I’m back! (finally)

I am finally back to work on the Chris Craft. I must admit this phase of the project has really intimidated me and I every time I come down and start working on it, I ended up staring at it, wondering how am I going to fix that bottom?

The answer was just muster up some courage and dive in. So that is what I have one the last couple of days. I started by installing some bracing to assure the boat holds it’s shape as I tear it apart.


With the bracing in place it was time to crawl underneath and try to come up with a plan. I could quickly see I was going to be spending a lot of time underneath.


I have found that an air powered angle grinder with a paint/rust removal pad is a good choice for the task at hand. It will quickly remove paint, filler and wood! And there is a lot of all three to remove.


And here is a photo of the first (of many) screws coming out.

first screw I am still intimidated by this project. Still not sure what to do but at the same time I am excited to be back at work on it.


More stripping

I have not been able to spend nearly as much time as I thought I would working on the boat. I expected to be further along by now. Today I spent the better part of the day stripping the decking off the boat.

Stripping the boat has been a bigger job than I expected. Usually disassembly goes fast and you feel like you have made a lot of progress in a short time. But that has not been the case on this one. And since repairs and assembly go much slower ……..  yea, it’s going to take a while.

I started on the starboard side and moved a damaged section. I was pleasantly surprised to find no damage to the planking. With the access to the hidden screws I checked and every one of them was at least a little loose. I have decided to remove it all the decking so I have access to tighten these screws. After 50 years I am not surprised to find them loose!

Removing the bow was a slow process. All the screws are countersunk and then puttied over. I spent a lot of time looking for the screws, chiseling out the putty, cleaning the slots and then finally removing the screws. This photo was taken while I was chasing down a couple of hidden screws that were holding the deck on.

Finally I managed to get it off. Once again a couple of surprises but so far just small things.

The other side came off much quicker since I knew where all the screws were. I can finally see inside clearly. I was too tired to survey the bow and see what shape it was in.

With the deck off the bow, I decided had accomplished enough. I turned out the lights and headed to the house.

Up, over and out.

Book is finished and copies on order. Now I can turn my attention back the Making Waves.  I spent about 3 hours getting the engine disconnected and out of the boat. It feels like a major accomplishment too. It wasn’t hard but just time-consuming. And absolute murder on my knees and that ankle I messed up a while back!

Photos will tell the tell.

Here is free of the boat for probably the first time in 50 years.

About this point I got concerned that it wouldn’t clear the gunwales and I was right.

I had to sit it down. Tight the chain holding the hoist. Tighten the chain holding the motor and with the motor lifted as high as I could get it, it cleared by about 1/8″. That was cutting it too close!

Finally free of the boat. Now to finish stripping the hull and working up a game plan for exactly what I have to do next.

She is grounded to the ground

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and I don’t have many today. Words that is. Too tired, so I will let the photos do most of the talking.

Oh, before I forget, I received my info from Mariners Museum on Making Waves. She is as I thought a 1962, 20′ Sportsman. She went to a dealer in Biloxi, Mississippi from the factory. I always suspected it was a Southern Boat but never had the proof. She came with optional canvas top and frame, side curtains and 283 Chris Craft engine.

Lifted off the trailer

Here she is hanging just a couple inches above the trailer. Kind of scary pulling the trailer out ever though I knew everything was plenty strong.

The flying boat

Again, nothing to worry about but scary too.

Stern stand in place

I built a stand for the back of the boat. Spent a lot of time thinking on how to do this. As usual it looks pretty simple but it was a bear to come up with.

A ground!

Here she is, grounded and ready for the serious work to begin.

It went smooth and painless. I know it was because I put a lot of effort and thought into getting to this point. But, I am still left with the feeling “Why did it to so long to get to do this.”

Making Waves * Take Two

Back a while ago I said I was starting on the restoration of Making Waves. Well, that changed about as quick as it started. God had other ideas and instead I have been writing my the new book. With the book nearing completion I have some time to actually start on this project.

The first big step was to start removing her ‘furniture’ and see exactly what I have to deal with.


Event though it has been covered while it was stored it is still amazing at the amount of dirt and trash inside. It was more amazing at all the ‘things’ that ended up in the bilge too! In the photo I can see a flip flop, ski glove, and cup. Trust me I have pulled a lot more than that our all ready!

seats out

floors out

Earlier I found a Bumble Bee nest in the bow. The drain plug is in the bow and had been left open so if water got in it could drain out of the boat. Great idea but it seems the Bee’s found this opening inviting and built a nest under the floor boards! Their nest was keeping the area damp and now we have rot to deal with where the nest was.

Next big problem is that the boat was not sitting on the trailer properly and that has led to a deformation of the hull and some broken ribs. There is one area where the planking will have to be replaced for sure on the hull. I expect there is more that will show up as I get into it.

Bilge will have to be painted, that zinc chromate green has to go! Who thought that was a good idea??

Earlier this week my project was spending a full day jacking up the boat and getting it centered and back down on the trailer. This was a harder task than I had expected. Since I have a lot of work to do on the bottom of the boat, I see I need a better way to lift and shore it.

After all the effort to get the boat off the trailer I have decided that the only real option is build a gantry and use chain hoists. So this weeks project to built two gantries and find some chain hoists. Then the real work can begin.

Makin’ Waves

Something new is in the shop. With Shad finished I have decided it is time to tackle what i suspect will be a big project.

Who am I kidding? This is a really big project!  I am about to start the restoration of Makin’ Waves. She is a 1962 Chris Craft Sea Skiff that I have owned for over 20 years. I did a cosmetic restoration on her once before. Due to improper storage she developed a leak, a bad leak and was hauled out.

I was afraid to send it to the shop because money was tight and you never know what it is going to cost till you get the boat apart. Then you are committed. So it has been in under cover for several years.

Now I have the skill and most importantly I have the space. So I have pulled in the shop and this will be my next big project.