1957 Chris-Craft Capri
October 16, 2018
It was January 2nd, 2011 and I had been boatless for three months before finding this true gem. The boat was an unmolested late 1957 19’ Chris-Craft Capri hull number CP-19-668 that had moved through several different warehouses out of the weather for the last 30 years. The Capri was sitting on its original Holsclaw trailer with both axles sitting on their old tire rims.
This was a boat project I dreamed of. I wanted a boat that I could fully document and preserve the original history of it. I starting the documentation process, creating a database with an index so that I could catalog each and every part with a description, condition, quantity and attach photographs. The database was broken down into all the major categories such as engine, hardware, wiring, steering, upholstery, instruments, fasteners and miscellaneous. Before any parts were removed, photographs of the part and assemblies were taken while they were still intact. As each piece was removed another photo was taken to show its exact location along with its fasteners, wiring or fittings. Each screw was documented for size, length and type as it was removed and bagged. All wire staples and clamps were documented for size and types and again bagged for later use or search for NOS. As the parts were removed and documented the database started to take shape showing what parts and assemblies needed rebuilding or replacing.
It was very important to preserve all original components of this boat and reinstall just as it came from the factory. I did have a new 5200 bottom installed but the balance of the restoration was to originality with over 95% of components and wood reinstalled. The restoration was completed in three years with over 400 photos and 92 pages of documentation compiled during the process. This is a small synopsis of the research needed to preserve our wooden boats and it could not have been done without the help of many people who I have come in contact with around the world.
Knotty Blonde was finished four days prior to the 2014 Sunnyland boat show and received the Best Chris-Craft award from the Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club. Knotty Blonde was also featured on the cover of the spring issue of the Brass Bell.