Sterling 63' Chris Craft Restoration - RC Groups
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Dec 07, 2006, 01:17 AM
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Sterling 63' Chris Craft Restoration

I am restoring a Sterling Chris Craft 63' and started a blog I will continue the thread here instead at the suggestion of other users. This is my first boat model so I am looking for all the input I can get. In fact most of what I have posted so far originated from the suggestions of others. I will try to post more forward looking threads in an effort share knowledge and to avoid doing bad things to this old boat.
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Dec 07, 2006, 03:06 AM
Custom Course Wrecker..
Welcome Strapat!

Dec 07, 2006, 01:37 PM
Registered User
Will do- please check out the blog link for pictures I have already posted.

Dec 07, 2006, 05:42 PM
Boats on the brain!!
green-boat's Avatar
Welcome to the forum strapats.
Dec 07, 2006, 07:37 PM
Grumpa Tom
Kmot's Avatar
strapats: Glad you came over to the Scale forum! Your resto is going to be awesome!
Dec 08, 2006, 12:22 PM
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Hope so (that its going to be awesome) It's a little nerve racking at times as I am navigating new waters but I am really enjoying it.
Dec 08, 2006, 08:06 PM
Registered User
Hello Strapats,
Welcome to the forum. Your work on your Chris-Craft is inspiring to those of us who are also fortunate enough to have a model like yours in need of work. I like your methodical, unhurried approach to the project; she's going to be a beaut. As others have asked, pictures please, when you can. They are a real help to those of us who will be doing some of the same things to our models at some point in the future.
For example, I really like the way you simulated the white caulk in the deck material of your boat; you made it look easy, and it looks very authentic. I am going to apply your technique to the decking of my smaller Chris-Craft model. It neatly solves a problem that I have been wrestling with; thank you for your effective solution.
Last edited by jeepers1940; May 21, 2008 at 02:45 PM.
Dec 08, 2006, 09:50 PM
Registered User


The transom is finally coming together after a disaster on the first try. See blog. I did a couple of things differently this time. I formed the mahogany first, soaking it in water and then clamping it over a form. I also stood the boat on end and used weight to hold it down while the epoxy cured as I did with the decking. I then cut a new piece of mahogany to go around along the back edge (which also creats a pocket for the rear deck to go into. The next steps will be completing the toe rail and molding on the sides. I am using strips of mahogany for the toe rail and 5/64 bass 1/2 rounds from Bluejacket for the molding. The molding really makes a big difference, accentuating the lines of the boat and adding visual detail. Then I just need to cut and install the bang rails and painting the hull can commence.
Dec 08, 2006, 10:10 PM
Registered User

New nose

The nose on the boat was not shaped correctly when I received it but even so I really did not want to shave it off just because it was such an old boat. But I committed to restoring her so off it came. Shaving the nose off helped simplify the deckwork. Anyway, once the new deck was in place I cut a new nose for her per the original Sterling plans. I aquired the plans via an eBay member who purchased a complete original kit and was kind enough to make copies. They have been invaluable. If anyone needs copies I would be glad to make a set at cost. Pictures of the deckwork as well as details of the driveline installation and interior restoration can be viewed at the
Dec 08, 2006, 10:30 PM
Registered User
Looking very nice, Strapats!

Nice tool for bending the mahogany planks for the transom- probably could take more bending force than the hull and is easer to clamp to while the wood cools/drys!

the new nose looks great- these were large, prominant features on the foredecks of 1950's C*C's- you've captured it very well!

I had a chance to look at my reference book on C*C's

the 63' MY was built during 1953-54-
only 3 were made-
hull sides =white
boot top (waterline) =Red
bottom paint =Copper Bronze
Cabin top color =Light Gray
Upholstery =Chartereuse

Dec 08, 2006, 10:55 PM
Registered User
Thanks so much for the information Aerominded. I've been wondering when they were built. I knew not many were. Those were the colors I was hoping for. I will probably have the hull primed by the end of the month- not sure how much I will get done over the holidays.

I will be working on the toe rail next. They start as pretty elaborate curved pieces coming off the nose and trailing off to thin beads at the stearn.

I have built r/c cars since I was a kid, mostly Tamiya, however I noticed I really like working with the raw materials though on this project. I really enjoyed incorporating and engineering the drivetrain. Figuring out how you will make something work. I really appreciate the engineering that goes into the new generation of rc vehicals, but there is something about building from raw materials that you don't get from building RTR or almost RTR.

Happy Holidays everyone.
Dec 08, 2006, 11:06 PM
Registered User
I agree, working on wooden model boats is a real pleasure! from working with the materials to coming up with 'engineering' solutions- all fun! You've done some neat things with your drivetrain on this one- should look very 'scale' when she is done!

You will really enjoy running your Chris Craft too! there are some good clubs up in your area-
Dec 09, 2006, 12:38 AM
Grumpa Tom
Kmot's Avatar
strapats, you are doing quite a superior job. Are you sure you are a newbie???
Dec 09, 2006, 12:41 AM
Registered User
E-Challenged's Avatar

Good Project

I have the same model, you may have seen my recent thread with pictures. I was interested in your two motor/prop setup. Other than realism, will independant control of each motor give some advantage in docking maneuvers? I was surprised how little control I had in reverse, with little water flow over the single rudder. However, reverse is very useful in killing forward movement as when heading for the cement edge of the pond.
Dec 09, 2006, 02:46 PM
Registered User
Kmot- I am a newbie to scale boats but I built models as a kid/teenager, have a BA in Art and worked as a cabinet maker for about 10 years. I draw a lot from experience when I am trying to solve a problem but I have also received really good advice from folks like yourself- specific to building boats. I really appreciate constructive criticism and dont offend easily.

E-Challenged. I saw your boat and was thoroughly impressed. I check out the pics you posted for reference often. Many thanks. I was told by the guy at MACK that independent controls would allow more maneuvering. He said I should be able to turn the boat without much forward/reverse movement which sounded pretty cool. We were at the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival last summer and I watched a few of the big yachts perform what appeared to be this manuever- they were jammed in pretty tight and didn't have much room to go forward or reverse- just kind of turned out from the dock. Again I am new so it will be a learning experience- decided if I was going to do it I would go big.

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