Active Active   Unanswered Unanswered

Our first boat is a 36' 64' Challenger...

Post your Boat Buzz technical questions here. We will do our best to respond to your questions in a timely manner.

Moderators: Don Ayers, Al Benton

Post Reply
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2016 8:32 pm

Our first boat is a 36' 64' Challenger...

Post by Shenanigans64 » Mon Jul 18, 2016 9:56 pm

That's right, first boat. Go big or go home is what we decided. We purchased this little diamond in the rough in May this year and have been having a great time exploring the California Delta. Very short trips as our confidence is still budding in both our abilities and our boat. Now that she has actually gotten out of her slip Shenanigans is showing her age and the fact that she hasn't been out of the water since 2009. She is dry except for the water brought in through the prop shafts when we are underway. Our biggest challenge is finding someone to work on her willingly. It seems that we have to twist arms just to get someone to look at her. She needs some work and we knew that going in but we never figured that finding someone to take our money and perform repairs would be so difficult.
Are there any folks from California in this group. We really could use a reference out this way. We are birthed at the Delta Marina in Rio Vista, CA.

We have been told that she was built using the same hull design as the Connie of the same year with the major differences being in trim and finishes. As the Mariners Museum is closed through next year we don't really have much to go on as far as what we are looking at with regard to the actual engines and transmissions we have. We were told either 283 or 327 gm but can't tell one small block from another.

Regardless, here we are and what got me to writing this was the fact that a search for a solution to a particular problem that came up led me to your site. We are glad to have found this resource, too bad we didn't live up near the great lakes, seems to be where most of you all are and from the looks of the boats, there are people who know how to work on them up there!!


Chris and Darby

User avatar
Bilge Rat
Posts: 239
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:02 pm

Re: Our first boat is a 36' 64' Challenger...

Post by Bilge Rat » Tue Jul 19, 2016 4:25 pm

Congrats on jumping into the deep end of the pool! Pictures posted here can help you while awaiting for the Chris Craft Archives to open up again. We love pictures and love to add our 2 cents.

Too bad you are finding no one local to work on the old cruiser but I can understand that most yards would view it as too much trouble in today's fiberglass economy. You may also encounter a big reluctance to haul it out on a Travelift at the yards as well. Damage from misplaced slings can literally break the boat in half and no one has X-ray vision to look inside keel and stringers to see if they are rot free. For a 52 year old salt water cruiser, there will be rot.
1966 Lyman Cruisette 25 foot "Serenity Now!"
1953 Chris Craft Sportsman 22 foot "Summerwind"

Peter M Jardine
Posts: 697
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:27 am

Re: Our first boat is a 36' 64' Challenger...

Post by Peter M Jardine » Tue Aug 09, 2016 8:44 pm

The Challenger series did use the 36 foot Constellation hull, and it was more spartan in terms of options and finishes to offer a price point. There were three formats, an Express, a Sedan, which had an slightly extended express roof format with doors between the back cockpit and the helm station area, and a Salon which was a three cabin with a raised rear deck. The Express model was aggressively priced model with a sticker price of $19990.00 dollars in 1964 and 1965. One hundred Express hulls were builts, and the two engine options mentioned were offered. Almost all of the options available in a Constellation could be bought for the Challenger for an extra charge, but the principle was the offering of a 36 foot cruiser under $20k. I believe most of the Express hulls were built in the Salisbury Maryland plant. I have a 1964 Challenger, CXD 0015H, shipped from Salisbury on October 28th 1963, as a 1964 model. Vanora has long been painted as a 1965 36 foot Constellation, with the blue stripe instead of the plain white hull, and she also has mahogany capped cockpit railings, which was not original equipment. I have significantly restored my own boat, and I would be happy to answer any questions you might have. I have a Mariners Museum package that I could photocopy for you.... (obviously my hull card is different).


Posts: 686
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2012 1:46 pm

Re: Our first boat is a 36' 64' Challenger...

Post by joanroy » Wed Aug 10, 2016 5:13 am

Peter, beautiful work on Vanora! Looks fantastic! What's the story of that sweet little sail boat tied up along side?

Peter M Jardine
Posts: 697
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:27 am

Re: Our first boat is a 36' 64' Challenger...

Post by Peter M Jardine » Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:37 am

Dove is an Atkins Active III dory ketch, built in CT in 1946. She is a little heavy for her size (a lot heavy) but a fun little boat, and she tolerates higher winds with ease.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests