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Chris-Craft Plant Inspector Mystery

Are you in need of information regarding "the way it was?" Or are you are a walking "who's-who" of Chris-Craft history? Share what you don't know—or do know here.

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Dutch Van Putten
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Chris-Craft Plant Inspector Mystery

Post by Dutch Van Putten » Wed Sep 24, 2008 12:29 pm

I am researching a Chris-Craft plant inspector by the name of Forrest G. Boerma and his name on the hull card of a 1947 Rocket/Special Runabout. While certainly a Dutch name, I do not find him in the plant listing or local address book for Holland, Michigan. He was born in Cadillac and died in Grand Rapids, so he MIGHT have worked in the Cadillac plant, but I cannot be sure.

Has anyone else seen Boerma on their hull cards? If so, where was your Chris-Craft built?

Thanks![/code]

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Pete DeVito
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Post by Pete DeVito » Wed Sep 24, 2008 7:08 pm

Please look back at a posting under "Research Related" then a posting "Factory Information" dated 3/9/2008 I posted about this fellow. It has some information you may want.
See my Hull Card out under the Hull Registry 1948's.
Do you have an obituary on Forrest?
Pete
Knotty '48
1948 Chris-Craft Runabout Deluxe

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Pete DeVito
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Post by Pete DeVito » Wed Sep 24, 2008 7:14 pm

Oh Dutch
I Forgot to tell you that you are now part of the "Forrest Boerma Club". Another member is Al Benton his 48 Runabout card was signed by Forrest.
Hopefully you come up with more news to share with us.
Pete

Dutch Van Putten
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Forrest G. Boerma Obituary

Post by Dutch Van Putten » Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:16 am

Pete, Al et al,

How do I attach the obituary for Forrest G. Boerma that appeared in the Grand Rapids Press in 2001?

Glad to be part of the club. One of his "signature" boats is sitting here in Holland waiting for a complete redo.

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Al Benton
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Post by Al Benton » Thu Sep 25, 2008 9:05 am

Here's a link to that topic http://www.chris-craft.org/discussion/v ... php?t=2205

Dutch, can you scan the obituary, creating a JPEG file? If so, click on "Add image to post", go to the file and attach it to your post.

Al


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Al Benton
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Post by Al Benton » Fri Sep 26, 2008 11:04 pm

Thanks, Dutch,

According to this, he only worked for Chris Craft for a short time following the war. He began a long career at Lear Siegler in 1956.

Al

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Post by Russ Arrand » Sun Sep 28, 2008 6:51 am

Forrest G Boerma worked at the Cadillac Plant. The earliest hull card with his name that I have seen is dated 5-23-41. I think Tony Dugan took over for him in about 1950. There are 9 Boermas listed in the Cadillac white pages now.

Just a little foot note. The 1941 hull card with his sig. is for a 1941 22-U #22695. This boat has two hull cards. The first one has a BSO #(Boat Shipping Order) "Stock # 60" destination Feb 14,1941
Cadillac, Mich signed by E Howell Jr (an Algonac employee). The second one has a BSO of A 7907 signed by Boerma. This is the same time they were switching the 22 line from Algonac to Cadillac. What they did was to ship a stock boat to Cadillac to show how it was done. After 3 months they simply sold the stock boat giving it a new BSO and off it went to Eagle River Wisconsin. The 17 pre-war deluxe was handled the same way when that line was switched to Cadillac.

Russ Arrand

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Post by Russ Arrand » Mon Sep 29, 2008 6:51 pm

Wow:

I can't believe all of the Boerma fan club has not responded to my post. I do have more information about this guy.

The interview with Forrie Kanipe that Don and I did is being transferd to a DVD. It is 3 hours long and also includes some stuff from his son Rick that worked there for about 1-2 years. Fun stuff. Forrie was great the day before I took him for a ride in my 22-U on Lake Cadillac where he tested the boats. I hope I can take him for a ride next year.
Russ Arrand

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Chad Durren
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Post by Chad Durren » Mon Sep 29, 2008 8:49 pm

Hey Russ, can you scan the photo of Forrie that you held in front of the camera at the start of the interview? The two-finger salute photo. We can use it as a label for the DVD or use it on the menu page. Thanks!

