Posts Tagged ‘maryland festival’

First Niche Chris Craft

Words © Chris (seabuddy) Brown and photos CBMM
Chris Craft Corporation said this quote “Chris-Craft has the name, the prestige, the public acceptance. It has consistently advanced from the beginning and maintained the continued success for its merchants. Chris –Craft has been the leader, is the leader, and will continue to lead” in the early 1930s..
By 1936-1937 Chris Craft introduced what Seabuddy labels’ the first niche Chris Craft Runabout; the 19’ Special Race Boat. It had a cut down (lower) hull profile with less freeboard fore and aft. Plus, Chris-Craft boats used thinner dimension framing as well as thinner planking in the bottom for this 19’ Special Race Boat model. These changes made a big difference compared to their other 19’ by 6’2” sized runabouts that were made by Chris Craft boats for the masses. For instance, while there are different engine choices, it is perhaps fair to say that one of these boats were 20% faster.
Funny thing… Chris Craft made 51 of these boats, the same number of 19’ Chris Craft Cobras it made in 1955. So, this first niche Chris Craft Runabout is about a rare a boat as there is in the Chris Craft line-up ,just like a 19’ Cobra is! Note, they made some 760 plus units of this 19’ 0” by 6’ 2” hull in their standard models.
The Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the ACBS clubs St. Micheals Classic Boat Show had both of these rare boats, fully restored in its annual June event. They were displayed on the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum grounds over three days in 2015. It was a signature show! Seabuddy hopes that you made it to the show or plan on putting this show on your calendar in the future years.
Now, there is a new construction wood boat available for a custom new build with a period correct engine for the made-to-order newly built hull or a buyer can direct that a modern V-8 Seabuddy has seen this boat, it is a real head tuner. Please see… http://www.vintagewatercraft.com/classic_boat_construction.htm and scroll down on the left to the “1937 Special Runabout (19’)”.
It was only in 1930, that Chris – Craft Corporation was the boat building company’s new name that Christopher Columbus Smith started business back in about 1874. The name had changed many times to allow for various partners in the years between these dates. It (the name) was the family’s idea and a way to sell 1/3 of the company to Wall Street. That partial stock sale never happened. The family ran the company and kept it private until they sold the entire corporation in early 1960.

Cobra Chris Craft and Shelby Cobra 427 together at Classic Boat Show

Words © Chris Seabuddy Brown, photo by CBMM
A Chris Craft Cobra set to towed by a Carroll Shelby Cobra 427 at a Classic Boat Show. It was the winner of the Best of Show-Land Display at the Classic Boat Show. Only at a classic show would such icons of land and water, or keels and wheels, if you prefer would seabuddy see such a thing on a Saturday afternoon.
Boaters know the Cobra’s as the most collectible models of mid-fifties. Restored Cobra boats are the envy of most fans of the classic Chris Craft line-up. They were made in only one year and only in very limited quantities. These two models are rare Chris Crafts. They were style leader models, made to attract buyers to dealer boat showrooms and major boat shows of the Chris Craft models. These other roughly 150 boat models were each priced at a profit. Chris Craft was still privately owned by the descendants of Chris Smith (who had died in 1939 two weeks after being found in the Chris Craft boiler room bleeding from his nose) and many family members still worked in the business.
Chris Craft Cobras used gold finished fiberglass to fashion a big fin behind the seat that dominates the styling of both sizes of these boats. This was an early attempt by the world leader in wooden boat construction to use the new boat-building material. The fiberglass was made in one plant and the otherwise planked mahogany wood boat was made in another. Several fiberglass parts did not match up with their boat hulls when mated on the final production line, the trial and error of fitment was one of the first learning lessons.
The boats used some car parts like the steering columns and their steering wheels are said to be1949 Chrysler parts. Cars and their brand-leading styling like the Mercedes Gullwing, GM Corvette, and early Ford Thunderbirds with limited seating and more style than function are often mentioned with the Chris Craft Cobras. These models are runabouts. Get in, sit-down, and enjoy. One does not walk around in a runabout.
Now, for the other snake in this write-up.
The 289 Shelby Cobra had used the British AC Ace car that came to market in around 1953 which began with a 100 HP engine ant then later with up to 120 HP six cylinder engine. The first small block Shelby’s used Ford’s then new 260 cu. In. V-8 engines for 75 Cobras and then 289 cu. in. engines (about 525 cars). There were several changes in these cars over the production run including rack and pinion steering, inboard and outboard mounted disc brakes, wheel hubs, and various details like radiators.
The Shelby Cobra 427 was the big block Cobra that Carroll Shelby created. That car had a new chassis and coil springs (instead of the transverse leaf springs of the Ace and the Ford small block cars). That new frame and suspension were developed with Ford’s cooperation, (Klaus Arning and Bob Negstad at Ford and this suspension is similar to the Ford GT-40s) and it is best identified by the wide fenders and an even bigger radiator opening. The engine was both a 427 and a 428 Ford engines. The 427 was the more desirable “side-oiler” engine.
Both Cobras are show stoppers!

