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1940 19' Chris Craft Runabout (Barrel Back)

The 19’ Customs from 1939-1942 are some of the most collectable and sought after mahogany classics in the country. Many, if done correctly, are reaching six figures in value…and I’ve seen some go over $100,000. This is the second boat we’ve done for this gentleman. After purchasing the boat he pulled the sides off and ‘skinned’ the boat with 4m marine plywood, reattaching the original planks with 5200 to keep them from moving. Now, let me say up front I have mixed emotions about skinning boats. It’s true we’ve done several boats that way, but I’m not an advocate of such methods as a rule of thumb. It will indeed prevent the planks from moving and the subsequent manifestation of plank seams…but, these wood boats were intended to move and I generally advise reattaching planks as they were originally---warts and all to maintain visual authenticity.

That being said, we were in a little trouble from the start on this project as the planks were not clamped down when reattaching them, resulting is sizable gaps between the hullside planks. Some gaps were 3/16” wide and too large of fasteners were used which also enlarged the screw holes. Our job was to install a new 5200 bottom, repair the gaps, bung, and refinish the sides, making the plank seams disappear. The decks were average and are to be left alone.

As we do with all our projects, we rolled her over and began with the bottom. With the exception of some frame, knee, and chine replacement/repairs it was a standard bottom and turned out quite nice. We used 4m BS1088 marine ply for the inner with 3/8” mahogany for the outer planks with stainless fasteners. Rolling her back over we replaced two transom planks before beginning the tedious job of making the hullsides presentable. Much effort was made with shims and Famowood to properly fill the gaps. Careful fairing and final sanding resulted in a hull that was as good as we could make it. After bleaching and staining the client wanted it darker, so we re-stained to a darker color to better hide the wide seams. We’ll begin sealing and varnishing after allowing 48 hours to thoroughly dry. Once finished she’ll return to her owner for the final outfitting.

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