For sale: 1953 Chris Craft Rocket 16-17 foot mahogany Run-A-Bout. I live on a lake in Connecticut that does not allow any gasoline powered boats. I looked for about a year for a wooden boat, then finally found an ad in Wooden Boat Magazine for this Chris Craft Run-A-Bout with a motor that needed to be rebuilt. I called and found out that the boat was actually in Groton CT at their summer home. I looked at it and bought it a week later. The boat had a complete new bottom when I bought it, but really needed a good restoration. After the restoration, I sent it to Beckmann Limited in North Kingston, Rhode Island for the electric conversion, with a strong emphasis on “DON”T HURT THIS BOAT!” The conversion is remarkable and extremely professional. The mount for the electric motor is bolted into the original mounting place for the gas engine. Is it fast? No. I have no speedometer, but the electric pontoon boaters tell me that I’m quicker than they are. Our lake is only 3 miles around, so even at 5-6 miles an hour, or so, you can have a really nice ride. The more volts you eat up, the quicker you kill the batteries, obviously. The original prop is used in conjunction with a different shaft, but I can’t remember if it is longer or shorter right at the moment. The system is a 36 volt system, so it has 6-6 volt batteries on board (deep cycle of course) and a stainless steel battery charger on board. You can run for hours on a full charge, at a moderate speed. When you get back to the dock, you simply plug it in to the outlet dockside.
The original (complete) motor, transmission, drive shaft, gauges, and anything else from the boat, is included. Please remember, I did not rebuild the original gas motor, but rather kept everything in case I ever wanted to convert it back to gas. The wiring from the original set-up has NOT been cut up, but instead new wiring was used for the electrical conversion and gauges. The original harness is still in place in the boat. Yes, it still has its bilge pump and all. I also left the shifter in place, and was going to actually make that functional, but instead, I am still using a toggle switch for forward and reverse, but that works perfectly, too.
The boat has just received its second restoration in 12 years. This time the interior was changed from red naugahyde, to a much richer looking pine green marine naugahyde, the interior and exterior completely stripped to bare wood, refastened, re-plugged, and correctly re-finished. I had it in the water for about a week last fall (the restoration was only finished in September ’12) and I put a few run hours on it just to make sure everything was working perfectly, it was, so back into the garage it went. The boat comes with the trailer it sits on, however, I would need a few days to put new tires on it, rewire it, and put new lights on it for long distance travel. I only go 8 miles to the lake, then 8 miles to the garage when the season ends, so it’s fine as is for my light use.
Also included in the sale of the boat is a Shore Station electric/hydraulic boat lift (not pictured). You never need to cover the boat. Put the boat in the lift, push a button to raise it right under the cover awning, how cool is that? I paid thousands just for the lift. The lift was damaged by the snow in 2012 winter, all 42” of it in one storm. It now needs a new top kit which consists of the entire aluminum roof bow system, and the new fabric cover. The rest of the lift was uneffected. I will provide the new kit if sold for the buy-it-now price, but will have it shipped directly to you. The sale will include the waterproof wiring from the lift to the shore, about 50 feet I believe. (The wiring is for under-water use. I ran it in PVC pipe under my aluminum dock, but getting it wet is fine.) Sale will also include an additional six brand new deep cycle marine batteries. That’s about it. There are many “electric only” lakes in this country. If you live on one, and want the coolest boat on the lake, it’s in my garage waiting for you! How many surviving Rockets have you seen? I’m sure you realize, I have a ton of money invested in this boat, if you think I don’t, try building one like it. Please contact me for pictures at firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you! Wire transfers, or cash, after $1000.00 Paypal deposit. Buyer is responsible for transport of boat to new location.