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Corsair XL 175 Information

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Corsair XL 175 Information

Post by Wood Commander » Sun Oct 21, 2007 8:25 pm

Some time back Bill had asked about information on the Chris Craft XL 175 boats from the Corsair Division fiberglass small boat plant which in the early 1960’s was the newly purchased former Thompson Boat Company in Cortland, NY. As I remember he was asking if anybody had any information about these boats having a foam sandwich construction bottom. There have been a couple of other owners that have popped up and I know that Bill has aquired an XL 175 since then too.

Recently as I was organizing the stuff in my Chris Craft collection I came across this BOATING magazine article from April of 1964 that covered the XL 175. So I am going to try and post it for those who are interested.

To me, these boats look like fiberglass versions of the later Thompson lapstrake wood boats that the company built before being aquired by Chris Craft. Of course they don’t look EXACTLY like the wood Thompsons, and the interiors are totally different. I know that I will take some heat about this but to me most of the later models from the Sea Skiff Division, Lyman and several of the Thompson companies look pretty much alike with the interiors having perhaps more distinctive design differences than the exterior look. I think that the later models of these different boats that have a straight shear line with no shear break, raked bows and forward flair with no tumblehome in the aft sections all have fairly much the same overall look. Of course people that have a great passion for these boats may take issue with that idea.

And it is my opinion that the early Corsair boats that to me were fiberglass versions of the old wood Thompsons (with perhaps some wood Sea Skiff influence as well), were probably a quick way for Chris Craft to quickly enter into the small fiberglass boat market with a proven design from their new plant.

I also think that the 23’ Lancer introduced in 1966 as a “Corsair Lancer” marked the beginning of Cortland boats whose design was developed totally from the parent company and that pretty much defined the designation “Sport Boats” as shown in the naming of the small boat sales catalog from that era.
Later on as the 17’ and 19’ Lancers were introduced in 1968, the Corsair designation was not specifically linked to the newer Lancers and the Lancer hull- derived XK-19 and XK-22 models. This was shown by the 1966-67 23’ Lancers having “Corsair” on their hullside badging, but coinciding with the introduction of the new smaller Lancers in about 1968, all Lancer or XK models have Lancer, Chris Craft or XK badging on their hullside logos rather than the old “Corsair” logos .

Please don’t think that I feel that the Corsairs and XLs are any less of a Chris Craft than any other boat. Indeed, by all accounts they are great performers and are good looking boats too. If the design and look was somewhat of a copy of the basic Thompson look and design, it is a form of flattery as the company must have pretty good faith in their deign right from the start.


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Bret

1953 35' Commander "Adonis III"

1970 23' lancer project

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Post by Bill Basler » Sun Oct 21, 2007 9:20 pm

Bret, I can't thank you enough for posting these. I may have found this article eventually as we work on the online archive, but you have helped me immensely tonight. Wow, foam filled floor cavities with balsa coring on the hull bottom. Pretty forward-thinking for 1964. Lets hope my balsa is dry!

I agree with you on the styling. Heck, these photos make my Blue Bomb look way better than she does right now. I actually have to admit to thinking she looks a bit ugly, but there's no denying the vintage glass look about her.

The really unusual features of this boat are:
1. The bow light. It is actually one and the same as the rubrail nose cap. The red and green lenses are actually two, very horizontal openings within the nose cap. A pretty cool piece of custom hardware at a time when commodity Perko hardware was the norm.
2. The steering wheel is a white plastic old-fashioned TV screen shaped wheel with flatish edges on an otherwise round wheel.
3. The floor was apparently bare gelcoat with non-skid. No carpet here.
4. The engine hatch scoop is fairly outrageous for a fairly conservative boat.
5. The decks are recessed, and have "monkey rail" type of lips running around the perimeter. The narrow side decks are actually scuppered to the transom at the back corners.
6. The gas tank and fill is way up in the V of the bow.

Our old XL looks exactly like the photos in the article with a dark hull, (Blue) white boot stripe and white/blue decks.

