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  #1  
Old 05-19-2008, 11:35 PM
nam57 nam57 is offline
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1957 Chris Craft Capri decking

I am new here and have taken on a monster project (for me) I have a 1957 Capri and am begining to restore it. First I have pulled of a section of the deck and found it to be Maghony Plywood. The boot when new had blond wood on the deck along with this plywood. Any hints on where to find this maghony plywood and the blond wood for the decking. I am sure as I move through the process I will make countless trips to this forum for infromation so thanks in advance.
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Old 05-21-2008, 01:01 PM
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I'm assuming this is what you're looking to do. WWW.classicboat.com may offer some help. Then of course is www.chriscraftboats.com. There are quite a few sites about old Chris Crafts. The "blond" wood I think is birch, though it could be a few different species.

Chris Craft used custom made plywood in most of it's production craft. There are several suppliers of hardwood faced plywood in this country. A quick search of "mahogany plywood" produced lots of hits.

You may also consider substituting Mercanti (lauan) which looks very similar (it's often called Philippine mahogany) and will be priced much better then mahogany.
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Old 05-21-2008, 07:04 PM
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The blond wood is probably phillipine mahogany, which you can still get. The stain is available (I have some I think). One of those outfits PAR mentioned should sell it. The stain gives the wood the golden hue (as seen in the photo above).
It's a paste stain most likely, and the same company would have the red "Chris Craft Mahogany" stain, which is really the only stain that should be used for the decking.
good luck.

Alan
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Old 05-21-2008, 11:20 PM
nam57 nam57 is offline
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Thanks for the quick reply.

After looking at the two panals on either side of the engine hatch in the daylight I found that these two peices of decking are soild maghony. I assumme that the places mentioned would also carry this lumber, The two peices I have off are nearly 14' wide.
And yes the picture is what I am trying to do. My family bought the boat in 57 and it was given to me about 97. the blonde sections on my boat were painted white years ago and I never did like it. I also have some possible trouble when I get to the drive train. The boat has a 312 ford v8 in it and allways has as far as I know. The transmission went out and was replaced. But tthe engine needed to be angled up and moved forward to accomadate the transmission. I would like to undo that and move back to the two bench seats, would you have any suggestions on finding the engine hardware I will be needing.

Thanks in advance
Neal
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Old 05-22-2008, 09:43 AM
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alan white alan white is offline
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You would probably be wrong to assume you would get your wood from a resoration product company, though small wooden items (e.g. a flag staff) might be available.
Chris Craft stopped using Honduras mahogany during that period, though I'm not sure what exact period it was. Chances are good, however, that your decking pieces (margin planks, center plank, nose, etc.) are Phillipine mahogany, which is still available for a reasonable price in this country, and which is also replacable by Spanish cedar, also available throughout the USA.
Contact custom furniture shops for sources nearby. Never buy wood sight unseen if at all possible.
14" wide is quite wide but is possible. However, two pieces could easily be used and the joint made invisible by the stain.
Many owners of old runabouts don't like the two-tone staining, and neither do I. Many do the whole deck and topsides in red stain, which is more like the forties and earlier boats. It looks fabulous that way, and the value isn't affected at all, since it's reversable.
What will indeed affect the value is changing the seat locations if it involves work that isn't easily reversed.
Sticking to the original engine options is also a good idea for the same reasons. A 20 ft boat of that vintage can fetch upwards of 40-50k if correctly restored. Poorly done or incorrectly done, a quarter of that.

