Yes I Can

(This article appeared in the Summer 2005 issue of Bone Yard Boats)

Wise Old Saying: “To those who say it can’t be done, please get out of the way of the one doing it.”

One of my long-time subscribers, James Brome of Illinois, sent me some photos and text about the boat he found in the Fall issue of ‘Bone Yard Boats’; it was #44 and is a 1964 Chris Craft Constellation. Here is his story:

Being a subscriber to this fantastic publication, I pour over all the offerings within. I found a 34ft., 1964 Chris Craft that was near her final days and the area code was nearby. “FREE for the asking,” the ad said, so I bee-lined to my marina and bought a slip, called a transporter, paid one dollar ($1) for the boat and didn’t even tell my wife! Actually, for fear of being called an idiot, along with “we’re getting a divorce” or “you don’t know how to do that,” etc.

That said and done, we are now looking back at a very happy venture; even my wife has acquiesced since she has seen the boat in a near finished state and now wants to ride in her.

The boat was very near the point of no return. The entire transom had to be replaced, along with up to 4 ft. on the sides and 2 ft. on the bottom. Even the aft chines and side battens and aft deck were replaced. The ribs were OK, but if the keel would have been rotten I would have thrown in the towel.

During the rebuilding process, it turned into almost a social event at the marina where all the work was done (nice marina operator). Everybody that worked at the marina and the many people who visited, had to stop by and say hello, to check out what I was doing and why. I was even invited to join the local yacht club, met wood workers of the Antique & Classic Boat Society who have national notoriety, plus many others of all ages wanting to see what I was doing and witnessing my progress.

She is named the FOXY LADY because she lives on the Fox River in Waukegan Harbour. In the final word, Ginger, it is to you who I owe this wonderful experience near my retirement. This episode has added to my life and was an event that realized a childhood dream; owning a boat of this size which took 3 years and $15,000.

James referred to Pete Rose of MLB fame as owning a Chris Craft that was 13 feet longer, making it 47ft. I wonder what ever happened to Pete’s boat?

I thank James for his kind words and hope he and his wife enjoy the boat for many years to come. Thanks for such a good story.

[“Ginger” referred to in this article is Ginger Martus, founder of the Bone Yard Boats newsletter.]

© 2005 Bone Yard Boats. All rights reserved.

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