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 CONFERENCE: A 1968 Chris Commander 31'

A Restoration in Progress

The following link will take you to what Jamie and I fondly call our "work in progress", a 1968 31-foot Chris Craft Commander Express. The boat was purchased on November 1, 2001 out of Pompano Beach, FLA. (home of Chris Craft headquarters for many, many years). She is our delight, and we take great pride in her, even in her current state of "needs work".

We invite you to peruse the pictures often, as we will be updating them frequently as we make progress in bringing back this great example of fine design and beauty. If you're interested in learning more about the Chris Craft Commander line of fine cruisers, please visit our club at:

Thank you for your visit.

Rob & Jamie

Showing off a little, with her twin 351's "cooking", as she makes a fine 'roostertail' in the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River, Norfolk, Virginia.
My Many "Thank You's"
Jamie Rolison (for putting up with me during this restoration process - and for lending his expert decorating advice)

Lee Dahlen (for turning all of the wrenches and most importantly, for his friendship)

Mitch Newell (marina owner, and terrific boatwright, who specializes in wooden boats)

Jim Wick & Bob Bothum (of LPX/Chris Parts) for their friendship and for carrying just about everything I need to make CONFERENCE beautiful again

Cathi Davis (wallpaper "queen")

George Stevens of A&L Upholstery (for always doing a bang-up job)

Lamy Marine (the best A/C & Refrigeration guys in the business)

May 2002, as we spent a beautiful holiday weekend wallpapering the interior of CONFERENCE.

Labor's Love owned by our dearest friends, Lee and Jodie Dahlen (a 1966 27' Commander)

Last Update: 04/10/2004

CONFERENCE rests comfortably after an 8-hour journey to Elizabeth City, No. Carolina.
Resting comfortably in her temporary slip, in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. This was her first "big journey", shared with best friend and chief mechanic, Lee Dahlen and his mother, Nora Dahlen.
The Purchase of CONFERENCE
CONFERENCE was originally delivered to Jefferson Beach Marina, in St. Clair Shores, Michigan in the early summer of 1968.

At some point in her life, she was transferred to Florida, where she served owners in what appears to be heavy fishing use. According to the owner, from whom the boat was recently purchased, the boat sat unattended for several years. It seems a gentleman in the Armed Services owned her, and decided wedded bliss was far better than boat bliss, and simply took off with his bride, never to return to the boat. The marina acquired the title, and then sold it to Marc Bracken of Pompano Beach, FLA.

Mr. Bracken decided a slightly smaller boat, and one needing less attention was more to his liking, and fairly soon after purchasing the boat, put it up for sale.

Jamie and I discovered the boat, advertised on the Internet, and sight unseen, purchased it and have never regretted it. 

We are aided by our dear friend Lee Dahlen, who turns wrenches and dabbles in other projects aboard when he is able (owning a 27' Commander himself), and delights in running her, too. He is an ace mechanic and no stranger to the water, maneuvering CONFERENCE ably and easily.

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The "new" 1968 Chris Craft Commander Double-Cabin Motoryacht purchased by Rob and Jamie in April 2004. 

"Command Performance" (formerly CALLIOPE) with previous owner Sanders McNew. 

Boat Information:

Year Built:

Built By: Chris Craft
Delivered: June 10, 1968
Hull Number: FXA-31-3086-T
Power: Ford 351's

RECENT NEWS - April 2004

CONFERENCE's new owner, 
Sanders McNew

CONFERENCE Goes to New Owner

In what can only be deemed a most unusual deal, ownership of CONFERENCE has been turned over to New York lawyer and Commander Club member Sanders McNew. In return, Rob and Jamie have taken ownership of McNew's 42' Commander. A simple trading of the appropriate documentation, and each owner was ultimately delighted with their new toy. McNew is looking forward to many happy hours cruising the waters of Virginia before taking CONFERENCE further up north, while Rob and Jamie work on getting "Command Performance" (the 42') prepared for stylish cruising along the ICW and Chesapeake Bay. 

And while further improvement on CONFERENCE is in the hands of a new and very capable owner, a look back at CONFERENCE's resurrection might interest you. Below are links to pages uploaded during the restoration of this fine 31' motor vessel. Sit back and enjoy the show!

In the beginning...

Moving along...

The beat goes on.....

It's a boat again!

More projects

A voyage to Elizabeth City

More fun aboard CONFERENCE


Our "First Born" (a 27' Commander)

On the Intercoastal Waterway

Recent Upgrades...

Conference is getting a complete makeover at her helm station. Re-chromed controls, a complete and newly built platform for her gauges and new knobs and ID rings. For more information on this project, Click Here.

At home on the Elizabeth River, Norfolk, Virginia

[home]  [the beginning]  [moving along]  [the beat goes on]  [a boat again!
[more projects]  [Elizabeth City]  [more fun]  [the video]  [our 27' Commander]