[email protected]

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Al Benton
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Post by Al Benton » Mon Sep 29, 2008 10:00 pm

Russ, I meant to comment earlier but was side tracked by the birth of our first grandson. After 5 grand daughters he is very special.

Forrest G. Boerma. In 1941 he would have been 23 and was signing hull cards. Was he considered management? He returned to CC following the war but eventually began a second career in his late 30's.

Al

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Pete DeVito
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Post by Pete DeVito » Tue Sep 30, 2008 8:31 pm

Al and Russ
How can we put a Chronological profile together on this fellow? It sure would be neat to have in our files. Does anyone know of any pictures of Forrest?
Pete

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Forrest G Boerma

Post by Strong 1 » Sun Dec 13, 2009 10:26 am

I just got my hull card for my 1946 De Luxe (R-17-119). I thought you would be interested to know that Mr. Boerma's signature was also on this record. While doing some research on Boerma I came across his name at "findagrave" (see link below). My boat was originally delivered to Schuler Marine sales at Russells Point, Ohio on July 20th, 1946.

According to his obituary he was born in Cadillac Michigan on December 17th, 1917. He died March 9, 2001 in Grand Rapids.

"As a young man Forrest was a teacher for the Boon, Wexford Co., Michigan School District #4. During WWII he served in the Intelligence Branch. Received the Croix deGuerre, Bronze Star (First Oak Cluster), and a Purple Heart. Forrest retired from the Lear Siegler Company after 28 years of service.

Wife was Mary Jean. He had one step daughter."


[u][url]http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-b ... d=34379072[/u][/url]

In case your interested I purchased my De Luxe this summer from a young man ("this boat has been in my family since the 1970's") in Kettering, Ohio. I am in the deconstruction stage right now just returning from my second restoration class at the Antique Boat Center in Cincinnati.

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Al Benton
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Post by Al Benton » Sun Dec 13, 2009 2:45 pm

Dan,

Thanks for the additional information on Forrest Boerma. We know quite a bit about him now. That should help Pete out.

How are you coming on your '46, 17' Deluxe? Are you documenting things with photos as you go? The photos you posted earlier on another thread are handy in confirming the location of some deck hardware for my '48 model. The 4 small cleats on each side on the covering boards were noted on my hull card as factory original. I'm told they were for the Full Canvas Cover that also appears on my hull card.

Question: The first photo that you posted showing the horns shows a vent tube at the stem area that appears to terminate under the bow light. Is this possibly a photo of your other boat (1950 17' Special Runabout)? I don't recall seeing this forward vent tube on any Deluxe models.

Chris-Craft used a lot of fir, white oak, cedar and even cyprus in building my '48 Deluxe but the topsides and decks were all Philippine Mahogany. I think this may have been the case with your '46 model too. Have you confirmed that your deck wood is not mahogany yet?

I would enjoy going to one of the restoration classes in the future. I'll need to coordinate that with my wife. Hey, she's going to NYC in January and to DC in May without me, seems fair that I should go to Cincinnati for a week or so and leave her at home.

Al

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Post by Strong 1 » Sun Dec 13, 2009 4:42 pm

Al,

My Deluxe now occupies my bay in our garage and has yet to be brought into my workshop. I recently removed the gas tank, steering wheel and column, dashboard and am now down to some deck hardware and the cockpit ceiling. I've been dragging my feet a little while I gather information about the restoration process. I've just about memorized Danenberg's books but am still looking for feedback from guys with firsthand experience i.e., Antique Boat Center in Cincinnati. I have gathered the necessary hardware for flipping the boat but still have a little work to do before hand. I am also gathering information on what addditional tools I'll need for the project. I've got tons of photos already but in need to convert them to low resolution before I could share on-line. I wanted to keep them high res so I could "zoom in" later for the reconstruction process.

As for the vent tube, yes I'm sure the photos are of my Deluxe. I've spent considerable time under the deck of this boat. My problem is because I'm a novice I'm not sure what is "correct" i.e., trumpet horns. My Special is in storage and I've not done any deconstruction nor have I been under the deck on it.

