First Fiberglass Boats out of Cortland, New York ??

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First Fiberglass Boats out of Cortland, New York ??

Postby Paul P » Wed Jan 31, 2007 6:58 pm

I believe CC acquired Thompson Boat Company of New York (Cortland, NY) in 1962. It appears CC started construction on a new factory next door almost immediately, for the purposes of transitioning into the building of fiberglass boats.

It appears that 1964 was the first year of the fiberglass experiment, and at least one of those initial ideas was a foam sandwich core fiberglass boat that also "appears" to have been dropped rather quickly. Probably a bad idea with regards to water saturation of the foam core.



I know the Lancer, glass Skiff, Corsair Sea-V, and two Commander models (19' and 23') were built in Cortland, but there seems to be a void about how the operation actually got under way, and what products were first offered. I'm interested in any info people can provide about the first boats produced at Cortland.

Regards, Paul
1956 17' CC Sportsman, 300-hp
1957 17' CC Sportsman, 95-hp
1966 20' CC fiberglass Sea Skiff, 210-hp+
1973 23' CC Lancer inboard project, 427/375-hp.
1966 38' CC Commander Express, 427/300-hp(2)

So many boats.........so little time.....but what a way to go!!
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Postby Wood Commander » Wed Jan 31, 2007 8:54 pm

I have seen a 1965 Corsair sales brochure that appeared on ebay recently. Or at least it was advertised as a 1965 brochure. So it would appear that Chris Craft was selling the Corsair line out of Cortland as early as 1965. And it could have possibly been a little sooner, but that was the first evidence that I have personally come across. I think that this was a first departure from the "Thompson by Chris Craft" or "Thompson Division of Chris Craft" era. To me the Corsairs appear to be slightly different fiberglass versions of the Thompson wood boat line.
The 23' Lancer seems to have first appeared in 1966 and were originally called Corsair Lancers. The 19' Lancer appeared in 1968 I think. The early 23' hulls had Corsair emblems on the hullsides. I think that in about 1968 they started having just the Lancer badging on the hullsides. I know my old 1968 Lancer had the Lancer badges.
Somewhere in about 1968 or so they came out with the XK's and other models.
This is a little heavy on the Lancer side of the information, but it does show the link and progression of and from the Thompson Boat Company influence to the stand alone Chris Craft engineering and image of these models. I'll have to look in The Essential Guide to see when they stopped making the Thompson inspired boats and went strictly to the other models.
And let us not forget that in Chris Craft's past, Corsair was a proud model name from the 1950's for a large,lovely, mahogany Cabin Cruiser.
Bret

1953 35' Commander "Adonis III"

1970 23' lancer project
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Postby Paul P » Thu Feb 01, 2007 10:56 am

I found an article by Andreas Jordahl Rhude, and it adds some good information to the search. I do not know the date of this article or what publication it came from. Here is a passage that adds some interesting information :

"A number of the initial models looked very similar to the wooden lapstrakes that Thompson was making at the time. As an example, the 1964 Corsair XL 200 Sea-V mldel from that same year. Both were lapstrake in appearance; one in RFP and the other in wood. There were nine Corsair models in 1964. Also that year the Corsair group made one and only one fiberglass XL210 twenty-one foot long Cadet Cruiser. She was built exactly the same as the wooden Thompson Cruisette of that year! I am sure they pulled a plug from one of the wooden boats to make the 'glass model. Wouldn't this be a rare bird for your collection!

By 1966 they had twelve Corsairs in the fleet. For the first time the "Lancer" name appeared on one of the boats."


This article is sort of the "rosetta stone" for me, since I'm not all that well informed about the dawn of fiberglass production at Cortland. The Corsair name has basically vanished these days, from the old boats, and it's been resurrected in a new model. I am sure there are Corsair models, perhaps some 1964 boats, that are still out there in good shape. Anyone ever see one at a boat show???

Image

The scan above was taken from a 1963 Chris Craft brochure. It shows a wood boat that looks remarkably similar to the 20' 1966 fiberglass Sea Skiff I'm restoring now. (photo below) I wouldn't be surprised if they pulled a plug off a wood model to get the shape and basic dimensions worked out for this model.

