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1962 Century Coronado

Century began producing the flagship of their model line in 1955 and named it the Coronado. A roomy utility layout with the addition a ¾ seat , all the bells and whistles available, and loads of power quickly made this the most stylish and fastest production powerboat on any lake with speeds of 55MPH. Century decided to make a complete design change for the Coronado every two years. 1962 was the last year of the ’61-’62 design with the distinctive white swooping line ending in the jet near the bow and the aircraft ‘scoop’ as the bow cap. Many historians believe this was the most attractive of all the Coronados. Although this is debatable among Coronado lovers, Century definitely pulled out all the stops with this model.

This particular example came to us partially restored with the bottom removed and many of the oak frames already replaced. The chines and keel were also removed. A new stem was made but not yet installed. The hullside and transom planking are original and down right beautiful…tight, untouched, and in excellent condition. Only a strip, stain and varnish are needed for those. Missing is the hardtop which came with this specific boat, but we located one on another gray boat which we purchased and intend to restore and re-install on this one. (As a side note, we plan to re-produce the hardtop and then restore the gray 61’ next year to originality for re-sale in case you’re interested in acquiring one of these beauties.)

The boat will also fly...as it has the large Cadillac Crusader 325HP engine with the gas guzzling dual-quads. All the gauges and hardware are original. So, this will truly be a classic worth redoing correctly and will be brought back to originality with the addition of a 5200 bottom and electronic ignition in the large Cadillac.

We’re making good progress on this rare and soon to be beautiful 1962 Coronado. The damaged transom and bottom triple-laminated frames were replaced. The rest of the new frames have been faired and batten notches cut out in preparation for the new battens and 5200 bottom. Century used a single-planked batten-seam bottom. We choose to use the same method with the addition of a 6m inner layer of Okume 1088 plywood for extra strength and water tightness. After all, you only want to do this once…why not make a cosmetically invisible improvement while going to this effort.

After sealing the frames and battens with CPES, we also add a thinned layer of bilge paint for good measure. Cutting out the new planks, dry fitting, and fitting the inner Okume are next…then we’re ready to 5200 this together with silicon-bronze fasteners. Check back later for more photos of our progress.

UPDATE: Finally we have the bottom finished and rolled back over (with some of our crew).  It’s the first time this boat has been right-side up for more than three years, as it came to us upside down on a trailer.  We’ll do some final long board sanding then prepare for stain and varnish.  The correct interior from A&A Marine is on order and should be on its way soon.

Estimated time for restoration is nine months.

********* UPDATE 4-17-07 *********

********* UPDATE 6-5-07 *********

********* UPDATE 11-27-07 *********

This Coronado has been one of our more complicated restorations, due to difficulty in getting the correct interior kit, missing pieces, and most of all the fact that we did not originally disassemble the boat. It’s a little like trying to solve a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle without a picture on the box to go by. That being said, we’re making slow but steady progress and hope to have her completed soon. The fiberglass gull wings began to delaminate when we began working with them and took them to a local fiberglass shop to have them repaired. The hardtop frame was broken in several places and also needed quite extensive repairs, but not it should last forever. Needless to say, in 1962 fiberglass was still in its infancy and the products of the day were just not up to today’s standards. Once the flooring comes in we’ll put that down, then we can finish putting her back together.

Completing the project.....7/2/08

There were moments we all thought this beautiful classic would never be completed. While putting her together during the last assembly stages it seemed like it was two steps forward and one step back, and much swearing was heard throughout the shop during this stage. In the end parts from several Coronados were used to make this one complete boat. And, of course, many of them did not fit as we hoped and numerous adjustments had to be made. Now that ‘My Girl’ is finished, however, the result was worth the time and effort to get it right.

She’s turned out beautiful and I took the opportunity to put a couple of hours on her to work out any last ‘kinks’ (not to mention fun) before releasing her to her very patient owner. Other than some carburetor adjustments everything worked as we hoped. She handles fantastic and is incredibly fast with the very powerful Cadillac. We clocked her at more than 50mph, not bad for an old lady. She even looks fast and elegant moored at the dock. Most boaters gave us a big grin and ‘thumbs up’ as they drove by.

These ’61 and ’62 Coronados are just plain stunning and all who’ve seen her marvel at the overall beauty, sophistication, and power surrounded in African mahogany. Century really got it right with these boats. We have another ’62 Coronado in storage that’s owned by us that just may have to come out for restoration sooner rather than later.


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