» Home

  » Thoughts from the helm

  » 5200 Bottoms

  » What is a 5200 Bottom?

  » Current Projects

  » Recent Projects

  » Custom Trailers

  » Engine Remanufacturing

  » Links

  » Contact Us

1966 20' Chris Craft Super Sport

Some of these later Chris-Crafts looked like they were doing 50mph moored at the dock, or even sitting on the trailer. Such is the case for the Super Sports. They came in two sizes, the 18' and 20'. I've ridden in both and it's amazing how much more room is in the 20' model, not to mention it's a much better ride. Most came with either a 327, but some came with the humongous 427 that weigh in at more than 1200 lbs. Well, this one has the giant!

This poor ole gal comes from Florida and the salt water and humid air has really taken its toll on just about every part of the boat. The bottom is completely shot, the side planking soft in more areas than we can count, the interior and flooring pretty sad as well, etc. etc.

The owner wants the full Monte on her, so we'll do as we always do after taking some time to fully document the boat...roll her over and start on the bottom.

An engineering flaw here with the seats. They do fold up...all the way into the windshield. Opps. Well, I guess it's better than your head busting through.
Ok, you get the idea. We figure some WEST and a couple of coats of varnish and she'll be good as new. Well, maybe a lot of WEST and varnish...
Now just some fairing, seal, prime and paint. Then it's on to the sides.


This sleek Chris-Craft is starting to come around. Much work has been completed, and we're now in the final stages. The SS is off having a new custom trailer made, but she'll be back soon and we'll wrap up putting her back together. The owner has made all the right decisions for cosmetics and structure...so she'll not only look great, but last a long time knowing there were no short cuts taken.

The hullside planks were...well, toast. Yes, we could have made some repairs and put them back on, but it would have been a poor value for the money involved. The owner agreed to all new mahogany planks, and then skinning the boat. This provides a very stable under-layer for the outer planks and eliminates the seam cracks that naturally occur with changes in temperature and humidity. As the wood expands and contracts the seams move against each other resulting in cracks that detract from an otherwise beautiful varnish job.
These SS models had vinyl decks with a plywood base. Many times moisture would seep in and not really dry thoroughly, resulting in rot. Such was the case here. So, of course we replaced them.
The covering boards were quite complex. It took some time to get these just right, especially the rounded kerf underneath the overhang on the transom. We took our time and it turned out just right.
As you can see from above, we use the 'old school' method of obtaining the basic measurement for the top covering board where it fits into the rabbit. Then we use the same router method for planking to get a good tight fit. The result is perfect. Sure, it's an extra step, but do it right the first time...as you'll be looking at it for a long time when the boat's done. No coulda-shoulda-woulda's here. (And, a good cigar always helps you to slow down and enjoy the process. Just don't flip your ashes in the boat.)
On this model you have to put down the white vinyl first, then the king plank. But then you ask, 'How do I keep the stain from bleeding onto the white vinyl?" Elementary my dear Watson. You take a 1 mil sheet of plastic and place over the vinyl prior to screwing down the king plank. Cover the entire deck with it. After staining and varnishing you take an exacto blade and gently, yes I said gently cut the plastic in the seam where the king plank rests on the vinyl. Walla! No bleeding, and no one will ever see the plastic...guaranteed! (You can see the plastic below.)
Oh yeah, I think that monster 427 weighs at least a couple hundred pounds. If that chain brakes, it's time for a new bottom again. Not much longer now...
Finishing the project...
Was very happy for the owner, as she took the Best Chris-Craft award at her first show. And she flies with that monster 427. In this case the bite is as bad as its bark. This boat just says 'cool'.