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Fiberglass to be recognized at Buffalo Launch Club 9-7-2013

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Paul P
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Fiberglass to be recognized at Buffalo Launch Club 9-7-2013

Post by Paul P » Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:43 am

This is sort of a news item these days, as Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club and ACBS members alike, begin recognizing fiberglass classics more and more. Not too many years ago if you arrived at a boat show with a fiberglass boat, regardless of manufacture, you would be snubbed (yes believe it or not boaters have been known to do this) or turned away.

Boaters are generally polite, courteous, and considerate (most of the time, but I am SURE we have ALL seen exceptions to this). Back in the early 1980s when we first started the ACBS DIXIELAND Chapter, (of which I am a charter member) we too, would get a bit on the reactionary side if we had a fiberglass boat try to park alongside our mahogany boats.

Today things are different and turning fast. As wood boat prices, craftsmen, and yes owners too, are getting more rare, the fiberglass classics are getting more and more attention. I am a wood boat fan, yes indeed, and always will be. However, it is pretty evident that we as a boating community are seeing Sea Skiff and Constellation hulls cause these fine boats to be hauled out of the water, and many of them never go back due to the cost of proper repair and maintenance. I have seen (sadly) many runabouts in similar stages of deterioration, one recently sheathed in fiberglass, and I dare say that one will never run again. My own 35-foot wood Sea Skiff, that was featured in a 6-page spread in Classic Boating, was sold to a person who damaged it, hauled it out, broke the keel, and I dare say my beloved Sea Skiff will never run again either. It happens too often.


So this means two things:

Firstly; we as a boating community need to pay MORE attention to the remaining wood Chris-Craft boats, and if you see one sitting out somewhere, we should try to get that boat to someone who has the means and cash to bring it back. If you own one and can not take care of it, then you should take responsible action to get it to someone who can (and will). Our wood boat heritage is being diminished each year at an alarming rate.

Secondly; if you want to have a classic, and want to run it hard, consider a classic fiberglass Chris-Craft. They are good looking boats, generally very well built, have wonderful power options, and can give a lot of service. They are also quite easily repaired, as the hulls often need little or nothing, allowing the money and time to be spent on mechanicals as those experience wear. You can get into a fiberglass Chris-Craft for very reasonable money, run it hard, and keep your wood boat in better overall condition as a result. That is essentially what I am doing now. In the end, whomever gets my wood boats will have a better boat, perhaps allowing them to survive longer after I'm gone. In the interim, I'm out there pounding a fiberglass hull at 4000 rpm and having a ball :-)

The Buffalo Launch Club is a pretty prestigious place.
They, in conjunction with ACBS, this year on September 6, 7, 8, 2013, will be formally recognizing fiberglass Chris-Craft boats, and I will be honored to be along side Herb Pocklington and Chris Smith, presenting some history and perspectives on the various models that are available, from 17 to 60 feet. (Well, actually smaller than 17 but we'll leave it at that for now :? ) This trend is noteworthy to some of us who have been sensitive to this over the longer term, and I think it is a good thing for many reasons. It certainly brings many more people into the membership rosters of clubs like this one, and it places value on fiberglass classics so more of them can be saved too. Many worthy fiberglass classics, once they have a mechanical issue, are also set aside for what people must have thought would be "repair later", and then ten years later the boat is sent to the junk yard or burned. So I am very happy to see an emphasis being placed on fiberglass boats these days, I do not think it detracts from the wood boat community at all, in fact I think it adds more emphasis on those boats.




If you want to see details about this show, look in the Boat Show Category here on The BUZZ.

hope to see you there,

best,

Paul

Here is GHOST RIDER, a 1969 fiberglass 23-foot Chris-Craft Commander. Look like fun??? 8)
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v472/ ... C00283.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v472/ ... /Bill5.jpg
1956 17' CC Sportsman, 300-hp
1957 17' CC Sportsman, 95-hp
1966 20' CC fiberglass Sea Skiff, 210-hp+
1973 23' CC Lancer inboard project, 427/375-hp.
1966 38' CC Commander Express, 427/300-hp(2)

So many boats.........so little time.....but what a way to go!!

