Classic Wooden Boat page is a central source of info for Chris Craft,Century,
Garwood and Hacker Craft wooden boat Owners. On these pages,
you will find links for Antique & Classic Wood Boat Enthusiast, Parts,
Restoration Supplies, Restoration Shops, Books and Boatsfor Sale.
My goal is to re-kindle
those by-gone days of Christopher Columbus Smith, Garfield Wood and John
Hacker. Many antique boat enthusiasts easily recognize the design
features and rakish style of these varnished mahogany beauties.
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the best known name in wooden powerboats,
glimpse of a restored boat will tell you why.
For more than sixty years,these
wooden boat builders and their sons produced high performance runabouts,utilities,
limousines, and sedans. These boats were famous Worldwide. Thousands enjoyed
these wooden boats on warm summer days and cool evening cruises.The
Chris~Craft "Riviera" was one of the most popular wooden runabouts produced
in the1950's. Chris~Craft produced the "Riviera" from 1949 thru 1955
the boat was available in three lengths and models from, 16 foot with a
60 h.p. Hercules engine, 18 foot with either a 120 h.p. or 131 h.p Hercules
and the 20-foot model with engine options to 158 h.p. The little16'
Riviera was dropped in 1953, it seemed that customers preferred the larger
18 ft and 20 ft models. Research revealed that the little 60 h.p.
Hercules Engine under powered the 16 ft "Riviera".
Gar Wood are synonymous with both speed and crafts-manship. Simple
and Understated in design, powerful and fast in performance, these boats
were built to go fast and make people happy!
The 18' "RIV" was very
popular, and today is recognized as the quint essential 1950s runabout
with its blonde decks, graceful proportions and excellent performance when
powered by higher horse power "KLC" or "KBL" engines. 1,210 were
built between 1949 and 1954, when Rivera's were replaced by Capri's.
Essentially, the 20' RIV was a big 18' and 288 were built before production
terminated in 1954. In 1955 Chris~Craft replaced all their runabouts
with new faster sleeker models.
Riviera was replaced by the Capri and the Racing Runabout was replaced
by the all new concept model know as the Cobra; By years end there
were two models of the Corba 21' and 18'. The Capris and Cobras
all shared design features hardware and presented unified styling. 19'
Capri's utilized the same basic hull design with an extended bow, two piece
curved plastic windshield, and similar hardware. The largest engine continued
to be "K" based, first a KBL and later the KFL. 786 were built from
1955 through 1958. The 21' Capri was an extended bow 20' Riviera with the
Capri windshield and styling features. A major change was the addition
of optional V-8 power along with M-series engines. 170were built
during 1955 and 1956, at which time the original RIVIERA-based21' Capri
Cobra's was Chris Craft's attempt to update the racing runabout concept
with mid-50s styling, including the now famous Tail Fins. The 18-foot
Cobra came with the 131 hp "KBL." In addition, the 21' Cobra came
with either an M-series engine or V-8 Cadillac engine. The Cadillac
powered 21' Cobras was Chris Craft's first post-war attempt at true high
performance runabouts, with top speeds easily exceeding 50 mph. Chris~Craft
encountered handling problems with this model. Also, the fiber glass
fins were considered labor-intensive so the Cobras were never intended
for large-scale production and were only produced during the 1955 model
year. 51 18's and 55 21's were produced.
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