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Chris Craft and Quality Control

If it doesn't pertain to metal, wood, wire or fabric—but it is about vintage Chris-Crafts, ask your question or give your advice here.

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motoryachtsoco
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Chris Craft and Quality Control

Post by motoryachtsoco » Wed Oct 07, 2015 12:16 pm

As my 1956 Capri comes along I've come to the conclusion that while Chris Craft built great boats, that today are loved and cherished by many, the quality control aspect of the company might have been seriously lacking.

Christopher Smith might have borrowed Henry Ford's production line processes and introduced those ideas to boat building but supervision of those processes and ideas seems to have been lacking.

My 1956 Capri has a great look and wonderful details. The process of disassembly offers an insight into Chris a Craft culture, and taking apart the work is is easy to see how the built process was managed.

Three battens and two ribs needed repairs because during the assembly someone drove screws off the mark splitting the wood. But on the port side where a screw missed the mark someone did a repair by backing the offending screw out and filling in the hole.

Bungs along one section of the starboard side are perfectly matched as to color and grain. While elsewhere they were just stuck in without any care.

I removed a split bung from the covering board on the port side to discover no screw. Curious, I removed the bungs on either side and found no screws. Turns out there are seven holes on each side with no screws.

Ditto with the crash pad instal. Starboard side tacks are placed with notable exactness, while the port side tacks are lacking the same machine like skilled quality. I suspect the master craftsman working alongside the apprentice.

Maybe my Capri was a Friday built?

The battery box is perfect example of quality craftmenship. While 32 inches aft the plank covering the staffing box and shaft looks like a ten year old made the cuts.

Don't get me wrong I love the boat, but I to find it interesting the numerous flaws.
Chris McIntire

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Brian Robinson
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Re: Chris Craft and Quality Control

Post by Brian Robinson » Wed Oct 07, 2015 10:54 pm

Some are better than others. Quality control at the different factories was an issue. I have noticed that the farther away the factory was from Algonac, the less quality control there was. The Caruthersville, MO built boats are the worst I've seen. All things considered, they were building a good product with the materials available at the time, IMHO.

The empty bung holes in your deck is a Capri thing. They are because the entire deck was a sub-assembly. There are usually screws underneath the deck planking, in the shelf underneath, this is how they blind fastened it. I have seen these in every Capri we've done.
-Brian
1923 Hackercraft 23' Dolphin #03
1938 Gar Wood 22' Streamliner #6256 Empress
1952 Chris~Craft 19' Racing Runabout #363 Thunderstruck
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Re: Chris Craft and Quality Control

Post by Al Benton » Thu Oct 08, 2015 7:12 am

Quality control may have been a lesser priority on areas of a Chris-Craft boat that aren't visible. None of the craftsmen who built them would have anticipated that 60-plus years later someone may notice.

The 1948, 17' runabout that I helped remove the original bottom revealed similar variations in quality from side to side. The near perfect side had slotted screws in the bottom planks; obviously an old-salt craftsman that couldn't (or wouldn't) adapt to using the new R&P ones. The other side could have been fabricated by his apprentice (using R&P screws) and was not so perfect. But the old bottom lasted much longer than anyone at the time ever expected.
Al
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Re: Chris Craft and Quality Control

Post by Oberon01 » Fri Oct 09, 2015 9:51 am

I have noticed this over the years as well. People tend to think these were built by craftsmen, when that was no more the case than a '61 Impala was built by a craftsman at GM.

I recently had a 1961 21' Continental with the gullwing hard top restored. The top is just not square to the boat - never was and never will be. The same thing was found by Don Hardy when he restored the twin to my boat out in Idaho - the fit is terrible. In addition, the construction of and build quality of the top itself was terrible, with waves, dips and multiple thin spots. Not sure who built these pieces for CC but they were bad. Even the mounting bolts are not well installed and are not square. Really a joke by modern standards.

Further, the two rear vents are visually identical, but one mounts from above and the other below. Turns out that both CC and Century used the same supplier - identical pieces except that Century vents mount from below and CC's from above. The wrong vent was sent to CC and the guy on the line installed it anyway. We know it is original as the deck is original and there are no old holes from any other vent fittings.