I'll post some photos soon. Thanks again Bret.
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Post by Bill Basler » Sun Oct 21, 2007 9:56 pm

I should add that I have been in contact with three recently (two in this Club) who own own XL175s. Ours is a very early White Mecruiser outdrive, with a 4 cylinder, 120 hp Mercruiser (GM) engine. David Hoover has the Eaton Interceptor engine and outdrive package, and Chris Mariani has an early OMC outdrive.

The last I knew, two out of three of us were still having troubles finding hull ID numbers (myself and David Hoover), but it is believed that all three of these are 1964s. Seems strange that there would be three drives used, but the Eaton was offered with a small block Ford V8, whereas our old Mercruiser was offered with the little 4-cylinder.
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I think I've lost my mind

Post by Bill Basler » Mon Oct 22, 2007 9:56 pm

This may be one of the crazier decisions I've made. I have happened upon the exact boat that my wife and her brother used as kids on the Mississippi River in southern Iowa. They nicknamed it the Blue Bomb then, because of its rough and tumbled appearance.

Well, today I started the process of breathing new life into the "Bomb." This is crazy. I will, without question get in upside-down on this boat. It makes no sense whatsoever, other than the sentimental value in bring my wife's old Chris-Craft back to life.

Today we started the process of breaking her down. Man is she rough. We got the bit stuff taken care of today. Now it's on to the smaller hardware. A few of the interesting features have been pointed out in the prior post. I should add one more. My wife recalled as kids that the Blue Bomb porpoised like no other. If there were competitions for "Best Porpoising" the Bomb would have won hands down.

Well, it seems that the 23-gallon galvanized fuel tank was way up in the bow on these. At some point one of the prior owners replaced the front tank with a rear, taking several hundred pounds of weight from the bow and throwing it in the stern in the process.

The Blue Bomb is a Chris-Craft, so I feel that i need to be kind. But it is certainly one of the oddest boat I have seen.

OH...and like David Hoover with his XL175 sistership, no hull number to be found anywhere.

You'll get a good laugh out of these photos:
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Like everything i find/acquire, I seem to get a kick out of rescuing something that no one else wants. The goal is to have this boat show ready by Mt. Dora. We'll see. Once the hull is 100% stripped it will be media blasted, minor glass repairs done, and will be totally regelled in its original color scheme.
Last edited by Bill Basler on Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:03 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Post by Wood Commander » Tue Oct 23, 2007 9:49 pm

Bill, I think that's a pretty cool boat. It's not a mahogany woody, but still neat in it's own way, and you have a fun history with it too.

I think it's a nice looking boat. I like the bow light and I especially like the Chris Craft logo wrapping around the stem at the top of the bow area. It kind of reminds me of the Commander Crest on the bow of the bigger boats.
When you get the steering wheel restored it will look great.

Forward gas tanks are kind of a pain. You have to have an overboard vent and it will puke gas out and give you fumes all down through the boat as the boat jumps through the waves. And the trim will change as the fuel load burns off and you have to deal with fueling out on the foredeck too. I had the same setup on my 19' Lancer and I didn't like it.

Both of my Corsair Division boats had a pad shallowly recessed in the fiberglass, about the size of the end of a cigarette pack right under the rub rail joint on the right rear side of the hull with the hull numbers in it as well as crayon hull number markings written up on the inside of the hull up in the very front of the bow close to the underside of the foredeck. I think that some may have had a pad with numbers under the rub rail on the rear quarter or up by the bow.

The early Cortland boats are really very historic in the Chris Craft story as the company's firt successfull move into the fiberglass small boat market, a move that was essential for survival. When they decided they had to get into the fiberglass market, they first built the 38' Commanders for a suprise roll out at the New York boat show. But a small fiberglass boat line was vitally important too.

Chris Smith recently told me that one of the reasons that they progressed to buying the Thompson Company and building fiberglass boats in Cortland was due to the resistance they got to building the fiberglass- covered Silver Arrows by the workers in the Cadillac, MI plant. The workers there did not want to build fiberglass boats so the company told them that if they didn't want to do it, they would look elsewhere. Chris Smith said that it seemed like the Cadillac workers didn't really believe that they would do it, but they did and closed the Cadillac plant soon after.
Bret

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1970 23' lancer project

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Post by Bill Basler » Wed Oct 24, 2007 8:02 pm

I like 'em all.