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Re: Fiberglass to be recognized at Buffalo Launch Club 9-7-2

Post by Oberon01 » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:15 pm

Bravo Paul, I could not agree more. I have a bias toward wooden boats, but I also own metal and glass boats. I own cedar strip, carvel hull and lapstrake designed wooden boats - all have benefits and limitations. It is not about what the hull us made of in my opinion, it is about preseving vanishing pieces of our boating heritage - that heritage did not end at 1975, either. I love to see people out enjoying their classic boats - no matter what they are made of. They are all welcome at the show that I organize.

I agree with all your sentiments.
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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quitchabitchin
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Re: Fiberglass to be recognized at Buffalo Launch Club 9-7-2

Post by quitchabitchin » Mon Aug 26, 2013 7:21 pm

I wish I had the budget for restoration of a wood boat, but with a young family including a daughter with special needs, I simply do not. So, in the mean time, I will restore and enjoy my little piece of Chris Craft history. This project is being done on a shoe string budget and I can guarantee one thing, I'll be having just as much fun as the guy with the wooden boat on the next dock...
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hughes6552
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Re: Fiberglass to be recognized at Buffalo Launch Club 9-7-2

Post by hughes6552 » Tue Aug 27, 2013 9:10 am

I moved to an 80 fiberglass Lyman and love it.

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Re: Fiberglass to be recognized at Buffalo Launch Club 9-7-2

Post by Paul P » Tue Aug 27, 2013 9:27 am

And one other thing......................about some of these fiberglass hulls.


If you select any of the Jim Wynne designed hulls, such as the 17, 19, 23, 25 Lancer, or the Hunt-designed 30-foot Commander in particular, these boats all have an exceedingly deep v profile, the 23 Lancer has a 24-degree deadrise to be specific. This means there are precious few vintage wood hulls anywhere, even when new, that can match the 23 Lancer, as an example, with that full v-profile all the way to the transom, with Jim's patented lifting strakes that push the hull up out of the water as speed increases, IN ROUGH WATER. Therefore if you like classic boating and like to be out on water known for a chop, like the Great Lakes, or anywhere in the salt, the 23 Lancer (just using that as the example) will be the faster boat simply due to the fact that it will slice swells and waves like a hot knife through butter. Try that with any number of fine wood hulls I've seen over the last 50 years and you'll be abusing the boat, as most of them have a nearly flat after plane for speed, but could never match a 23 Lancer when conditions got rough.

My 1956 and 1957 17-foot Sportsman, for instance, is a very fun hull. The two years are identical except for some topside wood trim, kingplank on the 57, etc. They are fun on smooth water, but I must tell you, in just about anything other than smooth water, these boats pound. Been there, done that, thrown lots of spray, refastened things, etc., but it just is not fun in the chop.

On the other hand, I've been aboard some of the deep v classic Jim Wynne hulls and it is nothing short of amazing. Upon approaching a big swell, I mentally brace myself for the pounding but there is none. It is similar to what we may have encountered in some of the large uber premium Gar Wood or Hacker Craft boats, and I am reasonably sure Chris-Craft built one with a knife-like entry too but these are WAY out of financial reach for most of us.

So bottom line: Some of the fiberglass classics (with deep v profiles) make some GREAT boats for the chop. People in rough water areas have a great choice if they want to go boating in a classic Chris. Most of the truely vintage and valuable wood hulls would not be appropriate for the type of use I am referring to here. Of course there are always exceptions.

By the way, that red hull quityourbitchin posted is a real beauty. NICE job. Reminds me of Wilson's Red Rocket. Nearly flat bottom, pretty traditional fast ski boat format, not the best for the chop, but still very very cool. I would like seeing it in my boat house 8)

regards,

Paul
1956 17' CC Sportsman, 300-hp
1957 17' CC Sportsman, 95-hp
1966 20' CC fiberglass Sea Skiff, 210-hp+
1973 23' CC Lancer inboard project, 427/375-hp.
1966 38' CC Commander Express, 427/300-hp(2)

So many boats.........so little time.....but what a way to go!!

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mfine
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Re: Fiberglass to be recognized at Buffalo Launch Club 9-7-2

Post by mfine » Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:00 am

We have a lap strake/skiff style Penn Yan made of glass that is our rough water go to boat. As Paul says, it slices through chop I wouldn't want to go near with my flat bottom woody. That said, it was built in 1976 ie. during my lifetime so it can't be a classic boat. Anything that is younger than me or less than a decade older cannot possibly be called a classic, vintage, or any related terms for old.