chris craft cobra shelby 427 cobra

rare Chris Craft Cobra ready to be towed by Shelby 427 Cobra

ACBS Classic Boat Show and Festival Award Winners #1

Words and photos © Chris (Seabuddy) Brown

A black hulled single engine Cigarette swept its classes first time out of the barn. While she was up against a fast Nova/ Allmand 19, the judges all agreed that Lotus was the clear winner. Everyone was pleased that the number of off-shore fiberglass boats in attendance was on the upswing at this year’s boat show. Each show of the 57 diferent clubs have a slant to their show. It looks like this Mid-Atlantic Father’s Day Classic Boat Show / Festival is beginning to get the go-fast in rough water boating crowd.

Lotus is not a race boat, just a high speed, wave splitter cruiser/day boat for a young married couple and their dog. The boat is re-powered with a replacement, updated big block 496 cu. in. Chevy engine with EFI, for the ease of starting and shifting. The newer engine takes away show award points, but the ease of use of the newer intake system makes for a better boat, day in/ day out.

What does not take away points is the black hull finish. This boat has over 1,200 hours of sanding to get that flawless finish, up from a production boat building level of finish. She was finish sanded to over 2,000# grit paper. It is a AWLGRIP finish that one sees now.

The deck, cockpit, and the wood trim also took lots of finish work. Basically, it is several layers of epoxy. The cockpit dash was also updated with new instruments and other details. However, the vinyl seats and trim are several years old. There is a longish vinyl pad under the foredeck. It is out of the weather and in a pinch, one could overnight in this limited cabin.

Figure on a 45 MPH cruise and about a 70 MPH top end as powered in this 1972 24’ classic GO-FAST cruiser re-do.

 

Washington D. C. and its Potomac River Canal

One does not think that a canal way that opened next to Washington D. C.s Potomac River in 1850 would still be a source of boating fun in 2014. But it was last weekend for Seabuddy. My photos contained here are from early November, 2014.

Canal Lock on the Potomac River

Canal Lock at Great Falls Tavern Visitor's Center

Today it is a paddling, canoeing, biking, walking, jogging, and scenic, tree lined adventure within Washington D.C. and onto Cumberland. The canal is now a park, with a fairly flat trail going along the old towpath and locks. This 184 mile long Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (or C& O Canal) goes along the river in its own hand-dug channel from Washington, D. C. to Cumberland, MD.  It was built and used as a commercial operation for this length from 1850 to 1924, when a flood damaged it beyond economic repair.

Seabuddy has studied cruising in canals for his book, Cruising Guide to New York Waterways and Lake Champlain. That book is a thick one, sort of like a Manhattan Yellow Pages on what to see and do by boat within N Y state and the states that its waterways share with N Y state. In other words areas of Vermont and Canada that share waterways with NY are also covered.

seabuddy book cruising guide N Y waterways and lake champlain

seabuddy's Cruising Guide book

My book is a firsthand account that details/covers about 1,100 miles of the popular waterways, including Lake Champlain, the Hudson River, the Erie Canal, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, and the Thousand Islands. My personal knowledge complements the data on the NOAA charts. Here is a link… http://www.amazon.com/Cruising-Guide-York-Waterways-Champlain/dp/1565542509/ref=sr_1_1_twi_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1415632393&sr=1-1&keywords=new+york+waterways+and+lake+champlain

