by Tom Carlin, Pacific Northwest chapter
One of the original fleet of recreation boats at the Malibu Club in British Columbia, this boat was used in the salt water of the Princess Louisa Inlet from 1941 until 1950 when the club was abandoned. In 1953 the club was sold to the Young Life Christian Ministry and was re-opened as a summer camp for teenagers in 1954. (Some say this is the only remaining runabout of the original fleet.)
The boat then continued to be used by Young Life and was painted white with a blue deck sometime in the late ’50’s. By the early 60’s it was laid to rest on shore, probably due to engine failure caused by saltwater corrosion of the raw water-cooling system.
The Chris-Craft Hercules Model M engine and most of the hardware was removed, and at some point while it laid on shore, a chain saw was taken to the keel to cut up the boat for a bonfire, but the saw broke and the project was abandoned.
In 1966, Ray Anderson, a caretaker at the summer camp, saved the boat from complete destruction, hauled it to his home in Bothell, WA, and modified it for fishing. Unlike the other boats of the Malibu Club fleet, this one never had a name and was known only as “the Chris-Craft”. Under the plywood engine box is a ’55 Chrysler hemi M-44-S. Note the Plexiglas wrap around windshield, and the kicker motor bracket on the transom.
I bought the boat from Ray Anderson in 1992, did an amateur restoration to return it to near the original configuration, named it, and got the hemi engine running. The only remaining original hardware is the Stern Pole Socket, Open Chocks, Ventilators, Vertical Transom Guard Strips, and the Bugatti Fold Down Windshield Brackets. Since 1994, I have used it continuously each summer in and around the Pacific Northwest.
In September 2003 I took the boat back to the Malibu Club for the 50-year reunion of Young Life at Malibu. A professional restoration by Alan Thomle of Stanwood, WA, and I began in October 2011, and was completed in July 2012. The engine is now a 302 Ford.
In Wisconsin, at the 2013 Geneva Lakes Boat Show the boat won the 2nd place Antique Runabouts Award. In Montana, at the 2014 Whitefish Woody Weekend III, the boat won the Captains Choice Award.