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Re: Fiberglass to be recognized at Buffalo Launch Club 9-7-2

Post by quitchabitchin » Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:21 am

In the car world, anything 25 years or older is classified as an antique. This age definition allows you to enter car shows and parades, and also allows you, in the state of Ohio, to register your vehicle as a Collector Car.
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Peter M Jardine
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Re: Fiberglass to be recognized at Buffalo Launch Club 9-7-2

Post by Peter M Jardine » Tue Aug 27, 2013 12:44 pm

Firstly; we as a boating community need to pay MORE attention to the remaining wood Chris-Craft boats, and if you see one sitting out somewhere, we should try to get that boat to someone who has the means and cash to bring it back. If you own one and can not take care of it, then you should take responsible action to get it to someone who can (and will). Our wood boat heritage is being diminished each year at an alarming rate.
Sadly, for some of the CC models, this isn't going to stop, particularly in the big boat category. The money required is significant, and the skill level required for restoration is higher than most amateur owners can muster.

As usual, I agree with Paul 100%. Todays forgotten boats are tomorrows collector prizes.

As for the snottiness of the collector/wooden boat crowd, or just collectors in general, it is still rampant. Most woodenboat boat shows don't have or want to provide docking facilities nearby for wooden boat owners who aren't showing.... Clayton is a good example of that, even tho they can't fill the docks with exhibitors. It wasn't too long ago, (as in yesterday) that a lot of club chapters and shows had no interest in 60's wooden boats, let alone glass. Having concentrated my efforts on 60's models, I have heard the disinterested comments of club and show members when I mention the dates. Perhaps that is changing, but it's one of the reasons I don't belong to any club except this one. My closest ACBS chapter, while large, is comprised of people who regularly seem to have time to comment on how much they want to ignore later models of CC. One local long time ACBS member laughed as he told me of a abbreviation AFC that club members used.... starting with 'another' ending with 'Chris Craft'. Fortunately, I am a kinder gentler guy in my later days, and I don't punch out 70 year olds. :lol:

There are also large forums apparently dedicated to wooden boats where most members have no interest in production boats, or power boats in general. I used to participate in one, and finally couldn't put up with the snottiness of people on it, and the general level of incompetence regarding the boats they apparently found distasteful. When I described one project I was working on for Vanora, one forum member commented "Why are you doing this? It's only a Chris Craft".

This attitude is a nerve for me. I don't show, and while I know there are many people who do show that I would have things in common with, the arrogance of the collector community has often spoiled my experience, so I don't participate. Here on this forum, partly because of it's content rules, I find a more civilized exchange of information. Last but not least, I can at least find some CC cruiser owners here, and that's informative, as well as comforting :wink:

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Re: Fiberglass to be recognized at Buffalo Launch Club 9-7-2

Post by quitchabitchin » Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:09 pm

Thanks for the compliments Paul.

It is a horrible boat in rough water as we experienced a couple of years ago on Saginaw Bay. I have been boating my entire life and it was one of two times where I actually thought I was going to NEED my life jacket. We took several large waves over the bow as we headed for deeper water and I was actually ready to bend over and kiss my a** goodbye. She proved her seaworthiness that day, but I will stick to much calmer lakes and rivers in the future.

I took some measurements for trailer bunk fitment and at the transom, there is only 1 1/2" of difference between the keel and chine, so basically, it is flat, especially in the rear section. It gets moving quick and maneuvers great and is a ton of fun to drive, but will beat you to death on a busy weekend on the lake. I belong to a small boat club on the Great Miami River in Ohio and it is the perfect boat for weekends there.
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Paul P
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Re: Fiberglass to be recognized at Buffalo Launch Club 9-7-2

Post by Paul P » Tue Aug 27, 2013 2:45 pm

Having done a lot of boating in my 17-foot utility hulls, and burying the nose into bluewater one day with a heavy slosh coming right over the windshield and onto our laps, I can attest to the pounding these hulls can experience if one is not on smooth or smoothish water. I think you would be totally astounded by the ride in a 19 or 23 Commander (or Lancer), their hull wetted areas are essentially identical with the exception of some minor detalis like v-drive versus outdrive, or perhaps prop pocket on the 23 Lancer inboard.

