1932 Chris-Craft Racing Runabout gets a new MBBW  bottom!

Note: this boat is being restored for our customer and is NOT for sale.

This 1932, 18 footer had the original bottom still on it and still quite serviceable!  Not bad for 72 years of use!

Deck hardware, engine, gas tank, propeller shaft and rudder, steering wheel and interior were all removed to permit the roll over.

We carefully rolled the boat over in preparation for bottom removal.

Upside down and ready to go.

Brian grinds the bottom paint off to reveal screws.  The screws are removed in so that the bottom planks can be preserved during the removal process.

One-half of the original bottom is removed.  The outer planking is labeled and retained to make patterns for the new bottom.

The frames will be assessed and repaired as needed...

This is what's left of the old inner bottom.  It will be replaced with all new, premium marine-grade mahogany plywood registered with Lloyd's of London.

Uncovering screws on the other half so that they can be turned or drilled out.

The other half of the bottom is removed.

What is left of the other half of the inner bottom.

The keel and chines have been removed to facilitate frame repair.  We will likely need to replace both chines, but the keel will be reused.

There is some rot in the structural areas that will need to be addressed.

Frames that have deterioration (top) have been removed and are used as patterns to make new frames (bottom) from African mahogany.

All new frames for the bottom.

Brian makes new chines with laminated African mahogany by claming in place while the adhesive cures achieving the exact curve of the boat at the chine.

Transom frame repair and replacement.

New transom framing complete.

Prior to fitting the inner bottom, Brian installs and fits chines as well as makes keel repairs.

Team MBBW review the framework in anticipation of dry fitting the inner bottom plywood.

Inner plywood layer fastened and glued.

Glue cured, the plywood is sealed and varnished.

Brian makes and fits outer mahogany planking, pay close attention to fit and pre spacing to allow for expansion. 

Once dry fit, the planks were removed, sealed and varnished.  

Planks are permanently attached with stainless screws and Boat-life adhesive (instead of the usual 3M-5200, at customer's request).  In between the inner and outer layers, Brian installed hull canvas and bedding compound.

March 14, 2006 the initial water test!  A cold day, but the new bottom preformed wonderfully, with a soft & stable ride, good in the turns without dive or pitch, planed off well with a level riding bow and no "porpoising".  From here we will proceed with final assembly.


The new MBBW bottom is twice as strong as the original, will still flex and move and will not trap moisture (unlike the hard epoxy bottoms) and will be nearly completely leak proof needing no pre-soaking at the start of the season.  

"Jitterbug" is complete and beautiful once again.  With the new MBBW bottom, she is ready for the next 72 years of use!


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Macatawa Bay Boat Works
297 S. Maple Street  Saugatuck, MI 49453
Phone:  (269) 857-4556  Fax: (269) 857-4218
E-Mail:  sales@mbbw.com