Heya CCCC Forum, I recently bought a 1955 37ft Chris Craft and she is in desperate need of a makeover.

My question today is if I sand everything all at once (i.e., bottom, bootstripe, top hull, top decks and wood for brightwork) when I haul her in the spring in preparation for refinishing, how long can the sanded / prepped surfaces sit before they have to be refinished? Thanks for any input.

Rick Stevens

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Long time since I worked on a wood boat, but I would say it depends on two things: 1, if you sand down to bare wood, and 2, if the boat is covered so rain doesn't get to it. Bare wood exposed to rain is not going to be happy and will probably need resanding after a week, maybe less. That's just a guess based on general woodworking experience, not necessarily boat experience. If you go to bare wood, best to get some kind of finish on it asap.

Hi 

The most important thing is to monitor the moisture content of the wood hull. 

In the winter if you strip the hull and it will dry out exponentially.  

At my shop we humidity the air to around 50 % 

This gives us an average reading on all wood in the shop at around 12-15%.

Before you do any finish work just make sure the boat always thinks its mid summer with good realitive humidity .this will keep excessive splitting from occurring and will greatly increase the life of paint and varnish . The idea is to get the boat as close to the middle of the typical humidity spectrum as you can so once the boat is painted/varnished the finish will only have to have enough elasticity to expand or contract half of what the boat does while the seasons change.

Thanks Jim. The only wood I plan to take down to bare is the brightwork.

Thanks Jeremy. I had not considered humidity, until now.

Jeremy Goldstein said:

Hi 

The most important thing is to monitor the moisture content of the wood hull. 

In the winter if you strip the hull and it will dry out exponentially.  

At my shop we humidity the air to around 50 % 

This gives us an average reading on all wood in the shop at around 12-15%.

Before you do any finish work just make sure the boat always thinks its mid summer with good realitive humidity .this will keep excessive splitting from occurring and will greatly increase the life of paint and varnish . The idea is to get the boat as close to the middle of the typical humidity spectrum as you can so once the boat is painted/varnished the finish will only have to have enough elasticity to expand or contract half of what the boat does while the seasons change.

My hat is off to you! Rick, you are to be commended for preserving a valuable piece of Chris Craft history. As a former owner of three Constellations, I can appreciate the commitment of time, effort and money your project will require.

I, and probably many others on this site, would appreciate noting your progress and photos of your work. There is no such thing as too many photos.

Jay

Thanks Jay, appreciate that; looking forward to spring when I can get started on all the work. My wife says "cha ching" every time I mention something I need to do or purchase. It's her fault; she said I needed a hobby.

Rick

Great looking boat also the last of the post war trunk cabin express cruisers

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