The boats we love look great and we have to recall the standards, expectations, materials and methods of manufacture were substantially different in past eras. We don't help much by over restoring them and putting 15 coats of varnish on when they came from the factory with 3 or 4, either.
1926 Mullins 16' Outboard Special
1940 CC 19'Custom
1946 Gar Wood 22' 6" Sedan
1946 16' Peterbrough Falcon
1947 CC 16' Special Runabout
1947 Chris Craft 22' Sportsman
1948 CC 25' Sportsman Sedan
1959 Feather Craft Islander Express Cruiser
1961 CC 21' Continental
1965 Glastron Futura 500 V -164
1965 CC Sea Skiff 24'

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DennyDowning
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Re: Chris Craft and Quality Control

Post by DennyDowning » Mon Oct 19, 2015 5:55 am

Interesting discussion here.

"Today's Standards"
Hmmm, Made in China comes to mind....

Every piece of wood on our boats is different and was created by God.
Every person who hand crafted those parts is different as well.
As a old furniture maker I can tell you mistakes do happen.
The experienced craftsman has the ability to make it look as though it should be that way.
These beautiful pieces of floating furniture do have flaws but isn't that part of the beauty of these old vessels?
They also can be repaired, not like todays quality control where you have to dump it in the landfill when it fails.
Just seems to me if you want a photographic looking woodgrained finish get contact paper or Formica and stay away from real wood.
I have seen more beautiful boats destroyed by men trying to make them right then well, mistakes made during the original manufacture.
The men and engineers who built these old boats have forgotten more then most of us will ever know.
I respect the heck out of what they accomplished.
And Henry Ford....
If it was made in Detroit it can be repaired.
Nuff said....

Denny

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Re: Chris Craft and Quality Control

Post by joanroy » Mon Oct 19, 2015 6:46 am

Anyone who doesn't think these old woodies were built by craftsmen, try building one yourself form a pile of rough sawn mahogany and get it out the door in a about a week like CC did back in the day. The sheer volume built and the amazing quality achieved boggles the mind. These boats have lasted over half a century and are the reason so many are able to enjoy the hobby today. Thats Quality Control..

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Re: Chris Craft and Quality Control

Post by Greg Wallace » Mon Oct 19, 2015 8:15 am

The boats were NOT built by a single individual at Chris Craft. They were built by a well engineered process of production employing average individuals (not craftsmen) trained to do a specific task when the boat hit their station. This resulted in efficiency, consistency and cost containment. The "craftsmen" were called in to fix the "screw ups" or at least figure out how to make the adjustment to get the boat out the door.

WE all love our boats but just like mass produced cars they were not flawless or built by an individual with skills beyond their assigned task in the process.

We are lucky that is the case otherwise there would not be enough around to justify this club.
Greg Wallace 23 Custom 22166 former Chris-Craft dealer Russells Point, Oh.

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Re: Chris Craft and Quality Control

Post by Oberon01 » Mon Oct 19, 2015 9:26 am

Couldn't agree more, Greg. I find the flaws to be part of the boats' story and in most cases, I have retained the flaws through whatever preservation/restoration process I was involved in. I don't want to represent them as something they were not to begin with if possible. Never the less, the flaws are there - numerous, sometimes egregious and they would be unacceptable in today's world.

I will add that not only were these boats built on a production line by unskilled or semi-skilled workers (in some cases seasonal workers at that), they were also built to a price. This by necessity would involve compromises in many areas. A CC cost much less than a Gar Wood and a fraction of what a Ditchburn or Greavette cost - for very good reasons.

As Joanroy says, it takes a great deal of skill to build an entire boat, but not that much to mount a piece of hardware with a template, or drive screws - single tasks that workers were trained to do on the line.

I occasionally read contemporary road tests of vehicles from past era's in old publications. We may like the old stuff looks, but in every way current vehicles are vastly superior to vehicles of 30,40, 50+ years ago. More striking than engineering improvements, which are to be expected, are the comments on the quality at the time - in contemporary road tests, they were called out for horrible construction quality in many, many cases. Trim falling off, rust-through in a year, mechanical problems and terrible reliability. One year, 12,000 mile warranties. This is what reviewers of new cars at the time thought, and I place a lot of stock in that. I see no reason to think that the quality control on the old boats was a different story.

