"PERIOD CORRECT" Restoration Items

Early Crestliner and Larson (pre-Crestliner) boats from mostly from the 1950's and 60's. 70's owners welcome, no 70's catalogs yet, but please send us any for this site.~ Discussion, information, questions, etc.

"PERIOD CORRECT" Restoration Items

Postby alumaniac » Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:02 pm

Having done two restorations of 1950's era aluminum runabouts, I can't help wondering if there are original equipment accessories specific to certain manufacturers? For example, many whom I've consulted who consider themselves experts on Feather Craft models reminded me that boats were typically rigged by dealers from whom clients bought them, and that typically bare hulls were delivered by factories to their dealer network. Moreover, it was pointed out that dealers of specific makes of boats also were dealers for specific accessories supplied by various manufacturers. Accessories often were part of a dealer's "package deal" installed by, or sold, to customers who preferred to rig a boat themselves. Assuming this was a common practice, it follows that Larson/Crestliner followed the same business model.

If the foregoing is accurate, does anyone know if there is a "specific" make of accessories that were common to the many models made by Crestliner? We know, for example, that Airguide instruments were in widespread use in the growing "family" boat industry, and bare bones craft for waterfowl hunters and fishers. It's safe to assume that boat manufacturers didn't manufacturer navigation lights, anchors, rope and chain, horns, etc., supporting the growing number of boat dealers. I'm unaware of specific boat brand accessory products--except particular high-end sales--that underpins "Specific Runabout", or "Specific Fisherman", etc., sold and installed exclusively for Mr. Bluecollar. Sears Roebuck, Western Auto, Montgomery Ward, and perhaps other lesser known regional outlets sold a variety of accessories, many endorsed by well known sports figures such as Ted Williams, for example, that were installed on many small craft by their owners.

Do any among us know for sure if accessory manufacturers supplied "specific" boat manufacturers of the period, or are many "vintage", "era-specific" accessories very likely among the types and brands that dealers installed on craft that they rigged for their clients? Please remember: Dealers were the dreaded middle-man who swore on their mother's eyes that X brand light was endorsed by X builder.
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Re: "PERIOD CORRECT" Restoration Items

Postby OutBdNut » Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:48 pm

Yes - Crestliner had accessory catalogs and this stuff could be ordered on the boats from the factory. Dad's 1958 Voyager14 had lights, steering wheel and hardware put on at the factory. It was ordered that way by another person who did not take the boat when it came in. My Uncle worked at the dealer and then told my Dad about it and he bought it. Note that dealer ordered boats but stocked very few, as it was a Mercury car dealership in Minneapolis (Northside Mercury) and boats were a mere sideline. All of the many items on his boat, except for a minor difference in the stern light lens still show in the 1960 accessories catalog that is on this site. Link Below:

http://retrocrestliner.com/1960%20Crestliner%20accessories.pdf

...and the "standard" Crestliner steering wheels back then were nothing more than a stock Attwood steering wheel with the round deco ring at the center saying Crestliner instead of Attwood. Not sure if Attwood offered one in red and white like the Crestliners.
57 Viking14 730 w/aft deck, splashwell, and folding seatbacks
57 Commander 12 Custom Deluxe 550
57 Viking 14 701 (Heavily Modified)
58 Cadillac Rivera (Not a Crestliner, but still cool!)
Dozens of old outboards
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Re: "PERIOD CORRECT" Restoration Items

Postby Johnny_inFL » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:01 am

Dave - on that list, I do not see the bow handle that is popular
on the late '50s models . . . any idea of when it appeared and
why so popular? (oh, I'll take a pair of stern handles for a dollar, please).
Attachments
cl handle.png
1959 Crestliner Commodore 14'
1958 Johnson 35 RDE-19
1958 Johnson 35 RDS-20 Super Seahorse
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Re: "PERIOD CORRECT" Restoration Items

Postby OutBdNut » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:59 am

Johnny_inFL wrote:Dave - on that list, I do not see the bow handle that is popular
on the late '50s models . . . any idea of when it appeared and
why so popular? (oh, I'll take a pair of stern handles for a dollar, please).



I believe the bow handle is not in the accessories catalog because it was a standard item on all boats with a front deck, whether the deck was short or long, and didn't fit on boats with no front deck.

I'm not sure what year that handle was introduced, but I'm thinking 1956, when all wood gunnels disappeared - maybe on some 1955 models with aluminum gunnels, or maybe introduced part way into 1955.

The catalogs here show the handle in 1956 but not 1955, but we have found catalog photos are not always correct, as the photos were taken a couple months before each year started, and changes were sometimes made between photoshoot time and model year introduction, or mid year. One of the most notable catalog inaccuracies due to early photoshoots is the 1958 catalog having 1957 Crestliner logos on the sides of the boats.

Maybe others here with mid-1950s boats can shed light on the year that bow handle was introduced on various models??
Dave
57 Viking14 730 w/aft deck, splashwell, and folding seatbacks
57 Commander 12 Custom Deluxe 550
57 Viking 14 701 (Heavily Modified)
58 Cadillac Rivera (Not a Crestliner, but still cool!)
Dozens of old outboards
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Re: "PERIOD CORRECT" Restoration Items

Postby alumaniac » Sun Jun 25, 2017 12:01 pm

Johnny_inFL wrote:Dave - on that list, I do not see the bow handle that is popular
on the late '50s models . . . any idea of when it appeared and
why so popular? (oh, I'll take a pair of stern handles for a dollar, please).


I'm pretty sure it appeared not too many years following the end of WWII, and well before the Tet Offensive.
You can trust the government. Just ask any Indian.
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