M-61 - 1986 Chris Craft Stinger 260 SL - Click on images to zoom
From the owner: My father’s first new boat was a Chris Craft Scorpion 210 and ever since then, I was hooked on Chris Crafts. Growing up in Miami, I was also exposed to the heydays of powerboats racing in the late 70’s and 80’s when some of today’s big players were just starting out in North Miami also known as Thunder Row Alley, as well as Miami’s dirty days when fast boats where used for illegal running. Anyhow, the focus of this restoration for me was to start with the original classic and timeless design of the Chris Craft Stinger’s adding a twist of subtleness and a modern look, but keeping that classic theme. My version of what I considered the boat to look like if it was still in production today. (Of course within my reasonable budget and limitations of know how). I bought the boat in Ohio and like the fact that it was only used in fresh water. It was in very good condition for a 1986, and the price was right. I test drove it at one of Ohio’s big lakes and purchased it on the spot, trailered it back to Miami all in 2 ½ days. Once I got home I began the resto, stripping her down to find hidden problems, and lucky for me, found none. All the stringer were in good shape with no sign of rot or stress cracks in the hull, floor or deck. I lifted the deck and released it with WestSystem thicken epoxy610 and or course new stainless steel screws and rub rail. The transom was also sealed from the inside with strips of 4” cloth and epoxy. The boat was sanding and primer with Awlgrip 545 epoxy primer and later painted with Awlgrip topcoat paint. I then wet sanded and clear coated it for additional shine and protection with Awlgrip clear coat. (A process I did with a friend on the weekends over the last 8 months). Currently I have begun the assembly process and the updated changes, which includes replacing the big bulky original windshield and frame with a short low profile sleeker and sportier plexy wind deflector windshield, giving the boat a sleeker and racier look. The interior changes will see the replacement of the original bolster and rear bench with a new modern style bolsters and bench as well as all side upholstery. The same will apply to the cabin with all new electronics including replacement of all the gauges and new billet aluminum racing style throttles. The steering will be replaced as will as the trim tabs with k-plains. All cleats and navigational lighting will be flush mounted pop-ups style. As for the engines, since I can’t go with Big Blocks, because of the limited space in the engine compartment, for this coming summer, I will update the twin 5.7 liters with new cams, high rise intakes and carbs, new Eddie Marine Thunder header and thru-hull exhaust, new counter rotational outdrives, new S/S props and shower heads for cooling. Next summer the engines will be stroked to 383’s cubic inch. Attached are some pic of the boat before the restoration when I had just arrived from Ohio. It’s been a lot of work and can’t wait to finish. I expect to be in the water by April or May 2011.