By Frank Ferris, ACBS Member
I grew up spending summers at our cottage on Keuka Lake (Finger Lakes are, NY). I swam, sailed, and especially loved water skiing. Our neighbor at the lake had a beautiful Chris-Craft Holiday which I always envied. When I graduated from Law School in 1964, as a graduation present my father decided to purchase a new ski boat for me. We went to Kelly’s Marina on the west side of the lake near Branchport and looked at two boats in the showroom.
One was a Chris-Craft Corsair fiberglass made in nearby Cortland, NY. The other boat was a 1963 Chris-Craft wooden ski boat. I secretly wanted the “woodie”, but my father being practical chose the fiberglass Corsair which required no maintenance. In the fall of 2013 during the process of storing a boat at East Bluff Harbor Marina, I mentioned to the owner that I was looking for a “woodie” and he mentioned he had one that had been in storage for five years and the owner of the boat wanted to sell.
The marina owner had suggested the boat be shipped to Clayton, NY for the annual boat auction at the Antique Boat Museum. The marina owner showed me a picture of the boat and told me what he thought the owner would accept to purchase the boat, and I said, “I will buy it.” I went back to the cottage and told my wife, “I just bought an old Chris-Craft Ski boat.” She couldn’t believe it. My wife asked if I looked at the boat and I said, “no, but I saw a picture of the boat and it looked just like the boat I always wanted.”
When I went back to the marina the following spring, the owner told me the boat was in wonderful condition. He had maintained and stored the boat for many years. The owner’s father had purchased the boat new in 1964 from Kelly’s Marina and the owner was happy the boat was going to stay on the Lake. After 50 years, I finally owned the boat I always wanted.