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18" Cavalier

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rwj
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18" Cavalier

Post by rwj » Mon May 08, 2006 11:20 am

Our Cavalier hull number is VUAK 18-016. Does anyone know what the K in the hull number represents? How can we determine the original interior fabric color and pattern? Any help on these questions will appreciated.

Thanks.

RW

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Post by Wilson Wright » Tue May 09, 2006 2:45 pm

Our club files do not show a VUAK...If it were a Z it might have been made in an Italian factory.

Are you sure there is a 4th letter ??

Wilson @ CCABC
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rwj
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Post by rwj » Tue May 09, 2006 6:44 pm

The hull number - VUAK 18 016 - is stamped on the keel just behind the tranmission, as well as shown on the ID plate affixed to the underside of the doghouse. I tried to send you a photo of this, but was unable to attach it.

It is my underestanding that V = Cavalier, U = Utility and A= Algonac. I have been told that 18' Cavaliers were only made from 1955 to 1959 and that a total of 936 were produced. Could it be that the K represents the year of manufacture ('59) and ours was the 18th boat constructed that year?

I don't think K represents the engine, as this boat is equiped with a 283 V8.

Thanks for any help.

R. W. Johnson

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Post by Wilson Wright » Wed May 10, 2006 9:11 pm

Well 2 out of 3 aint bad...

V= Cavalier
u= Utility

But most Cavaliers were built in Caruthersville.

No what is this about a dog house ?...This is not a cruiser.
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rwj
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Post by rwj » Wed May 10, 2006 10:13 pm

Well, if "A" doesn't mean Algonac, do you know what it does represent? Would you like me to send you a picture of the hull number via email?

By doghouse, I meant engine cover, as it looks just like the house my dad built for Wiggles, our shorthair pointer, besides it sounds nautical.

Thanks.

RW

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Don Danenberg
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Post by Don Danenberg » Thu May 11, 2006 8:48 pm

Jeez... Wilson,

Its a good thing I don't know how to reply here.

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Bill Basler
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Post by Bill Basler » Thu May 11, 2006 10:50 pm

Don, just click the POST REPLY button.
Bill Basler

Mike Gaines
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18' Cavalier hull number

Post by Mike Gaines » Fri May 19, 2006 3:34 pm

We have a 1964 Cavalier 22ft Dory, hull #VUA 22-0035C. The 22 denotes 22ft in length, "first" zero denotes the first year ('64) that they built this model ('65s numbered 20xx and '66s numbered 30xx), "035" denotes the thirty-fifth of forty hulls built in the "C" Cadillac, MI Chris Craft plant for that model year.

So...

The "18" in your hull number probably denotes the eighteen foot hull, and the "016" its production number.

Don't take this as gospel, but "them's the facts" as I understand them.

Good Luck.

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Post by Wood Commander » Fri May 19, 2006 10:11 pm

I wonder if your "mystery" letter in your hull number designates either a Cavalier Cutlass or Cavalier Dory. Those are two of just a few Cavalier models that are lapstrake and "sort of a soft" chined as compared to the traditional Cavalier hull of flat sheet plywood with a hard chine.
Bret

1953 35' Commander "Adonis III"

1970 23' lancer project

rwj
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Post by rwj » Sun May 21, 2006 6:24 am

It's a traditional Cavalier, hard chine, plywood sided ski boat. The number appears to be factory stamped. I don't think the first zero following the 18 (length) denotes year of manufacture, as, to my understanding, '59 was not the first year of this model.

I tried to upload a picture of the hull number, but my jpeg file is over 2Mb.

I'd still like to know what color upholestry was available when new. This boat has be re-upholestred in metallic blue and white vinyl, which I am sure is not a stock color combo.

Thanks for your interest.

RW

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Cavalier Hull Number

Post by jon_e_quest » Mon May 14, 2007 7:13 pm

According to Chris Craft - The Essential Guide, the Cavalier Division produced two different 18' hulls; the first produced from 1959 thru 1962, and the other produced from 1965 thru 1966.
  • The V denotes Cavalier.
    The U denotes Utility.
    The third letter was added to identify the model year, A=1960 B=1961 C=1962 D=1965-66. (1959 is unique, having no U for Utility and no third letter in the hull number.) Keep in mind, these letters were (mostly) allocated in relation to a particular hull design's production year. The letter A here does not equate to the 1960 model year all across the Chris Craft range. In this case the letter A was used to identify the second year of 18' hull production, the letter B to identify the third year of production, and so on.
    The 18 denotes the length.
    The remaining numbers denote the sequential hull number.
A letter at the end denotes the production plant.
  • C is Cadillac, MI.
    K is Caruthersville, TN.
    S is Stratford, ONT, CAN.
    Z is Fiumicno, Italy.
These were the primary Cavalier plants.