Lets enjoy the boats for what they were and are, but not get all silly about them being built by artisans to a level they were not. Recognition of this reality does not diminish my appreciation of them one bit, just as I still like old cars, even though they were pretty poorly built and under-engineered for a long time.
1926 Mullins 16' Outboard Special
1940 CC 19'Custom
1946 Gar Wood 22' 6" Sedan
1946 16' Peterbrough Falcon
1947 CC 16' Special Runabout
1947 Chris Craft 22' Sportsman
1948 CC 25' Sportsman Sedan
1959 Feather Craft Islander Express Cruiser
1961 CC 21' Continental
1965 Glastron Futura 500 V -164
1965 CC Sea Skiff 24'

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Re: Chris Craft and Quality Control

Post by joanroy » Mon Oct 19, 2015 11:56 am

My wife owns a 2015 VW TDI diesel.

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Re: Chris Craft and Quality Control

Post by Greg Wallace » Mon Oct 19, 2015 12:06 pm

There is a difference between quality and conscience.
Greg Wallace 23 Custom 22166 former Chris-Craft dealer Russells Point, Oh.

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Re: Chris Craft and Quality Control

Post by mfine » Mon Oct 19, 2015 12:18 pm

joanroy wrote:My wife owns a 2015 VW TDI diesel.
That is a great car that gets fantastic mileage. As long as you are in it or in front you are OK. If you are behind it, just follow Bill Clinton's example and don't inhale.

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Re: Chris Craft and Quality Control

Post by DennyDowning » Mon Oct 19, 2015 1:00 pm

I absolutely adore my 86 year old boat.
Starts better then my 3 year old car.
I think the old girl may last another 86 years.
Isn't that good enough - even by todays standards.
My vacuume fuel pump.... well works great but I have no idea what the original warrenty was.
Replaced the fuel pump in my Suburban three times already but I still love the truck.
Guess just cause I am an old guy.... I don't think people skilled, unskilled or whatever are any smarter or have better quality today then those same people did back then.
But then, some just need to find mistakes made by others.
I understand that but it does not make us better does it.
Henry Ford also built ships, freighters, in the 50's that still run today as I look out my window.
I can't see how they are much better built today or will last longer.
We have made improvements in materials and machining but the people are the same and still make mistakes.
Then the cost situations is even more important today then ever.
I am suprised that some of the auto parts stores don't take Chinese money as most everything the sell is made in China.
Today as yesterday people have a right to expect a good product for a good price.

An average guy taking apart an old boat and then putting it back together is probably not going to do as well as their fathers did.
May do worse or even destroy the old girl.
I've seen guys who think epoxy is the answer to all the old problems.
Or that 3M 5200 will make the boat better.
Just is not the case though many are inclined to think so.

My throttle and timeing advance are rods that go down through the steering column to a clamp swivel that connects to another swivel that changes the direction of the rod from verticle to horizontal connecting to anothe brass rod running about 16 feet back to the engine where again the direction is swiveled and changes direction again to go up to the updraft carburator to change direction again and the movement from the steering wheel back to the carb is precise and the exact amount of throw it should be. It took me about three weeks to trig out a missing swivel and get everything hooked back up that an average guy back then just knew how to do.

We are not smarter or better then those fellows.
And more importantly ~ we all love our boats and cars. Don't we?
A man does what he has to do the best he can.
Higher quality is nothing more, to me, then a marketing tool.

Having said all that.
Sure Chris Craft could have done better back in the day.
I still love my 86 year old Cadet to pieces even with the flaws.
Steel nails holding the bulkhead to the stringer rusting causing rot.
But like one good member said these boats were never designed to last this long.
Heck, there is not one person alive today that helped construct my boat originally.
But God Bless them all and Thank You !!!