I like the barrelbacks for their curvy, beautiful lines. As a counterpoint to that, I love my 1936 Gar Wood Utility, because it is what is... a utilitarian boat. Slab-sided. Short stubby front deck. A study in minimalism as compared to the fully-dressed cockpit runabouts. Somehow, they're more interesting when you look a them as a pair.

The Corsair is intriguing to me—but not for any of these reasons.

As you mentioned Bret, the Company was trying to find its way into fiberglass production. A couple of early experiments didn't go so well, Lake N Sea being one of them. I recently read about Chris-Craft's methods for making the fins of the Cobras metallic gold. The recipe was to mix finely ground flakes with a certain percentage of real gold with varnish. The mix was then sprayed on, coat after coat, until it built up a thick enough film to create a solid color. Just think of the early 50s. Metal flake paints were used by the custom rod shops, but widespread use of sprayed metallic paints was still a long ways off. Total experimentation marking the very early use of fiberlgass.

THAT'S why I like the early glass boats. Just think, Chris-Craft was a company filled full of woodworkers, table saw, jointers, planers, shapers, bandsaws, stain and varnish.

Then along comes fiberglass. What a scary, time that had to have been. I cannot help but think of these workers who had been building boats a certain way, only to have their entire trade doing a 180.

I have read numerous reports about the workers dislike of fiberglass. It was smelly, itchy, sticky. It probably seemed like the material from hell to these guys. It's not wonder the easier path was to acquire a company that was already well down that path. It was probably much easier than getting the current employees to get excited about the new material.

The Blue Bomb is kind of neat in some ways, but kind of crude...ugly in many others. When you look at all of the periods as a whole, that's what is most intriguing to me. I like my wood boats. I like the fiberglass ones too.

I like 'em all.
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Post by thompsonboatboy » Tue Oct 30, 2007 11:14 am

I see very little similarity in the lapstrake wooden Thompson of Cortland, NY boats and the first Corsair fiberglass boats of 1963 and 1964. The Corsair boats were smooth sided, whereas the lapstrake Thompsons were, well, lapstrake.

The lines of the hull were diffent too.

I am using the 1963 and 1964 Corsair brochures compared to the 1963 and 1964 Thompson Boat of NY brochures.

In any event, I believe that these small fiberglass boats were a vbery important part of the history of Chris-Craft and Thompson Boat.

I spent about five hours with Ted Thompson, Jr. at Cortland, NY last Spring. He was in charge of the fiberglass oepration at Thompson/Chris-Craft.

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Post by Wood Commander » Tue Oct 30, 2007 11:48 pm

Andreas, I'll have to admit that due to the lack of the fiberglass lapstraking on the XL 175 and some of the other Corsairs, they may not be the best examples of what makes me think that the early Corsairs look a lot like Thompsons. But I still maintain that even on those models the outline profile, deck and interior layout, bow flare and stem angle and even the windshield lines mimic the later Thompsons (and Sea Skiff's for that matter).

I realize that I may be the only person who has that opinion, but I still maintain that there is a lot of similiarity.

A much better example of what I am talking about is found in the Sea-V models as shown below from the 1966 and 1968 sales catalogs. Their hulls are of fiberglass lapstrake construction and show the same design attributes as discussed in the above paragraph.

Also from the 1969 sales catalog, a Lancer is shown. To me, it's new "Sportboat" design is shown in the rounded aft "flag deck" section, a rounded side deck- to gunhale design rather than a more sharp right- angle look, it's "droopy" foredeck towards the bow, it's unique flare and it's very steeply raked stem. This to me hints at a little bit of Donzi-esque styling. The Lancer hull- derived XK-19 and XK-22 to me show even more of a "Donzi influence". And that is a different look to me than the runabout/outboard ski boat/fishing boat look of the more traditional designs.
Bret

1953 35' Commander "Adonis III"

1970 23' lancer project

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Post by Wood Commander » Tue Oct 30, 2007 11:54 pm

Here are the catalog pictures that I think illustrate my points from the previous post.
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Bret

1953 35' Commander "Adonis III"

1970 23' lancer project

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Post by Wood Commander » Tue Oct 30, 2007 11:57 pm

And a few more........
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Bret

1953 35' Commander "Adonis III"

1970 23' lancer project

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Post by R_Maclay » Fri May 02, 2008 1:37 pm

Hello Bill and all, Just joined the group today!
I've been moderating the ChrisCraftBoats yahoogroup since last year.

