Dream Boats

For the lucky few who own Chris-Crafts on Indiana’s lakes, the history of the wooden vessels is what really floats their boat.

1947 Chris-Craft Deluxe
Owned by Mike McBride
Lake James

“This boat was junk when I bought it 10 years ago at the Antique Boat Center in Cincinnati. I tore it apart and redid it. Now, it’s about 90 percent new wood. Chris-Crafts are really pretty boats—they’re like furniture. And everyone loves the distinctive ‘lub-dub’ sound the old motors make. At the boat show in Angola, everyone starts their motors at the same time, and it always draws people over to the piers.”


Mahogamous Affair
“Mahogamous Affair”

“Mahogamous Affair”
1952 Chris-Craft Racing Runabout
Owned by Denny Friesel
Lake Lemon

“My brother-in-law bought this boat in Las Vegas in 1986. Two years later, he decided he didn’t want it, so I paid a trucker to drive it to Bloomington. When it got here, it was the saddest-looking thing you ever saw. My wife suggested burning it. But after four years and $5,000 of work, it’s absolutely beautiful. When it’s not on Lake Lemon, we take it cruising on the Tennessee, Ohio, and St. Johns rivers.”


At Last
“At Last”

“At Last”
1939 Chris-Craft Barrel Back
Owned by Bob Orben
Grandview Lake

“My father bought this boat in 1944. About 50 years later, he gave it to me with the understanding that I’d build a boathouse for it at Grandview. Last fall, I was introduced to a wooden boat craftsman in Cincinnati who I engaged to do a major restoration including a new bottom and extensive rib, frame, transom, and varnish work. It has since been rechristened, and I’m so glad to see it back on the lake.”