In addition to the trumpet horns my Deluxe also had a period correct cigarette lighter (obviously and add-on)and even a "glove box" which was also obviously an afterthought.

I haven't confirmed what my deck wood is yet.

As for the restoration classes Al, it's just as I suspected it would be; a bunch of enthusiasts sharing and discussing our hobby. And what a good bunch of guys too!

The next three classes in Cincinnati are January 9th, 23th and February 6th. There is also an open house at ABC on January 16th which I'm really looking forward to. I'll bet you could still attend one or more of these classes if you'd like as I think there is still an opening.

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Al Benton
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Post by Al Benton » Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:23 pm

Thanks much for the update, Dan. It sounds like you are getting a very good handle on the process and are going to do it right. I have found that photos need to be truly backed up, that's to say, put them on two separate hard drives and keep them all as hi-res as possible. You will be referring to these over and over when it comes time to put her back together. So the more photos, the better, even if they may seem not needed, take them and keep them.


The forward vent tube is a mystery. All 17' Deluxe models from 1937 to 1950 used the same bow light and it has no vents. Your bow light appears to be correct on the photo you posted. So the vent tube in yours doesn't seem to have a visible function. What's strange is that everything looks very original under there, less the trumpet horns.

In one of the photos you can see the ceiling panels and they appear to be panels (as in plywood), not planks. When you removed them what did you find? Plywood panels or planks, if planks, how many? Were they covered with upholstery material, painted, stained? It is another area on post-war Deluxes that's not very consistent. My late '48 model has solid wood boards, I believe they may be painted cedar (still to be checked).

I may check out the ABC schedule for one of the weeks in January. I could check out their open house either before or after the restoration week.

Thanks again,

Al

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Al Benton
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Post by Al Benton » Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:11 pm

Dan,

One other thing if you don't mind. On at least some early post-war 17' Deluxes the instrument panel was two-toned. The part between the horizontal trim bars on the panel appeared to be stained darker than the rest of the panels (possibly walnut). The photo of yours doesn't show this well but is there a chance that yours was stained this way? Could you check this out closely and let us know what you find?

Thanks Much,

Al

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Post by Strong 1 » Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:17 pm

Al,

I just took a photo of my boat to show you the configuration of the bow light/vent. The vent tube comes up under the light. Is this not normal?


As for the ceiling panels/boards, they actually are planks although I don't know what type of wood yet. They appear to be mahogany but I'll have to confirm. They were covered with upholstery under which one portions was a black ants nest. I've discovered that you never know what you might find in one of these old boats.


Image

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Dashboard

Post by Strong 1 » Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:26 pm

Al,

Here is an older photo of the dash. It appears to be two tone but I'll take a closer look tomorrow and let you know what I find. This photo is at least a few years old, was provided by the previous owner and shows the boat in better shape than when I got it. I'll have to do some more investigation.

Dan

Image

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Al Benton
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Post by Al Benton » Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:35 pm

At this point it's hard to say but it sure could be original. Question: Is that a sheet metal tab (that can barely be seen in the photo) from the vent duct with a large headed nail holding the duct up to the deck hole? It's believed to be the method for installing the vent tubes to these. I suppose it's possible that Chris-Craft thought about using a different bow light on some of these, put a tube in but didn't change the light. It looks original and I would be tempted to leave it as is although it's not functional. It's part of this hull's history.

The covering on the ceiling boards would not be original. I believe someone added that. Do you have your hull card yet from The Mariners' Museum?

Al

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Al Benton
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Post by Al Benton » Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:37 pm

Thanks for the additional photo. The dash could be two-tone. Appreciate your checking.

Al

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Post by Strong 1 » Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:15 am

Good morning Al,

The vent tube at the bow is the same as the others on the boat. Yes, it did have a tab down at the hull and attached to a frame with a "large headed" nail. As with the other vents on the boat there were also two opposing large headed nails driven through the tube into the deck frames to hold them in place. I was able to remove the two nails at the deck, straighten the tab at the frame slightly and remove the tube by sliding it up and out of the deck.

I got my hull card on Saturday and I'll check on the upholstery covering the ceiling boards. I believe it to be original based on the materials used and method of attachment. Everything was so well integrated that I'd be surprised if it wasn't original. I'll check my hull card when I get home this evening.

