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Conquistador_del_mar
04-16-2013, 12:51 AM
I just ran across this picture of the 1953 Chris Craft 18' Riviera that I restored about 35 years ago and thought some of you might get a kick out it. Nostalgia kicking in, Bill

woobs
04-16-2013, 08:22 AM
There was a Riv story on "woodyboater" this week too....

Ghost
04-16-2013, 08:31 AM
Nice! What sort of power was in that?

Craig S
04-16-2013, 12:25 PM
great pic there. Are you in the WBA up there?
Craig

Conquistador_del_mar
04-16-2013, 12:33 PM
I am almost sure it had the original 130HP 6 cylinder MBL Chris Craft engine. I bought the boat at a bank foreclosure in Topeka, Kansas for $750 while visiting my mother up there. It took me about 6 months to restore it, and it never missed a beat while I had it. I remember towing at least 4 boats back to the marina which was a real head turner since some of them were almost new performance boats - :yes:

Conquistador_del_mar
04-16-2013, 12:42 PM
great pic there. Are you in the WBA up there?
Craig

WBA? Wooden Boat Association? The picture was taken here at Lake Texoma in about 1980. I was driving and my ex-wife was with me (she never really enjoyed boating). In the background are the limestone banks near the dam where many fossils and dinosaur remains have been found (some by me). The boat was great on calm days, but I never took it out in rough water since it has such a flat bottom. Bill

woobs
04-16-2013, 06:59 PM
Check out the story at this link;
http://www.woodyboater.com/classic-boats/do-chris-craft-rivieras-get-the-respect-they-deserve/

Conquistador_del_mar
04-16-2013, 11:27 PM
Check out the story at this link;
http://www.woodyboater.com/classic-boats/do-chris-craft-rivieras-get-the-respect-they-deserve/

Wow! Thanks for the great link - I learned a lot from it. Bill

Lively-one
04-17-2013, 08:47 PM
Loved the nostalgic photo! Beautiful boat...and what a mustache!

Marlin275
04-18-2013, 09:24 AM
My grandfather had a Chris Craft almost exactly like that.
He bought it new around that same time, 1953.

Great lake boats.

Conquistador_del_mar
04-19-2013, 03:31 AM
Loved the nostalgic photo! Beautiful boat...and what a mustache!

Thanks. I had a lot of fun with that boat, and it helped me during some tough years when I was younger. The woman with me in that picture was one of the 3 over the years who wanted to see me without a mustache - all 3 decided I looked better before shaving it off - never again. Lesson learned. Here is a picture when I let it all grow while on a long canoe trip in the Canadian wilderness. The beard was too much for me so back I went to the dirty upper lip - lol.

Conquistador_del_mar
04-19-2013, 03:40 AM
My grandfather had a Chris Craft almost exactly like that.
He bought it new around that same time, 1953.

Great lake boats.

If you got to ride it much then you know how bad the ride can be in rough water. I absolutely loved mine since I had so much time in restoring it and everyone who saw it complimented it. I still think wooden boats are beautiful when the finish work looks like it should. I later tackled a 1939 17' Deluxe runabout and a 1963 Century Coronado with a Chrysler 413. I sold all of them beore the market got really hot for them - story of my life - lol.

woobs
04-19-2013, 09:06 AM
This is my mahogony 1972 Greavette 18' Sunflash IV (Montique).
I sold my 18 2+3 Classic so I could concentrate on getting this boat done.

Over the winter I have repowered it with a modded 4.3/alpha combination. (I'm hoping to be somewhere in the 240HP area). With the old 165 IL6 she did about 45mph... so I'm expecting a bit more now :)

This 18' hull is a fairly modern design and has a 20* deadrise. She rides soft, and is great in the rougher water. However, without lifting strakes she still has too much wetted surface to be a real exciting ride but, these boats aren't really for top speed... and I think I'll still scare some of the ol' guys in their inboard launches.

I agree, wooden boats look great but, they can also be very useable and fun too.

mattyboy
04-19-2013, 09:57 AM
we had a greavette on our lake once, shame it had very nice lines


http://www.woodyboater.com/communityweb/greavette-sinks-at-greenwood-lake-antique-classic-boat-show/

woobs
04-19-2013, 10:20 AM
7554875552Yup, I saw that... poor bugger!
That Greavette is an older version (of the same series) as my boat.

When I was racing cars we ALWAYS did a "nut & bolt" check before we hit the track to reduce the chance of "stupid" mistakes... (I suppose "smart" mistakes were okay.)

