Basking in the sun with a shine that probably exceeds the finish that Chris-Craft gave her in 1951, I experienced the Chris-Craft Holiday, Liquid Asset, on the Antique & Classic Boat Society (ACBS) Delaware River cruise. I am a member of the Philadelphia Chapter and was aboard Liquid Asset thanks to an invitation from the boat’s owner and chapter vice president, Ed Andrews.
This cruise was her first water test following her complete restoration at Katz’s Marina. We enjoyed a very spirited ride, although some attention to her low rpm idle speed was needed. Back at Katz’s Marina, those adjustments were complete after an hour on the water.
We idled out to the main river from a small cove that features launch ramps and several floats that are all part of the launching area. The tree-lined, bucolic cove provided excellent protection from both wind and waves. We were one of a half dozen or so classic boats about to embark on this cruise.
Once on the main river, Liquid Asset showed her prowess as a spirited speed boat and all but leaped on plane when Ed gave her some throttle. She handled the small chop that the wind was serving up with ease. Turns to the right and left received a nice, sharp response to a change in direction with a comfortable small transom slide that a good classic speed boat enjoys. We were nice and dry from the lack of spray, enjoying the wind in our hair and the sun shining on our faces.
The Philadelphia Chapter and the Barnegat Bay Chapter of the ACBS recently merged into what’s now called the Mid-Atlantic Chapter and will continue to host events for its regional members from New York and New Jersey to Pennsylvania. The evolution of this new, consolidated chapter is still a work in progress, but things are moving ahead steadily, including a new logo that’s in the final review stages.
Liquid Asset was also a great ride for Ed and his guests on a recent four-day Florida cruise. All the participating owners trailered their classic boats to the start launch ramp, and enjoyed cruising down the river together with stops at great restaurants and welcoming hotels. At the end of the four-day cruise they reloaded their boats onto their respective trailers and headed home. That event was the “Southbound” cruise organized by the ACBS Sunnyland Chapter’s March 2019 Antique & Classic Boat Show.
This Chris-Craft is hull number H-19-027. The “H” refers to the Holiday design, while the numbers convey additional specifications: “19” refers to its 19-foot length and “027” designates that it’s the 27th one that Chris-Craft built during the 1951 model year.
By the way, the 19-foot Holiday model length was new for 1951 along with the introduction of a 23-footer. Holiday models were offered in 19-, 21-, and 23-foot lengths that year. Chris-Craft actually offered 107 different models of boats then. In the runabout part of their product line the Holiday models were quite popular.
For Ed, having his own 1951 Chris-Craft Holiday was a long-held dream. Imagine how ecstatic he was when he discovered her on Lake Wallenpaupack (the third largest lake in Pennsylvania) in 1992. The seller was the original owner who had bought the boat new.
Since then, Liquid Asset has had her 120-hp six-cylinder Chris-Craft engine rebuilt and beautifully detailed by Van Ness Engineering of New Jersey while the hull and deck work was underway in Katz’s shop in Andover, NJ, during the off-seasons of 2017 and 2018. In the boat’s history this was the third restoration since she was built in 1951. The first was done by the prior owner, the second by a shop in the Adirondacks, and the third by Seth Katz’s marina on Lake Hopatcong.
Finding and restoring Liquid Asset has brought to life an integral part of Ed’s boyhood. In those days, his dad owned a 21-foot Holiday. Ed remembers well the role that his dad’s boat played in his life: what he learned from the regular boat maintenance projects that he helped his dad with each spring as well as a treasure trove of good memories with family and friends on summer boating adventures.
By Chris "Seabuddy" Brown