by Carmen DeLeo member of the Mid-Atlantic chapter
While driving home from Avalon New Jersey in the summer 1981 and passing a Marina I spotted a wooden boat. I stopped to take a look and snapped a couple of pictures. The following week I decided to visit the marina during business hours and inquire about this 20′ Chris Craft Holiday just sitting on her side in the marina’s yard.
I found out from a grumpy owner that he was about to chop it up for fire wood since the owner abandoned her, sticking the marina with two years’ worth of storage fees. I thought, this boat has promise since all the hardware and engine parts were still in placed even though she was in bad shape.
I research the hull # and discovered it was delivered to a Connecticut marina in April of 1964. Further investigation uncovered that Chris Craft only made 10 of that specific model and she was number 2 of 10. Hull # CUD20-0002. Returning to the boat yard with a few Franklins sticking out of my shirt pocket the grumpy marina owner started to smile. I was able to get a clear title and he got his storage fees. Needless to say we were both happy!
I made a couple of attempts to clean her up and try starting the engine. However I failed at both. She was just too far in disrepair. So I put it in storage and that is where she sat for the next 20 years. For about 10 of those 20 years family and friends would often say there is no way that boat will ever see the water again. Eventually everyone forgot about her, but as I would pass her by stored in the back of a warehouse under an ugly blue tarp knew that one day she would be on the water again.
Given that challenge I finally decided to see who was right and through a friend I was referred to Classic Restoration in Philadelphia. Next thing I know my boat is pulled out of storage and went away for about 26 months to undergo a complete restoration bringing her back to all its glory.
She attended her first show in 2003 at St. Michael’s Maryland and went away with Best Chris Craft award that day. Ever since she has been honored to receive many awards attending boat shows on the East Coast.
We use this boat every season from March thru October from New Jersey to Florida and she garnishes smiles and waves as I catch bugs from my smile. Her name is “NO WAY