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1948 22' Chris-Craft Sportsman (U-22)

One of the most popular boats of all time produced by Chris-Craft was the 22' Sportsman, or commonly referred to amongst wood boaters as the U-22. The 'U' designated the 'Utility' configuration on these boats. So an 18' Sportsman would begin with the hull number as U-18, etc. The 22' model was made famous by the movie 'On Golden Pond'. In fact, many emphatically state it was that movie and boat which began the rebirth of classic wood boating. They may be right about that. One of the three boats used in the movie is still going strong after a long search for the boat and then a meticulous restoration by Katz's Marina out east, who did a top notch job.

We had acquired this particular boat from Texas after a very nice gentleman who hand built custom guitars began the restoration and just tired of the work. Rather than see it languish we made the long trip out there and brought her back, placing her in storage as a future project. Well, as time went by we decided to put her on the market...and she was purchased by a client that we'd done a 21' Capri for several years earlier.

In 1948 good Philippine mahogany was still difficult to come by in the post-war world. Most of these were made of cedar with the rare mahogany used only for the decks and transom. That was the case with this boat. Even so, you could order one of these boats with mahogany hullsides for a premium price. The owner prefers the brightwork, so we're doing this boat with all with mahogany.

Ok, so she needs at least a couple of coats of varnish and some duct tape to cover up that big hole. Nooooo problem.
This is a little unusual for the inner-bottom layer but I'm sure we can reuse it as is. Only kidding. It was common construction plywood, and even if coated with fifty gallons of CPES it will not do the job. So, we removed it with saws and chisels...and made quite a mess in the process. The chines and many of the frames were as much as 1" out of fair, so we worked those to where they should be. Now we seal and paint the bottom structure.
We completely re-planked using the glue-n-screw method. An absolutely beautiful load of mahogany came in from LL Johnson, enough to do the entire boat.
The dash could have been re-used, but it was worn to the point we were concerned about how it would take to stain. We've gone this far, so why not fabricate a new dash? Wise move.
New seat frames, ceiling boards, flooring, the addition of a ¾ seat, hot tub, heli-port, etc. makes this pretty much a brand new boat with some nice additions. Even so, it will look much like the original article. The original Chrysler Crown is simply not enough power to push all of this mahogany through the water...especially with the owners and their eight grand children. So, we're repowering with a new re-built 350 from CDs Engines. Now a new motor box will need to be fabricated.
Wrapping up this project...
Trial fitting the new 350 power. The Chrysler Crown didn't have enough 'umph' for this owner. We wants to move a lot of people at speed.
New custom engine box for the larger engine, and new custom ¾ seat. These are great in U22s.
Now finished on her new custom trailer. Sweeeet.
A beautiful roomy utility that will fly with that 275 HP power! A big project, but worth the effort.