But this poor guy had a fresh restoration. Unfortunately it was mechanical and cosmetic only. It went down fast. I believe that the battery was not secured and pounded a huge hole through the (not replaced, old) plywood bottom. I can see how rushing to get something done can lead to catastrophic failure of this type but, I am a firm believer in triple checking and testing until satisfied all is the way it should be. Also, I would have replaced the bottom during the restoration (and did on my boat)

mattyboy
04-19-2013, 11:18 AM
last I heard the battery broke thru the bottom of the boat. Not sure if the Hudson River chapter of the ACBS caught any flak from this thru the NYS DEC or other authorities but the show hasn't returned to Greenwood Lake since. I had the 16 there some years back won an award and now wanted to bring the Hornet and a couple other Donzi over. I guess I have to go to Hopactcong and to Kingston to get in a show

they did have some great woodies at the show and it was not even a hop skip and jump for me.

a few shots takes a lot of knoxon to polish your brass balls to do 50 mph on this

one of my favorite sing along

and the mermaid fenders hubba hubba :P funny that's is the greavette that sunk in the background this was the year before it sank

duckhunter
04-19-2013, 11:29 AM
I really like the old wooden boats. Very classic and classy. Glen-L has some cool designs for the DIY type, including some cold molded designs with a lot of tumblehome and bow flare. Building a wooden boat is definitely on my bucket list, not sure how that will work out based on my horrific carpentry skills.

One of my buddies worked for a construction company in Minneapolis for a few years. They did a company campout on a lake up north and the foreman brought out his mahogany runabout that he had just spent several winters restoring. One afternoon the guys decided to do him a favor and fill up the boat at the fuel dock across from the campsite. They stuck $50 of high-octane in her and tried to start the boat, resulting in an explosion and big stinking fireball. All of the guys were thrown away from the boat and safe other than some minor burns and bruises, but the boss got to wake up from his nap and watch his pride and joy burn to the waterline from across the bay.

Turns out that connecting the deck mounted fuel fill to the tank was still on the punch list, so the guys put gallons of fuel into the bilge. When they tried to start the boat physics took it's course... Really lucky that there were only minor injuries.

Old wood boats are a labor of love. As one of my friends put it, you're just trying your best to keep them afloat while they're constantly trying to sink. Glass vs. wood boat is kind of like airplane vs. helicopter. The plane's natural state is to be flying, and it will do so even when the pilot takes his hands off of the controls. The helicopter's natural state is to be doing a dirt dart into the ground at 120kts and the pilot needs to provide constant input to keep it in the air. A wood boat's natural state is leaking or fixing to leak... That said, the labor is worth it when they're running around the lake.

woobs
04-19-2013, 11:31 AM
I used to watch those wee hydros race (back in the day) in Bala Bay on Lake Muskoka...
Just thinking how sore my knees would be makes me shudder.

You should come to the ACBS - Toronto Race boat show in Gravenhurst July 6th! Miss Canada III, Miss Canada IV, Miss Supertest III amongst many, many more raceboats there....with the boats running Steamship Bay all day.

http://www.acbs.ca/index.php/boat-show

This resto-in progress will be a "dryland" exhibit.

75553

Duckhunter...FWIW, my Greavettes bilge is dry as a bone....
All boats require maintainence, wood and glass boats just require different kinds.

If you want to build a wood boat, you should have a look at building this...
http://www.classicwoodenboatplans.com/deep-v-16-inboard/
it is based on the DONZI Classic 16

mattyboy
04-19-2013, 11:55 AM
I love that area up there but that time of year is tough to get away.

the hydro and the century are owned by the same couple , they had a 16 and had been up to a few events at Lake George . I asked the wife if she drove the hydro down to the show she said that when she has a choice that sing along is number one, the 16 is number 2 and if she had to take the hydro it would be on the trailer.

I do plan to do more ACBS shows from now on , we ( the LGDCC) are working with them and the Mystic Seaport Museum on a few things for the donzi classics. I actually had a great time at the show with the 16. I was treated well and they wanted to know all about the boat and it's history. There is alot of mis information and urban legend surrounding Don and his boats that needs to be corrected at the shows. The first was that my 16 was from Italy my eyes still hurt from rolling back in my head LOL. so after a day with the guys and a few beers at dinner i finally set them straight and gave them the full history on the classics.


is Gravenhurst on the St Lawerence in the 1000 island area?

this time of year you used to see all the woodies hung from their lifts swelling the old joints you don't see that anymore on the lake

woobs
04-19-2013, 12:51 PM
Gravenhurst is the southern most point of Lake Muskoka, about 1 1/2 hours straight North of Toronto.
Americans had a pretty big part in making Muskoka cottage country what it is today. I'm told we are expecting a huge crowd up for the race boat show even though it's on the "4th" weekend.

