1955 Chris Craft Sea Skiff 18 – Mark Pottenger

by Sherwood Heggen

A 1956 Chris Craft Sea Skiff 18 with a Chris Craft B is the subject this Boats in Process restored by Mark Pottenger, a four year member of BSLOL from Brooklyn Park, MN. Mark showed pity to this neglected boat by purchasing it from a well-meaning person who never got around to doing anything with it.

It was Oct 1955 when this boat was delivered new to Minnetonka Boatworks and a lot of use, neglect and hard times showed on this boat by the time Mark purchased it 44 years later. It came to Mark with a number of problems not limited to a rotten transom, bottom planking, frames, and port side stringer plus a frozen engine and steering assembly. Mark acquired new woodworking skills in the process of this restoration including steam bending to replace a number of bent frames. The wood problems were corrected and the engine was rebuilt. A 12 volt electronic ignition system was given to the engine for more positive starting and performance. The boat will remain in its original colors and style of wood work.
Mark’s challenge to complete this restoration effort was finding the time to do the work and hunting down parts to make the boat correct to its new condition. A door handle for the bow entry door is still being sought. Anybody have one available?
With the project over 90 percent finished, he has learned that seeking help and advice from other BSLOL Chapter members and the workshops was a major part of getting him through his first restoration. His advice to other BSLOL’ers is to do the same.
A few things remain to do, of the biggest is the wiring, before it can be launched. Sometime this summer, hopefully by boat show, the hull will feel water grace its bottom for the first time in many years.
Way to go Mark! You are one of the special breed of people who would rather see an old wood boat see another day in the water. Thanks for your fine effort and hopes for many hours of trouble free boating!