Jim and Carolyn Roth have enjoyed boating aboard a Chris Craft for many years, but only since 2007 has it been aboard a Commander.
Jim has been around boats most of his life. As a kid he worked on a company-owned boat and later owned several boats of his own. He’s done most of his boating on the Great Lakes, and specifically the Detroit River and Lake St. Clair.
Up until 2007, Jim and Carolyn owned a Chris Craft Catalina 381. Jim was the second owner and took delivery in 1982. He kept it at Kean’s Marina in Detroit, Michigan.
It was at Kean’s where Jim and Carolyn got to know their boat neighbor Lee Vauris. Lee was a Chris Craft Commander enthusiast and owned Chris Craft Commanders most of his boating life, including a 31, 35, 41 and 45. Jim and Carolyn spent many hours aboard Lee’s 1979 45’ Flush Deck Commander shooting the bull and sipping wine; becoming longtime and great friends.
When Lee passed away in 2007, Jim and Carolyn were presented with the opportunity to purchase their dear friend’s 45’ Commander. The stars aligned for them, and they were able to purchase R Time III and at about the same time sell R Time II. It was then that Jim and Carolyn became part of the Chris Craft Commander Club family and began to realize what a great following there is for the Commanders.
Dissatisfied with the boat’s handling characteristics in a seaway, Jim engineered larger rudder surfaces for R Time III which significantly improved steerage and tracking. Gone is the workout he used to get turning undersized rudders lock to lock to keep her on track. The autopilot is now able to handle the boat nicely and Jim is left to enjoy the ride.
If anyone with a 45’ is faced with the need to replace the refrigerator, know that Jim has tackled that too. He found the perfect refrigerator to fit the space in the galley as well as just barely make it through the companionway. It wasn’t an easy job, but he got it done.
Jim is currently in the process of installing teak and holly flooring in the galley, forward head, and forward companionway. I’ve seen that project while in process, and while it’s another big job, it’s going to look great when complete.
Jim and Carolyn are most gracious hosts who have maintained the “gathering space” spirit of her previous owner by doing much entertaining on the aft deck of R Time III. When you see Jim and Carolyn at upcoming CCCC rendezvous, be sure to check out what they’ve done with R Time III.
/ Mike Schrage, CCCC Treasurer