Bill mentioned he wanted me to join then, but I'll let you know that I will get some pictures posted eventually!

I got my 1965 Chris-Craft XL175 SunLounger fully operational and a little faded, complete with full service and parts manuals a few years ago from a family friend in the S.F. Bay Area.

Nobody in the family wanted to take care of the boat!

I have driven the boat mostly from Carquinez Straits to the Sacramento Delta and once to Lake Berryessa, CA

The 225v6 Buick/OMC engine was rebuilt 15 yrs ago, doesn't use any oil, but I need to do some work on the outdrive, seals and minor corrosion.

Thanks, Mac

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Corsairs

Post by Wilson Wright » Sat May 03, 2008 7:36 am

Bret:

How do you resolve the fact that my 1970 17' Corsair was a Commander when on the drawing board in 1968, and a Cavalier when really introduced in 1969.(See Jerry Conrad's book...same boat in 69 and 70 with same picture on both pages as a Cavalier and Corsair)

Maybe she was just an illegitimate boat and marketing couldn't find a home for her.
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Post by R_Maclay » Mon May 05, 2008 11:06 pm

Here is the 1965 Chris Craft Corsair XL-175 SunLounger at Lake Berryessa, California.

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Enjoy, Mac
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Post by Wood Commander » Tue May 06, 2008 12:53 am

Mac, that looks like a cool, fun boat. What more could you want?

Wilson, I guess that all of those model names were just marketing jazz trying to drum up more sales on basically the same boat, much like many Mercury models that are built on the same running gear as the sister Ford model.

All of those boats were probably built at the Corsair Division and then given different "marketing" names.

Remember, the first 23' Lancers in 1966 and 1967 were called Corsairs, along with some of the fiberglass lapstrake models like the Sea V 20' that I call the original Corsairs (some, not all were fiberglass lapstrake) that to me had at least some resemblance to the wood lapstrake Thompsons from Cortland, NY befor the Chris Craft years. I can hear Andreas disagreeing with me already!

Later, in about 1968, along with the introduction of the 19' and other size Lancers, the Lancers got "Lancer" hull side logo emblems that replaced the "Corsair" logo emblems that were on the 1966-67 Corsair Lancers.

So to me, the boats in question here were actually Corsair Division boats, marketed under several different names that were trying to take advantage of famous Chris Craft names from both the past and then present times like the Sea Skiff version Paul Pletcher has, probably with very few changes.

Of course I haven't seen every one of these models in question. I'm going by pictures of member's boats here on Boat Buzz, old sales brochures and pictures in my possesion, boats I have seen either in person or for sale on the internet and sometimes testimonials (hearsay?). So there is definately room for error. I welcome anybody to chime in with information and/or pictures of their boats so that we can all learn more about them. We are just starting to gain historical knowledge of these less famous era boats. In some ways it is both easier and harder than documenting the older wood hulls. They were built much more recently, but nobody saw them then and sometimes even now as collectible or worth keeping. Since they are fiberglass, many people don't think that they are that much different than current boats. But we know better!
Bret

1953 35' Commander "Adonis III"

1970 23' lancer project

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Post by Bill Basler » Mon May 12, 2008 11:32 pm

Mac, I am finally getting back to some action on Boat Buzz. Welcome to the Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club finally! It's great to have another early Chris-Craft glasser here.

I am finally making progress on my XL175. As usual everything takes longer than expected. The original Mercruiser has been pulled, as has the engine. I have pulled all the seats, hardware, wiring, windshield and rubrails. I am down to the fiberglass with very little yet to remove.

