Squander Bucks: 1965 38 Commander

Back To Member Spotlight Index Page

By William R. Price

FDA 38-015

Vero Beach, FL

September, 2014

The present “Squander Bucks” represents the third all fiberglass Chris Craft Commander that my family has owned over the years between 1970 and the present – and the second to bear that name. The first was a 27 foot Commander and the second a 31 foot Flybridge Commander which first bore the “Squander Bucks” name. The current Commander is a 1965 38 foot Commander originally made as a Sedan model with gas engines and no flying bridge. I have seen many floor plan designs for the 38 foot Commanders and thus far have seen none that quite match the layout of her design. I was told that original owner was from Michigan and the boat was kept on the Great Lakes for several years. In 1983 or '84 the boat was purchased by my father in Florida to be used for fishing and cruising the Treasure Coast and Bahamian waters. At that time she was rechristened “Squander Bucks”. Around 1988 or '89 the gasoline engines were removed and the boat re-powered with a pair of GM Toro Flow Diesels. However, 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 my father in 1992, I inherited the Commander and began a long journey to upkeep and “upgrade” 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 as well as many features added that were not available in 1965. Not meant to be a complete listing by any stretch but many of the new/upgrade items include:

 Windlass and pulpit, Freezer, Refrigerator, shower and head, air conditioners, diesel generator 8Kw, hydraulic steering system with autopilot, complete Awlgrip painting (some areas more than once). New heavier shafts, struts and propellers with each re-powering. In addition the factory fuse panel system was removed and an up-to-date circuit breaker system added as well as a second 30 AMP shorepower to help keep up with the electrical loads of two A/C's, refrigerator and freezer. 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.

 In 1994 a flybridge with Bimini was added and later upgraded in 2010 with a new aluminum radar arch and console system. She was re-powered once again in 1998 with twin Detroit Diesel 8.2L Turbos. On the bridge instrument clusters hold the needed GPS's , depth sounders, a PC navigation monitor and Simrad radar displays. One new addition is a 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 our family in the 1980's.

 While she has not been kept to a perfectly clean example of the original boat design -whether each change has been for the creature comforts needed today, safety or navigation, or just plain “fishability” all have been considered and evaluated on how they would impact the styling and lines of this classic design. There is never a trip made very far from home without at least one fellow captain stopping to comment on how they have memories of either themselves of a close friend or family member having owned a Commander at sometime in the past.  

 Our family hopes to continue generating memories for some time yet with this engendered family member.

Consolesm.jpg (1500×844)

Club News


Spring Issue of Styled In Fiberglass

The Spring edition of the Chris-Craft Commander Club's newsletter is now available for your reading pleasure.  In this issue, Mark and Donna, your Styled In Fiberglass Editors and PR Co-Chairpersons, present a wide range of topics from giving your old, tired counter tops an amazing facelift to a stunning remodel of a Commander dash board with the latest technology.  We hope you enjoy this issue and maybe even gain a few new ideas or tips along the way.    
Click Here to proceed to the Styled In Fiberglass page, to download this issue, as well as, previous issues.



  2021 National Rendezvous



Photo Album

2021 National Rendezvous Awards

2021 Rendezvous Award of Distinction Honorees



  •  Pete Beauregard, Algonac Harbour Club
  • Brandolyn Keller, Port O’ Call Manager Algonac Harbour Club
  • Cassandra Long, Algonac Harbour Club
  • Susan Romo, Algonac Harbour Club
  • Algonac Harbour Club Staff
  • Algonac-Clay Maritime Museum
  • Colony Motel
  • Lee Dahlen, Glassic Boatworks, Inc
  • Tim Toth
  • Mike Gibson, Professional Threads Embroidery



SuperDisc 15.0 Morland Commemorative Edition and Resource Collection 6.0 Available Now!

SuperDisc 15.0 is an electronic encyclopedia of every aspect of Commander maintenance and repairs. The information on the disk is retrieved from the discussion forum and e-mail list, but organized in a way that makes information easy to find and use. SuperDisc is available on USB flash drive.  The Morland Commorative Edition is Superdisc 15.0 with the addition of the Spring 2020 Dick Morland Memorial Issue of STYLED IN FIBERGLASS. This is the last superdisc in its present format. 

Click here for more details https://commanderclub.com/page/superdisk

The SuperDisc 15.0 Complete Edition is for first time buyers of SuperDiscs.

The SuperDisc 15.0 Morland Commorative  Upgrade Edition is intended for those who wish to upgrade their SuperDisc 1.0 through 14.0. Each year we add over 1,000 posts. Don’t miss out.

Resource Collection 6.0 is great to own too!!!

The Resource Collection 6.0 contents include CC Catalogs and Brochures. CC Service Bulletins, CC Price Lists. Engine & Transmission Manuals. Dick Avery sketches and drawings, a folder for every Commander model, and all kinds of technical and interesting stuff as well as archived posts for 2019 and 2020. Over 193 folders and 2,823 Files. A true “Treasure Trove” for the Commander owner!

We thank you for supporting the club with your purchase of SuperDisc15.0 Morland Commemorative Edition  and/or Resource Collection 6.0. We hope you find it to be the value we feel it is, and trust you will enjoy the other benefits your payment will help provide. It’s your payment that helps to support the activities of this dues free organization that has grown from 12 members in 1999 to well over 4930 members in January 2021.

To order now click here!



© 2021   Created by CCCC Webmaster.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service