 

potomac river visitor's center

re-done Great Falls Tavern Visitor's Center

Now back to the C and O Canal. I visited one of the visitor centers that is open year around; the Great Falls Tavern Visitor’s Center. There is a lock here, but the water level was at the winter, non-navigational level. But, some folks paddled their kayaks through the canal way even at this level when I was there.

map canal washington D C

Map of the C & O canal

George Washington first got the idea for a canal/shipping waterway about the time of the French and Indian War. He formed the Potomac Company to make the first start at it. That was not a fully separate ditch and proved to be not the way to go. By, 1825 the C&O Company was created to provide an economic trade route between the eastern seaboard and the West.

President John Quincy Adams put the first, ground breaking shovel of dirt in July, 1828. The full canal was completed and opened to commercial traffic in 1850. Traffic peaked with 850,000 tons of goods in 1871, spread out over 500 canal boats. This was mostly coal coming to the D. C. area. Then traffic went down slowly.

C & O canal boat model

model of Canal Boat

The main competition was the B & O railroad out of Baltimore, MD.  There also was the nationwide depression of the 1870s. Then there were two major floods, one in 1877 and then in 1886. B& O bought the canal company via buying its bonded indebtedness. The flood in 1924 ended the canal way commercial operations and closed it until the Park’s system re-opened it for boating fun.

washinton d C potomac river

downstream of the falls

 

potomac river

note this birch tree

 

Lock potomac river

Visitor's Center at Great Falls Tavern and Lock

 

lock

view of open lock at winter water level

Gar Wood and Chris Craft

Gar Wood started in his winning ways on the water with the purchase of the 1916 successful Gold Cup race boat that was “a broken, battered hulk after the race, fit only for junk” put up for sale by Chris Smith, 53, who was down to seven cents in his pockets after losing in a poker game. Gar paid for the hunk with a $1,000 down payment and a note for $800.

That racer, Miss Detroit, had been built by Chris from a design by Joseph Napoleon “Nap” Lisee, who worked for Chris Smith’s C.C. Smith Boat & Engine Company. Right after buying the boat and engine of Miss Detroit, he went to the Smith factory and brought controlling interest in it. He figured that he could keep others from racing against him via this investment as it came with the talent of Chris Smith, his sons, Jay and Bernard, and “Nap”.

Next he commissioned the building of Miss Detroit II, a new race boat, using the 250 Hp. engine from the original hunk of Miss Detroit. That new boat set a speed record of 61.724 MPH while racing the next year. The first photo shows the 20’ single step 250 Hp. Miss Detroit II with Jay .W. Smith as the riding mechanic.

miss detroit chris craft 1917 record breaking wood race boat

seabuddy's photo of the Mainer's Museum Chris Craft photo

Together, Chris Smith, “Nap”, and Gar Wood won 5 straight Gold Cups from 1917-1921 and 2 Harmsworth trophies in 1920 and 1921.

But by February of 1922, Smith bought out Gar Wood and started a new company, the Chris Smith & Sons Boat Company in a new location. Chris, his sons Jay, Bernard, and Owen each owned 25% of that boat building company and started fresh with a new piece of land and and they built a brand new factory on it. In the deal, Gar Wood got the old C.C. Smith &Engine Company boat building plant. He built his race boats, the 33’ “Baby Gar” runabout that had been developed by “Nap” while still at the old company, high performance cabin cruisers, and the 28’ Baby Gar runabout model.

The 33’ Baby Gar was a outstanding design. It was a good riding, safe runabout that was a triple (3) cockpit boat and it’s bottom used all of the characteristics of the his Miss Americas race boats with the step. Gar Wood sold his boats to Edward Noble, William Randolph Hearst, John Dodge, Col. Vincent and P. K. Wrigley. The Chris Smith and Sons Boat Company sold more wooden boats to a broader range of successful folks.

