Should I tackle this? Rot repair/restoration of a 1960s 36 foot Chris Craft

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by macwood, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. macwood
    Joined: Oct 2009
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    Location: Hastings, MN

    macwood New Member

    I am in search of advice. I have only been boating for about 5 years but I was hooked at first launch. I have a friend with a boat shop and a 196? 36 foot Chris Craft. I have been eyeing it up for years. I went around the entire boat except for the vary bottom. I found some rotten boards. The worst spot is defiantly on the back of the boat. It was also the only place where I saw that the vertical ribs were spongy. I am a furniture maker and replace doors and rotten walls so I am not completely ignorant. It has the twin 327’s generator I am not sure what model it is.

    I guess things that I am wondering are;
    Is $2500 a fair price?
    What are signs that you should avoid?
    Advise if I decide to proceed to do this first…
    I would like all the wood above the water line to be natural so what would I use to seal protect and beatify it.
    Can you use fiberglass resin and cloth for a temporary band aid? If so where?
    If no why not?
    I have also considered buying it and parting it out.
    Also buying it for the motors (I could use 1 of them in my other boat, then use the wood to build a different custom boat.
    I have also heard that some models and years of Chris Craft are better then others?

    I guess the biggest question would be what am I forgetting?

    Thanks for your help.
    I have a bunch of pics I just dont know how to post them.
  2. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Basically, it is expensive for free. If you are looking for a hobby and have the thousands of dollars to afford it, that is an interesting several years project. Fiberglass bandaids are, to put it bluntly, crap. You will spend time and money on something that you will be working at continuously. The 327 engines are nothing special, just a 350 with short stroke.
  3. lewisboats
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    Location: Iowa

    lewisboats Obsessed Member

    Get a will tell you everything you need to know.

    Post the pictures to a web picture hosting service then type the path between these entries {img}{/img} except use the square brackets instead of the squiggly ones. It should look something like this {img}htp://{/img}

    I had to put in intentional errors so that you would be able to see the formatting.

    We would all like to see pictures...we feed on them :)
  4. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: New York

    missinginaction Senior Member

    This is a 1960's vintage wooden Chriscraft, right? All wood?

    I'll echo strongly the advise of mac & gonzo. I'll add a little advise as I'm in the late stages of a restoration project that I've been doing for the past 3 years+.

    I'd recommend that you go first to your local library and read everything you can regarding boat restoration. There are a lot of books for starry eyed dreamers out there. They will be long on stories and short on details. Stay away from these types of books. I like the following authors.

    1. “Boat Joinery and Cabinetmaking” Fred P. Bingham
    2. "Boatbuilding Manual" Robert Seward
    3. "The Elements of Boat Strength" David Gerr
    4. "Boat Owners Mechanical and Electrical Manual" Nigel Calder

    These 4 will get you started. There are many more good texts out there but these are books I own, have read (more than a couple of times) and refer to for guidance.

    IMO if you actually take the time to read and study these texts and take a good honest look at that Chris and follow lewisboats advise and get a survey (which might well kill any hope of doing this project anyway) and follow gonzos advise and don't try to put a bandaid on things (did you ever notice that when you get a bandaid wet it quickly falls off!) maybe, just maybe you might consider doing this.

    I've owned my old Silverton since 2001. It's a fiberglass hull with wooden decks and cabin/interior. The hull is in good servicable condition, the mechanicals were servicable but in need of some moderate repair (new manifolds, mufflers, thruhull fittings, seacocks, new plumbing, new electrical system (wiring/panels/lights etc.).

    So remember that I have really no work whatsoever to do on the hull itself (even the gellcoat buffs out pretty nicely) and I've still been at this for well over 1000 days. It' a long, tedious (at times) drawn out project, especially if you're doing it alone. It will also be much more expensive than you think. To give you an idea I recently estimated that by the time I'm finished I'll have spent between $25,000 and $30,000 on this little old boat. That doesn't include the thousands of hours that I've been down there working.

    I enjoy working on my old boat. Don't think that you will save money buying an old boat because I can tell you catagorically you will not. If you do a first rate job you will spend and spend and spend. A 36 foot boat has to be about twice as large overall as my 25 1/2 foot boat. If it's all wood you have other issues with the hull that I do not have.

    Please understand that I'm not trying to throw cold water on you. My point in taking the time to write this is that I'm just trying to save you some heartache and substantial financial loss. A lot of people start projects, spend thousands of dollars and then give up because they run short of money, time, ambition or health (or some combination of these). Don't let this happen to you!

    Look really carefully and understand what you are getting into.

    Goodluck with whatever you do,

  5. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    To sum it up:

    my three predecessors made very valuable statements there! You are far better away buying a well kept or good restored one than doing it yourself! From what I have seen during the past centuries (and what I had to spend myself on restoring old steamers), your calculation is on the safe side when you reckon twice the cost of a brandnew off the shelf boat of the same size! Assuming the restoration is done to pristine condition. Below the price of a newbuilt you will never end up!

    So, take care of what you´re doing.......................
  6. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Have you ever stepped on a shovel just right so it suddenly comes up and swats you crisply in the nuts? Have you ever done this repeatedly, even though you know it's going to hurt like hell? Have you ever stepped on a shovel, repeatedly slamming you balls, while stuffing 1,000 dollar bills in your worst friend's pocket with every swat?

    Judging from your questions, you should just go out in the garage and get the shovel, so you can get your nuts "tuned up". Don't forget your check book.

    If looking for a less physically painful method, just write several $500 checks to "cash" and hand them to people you've never met before, expecting nothing in return. After a few weeks of this, you'll have a fair idea of what you are in for.

    Aside from all the poking you've been taking, the price being asked is the value of the wood and metals as junk, so this should tell you what the boat is worth to the person selling it. He's selling it as junk, so don't expect it to be much more, without tossing at least twice that of what a good example is worth. So, if you've done searches and found good examples of Connie's (I'm assuming) take their asking price, double it and call yourself lucky, if you can get it to look as good for this much.
  7. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: New York

    missinginaction Senior Member

    Geez PAR.....I always thought that feeling in my nuts was an enlarged prostate!

    New's the boat!


    Thanks for the laugh this morning!
  8. lewisboats
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    Location: Iowa

    lewisboats Obsessed Member

    definitely waxing Poetic with a touch of acid...and I have the shovel, the checkbook and the cringing gonads of my own parked behind the garage...until I can get to it.
  9. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    If you decide to go this route and use a surveyor, bear in mind that there are many pretenders in this industry and even some decent ones that don't know wood. Research the surveyor first. Sounds like a fun, if painful, project. Good luck.
  10. Deadwood
    Joined: Feb 2010
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    Location: Boston, MA, USA

    Deadwood Junior Member

    No, you shouldn't do this.

    There, someone had to just come out and say it.
  11. The copper guy
    Joined: Feb 2010
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    The copper guy Junior Member

    Send all checks to me the copper guy.dont listen to those guys
  12. The copper guy
    Joined: Feb 2010
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    The copper guy Junior Member

    No rely all fun apart.
    This boat stuff is a learning curve and after 5yrs you may be ready for the next step,What you will learn from this project is invaluable and can only be don with experience why not ask to buy just the boat let him keep the en gens.
    when you are don with the boat you can get en gens.

  13. Sheepy
    Joined: Apr 2009
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    Location: Aus

    Sheepy Junior Member

    Just a helpful hint, next time you want to do something like this use this code....


    which will give you




    Which will give you ...

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