The flatter the bottom the faster the boat, until it starts getting rough, then the deeper the v, the faster the boat 8)

We enjoyed running in our moderate v fiberglass Sea Skiff one day and we had the USCG patrol RIB run up next to us. I think they were just trying to be cool, because they were beating their brains out trying to pace us, while the Skiff was riding pretty smartly. At that point I must admit, I nudged the throttle forward a bit to see if they would stay with us.......and they did......but they were paying a price. That particular rig had a couple huge outoards on it, and I am sure it must have cost a zillion dollars, but if those boys were not hanging on tight, they would have been swimming.

best,

Paul
1956 17' CC Sportsman, 300-hp
1957 17' CC Sportsman, 95-hp
1966 20' CC fiberglass Sea Skiff, 210-hp+
1973 23' CC Lancer inboard project, 427/375-hp.
1966 38' CC Commander Express, 427/300-hp(2)

So many boats.........so little time.....but what a way to go!!

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Paul P
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Re: Fiberglass to be recognized at Buffalo Launch Club 9-7-2

Post by Paul P » Tue Aug 27, 2013 3:10 pm

Peter M Jardine wrote:Fortunately, I am a kinder gentler guy in my later days, and I don't punch out 70 year olds." :lol:
Peter, I'm sort of like that myself in my older years. I don't punch people, but they might be careful walking to close to the edge of the dock near me, lol.

Like I said, I've been to boat shows in every corner of North America and 99% of the people are gems, and 1% seem to be wired the wrong way.........and quite honestly those people sometimes ruin it for eveyone they are around. It's pretty easy to overlook the 1% when we're having so much fun with the other 99%.

:-)

Regards,

Paul
1956 17' CC Sportsman, 300-hp
1957 17' CC Sportsman, 95-hp
1966 20' CC fiberglass Sea Skiff, 210-hp+
1973 23' CC Lancer inboard project, 427/375-hp.
1966 38' CC Commander Express, 427/300-hp(2)

So many boats.........so little time.....but what a way to go!!

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

Re: Fiberglass to be recognized at Buffalo Launch Club 9-7-2

Post by Peter M Jardine » Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:34 pm

As I said, I'm sure there are lots of nice folks at shows.... I'm not much for that kind of event anyway. I went to Clayton about eight years ago and saw a guy there with a Riva... nice boat. As I was talking to the owner, and asking some questions, he finally remarked that he liked the boat, but wasn't a big lover of boating and the water. Weird.

I'd rather hang out with the dirty greasy paint stained dudes in the shop.

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Re: Fiberglass to be recognized at Buffalo Launch Club 9-7-2

Post by Paul P » Wed Aug 28, 2013 12:16 pm

Peter,

People can become overly enamored with the boats, and I can see how this can happen.
The boats, after all, are gleaming objects of art and engineering, coveted, expensive, and to some they are thought of as status symbols, or investment property. However, the real magic is in "the people" who love these old boats, wood, fiberglass, steel, aluminum, makes no difference to me.

I caught the bug one day as a kid when my dad took me to a shop one winter day where I saw my first Chris-Craft stripped down and ready for varnish, wow it was the coolest thing I've ever seen. Loved boating and boating people ever since. Without the good people who are associated with our boating hobby, it would not be much fun.

Alan C. Furth, who owned as many as 60 to 75 boats when he passed away, is proof that even the very wealthiest collector can be down to earth and share with a complete stranger, as he once gave Janet and me a ride on his Philbrick on Lake Tahoe, just because we were standing there on the dock looking at his boat. Jim Lewis (PARDON ME) was an equally down to earth guy, very generous with his time, very nice person, gave hundreds of rides to complete strangrs. Curt Brayer (DANCING BEAR) is another gem, who holds 2 APBA records that will never be broken, and who has given me (and Janet) and literally hundreds of other strangers rides at boat shows. All of these guys would have been equally comfortable talking with the paint stained guys in the shop. Naturally there are exceptions in all endeavors of life and boating that we just have to overlook now and then :-)

Personally, I do all my own work except upholstery and canvas, becuase I enjoy it and I also can't afford to have someone doing all that for me. In my world that is part of boating. :-) Don't let some stuffed shirt at Clayton 8-years ago keep you from going to a boat show and having some fun being there, lol.

Regards, best to you, come to Buffalo !

Paul
1956 17' CC Sportsman, 300-hp
1957 17' CC Sportsman, 95-hp
1966 20' CC fiberglass Sea Skiff, 210-hp+
1973 23' CC Lancer inboard project, 427/375-hp.
1966 38' CC Commander Express, 427/300-hp(2)

So many boats.........so little time.....but what a way to go!!

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