by Jim Gould member of the Finger Lakes chapter
I had always wanted a Chris-Craft so when I retired in 1995, it seemed a perfect time. My search ended when I found Boyd Mefferd (Boyd’s Boats, Canton CT) and an “easy project” 1955 20ft. Chris-Craft Continental.
A research visit to the Mariner’s Museum in Newport News for a hull card and shop drawings got me started on the right foot. Although not planned initially, I also found these documents very helpful during boat shows when judges were unsure of my accuracy regarding boat correctness. An ACBS workshop at the Antique Boat Museum and sessions with Kathy and Bo Muller were especially helpful.
The first work on the boat included finding the correct hardware, and a mostly cosmetic restoration including 12 coats of varnish. Restoration of the Chris-Craft “M” engine was completed at this time by my son-in-law. He is a professional operating his own shop specializing in race cars, so this was a “change of pace”. Another son-in-law who is an accomplished wood worker, constructed a new dashboard for me. A few years later, Hullings Hulls in Penn Yan NY did a more complete restoration of the wood including a “5200” bottom. Electronic ignition and a 12v generator provide hassle free enjoyment all summer long.
We named the boat “Miss Lucky” – a colloquial term for grandmother – and my wife. Home port is our son’s lakeside home on Canandaigua Lake – one of New York’s finger lakes.
One of our favorite activities in the summer is to pack a picnic supper and take a ride to the end of the lake where we sometimes see a bald eagle as well as other water birds. It’s a peaceful setting with great sunsets. Can’t wait for summer 2020!