|Something Old, Something New|
Driving around an antique boat show in a brand-new Chris-Craft—ya can’t beat it!
By Capt. Bill Pike — May 2003
My art production editor and staff photographer Matt Helminski and I started off that morning last August at Red’s Sandwich Shop, reportedly the best spot in Salem, Massachusetts, for bacon, eggs, home fries, hot, black coffee, and toast. The day looked like it was going to be a beaut. Golden shafts of sunshine slanted through the maples outside, presaging superb meteorological conditions. Folks were already strolling towards Hawthorne Cove Marina, site of the 20th-Annual Boston Antique & Classic Boat Festival. And John McGee had just cellphoned with a jovial all’s well!
“Boat’s ready to go,” I relayed to Helminski, grinning. He nodded, politely declining to talk with his mouth full. Chris-Craft, via one of its dealers—Bosun’s Marine of nearby Mashpee on Cape Cod—had agreed to loan us a brand-new 25-foot Open Launch in which to drive around the festival. McGee, a sales guy for Bosun’s, had just called to let me know what slip the Launch was parked in. He’d also asked if he, his wife Michelle, and their kids Cody and Michael could spend at least part of the day driving around with us. He was obviously psyched about the festival. But then, so was I. The prospect of using a long, lithe, two-toned bowrider to cruise the fairways of one of the most genteel antique boat shows in the world was alluring. But even more alluring was the wild juxtaposition that the adventure promised. Several vessels bearing the famous Chris-Craft logo were going to be on hand, some darn near as old as me. How cool would it be to skim past in a modern fiberglass speedster with the exact same logo?
Once our party of kids and grownups was comfortably stowed onboard, backing the Launch out of her slip proved easy enough, thanks to the bite of a Volvo Penta Duoprop drive and the quiet oomph of a 420-hp V-8. Shortly the festival began to unfold dead ahead, a bright panoply of flags and streamers, motes of sunlight glancing off varnished mahogany, and hundreds of folks crowding onto the docks, some wearing period costumes, some wearing conventional clothing, and some adding Tilley hats, belt knives, earrings, and tattoos to whatever ensemble they’d come up with. A lone bagpiper strolled amid the throng in Scottish rig, his booming tones competing manfully with the strains of what sounded like—at least from afar—a harp. After dropping Helminski off on an obliging finger pier so he could begin shooting, we continued on down the main fairway looking to confirm this rather odd observation.
This article originally appeared in the April 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.