Image

Image


Now the search goes on regarding those elusive nine (9) Corsair models that were being produced in 1964.

Regards,
Paul P1etcher
1956 17' CC Sportsman, 300-hp
1957 17' CC Sportsman, 95-hp
1966 20' CC fiberglass Sea Skiff, 210-hp+
1973 23' CC Lancer inboard project, 427/375-hp.
1966 38' CC Commander Express, 427/300-hp(2)

So many boats.........so little time.....but what a way to go!!
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Postby thompsonboatboy » Fri Feb 02, 2007 12:24 pm

Chris-Craft purchased Thompson Boat Company of New York, Inc. at Cortland, NY in January 1962. Thompson of NY made wooden lapstrake boats. Very soon after that the "all-fiberglass" line was introduced and it became known as the Corsair line. These boats were made by Thompson Boat Company of New York, Inc. - a wholly owned subsidiary of Chris-Craft.

Note that this Cortland operation had nothing to do with Thompson Bros. Boat Mfg. Co., Inc. of Peshtigo, WI. My user boat is a 1957 Thompson Bros. (Peshtigo) Sea Lancer with twin 35 HP Johnson outboards for power. She's pictured on page 13 of the Winter 2007 issue of "The Rudder" magazine.

I have Thompson/Chris-Craft Corsair fiberglass brohures for 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, and 1968. In 1969 they dropped any reference to Thompson and Corsair and they called these models the "Sport Boats" line of Chris-Craft. I have the 1969 and 1971 Sport Boats brohcures.

My article referred to above by Paul came from the Summer 2000 issue of "The Brass Bell" magazine.

In the 1963 Corsair brohcure they show five distinct models: XL170 Sunlounger; XL150 Sunlounger; XL170 Express cruiser; XL170 Runabout; and XL150 Runabout.

The 1963 brochure does not say anything about how these boats were built. The '64 brochure does show the sandwich construction of glass-foam-glass and has a cut-away pictured with an actual hole in the bottom of one of the boats that's sitting in the water. There was a wood core at the bottom of the foam just atop the outer fiberglass hull structure.

Chris Smith of Holland, MI told me that he assisted with the development of these first Corsair boats. Most of the design and development was done at Thompson of NY but CC of course tapped their vast resources and Chris Smith was one that helped with getting the project underway.

I have copies of newspaper articles from Cortland about the planning and ground breaking for the new Corsair factory dated August and September 1962. Also testing a XL170 Corsair on the local river dated 01 April 1963. The plant started operatins about February or March 1963 and had 70 workers by April 1963.

Shipping ledger books exist for the Cortland plant from 1959 - 1967. I have begun the tedious process of entering this into a database, starting with the 1959 time period. It literally will take years to complete this task. I could use some help!!! :)

Mr. Andreas Jordahl Rhude
freezing in Minneapolis
email: thompsonboat@msn.com
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Postby Paul P » Fri Feb 02, 2007 5:59 pm

Hi Andreas,

Great info, and thanks for the response !

I've seen the photo of the boat with the hole cut in the bottom. That "good idea" apparently didn't survive very long. I wonder if any of those boats are still with us.

Looking at 1965 I see an interesting step toward fiberglass like this SEa-V 23 Skiff with 165 hp V8 Transdrive (is it a Buick motor??) All of the topsides on this boat appear to be fiberglass, while the hull is of traditional lapstrake construction.

Image

What puzzles me, is the inclusion of the Sea Skiff name in 1966, which appears to be a very brief interlude of that name at Cortland (only 1966 and 67?)

I am looking forward to the day I can see one or more of these Thompson/Chris Craft models in person. Hopefully I'll spot one at a boat show somewhere soon.

Regards, all the best,
Paul P1etcher
1956 17' CC Sportsman, 300-hp
1957 17' CC Sportsman, 95-hp
1966 20' CC fiberglass Sea Skiff, 210-hp+
1973 23' CC Lancer inboard project, 427/375-hp.
1966 38' CC Commander Express, 427/300-hp(2)

So many boats.........so little time.....but what a way to go!!
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Postby thompsonboatboy » Sat Feb 03, 2007 9:10 am

In the 1965, 1966, and 1967 CC Corsair brochures that I have there is NO mention of the name "Sea Skiff."

