A splash of 1950’s glamour comes to Mylor

For fans of fast wooden boats, we are currently involved in a very exciting project, re-powering a 1950’s Chris Craft Sportsman. Whilst in the US wooden Chris Craft from the 1940s-1960s aren’t that uncommon, they are pretty rare in this country and we are fortunate enough to have looked after this Sportsman 17 for a number of years.

We did some extensive structural and cosmetic work to her about 7 years ago, but she has had little use since, mainly due to the unreliability of her original six-cylinder engine. With leisure time at a premium for her owner, not being able to use the boat when he was on holiday was a frustration that resulted in 4 years ashore under covers, until we started talking about a new engine.

The customer’s key requirement was for the boat to work, and retain its heritage. So a sympathetic, modern equivalent was sought and we came across a brilliant little British company, Swaymar Marine who specialise in high-performance, high-efficiency marine petrol engines able to offer a custom hand-built unit for the right price. Included with the engine is a pair of one-piece stainless exhaust manifolds which, whilst looking incredible, reduce weight in the engine by around 50kg and are far more reliable than their standard cast iron alternatives. We are expecting to take delivery of the very fast, very loud 5.0L V8 unit in the coming weeks so watch/listen out for this space!

We will be replacing the fuel tank with a new stainless one, improving some of the electrical and safety systems and then refitting the beautiful candy red interior before tentatively sea-trialling her next month.

Once this engine is installed, we will be taking delivery of a 5.7L version to display in the showroom with a view to finding the next customer looking for the best in performance and efficiency.