The hull will be taking a trip to the gelcoat shop within the next two weeks. She will be refurbished exactly as original.

I have definitely found a few oddities concerning the construction of the this boat. Yours is a bit different being an outboard. My boat has a complete cockpit liner that is glassed to the hull sides, extending forward to under the front deck. It has an upswept lip that lays on the inside of the hull. The lip is then overlaid with fiberglass matt, bonding it to the hull all the way around the perimeter.

This would not be that unusual, in fact there are many modern fiberglass boat that utilize a one-piece cockpit liner. Most modern day boat stop the liner at the bilge though, with the engine sitting down into the stringers at or belwo cockpit level. When you look into the bilge, on these boats, you can truly see down into the hull clear down to the "true" bottom.

Not mine! The liner extends all the way to the transom, and is bonded to the transom as well. There is literally no way to see down into the bilge on this boat. In fact the "bilge" (if you want to call it that) plug is ABOVE the cockpit liner. So, in other words, all of your sand, muck, water, etc, stays above the floor...at least ideally.

The problem is that the factory proceeded to drill holes in the liner to mount the seats, etc, so you end up with a fully lined cockpit with no access to the underside, with holes drilled in it. Not one of Chris-Crafts better ideas. My fiberglass floor has delaminated somewhat from the plywood that lies below. At this point I am afraid there is no choice but to open the floor up and see what lies below. The bilge could literally be filled with water with no where to go.

Geeze. I'll keep you posted of progress.
Bill Basler

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Post by R_Maclay » Tue May 13, 2008 8:26 am

Hello Bill,
Good to hear from you again.

Did you find your hull numbers mine are located at the front of the hull near the bow light and just recently found out the matching upper half of the boat ID tag impregnated into the fiberglass under the windshield on the left side.

I'm in the process of replacing the glass on my boat and the side windows with plexiglass.

What year is your XL-175 SunLounger?

Also, It may be helpful is some way, but I have a complete service manual and Parts List, plus my used Owners manual.

Maybe there might be a way to photocopy them for your restoration.

Also, Just picked up another well used boat last year, a 1967 Chris-Craft Corsair for a parts source and what I really wanted was the vented front windshield. It also has the OMC V6 I/O, with the Offy Intake Manifold.

I've had a problem with the subfloor with water underneath, I had 2 holes near the rear seats that saturated the sub floor and caused swelling of the fiberglass floor too. I eventually covered the boat and let it dry minimizing the water intrusion, the I got some fiberglass kitty paste and filled up the holes and sanded over them. I've had and idea to use a vacuum pump installed over a hole to evacuate the space underneath to remove the moisture, but I'm not ready for undertaking any restorations at this time.

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Post by Bill Basler » Tue May 13, 2008 9:42 am

Mac, I am sorry to report, no hull ID number. I will keep looking, but I have been over every square inch of this boat. I found a part number on the very front V of the cockpit liner, but not at all similar to a hull number on these.

Does the 17 that you purchased as a parts boat have the same rubrail as the XLs? How about the rear corner caps (aluminum)? I would definitely be interested in speaking with you on these items.

I will let you know what I find lurking under my floor.

As for the windshield, I just took mine apart last weekend. I cut new plex for the side panels. Front glass is tempered. Once I have everything cleaned up, I will reassemble. I ordered new gaskets for the glass. It is a bit tricky to find the right profiles. I had to order 66 feet to meet the minimum order so I will have enough for several boats. Once I get the gaskets in I will make sure they work. Then if you would like some I will donate to your cause.
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Post by Bill Basler » Mon Jun 02, 2008 12:33 am

Success!

I had been all over this old Chris...inside and out, looking at every place that it was recommended that I look for a hull number. I had been griping for weeks that I could not find a number anywhere on this boat.

As my wife and I were enjoying the evening (after an afternoon of disassembly) she casually looked down on the bow, about halfway down the stem, well under the bow eye...and low-and-behold...in clear view. She said, "Is that the number you've been looking for?" ORCZ 17 2098N

It looks like we have a 1964. Here's a shot of my wife, posing next to her baby from childhood. She goes out to get a new travel cover tomorrow. (The boat, not my wife). Then the hull goes out for new gelcoat later this week. Lots of progress soon.

