by John Calhoun member of the Water Wonderland chapter

I purchased a basket case hull of a 1940 Chris-Craft Deluxe Runabout (barrelback) in 2006 after searching for a respectable project where I could utilize a Chris- Craft KBL131 hp triple carb engine that I owned. I was alerted to a gray boat that was in the northern part of Michigan that might be just what I needed. It was exactly what I needed to drain my bank account.

After negotiating a “pay as you go” plan for the restoration with Mark McIsaac of Onekama, MI, we began in the spring of 2006 and finished in the spring of 2010. All that was needed was most of the hardware, some of the gauges, a steering wheel and upholstery. Oh, by the way, most of the mahogany hull planks and engine stringers and a couple of hatches and cutwater (cha-ching). The boat history was unknown except for the build card for #71589 that showed she was originally shipped to Wisconsin in December of 1939.

Although many names were discussed for the boat, I was continually reminded by my wife that I had better hurry up on that boat or there were going to be “problems”. Having worked south of the border for several years, and always urging my Spanish speaking co-workers to hurry up or “Andale!”, I decided that it would be a good name for the boat. By adding the accent above the é at the end of the word, the translation is “Hurry up old man.”. A great name for a nearly eighty-year old boat, I thought.

Andale has been shown and won awards at various shows around the Michigan area, but mostly this boat is a daily user. She cruises Clark Lake in southern Michigan and is enjoyed by lots of residents who have used her to ferry brides-to-be to waiting pontoon on-lake weddings as well as being used for a raffle prize or two (Win a day in a Chris-Craft) that always brings a good donation.

Looking back on it, I’m glad she turned out so well and without a doubt, she turns heads when lake residents hear that rumble coming around the point.

9 Comments

  1. Nice story. I am in the midst of a similar project. Picking a name is difficult, personal, and fun. We ended up with Wild Hair, as it has many meanings, but is exemplified by the remaining 2 hairs on my head as well as my grandchildrens hair! Still likely two more years to launch.

  2. Hi John & family,
    Congratulations on bringing 71589 back to life…you and your restorers did a really nice job!
    We had a similar experience with 71735, our 17′ Deluxe, purchased in 1999 and beautifully restored by the late Fred “Hank the Plank” Mayer. His shop was in the former Buffalo Pierce Arrow factory as Hank took care of the boats owned by the building’s owner. Work involved some wood repair & replacement, installing a new transom and a 5200 bottom. Power is from a dual carb KFL, and as you know from your KBL, the extra HP really helps!
    Enjoy Andale, and THANKS for saving another classic Chris-Craft barrelback!

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