Denny

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Re: Chris Craft and Quality Control

Post by Oberon01 » Mon Oct 19, 2015 6:54 pm

Hi Denny - I keep all my boats as close to original as possible, and in almost every case they are mechanically as they were when built. 6 volt, vacuum fuel pumps, point ignitions, original everything - only because I want the operating experience that the original owner had. With attentive maintenance, there is no reason these things wont work fine, to the standards they were expected to achieve. If I wanted a new boat with modern performance, I'd buy one. Most of the quality problems I have noted have been in the materials used in the boats' structure and the assembly of same, it is seldom the engines or drivelines.

In the past 20 years I have bought about 10 new vehicles, ranging from inexpensive to premium and put lots of miles on them. In most cases, the problems have been few and far between. I got 100k miles out of the first set of brakes on my current 2011 truck, and much of that was towing. Unheard of back in the day. Concerning the VW diesel - I would take a devils advocate position here and say that the actual quality of the subterfuge committed by the responsible parties was indeed very, very high - they avoided detection for what, 6 years or so, under very heavy scrutiny and testing? It is disgusting and clearly criminal, but they did a good job of doing what they set out to do. I had 2 new VW Golf diesels in the '80's and they were superb cars for the time.

I believe that the improvement in quality is not due to greater or lesser intelligence in designers or workers, but design and manufacturing advancements. When computers started to be used in design and in modeling materials and component performance, things got better. When robotics and automated assembly techniques began to be deployed (I believe the first were in the very late '50's) quality began to improve. Robots and automation work to standards of consistency and very close tolerances that humans cannot match in any kind of volume. The robot doesn't care if it is Friday afternoon or not.

I love the boats, and I like old cars and old anything - as long as it works. I chuckle at some of what I see when involved in a project, but those discoveries are very much part of the charm these artifacts hold for me. The only thing I don't do is the old 3 coats of varnish standard. That was slap-dash even then and would look good for a very short time, and then you'd be varnishing them every year.

Good discussion!
1926 Mullins 16' Outboard Special
1940 CC 19'Custom
1946 Gar Wood 22' 6" Sedan
1946 16' Peterbrough Falcon
1947 CC 16' Special Runabout
1947 Chris Craft 22' Sportsman
1948 CC 25' Sportsman Sedan
1959 Feather Craft Islander Express Cruiser
1961 CC 21' Continental
1965 Glastron Futura 500 V -164
1965 CC Sea Skiff 24'

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DennyDowning
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Re: Chris Craft and Quality Control

Post by DennyDowning » Mon Oct 19, 2015 9:41 pm

Well okay....
Funny, my chevy was only water sealed on one side because the robot on the other side ran out of jizz.....
Leaked water through the right side windshield, rear window and up throught the trunk.
Robots are totally stupid and require people in order to run correctly.
Who maintains and oils them and changes the tools feeds them parts or inspects the finished product?
I understand what you are saying and I respectfully disagree.
Just installed new bathroom fixtures for my daughter - Delta - all made in China.
Oh the parts looked wonderful but they are crap; quality crap just the same.
The old fixtures lasted 64 years, were made of brass and bronze; I doubt the quality parts, mostly plastic, I just installed will last half that long.
Guess it all comes back to the almighty value of a buck and stockholder profits to define quality.
No different then the old days; well, except for higher profits due to cheaper manufacturing.
We can never, or should we ever, go back but please give the old timers a break.
They were proud of their work just as you are today.
We all make mistakes my friend.

I worked with guys who only made door handles.
Everyone was a little different to be sure.
I don't think corporations installed robots because they could get better quality - do you really?
Do I have to say it? Robots were installed to make things cheaper.

We are not smarter then our fathers or do we build better products.
Faster and cheaper is the goal of quality control.
And our landfills are choking on the stuff.
Marketing has turned that somehow as to what people want and of corse what people want is quality.
Therefore, faster and cheaper became quality because that is what people buy - that is marketing?
In my opinion people today will buy a cheaper product even though they know the quality is not as good.
What are they gonna say; I bought it because it is cheap?

