William Price is the proud owner of “Squander Bucks”, a 1965 38' Commander originally built as a Sedan model with gas engines and no fly bridge. She represents a third of the Chris Craft Commanders that William's family has owned over the years, and the second to bear the name. Their first Commander was a 27' Commander and the second a 31' Fly Bridge Commander which first bore the “Squander Bucks” name. William states that he has seen many floor plan designs for the 38” Commanders and, thus far, has not seen a layout quite like his.
William was told that the original owner was from Michigan and the boat was kept on the Great Lakes for several years. Around 1983, the boat was purchased by his father to be used for fishing and cruising the Treasure Coast and Bahamian waters. At that time, she was rechristened “Squander Bucks”. About 1988, William’s father removed the gasoline engines and repowered the boat with a pair of GM Toro Flow Diesels. He did not upgrade the shafts and strictly used her at trawler speeds – frequently towing boats up to 23 feet for use in the Bahamas as smaller fishing and diving platforms.
Upon the passing of William’s father in 1992, he inherited the 38’ Commander and began the long journey of maintaining and upgrading her a little year by year. Little remains of the original mechanical workings of the boat other than the two bronze rudders. From stem to stern, most everything has been replaced at least once. Many features have been added that were not available in 1965. Some of the upgrades and additions include: Windlass and pulpit, Freezer, Refrigerator, shower and head, two air conditioners, 8kw diesel generator, hydraulic steering system with autopilot, complete Awlgrip painting (some areas more than once).
In 1998, William re-powered his boat again with twin Detroit Diesel 8.2L Turbos. New heavier shafts, struts and propellers were added. With the running gear changes, ”Squander Bucks” was once again able to cruise on top as she was intended. As she is outfitted today, cruising speed is at 21 mph with a top speed of 25 mph.
With the additions of the A/Cs, refrigerator, and freezer, power had to be upgraded, as well. The factory fuse panel system was removed and an up-to-date circuit breaker system, as well as, a second 30 AMP shore power were added to help keep up with the electrical load.
In 1994, a fly bridge with Bimini was added and later upgraded in 2010 with a new aluminum radar arch and console system. On the bridge, instrument clusters hold the needed GPS's , depth sounders, a PC navigation monitor and Simrad radar displays. One of the new additions is an instrument system, by CruzPro, that allows the digital display of all the pertinent engine, generator, fuel, and engine room data even with these pre-computer controlled device engines (no CDI box).
“Squander Bucks” has been in fairly constant use, traveling the waters between Vero Beach and Palm Beach Florida, as well as the Northern and Central Bahamas since first purchased by William’s family in the 1980's.
While she has not been kept to a perfectly clean example of the original boat design, all changes have been considered and evaluated on how they would impact the styling and lines of this classic design. Rarely is a trip made, without at least one fellow captain stopping to share their memories of either themselves, a close friend, or family member having owned a Commander in the past.
William hopes to continue generating memories for some time yet with this fiberglass family member.