with one frame.

I offer my experience so that others interested purchasing a Chris Craft U22 take the time to evaluate the bilge area. The build up of dirt and grime holds the moisture and does not allow the wood to "breathe" making the wood a candidate to rot.

With all this being said and having hundreds of man hours in the ongoing restoration process I have ABSOLUTELY no regrets in the purchase. I also have a 1947 17' Deluxe Runabout. It is a great little boat but you have to pick your days in order to enjoy the rid where as the U22 will go through just about anything.

1978 30' CC Sportsman
1948 22' CC Sportsman

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