Chris Smith only did what his customers wanted him to do.
So perhaps we should be talking about the cheap buyers rather then the builders.
But you know what?
I am a proud owner of a cheap pre war Chris Craft; a quality craft indeed.
I see first hand the smiles on peoples faces when the old girl goes motoring by.
But nobody is more proud of her then me I worked and studied very hard to make a beautiful old boat.
Did it mostly all myself and saw plenty of oppurtunities for improvement.
She is not all original, horse hair seats have been replaced with foam rubber.
The electrical system is converted to 12V.
Though it is the original engine.
The varnish is Interlux UV resistant but not really varnish.
The German Silver is chrome plated.
Much of the wood has even been replaced using close to original methods.
I put in white seams because I did not know they were supposed to be brown.
But she is still the insperation and sprit of my fathers who created her.
There was no quality control back then - there I said it.
It was hard and dangerous work these men and women did for little pay.
It is our job to honor them the best we can and bring forward to the future what they have accomplished.
I'm sticking with appreciating them rather then looking to point out flaws in quality.
Okay then, time for me to exit the conversation.
I respect your opinions, I really do.
I respect and admire the work of those early craftsmen.

Denny

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Re: Chris Craft and Quality Control

Post by Oberon01 » Mon Oct 19, 2015 11:16 pm

Hi Denny - In a lot of cases, there is no doubt that very old things were built to very high standards. I make toast on a 1946 toaster, works great. Problem is it cost $25 in 1946, likely more than a basic two-slice unit costs now. In today's money, that toaster would cost $331. Who the heck would ever buy that? It was over built and very high quality, but also very expensive. I have a 1930 Hoover Vacuum as well - not sure what it cost but I bet few could afford it.

Planned obsolescence came into vogue, and look what happened. I try to avoid buying stuff from China as it is almost always junk. But, to buy things domestically sourced is usually a lot more. Most people buy off price and not quality. WalMart is the best example of this that I can think of. There has always been a basic relationship between price and quality - perhaps not a linear one but it generally exists.

Chris Craft built inexpensive boats compared to Hacker, Gar Wood or true custom builders like Ditchburn and the like, so it would be normal to expect compromises and sacrifices in the name of price. I think that is what we generally see in our quality observations, not a lack of ability, but price driven compromises. Never the less, a boat of any type was and probably still is a luxury product aimed at an affluent market with plenty of disposable income.
1926 Mullins 16' Outboard Special
1940 CC 19'Custom
1946 Gar Wood 22' 6" Sedan
1946 16' Peterbrough Falcon
1947 CC 16' Special Runabout
1947 Chris Craft 22' Sportsman
1948 CC 25' Sportsman Sedan
1959 Feather Craft Islander Express Cruiser
1961 CC 21' Continental
1965 Glastron Futura 500 V -164
1965 CC Sea Skiff 24'

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Re: Chris Craft and Quality Control

Post by maritimeclassics » Tue Oct 20, 2015 8:19 am

DennyDowning wrote:
Chris Smith only did what his customers wanted him to do.
So perhaps we should be talking about the cheap buyers rather then the builders.

Denny
I agree with most of what was said but have to add that Chris Smith did it because he saw a need to fill a gap between the rich and the everyday family. The only way to do that is to make them some what affordable but they were not cheap. If you know my family we are on the creative side and filled with a passion for what ever we do, I believe Chris Smith was no exception. He loved the water and where he lived, he saw an opportunity and worked hard to surrounded himself with the right people to accomplish an amazing goal which I'm sure surprised him sometimes. Lets think about the designers and the pattern makers with no computers just armed with a very large piece of paper and a pencil, at times literally on the drawing room floor. The pattern makers that took the drawings and made them come to life with tools that where nowhere near what we have today, truly amazing. The foreman who somehow figured out how to build several boats a day. Then the actual builders with very little or no skills in wood working, they some how where taught how to build a boat, not any boat, a Chris Craft. I asked my Grandmother one time why in some of the picture we see workers working in what looks to be part of a suit. She said in those times you only had a couple of sets of clothes if you were lucky. So when the new (if you could afford new clothes) clothes became worn they became work clothes, just like today but now we have 20 outfits. I love working on the boats today and thinking back to the time it was built wondering what was going on in the factory. I love the photo of the workers building a barrel back. Take a look at how many of them there are and what tools they have, the way the lights are hung, the tools of the times and what each guys job was. Take a close look at the photo and let me know what you get from it, like what is the string for?

