'69 Super Sport gauge help

'69 Super Sport gauge help

Joined: April 5th, 2008, 6:00 am

February 22nd, 2011, 6:00 am #1

I am beginning to restore my recently acquired 69 Super Sport and since its transdrive hull #1 and was the show boat for the '69 NY boat show, I really want to get the restoration as accurate as possible. As you can see below, the gauges for my SS (left) are smaller and different than all other Super Sports and XK 19s I have found so far: (I realize the steering wheel is aftermarket and will address that soon)



From the back it certainly looks like the gauge holes are original and fit the smaller gauges:



I found an ABC World News archive with Peter Jennings on the '69 NY Boat Show and it shows the Super Sport on the showroom floor but the archive quality is about as good as the moon landing and I can't see the gauges very clearly at all



The full 2 min 40 second video is here: http://www.hold4five.com/nyboatshow.html (right click for full screen)


Hey Paul, do you know who may have been around at Chris Craft back in the day and would recall if the early 1969 Commander Super Sports had the smaller gauges or not? Wink wink, nudge nudge... Chris Smith or Dick Avery maybe?

I like the bigger guages but don't want to go cutting out the dash unless I can confirm which way to go here.

Confused in Seattle

Jim
74 Commander TF
69 Super Sport
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Paul
Paul

February 22nd, 2011, 3:26 pm #2

Jim,

I enlarged the photo, sharpened it, and was surprised to find myself in the photo.
I don't know how you got this photo of me at work, but somehow this one leaked out.
Here I am at the office, under lots of stress, handling technical details and multi-tasking.


As for the gauges, since this is #1, and discussing how boats were prepared for shows
with Chris Smith, I know at times they were put together quickly and wisked off in a
flash to meet a deadline. I would not be too fast to cut into the dash of that boat.
I think you can tell by looking closely if the holes cut for the instruments are original
size or if perhaps there is some kind of an overlayment over a dash with larger holes.
I would not be surprised if the small instruments were installed by CC for the first of
the series. We can seek another really early boat to see, but it is also possible that
this "show model" is the ONLY one with this setup.

It is absolutely AMAZING that you found that video, by the way. I will nose around and
see if I can find anything, but a detail like this is going to be pretty far out there
in the fog. I would look under the dash for forensic evidence. Also, if the gauges are
CC and not aftermarket, then you may have a real unique setup.

I have to get back to work now.....later.

Regards, best,

Paul
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Joined: April 5th, 2008, 6:00 am

February 24th, 2011, 1:39 am #3

But somebody's got to do it, right! Hey that's just Janet and her friends nudge nudge, wink wink

Forensically it looks certain the smaller gauges were original because the holes are cut directly into the wood dash backing which appears to be fiberglased directly to the boat from the factory. If bigger gauges were original then the dash would have filler pieces or the dash would show signs of being replaced and neither is evident at all.

With Dick Avery behind the design of this boat I would think he would be involved with the early ones and debut of the model at the boat show in '69 and would likely recall the different gauges. Please let me know if you are able to confirm anything.

I would actually prefer the larger gauges as they look much better (and I already bought a set on eBay before the boat arrived ) Obvioulsy I will go with the originals once they are confirmed.

Thanks for any help here...

Anybody out there ever seen these smaller gauges?

Jim
Seattle
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Mike W
Mike W

February 24th, 2011, 11:26 am #4

Send some close ups to Dale Kocian at Kocian Instruments. He has seen most of them and does amazing work. I had the pleasure of dropping mine off when we lived in Sturgeon Bay/DePere and you have never seen so many parts and units in various stages. Of course it would have cost less to UPS them from SB but then I would not have had the opportunity to meet him and see his shop.

It is frustrating at times but have fun!

Mike
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Paul
Paul

February 24th, 2011, 2:57 pm #5

I am a big fan of Dale Kocian, he did a magnificient job for me and he is one heck of a craftsman. He is also a good guy, who will do exactly what he said he would do, and more. Old world integrity and state of the art repair work. Can't beat it.

Paul
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Paul
Paul

February 24th, 2011, 4:45 pm #6



Jim,

If you have looked at the backside of the dashboard and the instruments are in fact, original size, then there are two thoughts that come to mind. They could be original instruments or aftermarket instruments of original size. If they are original then they most likely came from another CC model. My 1966 Corsair (Sea Skiff) had some pretty rare instruments that Dale had seen before, but he said "these don't come around too often", as they were limited to the Corsair boats it seems.


