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1958 16' Chris-Craft Cavalier

These Cavaliers were Chris-Craft’s entry-level plywood mahogany boats.  Although these boats were not that expensive at the time and are not all that valuable today, in my opinion they have received a bad rap over the years.  First of all their bottoms are usually in better condition than planked bottoms found on the more expensive models.  They are a two piece (one full piece on each side of the keel) plywood bottom that did not experience the continual expansion and contraction that planked bottoms went through, meaning they held up better if maintained.  Most of the Cavaliers we’ve had in the shop have had pretty good bottoms and needed only minor attention.

The sides and decks were mahogany veneer fir plywood, and for that reason does not show the normal plank seam movement (thus cracked varnish) on the hullsides.  The rub is they can be very difficult to refinish due to the veneer only being about 1/16th of an inch thick.  So, you have to be very careful when stripping and sanding that you do not sand through the top surface…otherwise it will look awful.  They were light weight and usually had ample power that made them fast and maneuverable.

This particular boat came to us for a complete makeover with the exception of the bottom.  It was in good condition and only needed repainting.  She was to receive a new refinish, new chrome, flooring, upholstery, and re-manufactured engine.

This is one of the more attractive Cavalier’s we’ve done.  With the 131HP triple down-draft KBL power this little utility should really fly.  One nice touch is that we worked with a local shop on duplicating the unique ski-club decal that was on the original windshield.  They did a fantastic job in reproducing a new one and the result was exceptional.  Happy boating!  This Cavalier says ‘Thanks for the makeover!”

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