It really is amazing that we get to enjoy these floating pieces of art that where built by mostly unskilled laborers. Some how they build a boat out of wood that is still attractive and pleasurable today, to think they would last this long is unbelievable.

Mike
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Restoration Projects:
1936 25' Gar Wood Custom
1947 Ventnor Hydroplane
1957 17' Deluxe Runabout
1948 25' Chris Craft Sportsman Twin
1959 19' Sliver Arrow Hull #75
1929 26' Chris Craft Custom Runabout
1937 25' Chris Craft Custom Runabout

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Re: Chris Craft and Quality Control

Post by Oberon01 » Tue Oct 20, 2015 9:16 am

Good points, Mike. It was a different era - not better, just different.

30+ years ago as a kid I worked in a pioneer village kind of museum, with working stores, exhibits and machines. I actually worked in the blacksmiths' shop and one of my jobs was to heat up the forge, fire up the drive engine and use a trip hammer to pound and bend stuff. The engine was a 1903 Fairbanks Morse single, about 4 feet high with a 3 foot flywheel on the side. You clipped a handle on the wheel and spun it around until it started - this was not light or easy work. It might have run 400 rpm, if it was lucky. The intake valve was vacuum actuated - no timing or positive action. It made about 3 HP, despite its' massive size. It was very useful at the time, but so primitive it could hardly be believed. the things Denny talks about (manual spark advance, actual throttle control) were not really dreamed of in this application. I wonder if folks in 1930 looked back at primitive engines like the one described and thought as we do about "old" stuff then? Interesting to consider.....who needed spark advance, anyway! LOL.....
1926 Mullins 16' Outboard Special
1940 CC 19'Custom
1946 Gar Wood 22' 6" Sedan
1946 16' Peterbrough Falcon
1947 CC 16' Special Runabout
1947 Chris Craft 22' Sportsman
1948 CC 25' Sportsman Sedan
1959 Feather Craft Islander Express Cruiser
1961 CC 21' Continental
1965 Glastron Futura 500 V -164
1965 CC Sea Skiff 24'

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Re: Chris Craft and Quality Control

Post by joanroy » Tue Oct 20, 2015 1:51 pm

Mike I don't think that's a string. By the way it's bracketed at the bottom it looks like a cable clamp used to help hold the barrel shape until all the fasteners were in place and the transom installed. Just a guess.

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Re: Chris Craft and Quality Control

Post by Doug P » Tue Oct 20, 2015 5:12 pm

joanroy, Mike. If you enlarge the photo, the "string" is loose. Could it be cotton caulking ready to be fitted before the transom was planked?

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Re: Chris Craft and Quality Control

Post by joanroy » Tue Oct 20, 2015 5:34 pm

Doug, I took a another look with my glasses on. I think your right! That unskilled worker is probably gonna stuff that in when he's done painting.

Dan
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Re: Chris Craft and Quality Control

Post by Pete DeVito » Tue Oct 20, 2015 6:54 pm

My 1957 Capri Hull # CP-19-668 shipped on 9/5/57 and was built by several Craftsmen. I think the workmanship was absolutely fantastic for the time since my boat lasted 54 years before I touched it. I now have a boat that I am caring for put back into the most original state as possible for the next caretaker.

I was thinking back at our first machine shop that had nothing but manual mills and lathes and the people that ran them were true machinist. I now go through our shop and I find more machine operators than true machinist. I know 9 out of 10 of them today could not take a piece of raw metal and make a tool or a part. Let's not bust the chops of the people that gave us some very beautiful wood boats to care for.

I love my Chris-Crafts and would have loved to have walked the floor when they were being built.

