MARKETWATCH: Doing the math on a 1940 23-foot Chris-Craft Runabout

There were only 31 very desirable Chris-Craft 23-foot triple-cockpit barrel backs made in 1940, and every single one deserves to be saved. The 23-foot version is bigger than the most popular 19-foot version, so it’s useable on larger bodies of water, and yet it is still easily trailerable.

This project was found languishing in the hands of a do-it-yourselfer who had lots of professional work done: bottom replaced, windshield re-chromed and ready to install, instruments restored, and original Chris-Craft 6-cylinder Model MS engine rebuilt. Unfortunately, the owner got in a bit over his head on the rest of it, and lost interest over time.

At $40,000, it was both well-sold – we found someone who could do the math, see the value and was willing to take on a project in process – and well-bought, as the value of the work already completed exceeded the purchase price.

Now it’s up to us at Freedom Boat Service to put the puzzle back together, and see if we can do so within the presumed market value of $150,000. It’ll be close, but we’ll be doing the math along the way.

Dave Bortner is President at Freedom Boat Service LLC, in Mound, Minn.

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