Dan

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Al Benton
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Post by Al Benton » Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:48 pm

Dan,

The upholstery in my '48 Deluxe looked very original to me but it had a different type of welting that wasn't available when the boat was built. The original welting would be the red tolex to match the seats and mine was a silver-gray stuff that no one made until the late 50's. I removed some of it to find pieces of the original red tolex under there. I believe the hidem around the cockpits should also be red tolex, yours appears to be white which may be an indication that she was reupholstered early on. If it was custom upholstered your hull card may include a note.

This sort of thing can be very interesting, seeing what's original, what may have been changed. There's not much in the way of documenting on things like the vent ducts, for example. They are consistently being found on early post-war boats but we haven't found them on any drawings or records. I have no doubt they were original but no way to prove it either.

Al

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Upholstery

Post by Strong 1 » Tue Dec 15, 2009 7:58 pm

Al,

Looking at my hull card:

Upholstery Type: Russ.
Color: Red
No. Fwd. Cockpit: 3
No. Stern Cockpit: 3

I'm not sure what this means but perhaps the Russ. designation was a standard configuration put together for the Schuler Marine Sales in Russell Point Ohio? I'm open to ideas/suggestions.

By the way, can you tell me if the Chris Craft lettering in the center of the dash is correct? I had a survey done on the boat and the surveyor questioned the authenticity.

Dan

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Al Benton
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Post by Al Benton » Tue Dec 15, 2009 8:33 pm

Dan,

Russ is short for Russaloid, a common manufacturer of upholstery material before the war. It shows up on a few post-war boats as well. It was probably stockpiled and then used when they started back after government contracts ran out. Tolex was the primary provider after the Russaloid ran out.

The 3's indicate that 3 cushions were provided in each cockpit.

I was going to comment on the Chris-Craft lettering on the dash. It isn't factory correct, your surveyor must know his business. That's encouraging.

Al

PS There's several spellings of Russaloid out there, don't remember which is correct.

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Post by Strong 1 » Tue Dec 15, 2009 8:43 pm

Wow, very impressive Al, you must have been doing this for quite a while.

My surveyor was Joe Hodges from Boat Works LLC at Portage Lakes. Very helpful guy.

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Al Benton
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Post by Al Benton » Tue Dec 15, 2009 10:56 pm

Actually not all that long, Dan, just the present decade with the cruiser and 2 or 3 years now with the Deluxe. I've been accumulating any information that I can find for restoration of the Deluxe much the same as you are beginning to do now for yours. Most of it has come from the members here on Boat Buzz, some from The Mariners' Museum and other bits and pieces from photos such as the ones that you posted. Yours are interesting and helpful and I would like to see more of them.

Al

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Al Benton
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Post by Al Benton » Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:08 am

I just ran across this pic of Deluxe #R-17-096 that Mike Green was kind enough to share with me last Spring. At the time Mike thought he may have gotten some pics of another boat mixed in with the Deluxe photos due to the forward vent duct but now I think it's of the Deluxe. Notice the forward vent duct, same as on hull number R-17-119.

Image
Hull Number R-17-096

Image
Dan's Hull Number R-17-119

Al

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Post by Strong 1 » Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:30 am

Al,

Good sleuthing! So, this forward vent tube was not a onetime add-on. This still doesn't answer "what for"? I wonder if the running light itself on these boats is configured the same as the later models? Mine is stowed in a box, packed in excelsior for future chroming. When I get time I’ll take some close-up photos to share. What do you think?

Dan

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Al Benton
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Post by Al Benton » Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:12 pm

Dan,

I just got my bow light out of the storage box and find that it does have vent slots along each side of the lenses. Why I thought this was solid I haven't a clue. I just reviewed several old photos of Deluxe models and it's the same on all that have the correct #901 bow light assembly that's been provided on 17' Deluxe models since 1937. So now it appears that the vent tube was functional to some extent. I suppose they thought it beneficial to deliver this air low in the bow in early post-war models.

Makes you wonder if any of the pre-war barrelback models had the same forward vent tube as well. Why did my '48 model not have the tube? There was no sign of it ever existing in mine.

Al

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