So, for example my hull number is VUC-18-020C, the 20th 1962 18' Cavalier Custom Utility, and produced in Cadillac, MI. I'll wager that your boat, VUA(K)-18-016, is a 1960 18' Cavalier Custom Utility produced in Caruthersville, TN. Your boat is number 16 of 389 produced for that model year.

rwj
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Post by rwj » Mon May 14, 2007 8:58 pm

Jon_e_quest: Thanks for the info - Caruthersville - you learn something every day. We'd still like to know what color combos were used in the interior. The interior was done several years ago in metallic royal blue and white, which I don't think was original. Thanks again.
RWJ

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Al Benton
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Post by Al Benton » Mon May 14, 2007 9:29 pm

Caruthersville is actually in Missouri, just across the Mississippi River from TN. Unfortunately, there's not much documentation around from this facility that produced kit boats in the fifty's and Cavalier Cutlas and Dory after that. Sorry, I can't answer your interior question though.

Al

rwj
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Post by rwj » Mon May 14, 2007 11:32 pm

Al: Thanks for the info. I guess we'll just pick colors from what were available on other models in '59.

RWJ

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Post by Wilson Wright » Tue May 15, 2007 8:27 am

Al Benton wrote:Caruthersville is actually in Missouri, just across the Mississippi River from TN. Unfortunately, there's not much documentation around from this facility that produced kit boats in the fifty's and Cavalier Cutlas and Dory after that. Sorry, I can't answer your interior question though.

Al
Somebody was going to do some research with former employees on the old Caruthersville plant.. I think the info is in the club files sent to Cedar Rapids.

Wilson

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Al Benton
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Post by Al Benton » Tue May 15, 2007 8:51 am

That's encouraging news, Wilson. Maybe some of it will be posted in the on-line archive some time in the near future. I'm sure that Bill's priority list includes such documents.

There's a guy at our marina from Caruthersville, MO. He remembers the plant well and enjoyed watching the boats being loaded for shipment. I could ask him if he knows anyone that worked there.

Al

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18 Cavalier Research

Post by jon_e_quest » Tue May 15, 2007 3:47 pm

rwj:

You seem interested in bringing your boat back to as original as possible. I highly recommend you contact The Mariner's Museum in VA. They possess the Chris Craft archives. This collection includes the original hull card (basically, the boat's birth certificate) for your boat, which will confirm the date and place of manufacture. Here's the link:

http://www.mariner.org/library/chriscraft/index.php

For a fee, the museum will send you a large packet of information and b/w photos, including a copy of the model specific Decorative Styling Specifications for your boat. This document contains paint and vinyl color specs for the cockpit and hull. Consider, however, that CC made running changes and the museum only possesses the latest revisions. So, because you have a very early hull number, exact information for your hull number may now be lost, which was the case for me. Also, CC used their own color names, which do not match the original manufacture's color names. For example, my boat called for Riviera Blue for several items. The Nautolex vinyl was called Riviera Blue. The trim paint was called Riviera Blue. Even the Armstrong ribbed vinyl flooring was called Riviera Blue. The trouble is, Nautolex never made a color called Riviera Blue... and the museum doesn't know what Riviera Blue looks like, as no original samples exist. Also, the photos in original sales brochures were tinted blue to enhance the color of the water and sky, so you can't rely on color accuracy from those, either. I lucked out with two tiny scraps of original vinyl stuck to one of the galvanized bilge vent tubes from a parted out sister boat located in upper Maine! Incidentally, Riviera blue is an almost perfect color and grain match to Redrum Fabric's Seaquest series Cove marine vinyl. Go figure!

Anyway, in the end, no Cavalier will probably ever go to auction at Christie's (except maybe the Golden Arrow that Elvis Presley supposedly owned!), so you may have to settle with 'close enough'.
VUC-18-0020C
FBA-35-0009H

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Al Benton
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Post by Al Benton » Tue May 15, 2007 9:47 pm

I'm not sure about this but I don't think the museum has a lot of documentation that was generated from the Caruthersville facility. The information they have was primarily from Algonac, Cadillac and a few other facilities but the Caruthersville info was not available when the CC archives were donated to the museum.

Al

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18' Cavalier

Post by jon_e_quest » Wed May 16, 2007 3:13 pm

Well I can't say for sure, but the museum could. According to Jerry Conrad of the Mariner's Museum and author of Chris Craft - The Essential Guide, excluding the estimated 93,000 un-numbered (and un-carded) kit boats, only about 400 hull cards of the remaining 119,000+ boats produced through 1977 are missing. Chances are pretty good that the museum would have at least the hull card. And the factory photos and pricing lists would have been generated by the marketing department at Algonac, and probalby not the individual plants, so it's reasonably safe to say the museum has those, as well.

Also available for my boat at least, were a basic wiring diagram, engine manual, parts list, accessory catalog, and owner's manual. Drawings offered for my boat were: Instrument panel, deck section, deck arrangement & profile, shop drawing, shipside panel upholstery, and hull lines. And, as the styling department was likely located at Algonac, as well, many of these items must surely exist for your boat.

At most, you'll have $30 invested to find out what is and isn't available. Good Luck.
VUC-18-0020C
FBA-35-0009H

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