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Post by Wood Commander » Mon Jun 02, 2008 9:19 am

Cool story and a lovely wife too! I know that you are planning on having the boat re- gelcoated, but you ought to talk to Rob Dapron about how he awlgripped' his fiberglass Century user boat. It looks absolutely fabulous, just like everything else that Rob does.
Bret

1953 35' Commander "Adonis III"

1970 23' lancer project

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Post by Paul P » Mon Jun 02, 2008 9:59 am

What a wonderful discovery!

I agree, very attractive boating wife too!

My 1966 fiberglass 20' Sea Skiff, with the Thompson Chris Craft Corsair stickers inside, has the ID number on the front Port bow and aft starboard right under the rub rail. Upon removing the windshield for refurbishing, I saw a metal tag embossed into the glass under the windshield where it is impossible to otherwise see, and it had the number "39" on it. My skiff is number 39 out of 70 built in 1966, and 10 more in 1967.

When I took mine totally apart, I discovered a first aid kit that had wedged way forward in one of the pockets that had been there for many years. Inside was a 1966 dime (to call for help if stranded?) and hand written notes about the kit. In addition, I found the original owner's boating ID card dropped behind the pocket and stuck in the upturned lip of vinyl. With that I embarked on a nationwide search to find the original owner. I was not successful in doing so because he passed away, but I did find his now retired plastic surgeon son, who was stunned about my call, and said he learned to water ski behind that boat and said it spent 25 years on Lake George in a boat house.

Discovery of artifacts like this, exploring the history of the boat, and finding secret clues like the ID numbers is what makes this hobby of ours so much fun!

I agree with the previous comments about all these Corsairs and Lancers, Sea-V, 19 and 23' Commanders all being built at the Cortland New York Corsair division. I'm certainly not an authority on this, not even close, but I did some extensive research after finding my fiberglass Sea Skiff and all indications point to Cortland as the place where CC staked their claim on the runabout manufacturing center. Immediately after selling to NAFI, with the new cash reserves and existing technology with resin and glass, NAFI immediately built another plant along side the existing Thompson plant in Cortland, as the new home of fiberglass sport boat manufacturing. The transition eventually closed down the Thompson boats that were being built, and there is actually some suggestion they took some fiberglass molds off some of those wood boats. When CC bought Thompson, they got a lot of outdrive (changed to "transdrive" by CC marketing) technology and supply line.

Here is a photo of my embossed serial number on the 1966 boat.

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The more I learn about the early years of CC glass manufacturing, and the connection to Jim Wynne for early Lancer (and Commander) hulls, with Dick Avery topside designs, the more I think these boats are tremendously under-rated and should be soon to receive their rightful place by collectors and people who just appreciate classic things. Those Lancers, by the way, got the newly patented lifting strake patented by Wynne. The 19' Lancer is essentially a 19' Commander SS (or XK-19) in sheeps clothing, sharing the same hull, cut down from the top and with the Avery "sports car" design.

Here in Tennessee, believe it or not, we have the big water TVA system that has been around since 1953 and we have some classic Chris Craft boats like Hank Snow's GOLDEN ROCKET, but we don't have ANY Lancers or Corsairs. NONE!

At boat shows I've seen more raised deck Chris Crafts than I have seen Lancers, Corsairs, Sun Loungers, etc., and naturally this is partially due to the fact that people have not recognized the glass boats as collectable, but also because they were low in cost and considered consumables. Once that outdrive was damaged, many sat until they were burned or taken to the land fill. They built a lot of these sport boats in Cortland, I am sure there are still a lot of them out there, but I'll bet there are relatively few Sunloungers running around these days.

If you are gelcoating yours, that's an indication of how good it will look when done. I doubt if you will "ever" see yourself (meaning: see another boat like it) while you're out on the water in yours.

I'm a wood boat guy from waaay back, but glass can be fun too! :-)

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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Post by Bill Basler » Mon Jun 02, 2008 8:54 pm

Paul and Brett, right on. Half the fun to me is seeing how ugly of a mess I can start with and how good it can all look when finished.

