The Chris-Craft Sedan Cruiser Restoration Project – Part 4

The Chris-Craft Sedan Cruiser Restoration Project – Part 4

The staff at the Resort Boat Shop 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 fourth installment of the series. Previously, we discussed the scope of the project.

Winter is a great time to undertake a restoration project, since you’ll want your boat ready to go when spring rolls around. This winter, we’re working on a big one, restoring a 1946 Chris-Craft Sedan Cruiser. So far, we’ve outlined the scope of work and removed large sections of the bottom of the boat to work on the damaged frame.

Because the vessel was old and stored improperly at times much of the framework was rotten. You can see in some of the photos below that a knife easily sinks into the wood frame due to a bad case of dry rot — yikes!

To build the new framing components, we use a combination of gathered information.

  • If the existing, rotted frame is still in OK shape, it holds together fairly well, we are then able to remove the piece of the frame and transfer the shape to our plan table.
  • If the frame piece is too rotted to transfer to our plan table, we build a pattern off of it in place on the boat, then transfer this patterned shape to our plan table to fabricate the new frame.

Like we’ve said before the goal is to keep as much of the existing sound old boat in place, so we want to use any piece we can, or use the pieces to create direct patterns to keep the integrity of the boat intact.

After we build the new frame pieces, we install these pieces back on the boat so the curves and lines of the surfaces remain fluid, as shown in the pictures below.

Next, we’ll work on reinstalling the double-planked bottom of the boat. What do you think of the restoration work so far? Any questions or comments for our team?

Do you have a challenging restoration project? Contact us today to get started.