Andreas
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Postby Paul P » Fri Feb 23, 2007 12:20 pm

Hi Andreas!

The Corsair brochure marketed the 20' inboard Sea V, while the Sea Skiff brochure for the same year (I have them both for 1966 and 67) shows the 20' Sea Skiff Sportsman, both of which are idential hulls except for the gelcoat color.

I noticed in 1964 they were saying to contact "Corsair Boats". In 1965 it became "Thompson by Chris Craft", then "Corsair". The marketing guys were on their own mission!

You can see all three names on this tag off my 1966 Sea Skiff Inboard.

Image

Image

Image

If you look at your Corsair brochures, you'll see the identical boat being marketed as the Corsair Sea-V. Interior trim is ever so slightly different, and they also offer a strange side rail, which to me looks like it would just get in the way. There is a Corsair 20' Sea V for sale now in NJ for $1750 with no motor. It would make a nice project boat for someone.

Here are documentary photos of the Thompson Corsair I mentioned, you can see it's "the same boat". This is presently on ebay now, photos are used with permission from the seller. I show them here for the record, and to help document the boat.

Image
Image

As CC wrestled with their new Thompson acquisition, they eventually phased the name out entirely. Interesting thing about my 1966 Sea Skiff, the seat bottoms have a fabric tag on them that says "Thompson". 8)


Fantastic history !

Regards,
Pau1 P1etcher
1956 17' CC Sportsman, 300-hp
1957 17' CC Sportsman, 95-hp
1966 20' CC fiberglass Sea Skiff, 210-hp+
1973 23' CC Lancer inboard project, 427/375-hp.
1966 38' CC Commander Express, 427/300-hp(2)

So many boats.........so little time.....but what a way to go!!
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Postby thompsonboatboy » Wed Feb 28, 2007 8:50 am

Very interesting that they were "cross marketing" the same boat. Great informaiton!

Andreas
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Postby Paul P » Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:19 pm

Conrad's Essential Guide shows the 20' Sea-V Inboard being built in 1965, 1966, 1967 and 1968 with a total number of hulls at 220 (under the Corsair name).

The same hull was marketed as a Sea Skiff (in the Sea Skiff section of Conrad's book) in 1966 (70 hulls) and 1967 (10 hulls) making a total of 300 of these fiberglass deep-V lapstrake 20' hulls coming our of Cortland under one badge or another.

It was during the time when the Sea Skiff name was apparently being phased out, and the Corsair Division was promoting themselves as the "Sport Boat" division. From my understanding, the Cortland plant built all of the Lancers, a few glass Sea Skiffs, the Corsairs, the 19' Commander Super Sport and XK-19, the 23' Commander v-drive, and I also believe the 22'XK too.

They were indeed, cross marketing the Skiff and Corsair. The interesting thing I've discovered too, is the fact that my 1966 Skiff has the same (DetMar?) metal steering wheel as some of the earlier Thompson boats, the same wheel as the 23' Commander and some Lancer models. It has the same single stalk Morse control as the 19' Commander and XK, and the same rear clamshells at the XK-19 and several other Corsair (and Cavalier) boats. If you're familiar with Wilson Wright's RED ROCKET, you can see the same clamshells (potmetal, by the way, but good looking) on his "almost Commander".

As I learn more about the boats built in Cortland, New York, the more respect I get for them all. I see a lot of Thompson in the early boats, I see some clear Jim Wynne racing hull influence, some Dick Avery top deck styling, and it seems that virtually all of them in the 17' and larger are rather deep-V hull designs intended to perform well in rough water. The 19' Lancer transdrive has the same wetted hull as the high performance XK-19, the latter being available with V-drive or transdrive, and that makes the diminutive 19' transdrive Lancer quite a capable boat. Not many of those left, people are scared away by that transdrive, but those can be repaired and/or swapped out with Volvo outdrives. It's a shame the "transdrive scare" has resulted in many of these boats being set aside. I found one in Alabama not long ago, a very cool looking boat that ran well, but the transdrive would not raise on it's own. The guy would fix it for a few bucks, but as far as I know now, the boat is still there awaiting an appreciative and informed Chris Craft collector. They were practically giving it away.

