Active Active   Unanswered Unanswered

1949 Chris Craft Custom

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.

Moderators: Don Vogt, Al Benton, Don Ayers

jschwamm
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:22 am
Contact:

1949 Chris Craft Custom

Post by jschwamm » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:10 pm

Can anyone with experience give me advice on the ride and handling of a 20' Custom? Do they handle well, or a bit heavy?
Just trying to find out info during the winter when I cannot test drive one.
Thanks for any input.
John

Greg Wallace
Posts: 381
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 2:49 pm
Location: Indian Lake, Ohio
Contact:

Re: 1949 Chris Craft Custom

Post by Greg Wallace » Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:18 am

John, in my experience the 20 custom was the finest runabout (in its class) produced by Chris-Craft in the post war era, perhaps the best 20 footer ever to come out of Algonac. I believe it was based on the pre war 23 custom rather than a "scaled up" 19 supporting the feeling that they behave like a larger boat. It is significantly heavier than the 20 Riviera that replaced. It rides much better, although not as fast with the same power. Unless your boating will be restricted to calm water, I would gladly trade a little speed for a softer ride. I think you will be hard pressed to find an owner of one of these that disagrees with my opinion of this model. You can find/contact owners through the ACBS directory and in the hull registry on this site. Good Luck.
Greg Wallace 23 Custom 22166 former Chris-Craft dealer Russells Point, Oh.

User avatar
drrot
Posts: 1873
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2005 12:28 pm
Location: McHenry, IL 60050
Contact:

Re: 1949 Chris Craft Custom

Post by drrot » Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:25 am

Ditto what Greg said. Also has nicer hardware and leather interior compared to the Riv.
Jim Staib
www.finewoodboats.com


1947 Penn Yan 12' Cartopper WXH474611
1950 Chris-Craft 22' Sportsman U-22-1532
1957 Chris-Craft 26' Sea Skiff SK-26-515
1968 Century 17' Resorter FG-68-174

User avatar
maritimeclassics
Posts: 632
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 4:35 pm
Location: Traverse City, Mi
Contact:

Re: 1949 Chris Craft Custom

Post by maritimeclassics » Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:33 am

I agree, I have restored a couple of 20' Customs and during testing found they have a very smooth ride. I believe all of them came with the large MB or MBL so they go pretty good but not fast. They had some unique history to them as well, they were the first blonde deck boat made by Chris Craft and they had a mix of vinyl and leather interior. They definitely have beautiful lines so I don't think you can go wrong if its the style you like and if you have one already then congratulations.
Maskoka 20'Custom 025.JPG
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Family member of Chris Craft founder
Owner of Maritime Classics
http://www.maritimeclassics.com
Ph# 231-486-6148

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

User avatar
Bilge Rat
Posts: 306
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:02 pm
Contact:

Re: 1949 Chris Craft Custom

Post by Bilge Rat » Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:16 am

From what I have read on the Customs, Chris Craft wasn't making their required profit margin on this post war series. The immediate post WW2 economics may have played into that too. Maybe they felt it was overbuilt or over accessorized so they redesigned it as the Riviera line.The redesign also supported 3 different length options. Always liked the lines on the Customs.
1966 Lyman Cruisette 25 foot "Serenity Now!"
1953 Chris Craft Sportsman 22 foot "Summerwind"

jschwamm
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:22 am
Contact:

Re: 1949 Chris Craft Custom

Post by jschwamm » Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:55 am

Appreciate the replies and info. Can anyone tell me the approximate weight of a 20' Custom? Books I have give differing weights.
Do they perform well with the MBL engine?
I have been only thinking of a racing runabout, but these Customs also seem pretty special. Hard to compare the two as for sure the Custom is heavier and does not perform like a racer, but probably better ride for bigger water? Tough choice for me between them. Two different boats. but racer lines sure are nice.
Thanks to all.
John

Greg Wallace
Posts: 381
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 2:49 pm
Location: Indian Lake, Ohio
Contact:

Re: 1949 Chris Craft Custom

Post by Greg Wallace » Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:12 am

20 custom with mbl approx. 3000Lbs and 39mph. 19 race 500lbs lighter and 5mph faster with same power. 20 custom refined, well appointed with very interesting hardware and overall style with difficult to attain shape and finish. More comfortable and social. 19RR is more basic in appointments and design (long ass deck not withstanding) but a blast to drive...one of my favorites. Ride is surprisingly good given cockpit location farther aft. 20 Custom is rarer. These two choices satisfy some very different parameters as far as use is concerned. SL or SEL? I would suggest you ride in both before choosing...or just get both.
Greg Wallace 23 Custom 22166 former Chris-Craft dealer Russells Point, Oh.

jschwamm
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:22 am
Contact:

Re: 1949 Chris Craft Custom

Post by jschwamm » Fri Dec 06, 2019 1:34 pm

Greg,
Thank you for the perfect info.
Can only get one, so tough choice as I like both, for different reasons. Lines of RR are to me the best looking, but the blonde and unusual curves and upgraded details in Custom are also pretty nice looking.
Does the Custom cruise at slower speeds in planing mode, or tend to need the higher power to keep it on plane?
Any comparison you can outline between the two on ride/handling at slower speeds? What approx. speed do they plane out more level rather than bow very high?
Any input appreciated, sounds like you know them both well.
John

Greg Wallace
Posts: 381
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 2:49 pm
Location: Indian Lake, Ohio
Contact:

Re: 1949 Chris Craft Custom

Post by Greg Wallace » Sat Dec 07, 2019 10:32 am

John,
Both do well with light loads, the more you load the more the 20 custom will stand out. As an old former boat peddler I am compelled to ask how you intend to use these boats? If your primary interest, for example, is boat shows and shorter rides in calm water with seldom more than two occupants then the choice remains more difficult. More than two occupants and the 19RR starts to fade fast in the satisfaction index. More.than four adults on a regular basis and the 20c will be tight. It is important to define your boating lifestyle as you envision yourself (and others) in any boat. In the end you're not going to pay short money for either model in good shape. If you haven't already, get each in front of you, get in and see if you "fit". Reach out to current owners, talk to them.. and get a ride. You might find an owner in the Sunnyland chapter ACBS with a boat in Florida attending the Tavares Show in March. Let me know if you decide to go. I'll be there.
Greg Wallace 23 Custom 22166 former Chris-Craft dealer Russells Point, Oh.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests