But by far the trickiest part of the project, says Alan, was fitting modern technology to the boat – and keeping it hidden to preserve the old lady’s character.
Consider the original mechanical rod steering – now replaced with a hydraulic Seastar system. Fitting it required an innovative solution involving a custom-designed, chain-driven steering box. The installation was further complicated because there are two helm stations – saloon and cockpit.
And the galley’s original ice-box. On the outside it’s still the period accessory – but within it’s been converted into an electric fridge. You’ll be pressed to find the stereo, speakers and fish finder. They’re hidden in the forepeak, behind the helm. Both are controllable via Bluetooth, with the fish finder being displayed on an iphone or ipad.
Craig Marine’s team built a new saloon table, and it’s a far more ‘flexible’ design than the original: it can be lowered and, using the settee squabs, converts into a modest double bed. I particularly like the tap over the galley sink. Still the original manual ‘pump’ model, it too has benefitted from an electric modification.
Slàinte is the only Chris-craft of her kind in New Zealand – and what a glorious addition to the Lake Rotoiti classic launch fleet she is. As one overseas admirer has observed: this is a beautiful boat, beautifully done, in a beautiful part of the world! What more could one ask for?
Resplendent in paint and varnished mahogany - just as she was launched 72 years ago.