Lots of good stuff coming out of Cortland, and some fascinating history too. This springtime I'll be driving part of that history on Old Hickory Lake, in middle Tennessee! Dale has just completed the instrument restoration, I've received windshield and clamshell hardware from Joel, upholstery is on the way, transmission still has to be swapped. A boy has to have a hobby! :roll:

Regards, all the best,

Pau1 P1etcher
1956 17' CC Sportsman, 300-hp
1957 17' CC Sportsman, 95-hp
1966 20' CC fiberglass Sea Skiff, 210-hp+
1973 23' CC Lancer inboard project, 427/375-hp.
1966 38' CC Commander Express, 427/300-hp(2)

So many boats.........so little time.....but what a way to go!!
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Postby Wood Commander » Wed Feb 28, 2007 11:03 pm

Paul, going back a post or two, do you actually have information that the XK- 18 was a Cortland/Corsair Division boat? I had read on one of the Fiberglass Commander sites where the XK- 18 hulls were contracted out by Chris Craft and then finished off by CC. So I was thinking that the XK-18 was not actually a Cortland hull built by CC and therefore wouldn't share the same construction (they have tumblehome like an old ski boat, don't they?)as the other Cortland/Corsair boats . The XK-19, was of course, based on the 19' Cortland/Corsair/Lancer hull.

And I used to have a 1968 19' Lancer Transdrive. All that the Transdrive meant was that it was a Volvo outdrive. On my 19'er, it was a Chris Craft 185 hp. 283 FLV and a Volvo 280 drive. My "new" 1970 23' Lancer is also a "Transdrive" and it has a 200 hp. 307 QLV and a Volvo 250 drive. That 19'er was a great boat although it did have a few weaknesses just like any other boat.
Bret

1953 35' Commander "Adonis III"

1970 23' lancer project
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Postby Bill Basler » Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:01 pm

In a continuation of one of the longest threads in Boat Buzz history, I announce that I am the proud new owner of a 1964 Chris-Craft Corsair, 17-footer. I know very little about my new aquisition, other than it is an early 64 model, blue exterior with a white interior. Power is via the original Mercruiser stern drive complete with power tilt, but no trim.

The boat came into my possession recently via my in-laws who own a marina in southern Iowa. Ironically, this boat is the exact boat my wife and brother were given back in the 70s to play around the harbor in. It was quickly nicknamed "The Blue Bomb" due to its somewhat rough appearance. Of all the stories my wife recanted about the old Blue Bomb, she never realized it was a Chris-Craft.

So, there you go. The sickness is in full swing. A 1942 17' Deluxe, a 1936 Gar Wood Utility, and now, The Blue Bomb, a 1964 Corsair. I will definitely post pictures soon. Just keep in mind this boat was nicknamed the Blue Bomb some 30+ years ago.
Bill Basler
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Postby Wood Commander » Sun Jun 17, 2007 12:08 pm

Congratulations Bill on obtaining yet another boat! You are really showing the symptoms of antique boat-itis now! And welcome to the Thompson/Corsair/Chris Craft "family". It should be fun for your wife too that you found a boat that sort of comes from her youth. Anyway, it should be a great boat!
Bret

1953 35' Commander "Adonis III"

1970 23' lancer project
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Postby Paul P » Tue Jun 19, 2007 1:48 pm

The "BOMB" comment was from an article in the June, 1964 Popular Boating, where they referred to the boat as "a bomb", which was a positive statement back in '64.

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I've done a lot of research on the "Cortland Connection" due to the connection with the Chris Craft Commander, of which I am most interested, as one of my many boating passions. The Corsair line precedeed the Lancer and small Commanders, also built under the same roof, and there was some degree of overlap from Corsair to Lancer.