As for my wife, I am glad she grew up on a boat, and understands my fetish.

The chrome goes out to Graves this week. The hull is off at the "top shop" getting a new Aqualon trailer cover made, and a new convertible top, side and aft curtains.

Then, the hull goes off to the gel coat guy on Thursday of this week to be rolled over, faired, and refurbished. The decks on this Corsair are balsa cored. I will have some reinforcements glassed in here and there to take a little sag out of things.

I'll keep you posted of progress.
Bill Basler

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Post by R_Maclay » Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:00 am

Hey Bill,
Didn't notice what windshield assembly you have installed on your boat, mine came with the solid glass (2 Pcs) and side Plexiglass (2 ea) windows.

I have an Open version that I want to restore but I'm not sure where to purchase the rubber and seals for the glass.

I have lots of corrosion to fix and stuck screws and aluminum peices separating and some steel screws replaced instead of stainless screws.

Last weekend, I just finished installing my side windows plexiglass, purchased from TAP Plastics in Pleasant Hill, CA.

I have 1 solid window on the left side and a hole opening on the right drivers side to access the throttle/ gear shift lever thru the window. Came out pretty nice.

Anyway, could you send some pics of your windshield assembly? Thanks, Mac

PS: I still have to look and see if the rear corner chrome edge pieces are in good condition.

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Bill Basler
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Post by Bill Basler » Sun Jul 27, 2008 10:43 pm

Hey Mac, sorry but I lost this post for a bit. My windshield is the exact same one as the non-vented one on your boat.

In fact your description matches mine to a T, clear down to the mixed bag of hardware, and the crazed plexi side panels.

I also had new side panels cut. I think I have found the proper vinyl gaskets. I will be ordering those soon. Also, the disassembly of my windshield has been as problematic as the rest of the boat. It seems like nothing is going to be easy on the Blue Bomb.

I finally got everything apart. The channels are anodized aluminum extrusions. The corner brackets at the rear of the side wings are aluminum castings. I had a mixed bag of hardware threading into these and they were pretty seized up. I will replace all with stainless hardware with some aluminum anti-sieze.
Last edited by Bill Basler on Thu Oct 23, 2008 9:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Bill Basler

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Post by R_Maclay » Sun Aug 10, 2008 12:17 pm

Where do I find Aluminum Anti-Seize?

Any Anti-sieze will do?

What brand should I look for?

Should I use it for all Motor and out drive bolts, and windshield parts too?

BTW Do you have a restoration page photos of your SunLounger? Would like to know what I'm getting into!

Thanks, Mac
1965 Chris Craft SunLounger
California Delta Area

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Bill Basler
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Location: Cedar Rapids, IA

Post by Bill Basler » Sun Aug 10, 2008 10:46 pm

Mac, here are a couple of good resources for the different types of anti seize.
www.neverseezproducts.com/neverseez.htm

Also Permatex products at http://www.permatex.com/products/Automo ... icants.htm

There are different compositions depending on what the the metals you are trying to protect are.
Bill Basler

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Post by R_Maclay » Sat Aug 16, 2008 12:52 pm

Thankyou Bill for the information.........

BTW When are we going to see the other XL-175 Corsair SunLoungers posted on the Hull Registry.

Posted my info + pictures today.

Thanks, Mac
Robert Maclay
Suisun City, CA
1965 XL175 SunLounger

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Post by R_Maclay » Sat Aug 16, 2008 1:03 pm

FYI Bill,

Last year I ordered the Mariners Museum info packet and had an article reference to the 17-1/2' Sport-V Transdrive:

Popular Boating called this boat a "bomb" because of it's exciting speed - and the stability and smoothness that go with it.........

Later, Mac
1965 XL-175 SunLounger
Suisun City, CA

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Bill Basler
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Post by Bill Basler » Sun Aug 17, 2008 9:57 am

Mac, I just posted my Sunlounger info on the hull registry. Boy, she looks rough, but is moving along. I will definitely post more progress photos soon.

http://www.chris-craft.org/registry/vie ... oat_id=835
Bill Basler

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Post by R_Maclay » Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:02 pm

Hey all,
I posted the 1967 XL-175 Sunlounger parts boat in the registry yesterday with pics.

