Chris-Craft Class of 55 – Classic Renovation

“Since the beginning, Christopher Smith crafted the boats that dreams are made of. Chris-Craft boats became the cultural icons that gave people a new freedom to explore the clear waters of local lakes and distant shores. And they were built with the values and benefits that defined a country and a way of life. More than any other brand, they were responsible for America’s romance with boats – and ultimately, for redefining boating pleasure for generations of people everywhere. The name Chris-Craft has always been synonymous with quality, and it’s not hard to see why. Whether designing a 21-foot runabout, or a 38-foot cruiser, Chris-Craft boats are crafted with painstaking detail by the most skilled carpenters, cabinetmakers, joiners and artisans in the business. It’s what ensures that your boat will be perfect – and unlike any other on the water.”

Although straight from their website, the opening paragraph defines the history and quality of this incredible brand. We recently had the opportunity to partly share in this legacy, when a local passionate Chris-Craft owner decided to choose NRW to bring his Class of 55 back to life. Applying traditional boat building methods with some modern advancements we painstakingly restored his beautiful craft back to as new.

Starting with a renovation of the hull, we removed the engine and replaced all the plugs and fastener’s. All the hull and deck timber was bleached back to near white from the original Mahogany Red and Corrida Yellow timber stains, then we hand brushed the original timber hull colour imported from the US, whilst overlaying with fibreglass for future longevity.

For the internal fit-out we replaced the leather dash and interior to reflect the classic look and also machined and replaced the stainless steel fuel cap to match the original, along with a number of other stainless features.

The original 6 cylinder Chris-Craft engine was re-conditioned and installed, giving this grand old lady a new lease of life.

Another example of the application of classic timber boat building experience combined with modern materials that very few marine trades can offer.

Share this post