Here is a photo of Alan Jackson's Commander Super Sport, that I took at our YC on the Cumberland River a few years ago.



Original marketing literature shows the larger instruments like the Jackson boat.




This photo shows the fiberglass backing to the dash, and if the fiberglass holes for instruments are not repaired to accept smaller ones, it seems dead certain the ones in your boat were smaller as a first gap prep for the show. Wonder where they got em? Most likely from a 19' Lancer is my guess.




Here on this Corsair XL-175 seems to be a small instrument like yours.



Here is a close up, rather foggy, of Bill Basler's XL-175


Those instruments of yours are most likely from one of the other production models in the shop at the time your first boat was built. Then later as production ramped up, they started using more of a standard instrument from some of the other boats from Michigan stock, rather than the New York (Cortland) stock? Interesting stuff, following the trail this many years later.



Here is a close up of the Corsair instruments from my Skiff, remember the 19' Commander was made under the same roof as my 1966 Corsair Sea Skiff. These are a rather rare size, smaller than some of the bigger CC gauges, and larger than some of the smallest stuff. Dale was able to even find another bezel for me, as one turned out to be brass and the other steel, for some reason the tach used a different type than the other gauge. He also replaced the electric internals so these would function as well as they looked.


Mike's comment about sending Dale some close up photos and then following up with a phone call is a good one. He'll be able to tell you a lot about what you have, but he won't be able to verify if they were original to that particular show boat.

Regards,

Paul


















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Joined: April 5th, 2008, 6:00 am

February 26th, 2011, 6:32 am #7

The information below is the same as detailed in the other thread... I am confident I know which gauges are correct for my 69 Super Sport! Yippee!!



I believe I finally have the unique dash and gauge layouts for the Super Sports and XK 19s all figured out...

1969 V-DRIVES - large chrome Chris Craft gauges (like Alan Jackson's):



1969 TRANSDRIVES - small Stewart Warner gauges to the left with switch cluster to the right of the wheel: (like the boat from Texas a few years ago and my hull#1 transdrive)



1970+ XK19s - small Stewart Warner gauges with switch cluster in the center of the dash: (Pic courtesy of Jonathan of Macatawa Boat works)



Am I nuts or does this appear to make sense?

Jim
Seattle

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Paul
Paul

February 26th, 2011, 10:14 am #8

Hi Jim,

I met Larry when I went to Mt. Dora (Tavares) boat show in 2009 in order to have fun and to also be sure I had a conversation with Chris Smith about attending the Commander event I co-hosted that year. Larry had the ONLY FIBERGLASS CHRIS CRAFT at the show. What a MAN! Here he is with ARRRGH! (a term made popular by the "Snoopy" cartoons), which is a 1970 version of the 19 foot hull, this one also with a transdrive setup.

This guy is a hero! It takes guts to take a fiberglass boat to a high-end show like this, and I have to tell you, he is part of the FIBERGLASS REVOLUTION now taking place within antique and classic boating circles. Many of the guys at these shows still sort of resent seeing fiberglass, but I have to tell you I have seen it first hand at the highest level within ACBS, the secretly admire these classic Chris Craft Commanders, and no names need be mentioned, but some of them have approached me about what model to buy, and some have even taken the plunge. The Commanders are gaining respect and fast. The Lancers and Corsair sport boats like the XK and all Lancer models are right there too. It's fun to see it in play like this.

I had a nice chat with Larry on the docks, you can see the Tavares Boat Show facilities are very lacking, can not hold a candle to Mt Dora where the show was held for years prior to getting into a pissing match with the city government over their poor docks, fees, etc., and then the show moved down lake to Tavares. I hear they're improving things now. All of the people at this particular dock were required to back in and hook to that cable, and you can see which way the wind was blowing. Not a good situation for some of the really priceless boats that were there, or this fiberglass beauty. This group is rather proficient with the boat handling, by the way. Larry is an ACBS member, you could probably look him up and have a nice conversation with him, as these guys love to talk boats like we do!

Maybe we'll go to the show this year, still up in the air. We've had a lot of expenses on our ding dang cottage renovation, and more to come I understand from the boss. Actually it would be worth it just to get down there at near by Mt. Dora and have a martini or three and dinner at Pices Rising.





