Lot #135

1941 Chris-Craft Deluxe Barrelback

  • Auction Estimate
    $50,000 - $70,000
  • Sale Type
  • Year
  • Make
  • Model
    17' Deluxe Barrelback
  • Style
  • VIN #
  • Mileage
  • Exterior Color
  • Interior Color
    Aqua Blue
  • Cylinders
  • Engine Size
    121 hp
  • Transmission

Price Realized: $49,500


The Helen Mary, a classic Chris-Craft 17’ Barrelback, model Deluxe 104 with hull #71849, was shipped from the Algonac, Michigan, production facility on May 27, 1941 to Fox Lake, Illinois. The 21’ boat was delivered sporting aqua blue vinyl interior—as documented on the factory build sheet—which it still wears today. In July, 1982, the current owner (well-known Chris-Craft enthusiast Mark Evans), bought the boat from his neighbor on Lake Candlewood in Connecticut. This neighbor was a Chicago pilot and had brought the boat from Illinois. In 1984, the Helen Mary underwent minor restoration, including a strip and varnish.

The Helen Mary was first shown at the 3rd Annual Southern New England Antique Classic Boat Society (ACBS) chapter show in 1987, where she took the first place and people’s choice awards. The owner later became the president of this chapter and later joined the International ACBS board, where he served as vice president until 2001. He has spent the last 35 years deeply involved in this mahogany habit. He has bought and sold several antique wooden boats and remains an enthusiast who s often called upon to judge and offer his knowledge and experience with these beautiful antique and classic craft.

According to Evans, this is one of the finest examples of a Chris-Craft Barrelback he has ever seen. It has the 1941 trend of streamlining with its torpedo stern and was completely restored by one of the best professional wood boat restorers in the country, Jim Murdock of Vintage Boat Restorations in Bristol, Connecticut. During this process, the Helen Mary was completely rebuilt from the keel up while preserving whatever original wood could be saved. A new No Soak bottom was installed, along with new sides. A 1941-dated Chris-Craft high performance KB triple carb motor was built and balanced to factory specifications.

After completion, the Helen Mary went on to win Best Runabout of the year under 22’ at the Clayton, New York, Museum Show. She also won best of show at Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York ACBS shows. Today, the Helen Mary has approximately 50 hours of run time and has always been stored in a temperature-controlled environment. Included in the sale is a custom-built bunk trailer with a Connecticut title, flags, pennant, full mooring and cockpit covers, and a complete history and documentation. According to the consignor, this boat is turnkey for water or show, with a current hull registration.

*Sale prices are inclusive of the buyers premium.

Consignment Ratings*

  • Engine
  • Body
  • Chassis/Frame
  • Tires
  • Coachwork/Interior
  • Electrical
  • Transmission
  • Paint
  • Overall Condition
*The following ratings were provided by the consignor, based on a scale of 'Poor', 'Fair', 'Good', 'Very Good' or 'Excellent'. (Excellent = 100% restored)