1929 Chris Craft Custom Cabin Cruiser

1929 Chris Craft Custom Cabin Cruiser $29,000.00

80 years of History, Mystery and Hollywood…If this boat could talk!

This elegant craft was first purchased new in 1929 by a dashing and handsome 33 year old advertising man, known in the boating societies on both sides of Lake Ontario: Saint Clair Rogers of Rochester, New York, His friends called him Clair because "he was no saint".

A year after buying the boat Rogers sent it back to Chris Craft and had a cabin installed creating a fashionable "mini commuter".

The craft was dubbed the Jolly Roger II and Clair used the boat for three years without incident.

In the summer of 1932 he replaced the engine with a 225-hp Hispana Suiza aircraft engine, causing some to speculate that the frequent Prohibition-era trips across the lake to Canada were more than just a distraction from the Great Depression.

On its maiden voyage with the new engine, Rogers, a mechanic friend and two teenage boys roared from the mouth of Irondequoit Bay into Lake Ontario, setting the stage for a tragic story that would play out in newspaper headlines for months to come.

It seems that the new engine was too powerful for the craft and all four men were thrown overboard several miles off shore.

Cries for help drifted ashore after dark and the boat was discovered the next morning, run aground on Oklahoma Beach.

Area residents roamed the beaches for weeks looking for the men and discussing what could have gone so terrible wrong.

Over the next four weeks the bodies washed ashore, but what happened on the the Jolly Rodger II remains a mystery to this day.

The original 90-hp engine was soon placed back in the boat and sold to a Rochester boat collector.

In 1982 Robert Drumm bought the boat and worked on it for 4 years restoring it to its original splendor.

The details of the tragedy have dimmed over the past eight decades, but the boat has lived on in numerous boat shows and is now owned by Academy Award-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden who bought it thirteen years ago.


Harden fondly recounts a three day, sixty mile trip she took along the Erie Canal, navigating twenty five locks, sleeping in the small cabin and chatting with other boaters about the dramatic past of this historic vessel.

The boat remains in excellent condition and has been used in the Finger Lakes region of New York by Ms.

Harden and her family.

The original Chysler engine has low hours on complete 1996 rebuild and has the mellow throaty rumble that you would expect in a motor of this period.

The hull below waterline was professionally refinished in 1999 and the boat has been in covered storage since fall of 2000.

This spring the carburetor, fuel lines and gas tank were cleaned and rebuilt.

The trailor was custom built and is in good condition with 200 miles on new tires.

I have copies of the newspaper articles mentioned above and can provide any additional information via email. thank you

Contact Name: Thaddaeus Contact Phone: 646 509 3585 Type: ClassicPower Year: 1929 Length: 22′ City: Mountaindale State: New York Engine: Chrysler Marine Engine Count: Single Engine Hours: mod Drive: IB Horsepower: 90 Fuel: Gas Hull Material: Wood Beam: 6′ Draft: not given Condition: Excellent
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Original Listing: http://boatsforsalebyowners.net/82259