These boats soon outgrew the boat building production plant. Thus, Gar Wood Boats moved into a new factory in Marysville, MI in 1930. This plant was capable of making 1200 top shelf wooden boats per year. Now 22’, 40’, 28’, 33’ boats were made. Some of these lengths were offered in a variety of model configurations. Later 16’, 18’, 19’, 22.5′, 24’, 32’, and 25’ models were added. Production of boats for Gar Wood peaked just before W.W. II.

Gar Wood, himself, retired to Miami at the age of 60, and the new management of Gar Wood Industries ordered a restyle of the boat line up and engaged Norman Bel Geddes, a noted industrial designer, for a new post war feeling.

post w.w. II bright finished wooden runabout on the chesapeake bay

Show winning 1947 Gar Wood 22.5' wood runabout

With high new design and jig costs, quality wood shortages, hardware out-of-stocks, and a somewhat distant management running the company, the company closed down in 1947. My Seabuddy photos show a restored 1947 Gar Wood 22.5’ wood boat in the brackish waters of the Chesapeake Bay. She is an ACBS award winner down from CT.

WineFest at St. Michaels 2013

st michaels winefest 2013 poster showing boatsBoaters! Special feature is a boat cruise this year.

WineFest at St. Michaels, will be held in the town of St. Michaels, Maryland, Saturday, April 27, and Sunday, April 28, 2013 from 12 pm to 6 pm.   This popular festival is a streetscape event held throughout town.  Many businesses will offer wine tastings, great food, retail specials, and much more.  Wine aficionados will experience hundreds of highly rated US, International and Maryland wines.  Each wine venue will retail its wine at special WineFest discount pricing.  In addition, two VIP tasting venues will be available for tasting premium wines often not available in Maryland.  One VIP venue will be on the Patriot Cruise Boat while cruising the Miles River and the other will be in the courtyard of the Old Brick Inn.   All attendees will be able to “walk St. Michaels” using their WineFest map as their guide or take shuttle busses provided by WineFest.   Regional food specialties, artisans, renowned jazz musicians, and even historical characters from the colonial days of St Michaels will be participating in the event.  To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the British attack on the town of St. Michaels during the War of 1812, WineFest will include an “historic” dimension with “colonists” who will set up camp in town to show off crafts and life during the 19th century.  They will no doubt do their best to bring the history of St Michaels to life! For those who love beer, award-winning craft beers will be offered at St. Michael’s own Eastern Shore Brewing.  Art lovers will enjoy art displays based on the “wine” theme from Eastern Shore artists known as “The Six Views.”  And, last but not least, there will be a special WineFest Finale on Sunday afternoon at Town Dock Restaurant.  This FINALE is appropriately named “Jazzfest Comes To Winefest.”  This mini-event will give our WineFest visitors a taste for the fall JazzFest at St Michaels (October 12 to 14, 2013).  The jazz artists for “Jazzfest comes to Winefest” are: Joanna Pascale and the FAB Trio; MARS 4tet; and Juanita Williams with the Fred Hughes Trio.  What a show it will be!  Be sure to check our website www.winefestatstmichaels.com frequently for updates as the 2013 list of wines and other events unfold.  Tickets are available for purchase at localwineevents.com.  For more info contact us at winefeststmichaels@gmail.com or call 410-745-5559. Interested in volunteering?  Send us your completed volunteer application found on www.winefestatstmichaels.com prior to March 31, 2013.

 

See all the New Tow Cars /Trucks at the Baltimore Car Show

sneak peak 2014 chevy truck silverado

2014 Chevrolet Silverado for hauling trailer boats

Tow your boat? Want to sit in trucks/SUVs/cars that can tow, examine them, get the specs, and then talk to the towing vehicle experts from the factories about towing your boat? The 2013 Baltimore Motor Trend Auto Show say on; Friday, Saturday, or Sunday 10 AM to 5 PM, 2/8 to 2/10/2013, is for you. You will find folks that know about towing boats, horse trailers, and equipment at the show. Many are boat owners, themselves, and share and understand your hobby.

Ask for a discounted ticket for seniors, military, kids, etc. and your free one year subscription to the authoritative Motor Trend magazine.

