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 degrees.



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 - absolutely stunning!!!



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 Wolfeboro 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.


After a spirited romp on our Fall Foliage Cruise, we pulled Foxwood and hauled to our shop.






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 applied.




Then the deck and hatches were again sanded with Scotchbrite Pads and the final coat of Epifanes varnish was applied.



It was finally time to start installing the hardware and to hoist Foxwood up off the dollies and setup for bottom detailing.



And while Foxwood was hoisted up, just could not resist taking these photos of an absolutely stunning 1934 Chris Craft - 27 foot Custom.






We also 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 marine motor.    


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 !!!




The many, 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

an absolutely 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 !!!





After hauling 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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