The same high grade resin and DuoGlas was used in these early Corsairs, and they're all good boats except the foam filled hulls, of which I suspect were water-loggers and disappeared from the marketing brochures very quickly.

One of the reasons CC was interested in Thompson, other than the fact that they were competitors and had a nice dealer network set up, was the fact that Thompson had a well developed association with the outdirve propulsion systems of the day, as CC later referred to as "Transdrive". Jim Wynne designed hulls, with the patented lifting strakes and the outdrive, were direct from the offshore racig of the era.

Interesting boat, not many out there, it is definately a collector boat.

Regards, Pau1 P1etcher
1956 17' CC Sportsman, 300-hp
1957 17' CC Sportsman, 95-hp
1966 20' CC fiberglass Sea Skiff, 210-hp+
1973 23' CC Lancer inboard project, 427/375-hp.
1966 38' CC Commander Express, 427/300-hp(2)

So many boats.........so little time.....but what a way to go!!
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Postby Bill Basler » Tue Jun 19, 2007 1:56 pm

I should know this Paul, but it is escaping me. The TransDrive was an IO, correct? was this an early Volvo drive? Who coined the marketing term transDrive. Was this Chris-Craft's term?
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Postby Paul P » Tue Jun 19, 2007 3:57 pm

Hi Bill,

I believe the "Transdrive" name was from Thompson or Chris Craft, not sure if it was before or after the acquisition. It is the same thing as Inboard/Outboard (I/O). I also think the unit is a Volvo based unit, due to the fact that Thompson had some Volvo power options (and CC may have continued this too)

My recollections for the day.

Regards, Paul
1956 17' CC Sportsman, 300-hp
1957 17' CC Sportsman, 95-hp
1966 20' CC fiberglass Sea Skiff, 210-hp+
1973 23' CC Lancer inboard project, 427/375-hp.
1966 38' CC Commander Express, 427/300-hp(2)

So many boats.........so little time.....but what a way to go!!
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Postby Bill Basler » Tue Jun 19, 2007 4:36 pm

This makes sense. Volvo was actually the "inventor" and I use this term loosely of the stern drive. The technology was actually developed by an engineer from Mercury, whom, after a big internal soap opera, left Mercury with the Patent in hand and found a new home for his design, which was Volvo. One of the reasons the early OMC drives were so bad was that the patent was so well written that virtually everything similar conflicted to a degree. Mercury was later able to steer clear of the patent issues, and introduced what we now know as the MerCruiser stern drive.

My old Corsair has one of those early MerCruiser drives, which is a white painted unit. When I first learned of this boat, I honestly had no knowledge that a MerCruiser drive was offered. All I ever heard mentioned in discussion was the TransDrive. inboards or V-Drives.

I am thinking that TransDive may be Chris-Crafts marketing term for a Volvo Stern Drive.
Bill Basler
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Postby Wood Commander » Tue Jun 19, 2007 10:43 pm

Bill and Paul, from what I have researched, the Corsair (division) fiberglass boats initially were pretty much patterned after the wooden Thompson line with some changes. The Lancer/XK hulls (and 19' and 23' Lancer- based Commanders in 1968 and 1969) were probably Chris Craft's first new headquarters- based designs built by the "new" Cortland, NY Corsair Division plant. The hulls were designed by Jim Wynn and the topsides by Dick Avery for Chris Craft.

The original 1966 23' Lancers bore "Corsair" badging on the rear hullsides and were called Corsair Lancers. By 1968 19' Lancers appeared and the 19' hulls had "Lancer" badging on the hulls and the 23' hulls had the words "Chris" and "Craft" on the hullsides seperated by a Lancer emblem rather than the traditional Chris Craft stylized "star". And it seems that the Jim Wynn connection started the Lancer/Volvo outdrive movement. Lancers were also built with inboard tunnel drives and inboard vee- drives.

