Buying my first wooden boat

by Eric Voegtle
(Simsbury, CT, USA)

I am looking at purchasing a 50' Chris Craft Constellation.

The last time it was in the water was 2011.

It needs work and I am planning to make it seaworthy over a one year period, but expect that all the improvements,repairs and updates I want to do will take much longer.

I have many years of boating experience with fiberglass and I have experience with classic car restorations, from engine rebuilding to body work.

I also have fairly good carpentry skills from a couple house restorations, kitchen updates, deck and shed building and of course house painting, but I am not a professional.

Is a wooden boat of this size "doable" and can I get any guidance on older wooden Chris Craft boats?

Comments for Buying my first wooden boat

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by: Anonymous

I already did.

I and my friend live on a Searay with 2 state rooms.

So no house and so far this is a cheap place for my boat and closest to get her back in the water.

Huge project
by: Ted Hanley

Sounds like a great project.

My only advice would be to be sure as you can be about the resources needed.

Better to get set up in your yard if possible to avoid monthly fees.

Be sure to have a sturdy cover; I went with a huge tent that I sold at the end.

Advice to me was, "Don't fall in love with a boat; it won't love you back".

I would reject this and replace it with, " you had better be in love with the boat, it will help you through the project!"


Hull Maintenance
by: Anonymous

Thank you for your suggestions and encouragement.

Since I have never worked on a wood boat my concern is about preparing the hull since it has been out of the water for 3 to 4 years.

Will I have to go through every seam and replace the cotton?

I can handle scraping and sanding and painting and more scraping and sanding and painting, but the You Tube videos I have been watching shows very skilled craftsman painstakingly putting cotton into every seam before painting and launching.

Seems to there is a lot that can go wrong if done incorrectly by a novice.

Chris Craft
by: CC Ranger

Hi Larry,
They have been very helpful also.

My friend and I are redoing ours but this weather isn't cooperating.

Were doing the bow berth now and taking up the flooring so we can work on all the plumbing and replace what ever needs it.

50' Connie
by: Larry

I think a 50' is doable.

We are redoing 1968 57' Connie and expect (hope) to be back in the water this fall.

I am doing all the work myself and it is moving along.

These boats were built to be repairable, Every frame and plank can be replaced, but old growth mahogany is hard to find on my budget.

The Mariners' Museum in Newport News, VA has been very helpful.

Chris Craft
by: CCRanger

Hi, 50' CC are really great Yachts.

I have a 45' CC and am redoing it.

Do a search for Chris Craft Museum, and get your Hull Number, plate should be in the engine room on fwd bulk head.

Send them that and they can tell you any thing about that one ok.

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