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Dyrek's Restoration Project - A 20' 1962 Chris Craft Holiday Super Sport

A Glutton For Punishment You Say??
Yup, but I just can't resist this one. I've convinced myself that it's equivalent to restoring 3 antique dressers, 2 old kiddie rides and a pop machine, all in one easy do-it-yourself project (without instructions). Who needs instructions anyway? It takes longer to find the English section these days then it does to just get after it, right??

Okay - Blanca and I have been looking for an old wooden boat since we got married. We found one in Hays about 12 years ago, but didn't have the funds to purchase it as newly-weds. We feel very blessed to be able to attempt this project.

We found our "dream boat" while stuck in construction on a road trip to an Ayre family reunion in Michigan (Summer of 2007). The boat was spotted from the road in the small town of Vandelia, Missouri under a car port. There wasn't a phone number to be found, so we had to ask a nearby local to help locate the owner. As it turns out, the boat was for sale and was recently acquired from a cancer benefit auction.

What We've Learned About The Boat So Far...
The boat was built in 1961 at the Chris Craft Corporation in Pompano Beach, Florida. The motor is an original 431 Ford V-8 and was manufactured in Algonac, Michigan. The same engine (non-marine) was used in the Ford Lincoln cars in the 60's. There were two engine sizes available on the Chris Craft 20' Holiday - the 283 Chevy (175 h.p.) and the 431 Ford. The 431 was used in the Super Sport model and packs over 275 h.p. at the prop! I can't wait.

Before Photos Below - July 2007



Project One - Get The Boat Off The Trailer In The Garage
I've been pondering this a lot. I think that I'll be able to use jacks to lift the rear of the boat and use a hoist system to support the front as I move the trailer out from underneath it. I can then make some support beams to use for an extended period of time.

I'll post some photos after I attempt this. If you don't hear back from me, it didn't work so good.

It's Getting Time For Lift-Off! 3/28/08
As always, my friend John Dreiling (J&CFencing.com), helps me out and fabricated the iron work needed to get this boat off of the trailer. The price he was charging me started a pretty heated argument. I demanded that he will at least be forced to take $100 for his time and he told me that he didn't want to have to use force to make me keep it. I was about to get aggressive with him, but I decided to back-it-off this time. Have you seen John? He's a big guy!!


Interior Close-Up Photos (February 2008)
I'm also in the process of trying to locate some replacement fabric for some areas of the interior. For the age of the boat the interior is very good, but I would like to make a few changes during the restoration if I can locate matching vinyl and floor covering.



A Near-Future Project Is Already In The Works
Christian and I have worked-up a possible plan for a life boat. We've decided that his craft will need to be about 8ft - 9ft. in length, but A LOT of details will still need to be hammered-out before we fire-up the saws.

One thing is for sure, he's definitely going after the BIG fish!!

Houston, We Have Lift-Off!! (October 2008)
I've just need to say that my friends and family are AWESOME! We've made so much progress in the last two weeks. Between Russtin Weese helping me with the initial boat lift and my Nephew Caleb Collision driving up from Nebraska and staying a week to help me sand-off the old finish, I'm now ready for the winter work in my garage.

Caleb, I can't thank you enough. Not only did I greatly enjoy your company last week, but you are a "taking care of business" kind of guy! I tried not to show our 15 year difference in age (it was tough at times). I wouldn't be surprised if we set a new world record for stripping a boat finish off in 2 1/2 days! You're Da' Man!



Christian Makes It Happen! (December 2009)
Christian and I have been working on the interior, trailer and the engine of the boat and we're hoping to make a 2010 summer launch.

While in a tight spot replacing the spark plugs and spark plug wires, I realized that my hand wasn't going to come close to getting the new plugs started in their holes. Christian shows me up by getting all 8 plugs started within a few minutes, like a pro.

That's my Boy!