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1954 Zephyr Kit Boat

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MakinTime
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:44 pm

1954 Zephyr Kit Boat

Post by MakinTime » Tue Jul 16, 2013 3:33 pm

I have recently finished rebuilding a 1954 Chris Craft Zephyr (I think) kit boat. She was very rough when I got her and I've modified the interior a little to better suit myself and my family. The kit was originally built in MA and the bought by a friend and transported to RI. I aquired it in January of 2012. We refinished the hull and then I completed a total overhaul of the interior and decking. She is now running a 1969 Johnson 25hp backdated to look like a 1958. I am looking for information or anything about the original boat kits. I am hoping to find a copy of the original plans and possibly an assembly manual. If anyone has anything like this out there please let me know.

Thanks,

Dan
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kits
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 12:44 pm
Location: Holland, Michigan

Re: 1954 Zephyr Kit Boat

Post by kits » Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:29 pm

Dan,
The split center deck leads me to believe that you have a Barracuda, not a Zephyr. Both models were introduced in the 1955 kit boat lineup. The Zephyr had a solid deck between the fore and aft seating compartments. Both had a longer foredeck than what you show. Was that one of the modifications that you mentioned?

Bob
Bob VandeVusse
1953 12' Runabout Kit
1957 14' Barracuda Kit
3 10 h.p. Commanders
10 5.5 h.p. Challengers

Dick Burkhard
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2005 1:55 pm
Location: Wilmington, DE and North East,MD

Re: 1954 Zephyr Kit Boat

Post by Dick Burkhard » Sat Jul 27, 2013 8:50 am

I agree that you must have a Barracuda model. I assembled one in the mid 50s. You may want to search out Jim Shotwell, he is active in the ACBS and other clubs.
About 10 years ago he started James Craft which built and sold exact replica kits of Chris Craft kit boats. I believe he had some original kits to use as models for his kit boats. Jim probably has plans for these or they may be in possession of the people he sold James Craft Boat company to a couple of years ago.
Jim is now working with Antique Boat America and I believe you can reach him there at http://captjimshotwell.com/ .
Good luck,
Dick Burkhard
Dick Burkhard
Wilmington, DE
and
North East, MD
dickburkhard@verizon.net
302.229.9853

MakinTime
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:44 pm

Re: 1954 Zephyr Kit Boat

Post by MakinTime » Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:22 am

Originally, the boat came with the fore deck as you see it and a one piece middle deck. It was painted a very "attractive" light blue color... Those two things led me to believe that it was a Zephyr. I split the decks and built the two consoles myself based on the curvature of the original single middle decking. I did that for two reasons. First the original single deck was broken and needed to be replaced. Second, my two boys are 7 and 11 and they would be sitting in front. I wanted to be able to get to them if I needed to. So that led to the split deck. Here is a picture of what I started with.

Dan
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kits
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 12:44 pm
Location: Holland, Michigan

Re: 1954 Zephyr Kit Boat

Post by kits » Thu Aug 01, 2013 8:48 pm

Dan,

That shot of the boat before restoration is interesting. It looks to be sitting on an old Mastercraft trailer. They were built in Connecticut. As far as it being a Zephyr, it could be that it is and the original owner modified the deck when it was built. Another possibility is that it is a Dolphin or a Sportsman. Those models had a shorter fore deck. They didn't have a center deck, but I have seen ads for an aftermarket "Bridge Deck" for 14' and 16' Chris Craft kits. What is the length and beam of your boat? Over the life of the Kit Boat Division there were 9 different models of 14' runabout. Some of them varied slightly in length and beam. That may be a way to narrow thee possibilities.

Bob
Bob VandeVusse
1953 12' Runabout Kit
1957 14' Barracuda Kit
3 10 h.p. Commanders
10 5.5 h.p. Challengers

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