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1955 18' Chris-Craft Holiday

The Holidays were originally quite different and plush for Utilities, sporting blond/natural stain finishes, a raked bow, and other very attractive features until 1955 when the Continentals were introduced as Chris-Craft’s top-of-the-line utility model.  They continued to make the Holidays, but they utilized the same hull as the Continental throughout the 50s and just toned down some of the more expensive items…like the stain (natural only) sometimes going without ceiling boards, etc.  During the 60s they took on a more aggressive styling and were essentially the same hull as the Super-Sports.  They have always been a very popular and utilitarian boat that performs well, offers a wide range of power, and has good all around water and dockside manners.

This Holiday comes from Texas and of course needs a new bottom.  While we have her we’re going to replace a cracked hullside plank, strip and refinsh.  The owner is going to refinish the ceiling boards and reassemble himself.

We decided to replace the plank while she was upside down.  Sometime’s it’s easier that way.  Now we’ll roll her over and start the fairing, and then onto the refinish.

*****Finishing the Project*****

Once we started striping the rest of the hull we noticed the bungs were quite dark and had a bad habit of just falling out.  They were paper-thin and something had to be done.  So, it was decided to remove all the bungs, refasten and re-bung the hullsides and transom.  The decks were cracked, thin, and just plain awful.  There was no way we could make this boat beautiful using the existing planks.  All new deck planks and covering boards were next.  Once faired, we bleached twice, stained, applied two coats of sealer and I forget how many coats of Pettit’s varnish (ok, maybe 9-10) and she turned out fantastic… as I hope you can tell from the photos.

Now she goes home where the owner will put her back together.

We prefer to caulk our seams after the boat has been stained and then received two coats of sealer.  We use mahogany colored Sikaflex, blue 3M 1” tape for ‘Delicate’ surfaces and then the fat end of discarded plastic nozels from tubes of 5200.  It provides for the perfect ‘concavity’ for the seams.  Now, Sikaflex is much easier to work with than 5200, 4200, or any of the other products we’ve used over the years.  The only rub is it has a cure time of several days.  But, yes but!!!  If you take a spray bottle of water and mist down the seams several times a day to keep the Sikaflex wet it cuts the cure time.  I know, it doesn’t sound logical… but it works.  After we let it sit overnight you can start varnishing.  We always varnish over our seams as the varnish will fill any imperfections and make for a very smooth surface for painting later.  Try it, it works great.

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