Alan
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Old 05-24-2008, 04:50 PM
nam57 nam57 is offline
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Will it hurt the value of the boat to use plywood rather than solid maghony on the decking?
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Old 05-24-2008, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by nam57 View Post
Will it hurt the value of the boat to use plywood rather than solid maghony on the decking?
Yes. But you may not have to replace much decking. If you do, the cost ought to be about $6.00-$8.00 a board foot. Usually, there are what appear to be three boards in each piece of decking. One edge is rabbeted to create a groove space up against the adjacent piece and there are two shallow grooves in each piece. Using boards this way instead of individual narrow pieces saved time and fasteners.
It is not so outrageous a cost to replace all the decking. In fact, it is probably a good idea to replace with full thickness new boards rather than long-board the old ones and make them a bit on the thin side (and the bungs shallower). Then you're out the cash for the boards and some labor, but the bungs will be deep enough and the boards full thickness. And long-boarding will be a breeze compared to if you'd kept the old warped boards.
I did the rear deck of the '53 I rebuilt, but kept the front deck. I now wish I'd redone the front, for all the re-boring of bung-holes I had to do once the boards were faired and made thinner.
You will always, in re-doing one of these old Chris Crafts, have to completely remove EVERY screw (refastening, it's called). You will always have to long-board as well, and then sand, stain, varnish (you'll use at least 12 quarts of varnish), then caulk and white-stripe.
This is usually more quickly done after removing the windshield and hardware.
Rot is, on the other hand, far less time-consuming unless it is between the two bottom layers found on many old CCs.
I would estimate one person could spend at least four months on restoration of an average boat of 20 ft of that era.
The pay-off, if done right, is a boat that will continue to go up in value over time, and which can be sold for top dollar.
The price of admission is usually 5-10k for the boat and another 10k to restore (again about a 20 ft boat) to get perhaps 40k.
You gotta love 'em because four months labor and 20k is a lot of commitment.
Or, on the other hand, you could just keep the boat going and enjoy it, do what you have to, don't worry about resale value, and have, in the end, a 5-10k boat.

Alan
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  #8  
Old 05-25-2008, 01:53 PM
nam57 nam57 is offline
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Thanks for the infromation Alan. These planks you mentioned that were pregrooved and rabbited on the ends, are they avillable for purchse and if so where. Currently working on getting a few picture to docoument the progress of the project. Hopefully will up load soon. Also the color of the lighter wood on the deck makes the wife sick, what are the down falls of changeing the light color and or the patteren on the decking?
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Old 05-25-2008, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nam57 View Post
Thanks for the infromation Alan. These planks you mentioned that were pregrooved and rabbited on the ends, are they avillable for purchse and if so where. Currently working on getting a few picture to docoument the progress of the project. Hopefully will up load soon. Also the color of the lighter wood on the deck makes the wife sick, what are the down falls of changeing the light color and or the patteren on the decking?
The planks are rabbeted on the sides. They are usually about 7/16" thick before sanding. They can be made on a table saw, or yes, you can get them all made up. Give me the sectional dimensions of your planks to see what their measurements come to. I can make them and UPS them (under 100 lbs per shipment) or you can buy them through one of the Chris Craft or wooden runabout websites. I would be cheaper most likely.
Few people really love the lighter stain anyway--- it's a fifties thing like two-tone chevies.
I would stick with the width of your original planking---- I can walk you through the process of installing it. I would stain everything with paste "Chris Craft" mahogany stain. I'd use phillipine mahogany, which is the correct wood. In the end, using the right materials is more than correct, it makes the boat better. Phillipine isn't too expensive. And you can substitute Spanish cedar in its place if push comes to shove.
Let's see some pics.

Alan
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  #10  
Old 05-27-2008, 12:47 PM
nam57 nam57 is offline
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On this same boat I need to replace the wood peice that surrounds the entire decking, It looks to be about a 3 inch quater round with out taking off a peice. Is this truely a quater round or what?
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Old 05-27-2008, 10:40 PM
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I call that piece the margin board. It's an expensive piece to replace because it comes from a very wide piece of stock. it's not bent but shaped, and my suggestion is you try to save what you can and piece in the repairs.
My guess is there are a lot of weathering due to the bungs not being sound any more.
The pieces you're describing are the most challenging jobs to make because they are literally sculpted by hand. Chris Craft would use curved grain to make them. You can splice on a repair that's practically invisible if you know what you're doing.
How about some photos?

