by Jon & Kait’s V8s member of the Lake Hopatcong chapter

Chris Craft, Grey Marine, Chrysler, Cadillac, Palmer, the options are too many to choose. Pre-war blue, post-war blue, Grey Marine green, Fireball-red, how is one supposed to pick? Asking me to pick my favorite engine is like asking a mother who her favorite child is. BUT there is one that stands out from all the rest. An engine that holds a story unparallel to any other. The Chris Craft ‘W’.

Last March we had this beautiful engine make an appearance at the shop. She came in for her yearly run over. Every day we got to spend with her was a great day. But there was one day that my life changed forever. A day that started just like any other. It’s March 27th, 2018, I beat Jon to the shop, I put on a pot of coffee, and organize from the previous day of hard work. Jon arrives not long after to inform me that last night she wasn’t running at her full potential. First thought, YIKES! Second thought let’s get the head off and open her up!

As she sits on the steel table in all her glory, I start to break her down. One nut at a time, sweating, worried, what in Chris Craft nation went wrong?! I get the head off, next comes the inspection, I must check every inch of every cylinder. As I go down the line, I get to the fourth cylinder. The problem was crystal clear, shiny, simple, yet so beautiful. Jon dropped to one knee and said, “I love you, and I love what we do together.

We are about to start the next chapter in our lives, and I couldn’t think of a better time or way to ask… Will you marry me?”

The problem wasn’t a problem at all. In a way that was so unique and personal to the both of us, Jon was asking me for my hand in marriage. I was overcome with pure joy. The prospect of spending the rest of my life with the person I love, doing what we love wasn’t a question that needed to be asked. YES! YES! YES!

Now when people ask how Jon proposed I tell them, “The compression was so tight Jon put in coal, and I pulled out a diamond ring.”



  1. Was a pleasure meeting you at our workshop in November in Buffalo ! I didn’t hear that story then … hopefully the engine runs better and you will put a lot of miles on that ring!

    • Hi Mark,
      There was nothing wrong with the engine. Jon used it in his proposal.
      “The problem was crystal clear, shiny, simple, yet so beautiful” (describing the engagement ring)
      “The problem wasn’t a problem at all.” (Because it was an engagement ring)
      Hope that clarified any confusion!

  2. I actually hoped that I would learn more about “W” engines. I was raised around Chris Craft and wooden boats and then restored them for years, currently have 106 wooden boats but have only once seen or had a chance to get any “W’ engines, Why are they so rare?

    • Hi Howard,
      106?! That’s amazing! While they certainly are not the ‘K’ or ‘M’ engine, we have seen a number of them throughout the years. They were made for boats 25ft plus. Compared to the number of smaller boats produced using the ‘K’s and ‘M’s, the number of bigger boats produced using ‘W’s was smaller. Then the bigger the boat the bigger the body of water. The salt water use corroded alot of the ‘W’s out of commission. Also the power to weight ratio between the ‘W’ and the V8 were so different it was a more logical to switch to the V8.
      If you have any other insight into the ‘W’ we would love to hear back!
      Thank you

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