A 1934 Chris
Craft, 27 Foot Custom Runabout
Owner/Driver - Karen Sanders
Riding Mechanic - Shaun Berry
In 1984, my brother
Arnie fulfilled his passion for wooden boats and
bought his first boat, an original 1932, 22 foot
triple cockpit. He combed every nook and cranny
on Lake Winnipesaukee and was as in love with
the Lake as he was with his boat . Once again
there was a wooden boat in the boathouse at
Foxwood, the first since my grandmother's 28 ft
Hacker Craft. In 1985 my Dad, Arnold Sr. was
nearing retirement , and after George Johnson
took him for a spin in his 27 foot Chris Craft
Custom he was convinced, and it wasnít long
before we acquired Foxwood. We were shocked at
what we saw, a 27 foot hull of dried up wood
which now resides in the rafters of our
boathouse. The journey began and George Baker
worked his magic in restoring Foxwood, a 1934,
27 foot triple cockpit with a 454 cubic inch,
350 hp Crusader engine . Iím not sure what
Foxwood's life was like for the 50 years before
we acquired her, but for the last 21 years she
has provided our family with unending pleasure.
Click here for
the sound of that Crusader 454 - magical !!!
After several years of non-use, in the spring
of 2007 the Vintage Race Boat Shop was asked to survey and prepare
Foxwood for running again on Lake Winnipesaukee.
So on 3/31/2007, we trekked over to the Foxwood
boat house, and crawled all over the boat during
a thorough survey. Foxwood had gone through a
major restoration years ago, and George Baker
did a superb job with all the wood replacement.
The boat was in excellent shape, but in need of
a major cleaning!!!
We also had to repair a little damage on the
stem, nothing major. Once the wood was cleaned
out, a skim coat of epoxy was applied, followed
by an application of "thickened" epoxy to
reshape the stem area.
The water pump also had to be completely
rebuilt, with a new impeller and complete front
bearing and seal. The Crusader 454 motor fired
right up, but was not flowing enough water out
the exhaust pipes, so we had to back-flush the
oil cooler and replace the raw water strainer
with a better/proven design. That did it, the
water then flowed much better, and the motor ran
much cooler - right around the desired 150-160
To complete the spring commissioning,
we ran the motor for a while to get the
motor oil nice and hot, then changed the
oil and filter, using the best - Mobil 1
Synthetic 15W50. And to finish the
project, we spent a few hours cleaning
and polishing, and the results -
Although George Johnson and George Baker restored Foxwood
many moons ago, the boat has always been kept in the boathouse and
remains in excellent condition. The boat even ran in the opening
ceremonies again this year at the
Vintage Race Boat Regatta.
Then in the fall of 2009, Foxwood
was hauled to the Vintage Race Boat Shop for complete refinishing,
including bottom detailing with two coats of Interlux sea green
paint, four fresh coats of Epifanes varnish, and two coats
of Pettit white paint on the boot stripe and deck seams.
a spirited romp on our
Foliage Cruise, we pulled Foxwood and hauled to our
Click here for
the sound of that Crusader 454 - magical !!!
After a thorough
survey, all the hardware was removed, work began on some minor bottom wood
repairs, and the hull was prepared for the first coat of fresh Epifanes
varnish. We spent a full week sanding, first with 320 grit paper and then
with Scotchbrite Pads, being careful not to burn through
the beautiful mahogany stain. Then the hull was thoroughly vacuumed, tacked
and the first coat of thick, amber Epifanes varnish was applied with a
roller & foam brush.
After four coats of Epifanes varnish - the hull
sides were done !!!
Then the deck and
hatches were sanded with 320 grit paper and Scotchbrite Pads, getting ready
for the final coat of Epifanes varnish. But first, Jerome from JC Signs
stopped by to hand paint the white deck seams. This is pretty tedious work
and as usual, Jerome did a beautiful job.
Next, the boot
stripe was carefully taped and two coats of Pettit Boot Stripe White paint were
Then the deck
and hatches were again sanded with Scotchbrite Pads and the final coat
of Epifanes varnish was applied.
finally time to start installing the hardware and to hoist Foxwood
up off the dollies and setup for bottom detailing.
Foxwood was hoisted up, just could not resist taking these photos of
an absolutely stunning 1934 Chris Craft - 27 foot Custom.
detailed and painted the 454 Crusader motor, installed a new flame
arrestor, rebuilt the water pump, replaced the spark plugs,
distributor points, cap and rotor and changed the oil using the
best, Amzoil Synthetic. The valve cover breathers were also replaced
with a Positive
Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) system, the best way to ventilate a
We spent three days sanding and detailing the
bottom. Then two coats of Interlux Brightside Sea Green marine paint were
applied to the bottom, using our rolling & tipping technique, just like
applying varnish. This marine paint flows out beautifully.
Remember - if you wanna be fast, you gotta be smooth
many pieces of chrome hardware were thoroughly cleaned and polished
before being carefully installed on the very fresh and tender varnish.
And the best part of our project completion celebration was Arnold
Sanders Sr. stopping by for his final inspection and seal of approval. We
had a great time, as the stories were flowing of many fond memories of
long past summer boat rides, and the longing for the first boat ride of
this summer. It was a very special celebration as we admired
stunning stunning 1934 Chris Craft - Foxwood.
And then on
February 22nd, we hoisted Foxwood onto the borrowed trailer from Rick
Kourian, took a few outside photos, and hauled Foxwood to winter storage at
Lanes End Marina. It was a beautiful bright and sunny day that felt like
spring. A fitting day for our project completion. And now we are looking
forward to our spring launching ceremonies !!!
from winter storage back to the shop for spring commissioning, on Saturday
afternoon 5/15/2010 we celebrated with our Spring Launching Ceremonies
Foxwood Video #1 - let it load & crank it up !!!
Foxwood Video #2 - let it load & crank it up !!!
Foxwood Video #3- let it load & crank it up !!!
Foxwood Video #4 - let it load & crank it up !!!
Here are some more photos of Foxwood:
37th Annual Lake
Winnipesaukee Antique & Classic Boat Show
Many thanks to
Karen Sanders and her parents for sharing
our Foxwood project, a completely restored, refinished and absolutely
stunning 1934 Chris Craft 27 foot, Custom Triple Cockpit Runabout.
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