Sign in for your turn in the free Ride and Drive in a Chevy Silverado, Traverse, Ram 1500, Jeep Grand Cherokee, or Cadillac Escalade to really have an easy first-hand driving experience in a 2013 tow vehicle at the show.

SHH! This Car Show will be the first local chance to see the new 2014 GMC Sierra and the 2014 Chevrolet Impala.

The exotics will be there, too. Hot Italian cars like the Ferrari F430, Lamborghini Murcielago,  Lamborghini Spyder Garllardo and Maserati Gran Turismo. Plus, other exotic like the Made-in-England Aston Martin.

Covered  parking is readily available at several places at a downtown parking charge. The Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore on Pratt Street. More information about the show, parking, as well as driving directions are here… http://www.motortrendautoshows.com/baltimore/

Classic mahogany wood boat by Gar Wood

Gar Wood 18' classic 1932 mahogany wood boat photo image

one of five still remaining 1932 Gar Wood 18 wooden runabout

This 18 foot boat is a beauty. She is one of only 28 boats made in this model in 1932 by the famous Gar Wood boat building company. That makes her a rare piece of wooden boat building history. She is one of just five of these boats left still around in the world. That fact makes her super rare. Her condition then makes her even more of a sought after rare classic boat. This is as nice as it gets in an under 20’ classic boat.

It was in 1911 that Gar Wood got the racing “bug”. By 1916 he had bought a well-used Chris Smith made Chris Craft race boat. At that time Chris Smith was calling his company the C. C. Smith Boat & Engine Co. Wood also became the largest shareholder of Chris Smith’s company. He and Chris Smith split their boat building interests in 1921. Gar Wood then created the Gar Wood Company to build his pleasure and race boats. His first boat building plant was in Algonac, MI. At this plant was the start of the 33′ “Baby Gar” Runabout that was then and now so famous. That small almost custom boat building shop was supplemented by a bigger plant in Marysville, MI. Gar Wood in his Marysville plant made a 28’ runabout and a 22 footer starting in 1930. The Baby Gar thirty three foot runabout was still being made in Algonac along with a 40’ cruiser. It was in 1932 that this 18’ twin cockpit (or split cockpit) runabout shown here was introduced.

If this boat was a nice but not the best restored copy and perhaps re-powered with a more modern engine she seems to be able to bring around a $50,000 price today. This one; with its very high level of a truly total restoration, all correct parts, it’s level of fit and finish that must be seem to be fully appreciated, may very well bring more along the lines of a $250,000 price if it was to be a classic wooden boat for sale.

New Boat Show

Local United States Yacht Shows, which produce  the oldest in-water boat shows in the United States, has announced  that it will offer  a spring boat show called the Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show, featuring a special Cruisers University.

The new event will be held at the Annapolis Town Dock, plus Ego Alley, the surrounding city lots, the Annapolis Marriott Waterfront Hotel, the Annapolis Recreation Center, and a local Park.  The show is said to feature on  more than  80 sailboats, both mono-hull hull shapesl and multi-hull.

Admission is $10 for adults, $4 for youth 7-12, and free for children 6 and under for the Boat Show. 

For the Cruisers University, a separate tuition schedule will cover all classes, meals, demos, on-board instruction, and social activities. 

Additionally, a special Cruising Destinations Series will be available to all show attendees on Saturday and Sunday.

The new show is planned for late April, after the Bay Bridge Boat Show, which is about 30 years old which is also hosted by the same organization. United States Yacht Shows are every well respected by the boating public and each of their shows bring folks to Annapolis from up and down the East Coast.

By the way, Cruisers University is a four-day educational program designed to introduce people to life aboard a cruising boat.  Billed as “The Ultimate Aid to Navigation,” Cruisers University provides expert instruction in a wide range of subjects pertinent to long-range cruising, such as on-board technical systems, cruising destinations, insuring and outfitting your boat, as well as mastery level two-day courses on Diesel Maintenance, Navigation and Chart Plotting, and Electrical Systems Design.

at Annapolis Sail and Power Boat Shows

This vendor will be on display at both the Annapolis Sailboat Show as well as the Annapolis Powerboat Show.

www.adirondack-guide-boat.com