HOMEBOATSGALLERYPROJECTSABOUT USRESOURCES/EVENTSBROKERAGECONTACT US


EULIPION MAINRETROSPECTIVESPECIFICATIONSCC EXPRESS HISTORYPHOTOSARTICLES

"he calls himself a journey agent
a eulipion
says his friends the poets and the artists and the musicians are eulipions too
listen to his tune
he calls it the duty free gift for the traveler"

- Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Return of the    5000 LB Man (1975),
"Theme For The Eulipions"

Following the purchase of a gray hull launch in September 2001 in Northport, Maine, research began to determine the builder of that hull. During the research process, photos of a Chris Craft 25-foot Express Cruiser continued to make an impression.

An Internet search for Chris Craft Red and White Express in December 2001 located a 1947 single engine model without its engine in Mattituck, NY. Phone calls and arrangements ensued; the boat was purchased and picked-up January 26, 2002.

Red & White Express, hull number 206 left the Chris Craft factory June 5, 1947 destined for Muzzio Brothers Yacht Yard in Stamford, Connecticut. Little is known of the boats history from 1947 to the early 1990s, it has been rumored that the boat spent its entire life on the waters of Long Island Sound.

In the late 1990s Tom Hilliker of Vintage Marine located hull 206 in the woods near his home and restoration shop in Mattituck, NY.  He later acquired the boat and added it to his collection of vintage boats, one of which was another 25 Express - restored and sold prior to 2002. Hilliker stored hull 206 and began advertising it for sale in its state of preservation, hoping to attract an individual who would contract Vintage Marine to perform the restoration.

Hull 206 had been advertised as solid and appeared to be intact; looks can be deceiving. The boat was rough at best with very little original hardware. The bottom had been replaced with a combination of two layers of standard 3/8" plywood, roofing tar and fiber-glass. At some point in its years on Long Island Sound, the boat had been painted numerous variations of red, white and blue. The boat was red and white with a mahogany transom when it was purchased in 2002.

Hull 206 arrived in Pittsburgh and was backed into the shop behind the gray hull launch. It was decided that both boats would be "restored" at the same time. Work progressed on both boats until hull 206 had been stripped and turned over. Once the bottom was removed, a task that took approximately 25 minutes, all work stopped on the Express. It was very clear that hull 206 had led a very hard life; all of the bottom frames and knees were broken in multiple places. The plywood, roofing tar and fiberglass had saved the boat.

In addition to the search for the designer/builder of Molet-Mac and additional information on the 25-foot Express, a new search began; locating the missing hardware. Daily eBay searches, along with phone calls and visits to owners of 25-foot Express Cruisers began. A trip to Florida in March 2002, introduced us to Lowell Arnold and Stan Peterson, owners of 25 Expresses. Lowell and Stan helped to compile a two page list of missing hardware.

By December 2006, the search for the original designer/builder of the gray hull launch was located, a new "restoration" shop had been completed, and all of the hardware for hull 206 had been found. The search took four and a half years and resulted in the purchase of a second 1947 25-foot Express (hull number x-25-217), a 1947 22 Sportsman and a 1948 22 Sedan.

A survey of the hull 206 was preformed and a decision was made to dismantle the hull and rebuild the boat utilizing pieces that could be salvaged from the original hull. Carefully, the remains of the hull were dismantled and patterns made for the new hull were made. The new frames were crafted in Sapelli/African Mahogany.

The end of February 2007, revealed a new 25-foot Express with its first layer of marine plywood over the frames. The " cold-molded hull was formed with diagonal and longitudinal layers of Okoume Marine Plywood BS1088, fiberglass and Kevlar set in epoxy.

The hull was primed and faired using AWLGRIP products and ready to be rolled upright by the end of April. Work progressed as the engine stringers and deck beams were installed in May. June brought the installation of the composite floor and berth beams, while the driveline plates were fabricated and castings made for additional hardware items.

The installation of the engine and driveline took place in July. Once again, Mark Fitzgerald of Fitzgerald Marine Architecture in Camden, Maine was the consulting architect and engineer for the project. Mark specified a new Crusader 375 horsepower, 6.0L V8 as the power plant. A Hurth transmission with 2:1 reduction was selected and matted to the Aquadrive anti-vibration system and an Aquamet 22 1" shaft, spinning an 18" Nibrel 4 blade propeller.

Interior painting (AWLGRIP products) and decking started in August, and was completed in September, with the installation of the cove base (unique to the 25-foot Express). A new 65-gallon Rayco Manufacturing fuel tank was painted and installed in September. The helm station was constructed in October along with the initial fitment of the freshly chromed hardware.

Progress slowed in November, as two additional 1947 25-foot Express Cruisers were purchased; hull number 234, a twin engine boat from the northwest suburbs of St. Louis, Missouri and Hull number 165, a twin engine boat from the canals of Lake St. Clair, Michigan. In between the trips to Missouri and Michigan, the new mirrored stainless steel cutwater was fitted to the hull.

The front deck was painted in December; teak veneering and detail work continued through April, 2008. The wiring of the electrical systems began in January; though planning for the system began many months before. Hull 206 is outfitted with complete engine management, GPS, radar and audio systems. These electronic systems are seamlessly integrated as to not interfere with the original gauges and hardware.

Construction of the teak flooring and motor box started in April and was completed in May. During that time, the spray and rub rails were shaped and fitted to the sides of the hull. Patterns for the berth cushions, seats and motor box were made and sent to the upholstery shop.

The wiring for the electrical systems was complete by the middle of May, which allowed the audio system to be tuned and the engine to catch its first breath. The custom trailer was fitted to the bottom at the end of May in preparation for a June 1st water test.

Following the initial water test, the teak veneering in the cabin was completed, as the final finishing began. All of the brightwork was sanded, sealed with a penetrating epoxy , varnished with AWLSPAR and coated with AWL BRITE Plus, a three-part polyurethane. The topsides were painted with AWLGRIP, the bottom with AWLGRIP and Interlux.

Following the culmination of the paint and brightwork finishing Eulipion was reassembled in four days, bound for its launching in Narragansett Bay, Newport, Rhode Island for the 2008 American Super Yacht Forum.