Evidently Charles Strang designed what became the Volvo outdrive while working for Carl Keikaffer at Mercury Marine. Mr. Strang was very good freinds with Jim Wynn who assisted with the outdrive developement. The story goes that after ordering a Volvo engine to mate up with the new drive, a Volvo rep stopped by the shop to see what the guys were going to use the engine for and saw the outdrive. This is where the Volvo connection came in and what sparked their interest in the new equipment. When Mr. Strang had gone to Keikaffer with his new outdrive idea, he was told that Mercury was not interested whatsoever. So Charles Strang let Jim Wynn take most of the credit for his design which was eventually developed by Volvo while he stayed employed at Mercury. I believe that Charles continued on with Mercury for some time and later worked on the Mercruiser outdrive after Keikaffer saw that the competition had gotten ahead of him and that Mercury really did need an inboard/outboard drive after all. Ironically the Mercury unit became much more popular.

And yes, the Chris Craft Lancer "Transdrive" was the Volvo outdrive mated to a Chris Craft engine. which was, naturally, at the transom.

My information and ideas on this topic are based on my ownership of both 19' and 23' Lancers with Volvo outdrives, Corsair/Lancer sales catalogs and spec sheets and price lists in my collection, Lancer hull cards and drawings from the Mariner's Museum that I have and from reading articles on the Fiberglass Commander web site and from the book "Iron Fist, the story of Carl Keikaffer and Mercury Marine" an excellent book, by Jeffery Rodengen, the author of "The Legend of Chris Craft".

Whenever I can find time to either research or work on my Lancer, I am trying to gain more knowledge of the Volvo outdrives. I am searching for a "Volvo Guru" that knows them inside and out. This is because I am planning on taking my 307Q Chris Craft/small block Chevy engine with a Volvo 250 drive and turning it into a "Kiddey Kraft" 406 "F" (K ? LoL! ) small block Chevy with a Volvo 280 drive for my 23' Lancer. So I'd love to hear from an expert about different bellhousings, flywheels, coupler, mounts and etc. that will be involved. I may have to become my own half- baked expert myself at the rate I'm going! What I have learned about Volvos so far is-
1. They are engineered and (well)built in Sweden and are tough units.

2. They lack a hydraulic system and therefore power trim. Instead they have an electric motor and linear tilt gear setup that can be a bit troublesome. But my experience is that the Lancer hull design is good enough that drive trim and trim tabs aren't really necessary.

3. They don't lock in any position except full down while reversing.

4. The small verticle fin trim adjustment is quite important since they lack power steering.

5. They can wander a lot when the bushings are worn.

6. They are a lot easier to find mated to 4 cylinder engines than on V8's and even harder to find mated to Chris Craft engines unless maybe you find an entire Chris Craft boat.

If anybody else knows more or better information I hope they post it here. There have already been some good posts. I'm always interested in learning more!
Bret

1953 35' Commander "Adonis III"

1970 23' lancer project
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Postby thompsonboatboy » Wed Jun 20, 2007 8:20 am

Congrats Bill on obtaining the "blue bomb" Chris-Craft/Thompson Corsair. In the '64 CC Corsair brochure they have two 17 footers, the XL175 Sunlounger and XL175 Runabout. There were differences in the seating and the Runabout came in an outboard version. By the way, these were 17'-6" in length.

The '64 brochure clearly states that the "new compact V-8 Interceptor power package" was availabble. The photo clearly shows the "Eaton" name on the stern drive. The term "transdrive" is used all over in the text of the brohcure. In one of the pictures I can see the "Volvo" logo on the stern drive but there is no mention of Volvo in the text.

The 1963 Corsair brohcure mentions 80 or 100 HP inboard/outboard drives as option and the "transdrive" term is utilized. The "Volvo" name is also mentioned.

In the 1965 brochure Transdrive terminology is used again. They also mention MerCruiser, OMC, and Interceptor power packages. No mentioon of Volvo.

The 1966 brochure mentiones "transdrive" and they have the registered tradmark symbol after it. No mention of Volvo, OMC, Mercruiser, or Interceptor.

