Restoring "Mark's Harpo"

(formerly known as Malolo)

1953 Chris Craft Double Cabin





In July of 2007, we sold our 42' 1963 Chris Craft Conqueror, Encore, and went on the search for a "new," older and somewhat smaller boat. A friend of ours from the Antique and Classic Boat Society recommended a 34", 1953 Chris Craft Double Cabin on which he had done major hull work and other repairs.

As a joke, we had told a friend that our next boat would be "Mark's Harpo," a play on the name Harpo Marx. Once we acquired this classic beauty, it became obvious that she needed to be dedicated to one of the most well known harpists of all time. After all, this will be the third boat we have painted a harp on ~ it will go on the transom with the name in the future. So this photo of Harpo Marx, with his harp, is framed and sits on the dash of "Harpo." We think he likes his position of honor there.


Here are 2 photos of "Malolo" (which we are told means Flying Fish in Hawaiian). This is how she looked when we got her. No canvas on the roof, dirty, oxidized hull paint, worn wood on the cabin, no doors, etc., etc., etc. The pictures below show how the newly christened "Mark's Harpo" (or "Harpo" for short) looks as of New Year's Eve, 2007. She's got new hull paint, refinished wood on the cabin and side decks, repainted forward deck, and refinished toe rails along the hull, etc., etc., etc. We've got a long way to go, but she's protected from the weather for the winter.

These are photos of the first steps in exterior preservation... sanded, stained wood with 2 coats of varnish, and a sanded and painted hull. This should keep her from having any more damage from weather during the winter, and allow us to take up where we left off when spring comes.

Of course the winter days don't allow for great photos, so we will add better photos when the light allows.


Inside, Malolo needed lots of TLC. Everything was mildewed and had to be sprayed with bleach water, sanded and scrubbed, primed and painted. Here is the galley before and after.


There was also mildew in the head, which is much better cleaned up and painted. Val has made curtains for under the cabinet and sink, but right now it's more storage than useful space, since we have to make a new floor. So it goes down on the list of priorities for a while, until Mark can can make a new floor for it.

The salon has had the deck painted, and we brought in a small sleeper loveseat. This is an interim picture. It actually looks better than this, since we have a really nice rug , slipcover, and pillows too. We'll add new pictures soon.

The aft cabin is still a work in progress... but here are some pictures of the progress.


Harpo's gotten some major engine work too, and both of the original Hercules Flat-head Sixes work just great! They tell us that the "Flatties" are really reliable and are work horses. We love the way our friend Mike worked on them and made them really purr and shine with many hours of love and devotion. It helps that he has rebuilt the same kind of engines in his own boat too, doesn't it? We think he likes just hanging out on our boat, because he has done so much work, and we find an extra tea cup in the sink once in a while. But we don't mind, because he is always tinkering, and "percolating" as he calls it. Most of the time he does that over a cup of tea and not coffee. You should have seen these engines before he worked on them... wow! They don't look like "originals" any more, even though they are.