Alan
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Old 05-29-2008, 07:47 PM
nam57 nam57 is offline
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Hello again Alan, There are two sections of the margin board I am concerned about, the first is on the front, it has seemed to have lost alot of its color and several of the bungs were installed very poorly, the second is on the back of the boat for the same reason. When I reinstall the decking with I assume 7/16" plankinig won't the margin board be lower than the new boards I install? I also have some fading on the back side where the finish was stripped and left sitting in the garage for a very long time, it is the picture with the two cables hanging in the picture. On of the middle pictures is one of the boards mounted on each side of the cockpit, there quit a bit of drt rot there on the other side. Those two pieces look to be fairly simple to replace. Also does the rest of the planking on the sides and bottom use the same joints as the decking.
I an working with a freind that makes scenery for movies and T.V. shows, his wife has been transferred to Florida so he is disloving his business and selling all of his wood working shop which includes a jointer, Table saw, planner, large scroll saw and more. I am hopeing to be able to produce the pieces I need with these tools and then sell the equipment when I have finished (maybe).
Sorry I am not able to give a full view of the boat, but it has been buried for about a decade and I am still working on clearing out the other stuff in the garage and am running into slight restence from the wife. But it is only a speed bump, not a stop light.

Thanks
Neal Miller
Attached Thumbnails
1957 Chris Craft Capri decking-hpim1336.jpg  1957 Chris Craft Capri decking-hpim1337.jpg  1957 Chris Craft Capri decking-hpim1338.jpg  

1957 Chris Craft Capri decking-hpim1342.jpg  1957 Chris Craft Capri decking-hpim1343.jpg  
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Old 05-29-2008, 07:49 PM
nam57 nam57 is offline
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Sorry alan I did not include the dry rot picture in the first reply.
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1957 Chris Craft Capri decking-hpim1339.jpg  
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Old 05-29-2008, 09:19 PM
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The nose is a bit of a job, best done slowly and carefully. I freaked the owner of the '53 when I took a sawzall in hand (and then a 30 grit disc sander) and shaped the three 3" thick blocks making up the nose, but I wouldn't recommend that unless you've got a lot of experience. The wood is expensive.
The pieces come out easily and new ones are fitted with an eighth inch gap between which is filled with 3M 5200 or similar prior to varnish. Bed them in a natural compound (linseed oil based). There's a lot of hand work, finishing up with a rasp and then sandpaper.
Get used to the idea of replacing EVERY bung on the boat right now, because you will have to do this.
The thickness of 7/16" is so you can sand a lot and still have enough depth for counterbores and bungs. It will come down to the margin boards okay.
It will dress out to maybe 3/8" minimum.
The hull planking is about 1/2" (but what length is your boat?)--- and it's batten seam on the sides and it has a double bottom (fore and aft under diagonal). The bottom is bound to have issues, so check it out.
There are over 1500 bungs to replace and some rock-hard white lead putty (rather than wood bungs) to dig through on the bottom planking.
That's a couple of hours at the drill press and many more carefully removing the old bungs without gouging the edges of the holes. The idea is to retighten EVERY screw, which, through many moisture cycles, have compressed their seats enough to be slightly loose (you can see this where planks on the sides meet).
It's a hell of a nice boat there, and I'm sure you're going to be an expert in the process of learning all of these methods and techniques.

Alan
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Old 05-29-2008, 10:35 PM
nam57 nam57 is offline
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Alan, After reding your last reply I snapped a couple pictures of the nose peice. It is a bit rough but looks to be good. There was a peice pieced in that I would like to replace but am sure to make it right I would need to repace the entire peice rather that the section that had already been replaced. What do you think about the nose?
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1957 Chris Craft Capri decking-hpim1347.jpg  1957 Chris Craft Capri decking-hpim1348.jpg  1957 Chris Craft Capri decking-hpim1351.jpg  

1957 Chris Craft Capri decking-hpim1349.jpg  1957 Chris Craft Capri decking-hpim1352.jpg  
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