by Eric Prahl, Inland Empire chapter
Our lake neighbor Darrell Kuelpman told us about this boat in the spring of 2007. I was always helping him tinker on his 1947 Century Resorter and he thought we should own a wood boat too. The boat had been stored in a barn up in Hope, Idaho, so tool box in hand I went to survey the boat. I was pleasantly surprised at the condition it was in with the exception of the original bottom. We made the purchase and since everything on the boat worked, we were able to soak the boat long enough to swell up the bottom and take it out on the lake that summer. Sadly, Darrel died that September of lung cancer and our 1962 Chris Craft was the only wood boat he took a ride on that summer before he left this world.
We decided in memory of Darrel we would make plans to replace the bottom. As luck would have it this bottom restoration turned into a complete restoration that took nearly 11 years to complete.
Putting everything back just the way it was built in 1962 was not what we wanted. As you can see in the photos, it looks much better than the original 1962 design without many alterations. Beyond the replacement upgrades you can’t see, we changed the upholstery design, engine cover design, installed a custom dash, gauge package, steering wheel and exhaust pipe design that really makes this boat stand out apart from the rest! Its first time back on the water was July 2018 and it was a Joy to take her out on a sunny summer day at Priest Lake.