1947 Chris-Craft 22′ Utility Hull # U22-705
September 25, 2018
With the sale of Little Nell II, a 1946 25’ red and white Chris Craft Express Cruiser, I knew I needed another project and came to realize a U22 was what my wife and I needed. Our friend, Tom Flood had found a white-sided U22 near his home in Cedarville, MI. which could be bought. So in 2002, I flew to Cedarville, we met the owner, a deal was stuck, money changed hands and arrangements made for the boat to be brought to Florida.
As is the case when a boat is brought to The Temple for restoration, we start by removing the bottom and replacing frames with white oak as needed. The keel and chines were replaced, 6mm Okoume plywood laid down with 3M5200 on the frames. Spanish cedar planks were embedded in 5200, fastened with silicon bronze Reed & Prince screws. After fairing, several coats of Smith’s CPES were applied before AWL Grip barrier coat and red color coats applied.
The hull sides were removed, 4mm Okoume applied, over which cedar planks were applied, embedded with West System epoxy. Again, silicon bronze Reed & Prince screws were used as fasteners, with West fairing compound used to fill holes prior to fairing.
Fairing the hull is very important and in retrospect, I could have done a better job. We had recently purchased a Fein sander/vacuum with a 6” diameter sander. It is very good in collecting the dust created when sanding a large project such as this. We were very impressed. In addition, I sanded with a long board, short board, going through the various grits of paper stopping with 180 grit, thus allowing the wood enough “tooth” to hold the stain and paint. All decks and furniture is made of Philippine mahogany using Don Dannenberg’s formula, using stains by Interlux, two parts of #573 and one part of #42. T quote Don, “It creates a deep, rich, warm color which is neither too dark nor too red”
We have had good luck using Interlux #100 build-up varnish, finishing up with four coats of Schooner. The paint used was also Interlux, applying four coats of primer with sanding between coats, followed by three coats of one part urethane before taking the boat to Lance Wilson for the final coats of varnish and paint that were sprayed on.
Since I replaced the original Chrysler M engine with a Crusader V8, restored by Skip Lewis of Cleveland, OH, The motor box had to be redesigned using Okoume plywood with a ½” plywood top. Blue marble Marmoleum was used for the flooring to accompany the blue vinyl upholstery. White cedar was used for the celling boards, they were treated with Min-Wax wood conditioner which prepared the wood to receive stain evenly. However, I did not use stain but chose to have the amber color of the varnish provide the color in the ceiling boards and dash.
In July 2005, we started a 6,005 mile trip towing the boat behind our Surburban. We attended shows in Minnesota, Michigan and Iowa. I have found the boat to be easy to handle and with the second permanent seat, to be user friendly when hosting guest. In August 2017 Viking found a new family and home on Lake Nona in Orlando.