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1955 21' Chris Craft Capri

This is the second 21’ Capri we've had in the shop. Although not nearly as bad as the first one, this beautiful classic also had some issues that needed attention. She had been restored once before but left in the elements so long that much of the prior restoration’s luster has since vanished and now there were split hullside and deck planks. There were also a few engine problems (a Hemi!) which we took care of while in our care. Our job was to completely strip, stain, and varnish. Along the way we replaced the damaged planks and other lurking problems that make themselves known as we pulled off the old finish.

The best place to begin after removing all the hardware from the boat is taking a heat gun and putty knife and remove all the old varnish and stain. Some stain will still remain, but some light sanding with 40 grit sandpaper makes quick work of that and quickly exposes good wood. We replaced the starboard side plank and then began work on the deck planks. Once again we ran into planks being glued down and basically had to chisel them off, leaving no usable patterns. As we’ve done several Capris before we still had the jig used on the table saw to make the angled cuts. Be sure to cut about a five degree angle into the edge of the planks, otherwise you won’t end up with a nice tight butt fit due to the outside curve of the rear deck. As the blond area has a habit of showing any and all imperfections, you have to get this just right. Fortunately it turned out beautiful. We also replaced two transom planks that were badly shrunk and cracked. We gave some thought to just filling the seams with famowood, but they were too large and the transom is one area that needs to be done correctly as it’s one part of the boat that really gets noticed.

This ’55 21’ Capri turned out quite nice. After two coats of sealer and eleven coats of varnish (wasn’t happy with the tenth), we felt she looked pretty darn good and am hopeful the owner feels the same. You can’t believe how heavy this boat was with the Hemi, as we discovered moving it from the work cradle back onto its trailer. Now she’s ready to rock-n-roll.

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