Pete
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Re: Chris Craft and Quality Control

Post by jim g » Tue Oct 20, 2015 7:30 pm

joanroy wrote:Mike I don't think that's a string. By the way it's bracketed at the bottom it looks like a cable clamp used to help hold the barrel shape until all the fasteners were in place and the transom installed. Just a guess.
The brackets are to hold the steam bent lower transom plank in place will its being fastened. It think I'm going to make some and give them a try on the next curved transom boat I restore.

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Al Benton
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Re: Chris Craft and Quality Control

Post by Al Benton » Tue Oct 20, 2015 8:06 pm

I believe the worker is installing the rudder in the barrelback. The string laying over the aft deck may be for packing that fitting.

This has been a very interesting and informative topic. Possibly the only true craftsmen were the ones that laid out and fabricated the patterns from 2-dimentional engineering drawings. The patterns were used by skilled workers to cut out pieces and parts from mahogany planks. Other skilled workers took those pieces and parts and assembled boats, with the help of a few apprentices.

I'm certain that there was some level of quality control in every step of the process; less critical in framing and bottom fabrication and a bit more critical in finished surfaces. There may have been a predetermined balance between the level of quality control and production speed in various areas of construction.
Al
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Doug P
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Re: Chris Craft and Quality Control

Post by Doug P » Tue Oct 20, 2015 8:50 pm

Al, I see a paint brush in his hand and I don't think that it is 5200 dripping on the rudder. BTW, if Chris Craft used an assembly line, where are the lifting rings on these boats, they all look like they are on cradles.

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Re: Chris Craft and Quality Control

Post by jim g » Tue Oct 20, 2015 9:11 pm

He's spreading bedding compound on the framework. The cotton string is then laid into the bedding compound and then the plank is installed. The cotton string acts as a seal. It would expend when the water hits it thus sealing out the water. Probably worked good for the first year or two.

I don't think they had fully perfected the production line until the war years.

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Re: Chris Craft and Quality Control

Post by Greg Wallace » Wed Oct 21, 2015 8:55 am

Note that the cradles all have casters on them.
The boats were moved by to the appropriate stations on these wheeled cradles.
Boat dealers borrowed from this and installed casters on shipping cradles for display purposes.
Greg Wallace 23 Custom 22166 former Chris-Craft dealer Russells Point, Oh.

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Re: Chris Craft and Quality Control

Post by maritimeclassics » Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:05 am

At one time I thought that the string was to check the fairness of the back of the boat, but then when you see that the lower transom planking area has bedding compound on it it may be for the caulking of the transom plank to the bottom. The guy looks to me that he is painting everything before they install the plank.
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Re: Chris Craft and Quality Control

Post by Al Benton » Wed Oct 21, 2015 3:13 pm

I agree that he's spreading compound after another look. I thought that both hands were down there on a wrench but unless one arm is much longer than his other that's not possible. The photo has me wondering if the boats moved after every step from crew to crew, or the crews moved from boat to boat. I'm sure the boats moved from department to department but possibly didn't move continuously as Fords did through their assembly lines at the time. There are 3, maybe 4 boats, and possibly as many different models in various stages of completion in this photo.
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DennyDowning
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Re: Chris Craft and Quality Control

Post by DennyDowning » Wed Oct 21, 2015 8:02 pm

Not really sure what I am looking at. They are definately working transoms in this photo. To me the white on the bottom of the transom looks like it could be the fabric they used to help seal between the double planked bottom. It was bedded and leaded I think but definately was folded up the transom from the bottom or underwater sections of the boat. I know string, like candle wicking, was used to help creat a seal under and between planks. It helped take up imperfections in the flatness of the boards; kind of like denture cream works to hold false teeth in place. The guy in the picture has dark spots on his arm his shirt and hat - like brush flicking - and I see fabric on the floor. I am guessing he is finishing the fabric and sealing with a red lead kind of stuff to help the underwater wood and getting ready to install the transom planks.
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Re: Chris Craft and Quality Control

Post by jim g » Wed Oct 21, 2015 8:35 pm

Another thing thats interesting in the picture is the third boat back is a 1939 19 barrelback. The first boat looks to be another 1939 19 barrelback. Yet the boat in the middle is clearly a 1938 17 or 19 custom. The 17 and 19 barrelback replaced this model.

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