by Greg Lewandowski member of the Michigan chapter
Tiger Lily is a 1957 20′ Chris-Craft Continental (hull #CL-20-189) that was shipped from the Cadillac plant to Cooper Chris-Craft Sales in St. Clair Shores, Michigan on Oct. 24, 1956. She is powered by the original Chris-Craft 175HP MCL flathead six cylinder engine.
Unfortunately that is all of the boat’s history that I know up until I purchased her from the previous owner in February of 2011 in Lake Leelanau, Michigan. He had owned the boat for about five years with the intention of restoring it himself, but decided he had too many other projects in the pipeline and agreed to sell the boat to me. She was a totally gray pattern boat at that time with no name and provided a home for a bobcat that lived in the barn where she was stored. However, all of the original hardware for the boat was still present and the engine would rotate.
I had worked with Marine Services Unlimited on restoration of my other classic boat with very favorable results and decided to have them restore Tiger Lily. The restoration was to include all new structural wood except for the stringers, and a complete engine rebuild with upgrades to electronic ignition, hardened valves and seats, and other improvements for reliability and durability. It also included re-chroming of all hardware and a new interior with custom features to improve on the original design. The deck, hull and bottom were totally replaced using epoxy construction with 20 coats of sealer and varnish to complete the bright work. The massive restoration project was completed in early 2015 and a water test was successfully enjoyed on Houghton Lake in April of that year.
My wife and first mate, Marianne, then named the boat “Tiger Lily” to be a sister ship to our 1947 17′ Deluxe Runabout, “Water Lily”.
Tiger Lily is regularly enjoyed at our home on Lobdell Lake, near Fenton, and shown and run at numerous classic boating events in Michigan and Canada and the Midwest. My family is looking forward to many more years of enjoying Tiger Lily with a few fresh coats of varnish every few years to keep her the good looking lady that we love!