Good morning. I am a new member to the Club, but not a new boater. 2 years ago I purchased a 1972 47'Commander from an original owner. I had visited him and "Sleeping Beauty" on numerous occasions since the early 1980's. Upon his passing his son offered me the opportunity to make an offer on her. I was successful in acquiring her and am in love all over again. I had to let my 1977, 350 Catalina Double Cabin, which I had owned 13 years, go. And I was torn, but I can't have 2 large cruisers, my wife said so. Previous to the 1977 Catalina, "Fire Escape" I owned a 1956, 35 foot steel Roamer Express Hardtop with an after market bridge. My father started this addiction in me with his 1936, 28 foot Chris Craft and others. So as I stated, not a new boater, and most definately an admirer of the Chris Craft lines, and the story of Christopher Columbus Smith and Family.
To my question, for any knowledgeable member. I am desireous of replacing the hatch and half door entry to her cabin from the aft deck with what locally has commonly been referred to as a'phone booth' structure. I am in the early stages of enquiring in the area for carpenters who may be familiar and have been a part of the designing and fabricating of the structure, or who would/could provide plans from a successful build of their own or some other architects rendering. With the help of plans and access to a mill in the area, I believe I could successfully complete such a project. I have seen some of the structures on several 40+ foot Trojans and they look standardized. I have only seen one of the structures on a 410 Commander. It was designed and fabricated in a local cabinet shop that has since gone out of busines and the owner has passed away.
I have contacted Mariners Museum to determine if Chris Craft ever designed, offered as an option or referenced the structure at all. Patty has tried, but betwen her efforts and some volunteers nothing has turned up.
Does anyone have any experience with the structures, have or know where plans for one may exist, if they are available, etc. Thank you and I look forward to being a member of the Club.
Steven M Kotraba
My 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 and a 1972 Trojan I know of had the sort of structure you describe.You can see a pic of mine in my blog article about the the boat in as-found condition. I personally am not a fan because they inevitably block lines of sight and I've never seen one that really blended in nicely. I'm not saying you couldn't make one that was gorgeous. Even if it wasn't gorgeous, if that's what you want on your boat, go for it!
The common themes of the ones I've seen are the use of a sheet of plexiglass perpendicular to the windshield to create a greenhouse, with a door and frame that are pretty standard. A cabinetmaker should have no problem making the whole thing.
I find that Google sketchup CAD software is a great (and free!) way to try out different designs before committing $$$ and materials to a project. Measure the area now and make a mock up in Sketchup, then start adding in the structure you've got in mind. You can export the designs in jpg images, too, so post a few here and let us see what you've got in mind.
Good luck with it, and congrats on acquiring a boat you love!
These were taken late May of 2006. Good luck with your project. We miss the Beauty but glad to welcome you to the Club.
Thanx for the photos and the kind welcome.
That's a good lookin' boat!