The staff at the Coeur Custom wanted to show our customers what a complete restoration project looks like from start to finish, so during the coming months, we’ll chronicle the restoration of a 1946 Chris-Craft Sedan Cruiser. In the blog posts, we’ll detail challenges, successes and what to expect when you work with our restoration team. This is the second installment of the series. Previously, (READ HERE) we discussed how this project came about.
Our goal for the project is to get our customer’s 1946 27-foot Chris-Craft Super Deluxe Sedan Cruiser back into the water by next summer. While we’ve started the restoration project on the wood boat, we still have a long ways to go before the vessel is back in the lake.
“We’re going to go gang-busters on this,” said Jim Brown with the Resort Boat Shop, adding that the project is going to be all-encompassing. One of the first things our team does is to assess the structure of the vessel. However, many times, it is impossible to know the extent of the damage and how deep things such as dry-rot run until we begin removing rotting exterior wood.
It is easy to see much of the exterior and interior has dry-rot, which means replacing wood planks, going plank by plank to carefully decide what can stay and what must be replaced. “There are places you can poke a butter knife all the way through the wood, and that’s obviously not good,” Brown said.
The old wood pieces will be the patterns for the new wood, Brown said, adding that the team will have to be gentle to maintain the signature lines and curves during the process.
In addition to replacing select wood pieces, all of the exterior will be refinished, the top sides painted white; the decks, cockpit and transom with be stained and varnished.
The team plans to use the original engine, which will be evaluated, detailed and repaired as necessary, and when reinstalled, it will be monitored with restored engine gauges. All of the onboard systems, such as electrical and water, will be updated and modernized to make the entire boating experience as pleasurable as possible.
Brown said the team plans to update the interior cabin with new upholstery, trim, hardware and finishes, and incorporate the modern conveniences, such as a refrigerator and cooking stove.
“It’s going to be a lot of work, but it’ll be a fun project,” Brown said. “This is a beautiful, functional boat.”
Next time, we’ll talk about some of the biggest challenges, such are how we replace the bottom of the boat — by physically picking it up and rolling it over!
Do you have questions about this project or a restoration project of your own? Give us a call today.