From Thomas Gruenauer, Wine Country and Niagara Frontier Chapters

I purchased my 1928 Chris Smith and Sons Boat Company runabout in 1989. It is a 24-foot Model 3 triple cockpit runabout. It is powered by an original type Chrysler Imperial LMC marine engine.  I acquired the boat from a professional restoration shop located in Massachusetts. It was part of his “future restoration” project boats. The photos below were taken in my driveway on my first day of ownership, after I had gotten the boat home, and then once I got it off it’s trailer and into my garage for work to begin. 


I launched the boat for the first time under my ownership on Wednesday, July 7, 2023. This was to mark the waterline and go for a 60 second boat ride. This was a good test, but the boat was immediately hauled back out for the work to be done.

The restoration was completed on July 13, 2023.  Two days later, I took the boat to my first show, the Wine Country Chapter’s Hammondsport show on July 15th and 16th.  The 95 year old boat was awarded the DockMaster, People’s Choice, and Virginia Dare Best-in-Show awards. It’s been an amazing 34-year journey!

Wine Country’s Chief Judge John Vyverberg was very pleased with the debut of Gruenauer’s 1928 Chris-Craft at the Hammondsport Show, stating “It’s a very nice story and worthy of a feature. This was a 30+ year self-restoration and his meticulous work was rewarded by a 99-point score, plus winning three of the show’s top awards.”

Congratulations Thomas on a job very well done! Enjoy cruising Forever!


  1. Congratulations Tom!
    Some people might think that you were patient/tenacious and others might think that you were stubborn, it doesn’t matter! Well done.

  2. Congratulations Tom. Beautiful boat. I know you have worked long and had on this project. You deserve all the awards you get and more. Can’t wait to see it at the Buffalo show.

  3. CONGRATULATIONS on a magnificent job….on your ownership of, and vision for, such a historic vessel!!
    Ann – Boston Yacht Charters (1989)….NOTE: All of our vessels were Chris*Crafts!

  4. Spectacular result, well done. Am curious what shop the boat came from originally in Massachusetts? I live in MA and always interested in finding nearby restoration shops. Thanks.

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