Joined: August 27 2007
|Posted: August 27 2007 at 18:32 | IP Logged
I made a personal decision in 1999, to buy the boat I want to retire on, buy it right, fit it out the way I want to, and save a few bucks along the way. I hired a good broker, Eric Horst's Bayport Yachts in Maryland. After looking at dozens of boats, Oceans, Hats, Jeffersons, SeaRays, Eggs, adnaseum, I settled on a Constellation 501. I looked at 5, and settled on the first 501 built, HIN#111, built in 1987-8, launched in 1988, a Swansboro vessel. She is 3SR, galley down, honey teak. she had 610 hours on her at 12 years old.
The first owner fit her out basically, took exceptional cosmetic and mechanical care of her, and used her very little. This caused only a few issues, but has so many benefits. She had resided in the Chesapeake's benig waters and was spoiled.
So the games begun, Basics in '99, cosmetics, HVAC, davit, dinghy, VHF. Since 1999, a total refit. Every system, hose, fitting, water tanks, pumps, waste systems, heads, all electronics current, every room interior, salon and galley lighting, all fabrics, carpets, pads, insulation, galley, stereos, home theaters, wine frig, canvas, bimini frames, ext lighting, teak, dumped the leaky fairings, side boards. In 2004 a total rebuilding and restoration of the engine room, and in 2005 a 100% "screw off" exterior refinishing including all doors, hatches, windows, AWLCRAFT, signage, railings, reconfigured flybridge rails fairings, and Canvas. I gave birth.
So it's 2007, I bought her for 30% of what the original owner paid, had the best craftsmen in the country do it all, with the help of a great captain, MB Gentry (who also did a bunch of the teak cabinet work inside). Invested $170k over 7 years and I have a hand crafted yacht,better than the day she left Swansboro, for less than 25% of a new offering, with better structural, finishing and cabinet work than you can buy today.
But most importantly, I learned every inch of her, chatted with and learned from folks that designed, built, and fitted her out. I have sources for every critical component, every custom chris part (including the switches) and have many learnings to share for any 501 owner. I love the 501 class, and WILL retire on Resolute. At 20 years old, she has 880 hours on the engines, and according to the experts (who did the minors) will be broken in at 1000 hours. I figure I will get there in 2009.
So any 501 owner seeking to endeavor into the ultimate Chris Craft restoration, Please let me know if I can help.
I havent figured out how to post a pic, so I gave in. Anyone interested, Advise. I have a total structural blueprint and photo archive of the whole journey.
1987 Chris Craft Constellation 501
Hull #1 (HIN #111)
Geoff Davis, Owner