I have found my ACBS peers (as well as other classic boat clubs) to have a definite interest in Dons endeavours as an industry builder (and Donzi in particular) as a boating icon. This is good for me as I love the Donzi classics as well as the woodies... still haven't got much use for the "dippies" that are so popular with the wood boat folks nowadays though. But, live and let live.

I think the "Italian" misconception arises from the "Testerosa" model which , once seen stays in the mind of many as what a "Donzi" is. Glad you set them straight, as I was surprised of just how many classic boaters have no idea of what Thunderboat Row was.

duckhunter
04-19-2013, 01:22 PM
If you want to build a wood boat, you should have a look at building this...
http://www.classicwoodenboatplans.com/deep-v-16-inboard/
it is based on the DONZI Classic 16

Very cool, the deep v should help the ride considerably vs. many of the older flatter designs. Cold molding with modern epoxies makes for a strong and watertight hull and allows for complex shapes.

I think these look great:

75554 75555

Also - until this thread I thought the 4.3 you were building was for a 16 Classic; never realized you were going to put it in your Greavette. Sweet.

Bill - you pull off both the Viking beard and the porn star / police mustache like a champ. :shades: You've also had a lot of cool toys over the years.

CHACHI
04-19-2013, 01:24 PM
"The Italian Connection".

I spied this street sign in Modena Italy.

Conquistador_del_mar
04-19-2013, 02:37 PM
Turns out that connecting the deck mounted fuel fill to the tank was still on the punch list, so the guys put gallons of fuel into the bilge. When they tried to start the boat physics took it's course... Really lucky that there were only minor injuries.

That said, the labor is worth it when they're running around the lake.

Ouch on the attempted good gesture of filling his boat with fuel!!
Yes, there is nothing as sweet as the sound of those old exhausts running and the many compliments you will get from other boaters. I still remember taking the Riviera out for the first run and the pride I felt from all the work. Even Ross Perot complimented me on the Riviera more than once when we would be on the ramp at the same time.

Conquistador_del_mar
04-19-2013, 02:44 PM
Bill - you pull off both the Viking beard and the porn star / police mustache like a champ. :shades: You've also had a lot of cool toys over the years.

Too funny! My wife told me our dentist told her I reminded him of an older sheriff.
Yes, I have been lucky in being able to enjoy many things over the years.

woobs
04-19-2013, 02:49 PM
I'm a big believer in the deep V. Even though I love the floating furniture look of the classic flatter bottom launches I don't know if I ever would have owned a wood boat if I couldn't get a deep V. Well, maybe if I could afford a few boats...maybe.

So my version of Greavette has one of the greatest deadrise measurements found on wooden boats. Probably because it was made late in the wooden boat era, and this version was re-designed in 1970. Guys like Don Aronow proved the benefits of the design and Tom Faul (naval architect/designer) went to school on that.

75557

duckhunter
04-19-2013, 03:38 PM
I'm a big believer in the deep V. Even though I love the floating furniture look of the classic flatter bottom launches I don't know if I ever would have owned a wood boat if I couldn't get a deep V. Well, maybe if I could afford a few boats...maybe.

So my version of Greavette has one of the greatest deadrise measurements found on wooden boats. Probably because it was made late in the wooden boat era, and this version was re-designed in 1970. Guys like Don Aronow proved the benefits of the design and Tom Faul (naval architect/designer) went to school on that.

It is definitely uncommon to see that much deadrise on a wooden boat. When you stuff your hot rod V6 in there maybe you should experiment with some lifting strakes!

Did you use any epoxy or glass mat during your rebuild? Did the original builder use any kind of resin to seal the wood, or just the paint shown in your picture? Interesting how the techniques have evolved over the years, but in many ways stayed true to the old-school plank (and/or ply) on frame construction. Most of the modern DIY builds I've seen use layers of thin encapsulated ply sandwiching single layers of glass, and maybe some glass tabs or epoxy filets on the inside. The thin ply allows for compound curves and other complex shapes.

I've visited a couple small and large boat shops in the Outer Banks area (Wanchese / Harker's Island / Manteo) and love to see them building wood boats by hand, one at a time. It is a big part of the history and culture out there and unfortunately there aren't a lot of younger guys apprenticing with the old masters. It will be a sad day when custom cold-molded wood boats go the way of the dinosaur, but it is probably an economic and cultural reality. Thanks to everyone who takes the time to restore vintage stuff of any flavor (but especially old wooden boats).