As for the Volvo stern drive, Charlie Strang was the "inventor," moonlighting while employed at Kiekhaefer Mercury. Jim Wynn and Volvo got all the credit in a backroom deal with Strang. The first succesful I/O (Volvo) was introduced to the American public at the NY boat show in January 1959. Later that summer, Thompson Bros. Boat Mfg. Co of Peshtigo, WI (NOT Thompson Boat Co. of New York, Inc. at Cortland, NY) had married the Volvo I//O to two of their boat models. That was pretty quick acceptance of the technology in my opinion.

By the way, the first fiberglass Chris-Craft Corsair models in 1963 did not look anything like the wooden lapstrake boats by Thompson Boat Co. of New York, Inc.

Andreas
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Postby Bill Basler » Wed Jun 20, 2007 8:43 am

Thanks all. This is a really interesting history lesson, and one that I sorely needed. Here are a couple of photos of a sistership to my boat. Mine is pretty rough, but all the hardware is there, and relative to my other projects, this will be an easy one. The boat is kind of ugly really. But pretty, in an ugly sort of way.

Image

Image

the part I like the most is that ridiculous scoop on the engine hatch. It reminds me of my gearhead days in the 70s. I think I'll put a put a big blower on it...or some velocity stacks!
Last edited by Bill Basler on Wed Jun 20, 2007 3:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby thompsonboatboy » Wed Jun 20, 2007 2:44 pm

I should have mentioned...I spent about five hours with Ted Thompson, Jr. at Cortland, NY in April. Got the tour of the area and all the various locations where Thompson and CC Corsair boats were built. He was a co-owner of Thompson Boat and manager there and he became general manager of the CC plant until its closure in 1974.

Andreas
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16' Corsair 1964

Postby Episode VI » Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:08 pm

See my earlier post with pictures. It appears I might have one out of Cortland NY. It too has interior badging similar to that shown above in this thread (Thompson/Chris Craft of Cortland).

Regards,
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New Corsair Owner

Postby 1964chris » Mon Sep 08, 2008 10:19 pm

I am finally a Chris Craft owner! I have admired them for years. We just purchased a 1964 Corsair 15' and I believe it must be an XL150 runabout since it has an outboard. Is this a correct assumption? I just joined the club yesterday as this was the day I closed the deal on the boat. I am looking forward to
restoring her to new and will rely on all of your suggestions and help. So far, I am impressed with this forum and have learned much about my purchase allready.
Thanks,
Jim
1964 Chris Craft Corsair 15.5
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Postby Thommyboy » Tue Sep 09, 2008 7:33 am

In 1964 they had four 15 ft. models: XL155 Sunlounger; XL155 Runabout; Castaway; and Jolly Boat. The Castaway and Jolly Boat are tri-hulls.

The Sunlounger has fold down back-to-back seats. The Runabout has forward facing bucket seats. This is the only difference betwwen these two models. Her length is 15'-6" and they had a maximum HP rating of 90 HP.

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Sunlounger, Runabout or Tri-Hull

Postby 1964chris » Tue Sep 09, 2008 7:36 pm

I now believe my Corsair must be a Sunlounger since it has the back to back seats. Please excuse my newbie ignorance, but does a tri-hull look like a boston whaler type of boat? There is a Corsair advertised as a tri-hull on the trading dock. I thought it was a whaler in disguise. Please set me straight.
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Postby Thommyboy » Wed Sep 10, 2008 5:36 am

A tri-hull has three "points" in front lieu of a single one smack dap in the middle. Yes, Boston Whaler had and has many tri-hull models.

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Postby Bill Basler » Thu Sep 11, 2008 10:09 am

The Corsair that is on Trading Dock is a Castaway, which is a very "Whaler-like" hull.

Image

And, yes, this is a tri-hull. Keep in mind that all builders of tri-hulls had their own approach to this hull design. Some were essentially deep V hulls with smaller outer "sponsons." Others were truly three Vs with the outer two almost as deep as the center one. Some called them tri-hulls, others call them cathedral hulls...then there's quadra-lift...inverted V, dual inverted V, Aqua-lift....on and on. All of these were various manufacturers attempts to build a better tri-hull design.

There is more on the Castaway in the archive at www.chris-craft.org/archive

Keyword, "Castaway"
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