Thursday, July 22, 2010

Chris Craft Dreams






































Summers on the lakes of the Adirondacks involve all manner of outdoor recreation. When my wife and I vacation with our kids on Upper Saranac Lake we fill the days with canoe trips, swimming, hiking,waterskiing,kayaking,fishing and camping. We have been going to this jewel of upstate New York since 1981. I first went to the Adirondacks with my best friend from college in the Winter of 1981 to ski at Whiteface. The following Summer I had another gracious invitation to visit to Glenn's family on Lake Colby. Glenn( my Lehigh Buddy) and I were knucklehead Frat boy beer- swillers in those days and we thoroughly enjoyed his parent's hospitality on the lake. Days were spent on the dock fishing and swimming and boating. Evenings began with cocktails on the porch and ended with his mother's fabulous dinners and spirited wine- fueled conversations and games of Saranac Spades.
Glenn's family has had a house on Colby since the 1920's and their clan is steeped in Adirondack tradition. His Father lived in Manhattan but actually met his wife on Upper Saranac lake. They are celebrating their 50th Anniversary this Summer with a party at Whiteface Lodge. We will be attending this fete' to pay tribute to a couple that has become like family to my wife and kids and myself.
We have been going to the Lake since before we were married and have ever since...so all 3 of our kids have been there every year since birth. Glenn ended up marrying one of my wife's best friends and they have 2 kids around the same age as ours so it all melds together famously. This Summer will begin with our 2 families camping on an island on Lower Saranac lake for 2 nights and then we will be at a house on Upper Saranac for a week.
This brings me to the purpose of the title and pictures....the boats. While Glenn and I jointly own a 1993 Glasstron 18 ft Ski boat which we keep at the Lake.. ..what I really lust after are the classic Chris Crafts from the 40's and 50's. Upper Saranac Lake has several residents that own fine specimens of these sleek mahogany vessels. When you are out in your modern fiberglass bowrider towing the kids on a tube or waterskis( my son on a wakeboard is pictured above) and one of these classic muscle -cars- of -the- water cruise by, you can only stare longingly and with appreciation of the exemplary style and performance of these classic wodden boats.
Most Chris Craft are powered by 6 cylinder engines and they really move...50 + mph. The powerplants produce a distinctive throaty growl, the lines are breathtaking and the wood is simply gorgeous. A few of the pictures above are of Upper Saranac boats. The one featured with the blue seats is the aptly named "Sportsman" model. I particularly covet that boat. Glenn's Dad has a 4 seater model that he keeps on lake Colby. It is beautiful...but it has been emasculated ...he installed an electric motor to comply with Colby motor restrictions.
The Point, a very exclusive and uber-pricey hotel on Upper Saranac, has a 28 foot Cris Craft that has twin 283's and seats 9. The Point staff takes the guests on cocktail cruises on the lake and it really is a treat to see this boat in use...it is rumoured to be worth nearly $300,000.00.
Since I have 3 kids to put thru college and I do not really need or want the maintanence and up-keep headaches that a classic wooden boat engenders , I do not forsee satisfying my Chris Craft lust in the immediate future. I already have that issue with my 1969 442. So for the time being I will settle for the Glasstron.








9 comments:

old polo said...

What glorious boats! I have lusted for one as well. Lack of money and proximity to a constant level lake means that i to shall lust for a long time. Meanwhile I make do with maintaining a 1960 AH bugeye sprite and a 1965 series lla land rover station wagon. Great pictures, great blog. Thanks for sharing.

Laguna Beach Trad said...

Spent similar time at a friend's house in the Thousand Islands in the 1980s. Drinking, partying, camping, fucking, water-skiing, fishing, invading small Canadian islands hoping the cops wouldn't catch us. Love those boats.

Lucky Dog / The Commish said...

Awesome boats, but we need to also hear about the 442!!

Enjoying your posts,as usual.
Best Regards,
LD
aluckydoglife.blogspot.com

Main Line Sportsman said...

Lucky Dog..check 3/5/10 post titled: "Muscle cars" for report on my 442.
LBT..Thousand Islands area is similar to ADK's in many ways..and our conduct in the 80's sounds similar as well...

Keith said...

Wow. Such beautiful boats. I love being on the water. Both my late grandfathers owned places on the river. It was great to spend the summers down there with them.

J.P. Keese said...

Now that's a power boat. Reminds me of back in the day @ Lake George.

JMW said...

I soooo love Chris Craft boats with an American flag flying in the back. So classic! Alas, I don't see us buying any type of boat in the future. But, we have the next best thing (or, some would say the BEST thing): Friends who have boats. :)

Darrin.. said...

Heh Heh.. I'm the same way. Some dreams can wait until the kids are grown.. AND if my stocks are kind to me! I'd love a little boat like that one. We'll see...

Anonymous said...

Although I already have a sailboat that eats money, I'd love a Chris Craft. *sigh*