At least it has a prop available!

Mac
1965 XL-175 Sunlounger
Suisun City, CA

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Paul P
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Post by Paul P » Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:15 pm

Wood Commander wrote: Remember, the first 23' Lancers in 1966 and 1967 were called Corsairs, along with some of the fiberglass lapstrake models like the Sea V 20' that I call the original Corsairs (some, not all were fiberglass lapstrake) that to me had at least some resemblance to the wood lapstrake Thompsons from Cortland, NY befor the Chris Craft years. I can hear Andreas disagreeing with me already!

So to me, the boats in question here were actually Corsair Division boats, marketed under several different names that were trying to take advantage of famous Chris Craft names from both the past and then present times like the Sea Skiff version Paul Pletcher has, probably with very few changes.

I agree totally. The research I've done, both through my semi-intellectual means and with my own two hands on the boat, illustrates the transition from the Thompson Boat Company of New York to Chris Craft quite well. My original (1966 fiberglass Sea Skiff) seats all had the "Thompson" tags on the bottom.

Literature of the day indicates these boats were called "Thompson by Chris Craft" in 1965, with the "Thompson subsidiary of Chris-Craft, Industrial Park, Cortland, NY" on the back of the brochure.

In 1966 and 67 the brochures indicate "Corsair Boats", and Chris Craft Corsair Boats, Thompson Boat Company of New York, Cortland, NY", of which the Castaway, Jolly, Sport-V, Sea-V, and Lancer, were identified as models. My Sea Skiff was marketed as such in 1966 (70 boats built) and 1967 (10 boats built).

In 1967 and 68 the brochures indicate the "Chris Craft Corsair" fleet, again from Cortland, and again with reference to Thompson Boat Company of New York.

In 1969 the brochures drop the reference to Thompson and Cortland NY, and indicate "Chris Craft Sport Boats Division, Pompano Beach, FL". Models included 17', 19', 23, 25' Lancers, Wilson's RED ROCKET 17' Ski Boat, and an interesting lapstrake fiberglass 22' Cutlass.

The acquisition of Thompson of NY was a strategic move by NAFI to move directly into large scale fiberglass boat manufacturing, and it was simultaneous with the Commander fiberglass movement which as we know, began publically at the 1964 New York Boat Show when the first 38' Express was unveiled, much to the astonishment of the boating public. In fact, Chris Craft brochures state overtly, that the boats built in Cortland used the same resin and duo-glas, and construction techniques as the big Commander. They are well built boats.

I love the history of this transitional era where Chris Craft moved from wood to fiberglass. I was too young at the time to afford one then, but I can now and I like to identify with that era when I was a kid at Conneaut Lake. I do remember seeing some of the early glass boats of the era in some of the shops back then.

Here is the plaque which I carefully removed from my Cortland-built Sea Skiff, and faithfully replaced it when the boat was restored. You can see in 1966 they were still using the Thompson name, Corsair, and Chris Craft. Thompson was eventually to be phased out, but obviously played a huge role in the introduction of so many fine boats. 8)

Regards,

Paul
Nashville, TN


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As you can see, I have yet to install the signature wind screen, namely because it's been so hot this summer. However, as the season gets cooler I'll add that fully restored chunk of aluminum, glass and plastic (side windows are plastic due to slight curvature, fronts are glass). 1966 was a good year!

I think the 80 fiberglass Sea Skiffs that were built are especially interesting, because they LOOK very much like some of the wood Thompsons that came out of Cortland before NAFI acquired Thompson for Chris Craft. In addition, Chris Craft obviously had a competing boat called the Sea Skiff, which has it's own hallowed history, which had similar lines to the Thompson lapstrake boats and Lymans too. The glass Sea Skiff was marketed for two years and then it was gone, apparently having served to help the marketing needs of the day. Here are some photos of #39.

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Last edited by Paul P on Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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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