The dashboard is hereby documented as a 1970 XK, which seems to match up with your research too.

When you get your boat done, you will have people like Larry walking the docks, taking a long look, and then asking "who owns this boat, I want to talk with him". The ACBS boat show venue is a lot of fun, I continually tell people that just attending their annual meetings at various places around the country is well worth the price of membership. Of course there are other perks as well.

Regards,

Best,

Paul
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Norm
Norm

February 26th, 2011, 3:59 pm #9

1970 19' I can't recall for sure if this was a V-drive - I imagine it is as that is what I have been hoping to find myself

This one has had a few modifications, it does look like the larger gauges have been retained.



XK19 V-drive



1970 V-drive Interesting this has recessed spots for the gauges. No dash cover as the others have.



1972 V-drive



You are fortunate that these larger gauges are "correct" for the boat. They are the best of the best. I'd do the tweak to have them. Fill and fair the dash, gelcoat it behind too No evidence. I'd personally copy the AJ dash. It's hard to see if the "original" set that came on your 19 would have any chance of looking as good as the other "original" ones?

I'd still send pics to Dale to make sure they are not some special test gauge only used on that boat to develop the design. In my thinking they would have to be somehow "better" then the automotive style black and chrome classics to retain them at the visual expense of not swapping to the candy CC gauges you already have bought. It is like having the Corvette with a Rambler dash IMHO.




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Gary
Gary

February 26th, 2011, 4:04 pm #10

Hi Jim,

I met Larry when I went to Mt. Dora (Tavares) boat show in 2009 in order to have fun and to also be sure I had a conversation with Chris Smith about attending the Commander event I co-hosted that year. Larry had the ONLY FIBERGLASS CHRIS CRAFT at the show. What a MAN! Here he is with ARRRGH! (a term made popular by the "Snoopy" cartoons), which is a 1970 version of the 19 foot hull, this one also with a transdrive setup.

This guy is a hero! It takes guts to take a fiberglass boat to a high-end show like this, and I have to tell you, he is part of the FIBERGLASS REVOLUTION now taking place within antique and classic boating circles. Many of the guys at these shows still sort of resent seeing fiberglass, but I have to tell you I have seen it first hand at the highest level within ACBS, the secretly admire these classic Chris Craft Commanders, and no names need be mentioned, but some of them have approached me about what model to buy, and some have even taken the plunge. The Commanders are gaining respect and fast. The Lancers and Corsair sport boats like the XK and all Lancer models are right there too. It's fun to see it in play like this.

I had a nice chat with Larry on the docks, you can see the Tavares Boat Show facilities are very lacking, can not hold a candle to Mt Dora where the show was held for years prior to getting into a pissing match with the city government over their poor docks, fees, etc., and then the show moved down lake to Tavares. I hear they're improving things now. All of the people at this particular dock were required to back in and hook to that cable, and you can see which way the wind was blowing. Not a good situation for some of the really priceless boats that were there, or this fiberglass beauty. This group is rather proficient with the boat handling, by the way. Larry is an ACBS member, you could probably look him up and have a nice conversation with him, as these guys love to talk boats like we do!

Maybe we'll go to the show this year, still up in the air. We've had a lot of expenses on our ding dang cottage renovation, and more to come I understand from the boss. Actually it would be worth it just to get down there at near by Mt. Dora and have a martini or three and dinner at Pices Rising.





The dashboard is hereby documented as a 1970 XK, which seems to match up with your research too.

When you get your boat done, you will have people like Larry walking the docks, taking a long look, and then asking "who owns this boat, I want to talk with him". The ACBS boat show venue is a lot of fun, I continually tell people that just attending their annual meetings at various places around the country is well worth the price of membership. Of course there are other perks as well.

Regards,

Best,

Paul
After examining the photos of Larry's XK19 I have serious reservations about whether it is a 1970 model: note the angle of the windshield, the addition of a bow mounted horn, chrome engine compartment vents located on the rear hull sides, rap-around bridge and companion seats (vs square back), change of the location of the rear lifting ring and stern pole. Refer to PeterVanderho's website: www.xk19.com for photos of one of his early XK that appears to be a similar vintage, with the exception of the flush mounted siesta pad incorporated in the engine hatch. I believe that Larry's boat maybe a 1973 or 1974 XK19 that was repainted blazer blue similar to the color offered on the 69 Commander Super Sport and 1970 XK19's? Just a thought?
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