Skip Stamberger fondly remembers growing up along the Jersey shore, boating with his parents, brother and sister aboard a 1957 Owens cruiser. A series of locally built Pacemakers followed as the family grew. “We cruised to Lake Champlain,” the 67-year-old former sales executive says. “I saw the SS United States and the Statue of Liberty from our boat.”
He and his wife, Maura, and their three sons have enjoyed the same kind of cruising adventures, first in small boats, then on a Beneteau 345 and later on a Lagoon 380, a sailing catamaran they owned for 12 years and cruised to Guatemala and back.
In 2014, with a new house in Port Charlotte, Florida, they made the switch from power to sail and bought a 1986 Chris-Craft 410 Motor Yacht, a “fiber-classic” that handles western Florida coastal waters in style and comfort. “The Lagoon was great for crossing oceans and visiting distant lands,” says Stamberger, who has a 50-ton near-coastal license. “But we felt we were past doing that. And for regional cruising the Chris-Craft was the better choice.”
SPECIFICATIONS LOA: 41 feet BEAM: 14 feet DRAFT: 3 feet, 3 inches WEIGHT: 27,000 pounds HULL TYPE: modified-vee PROPULSION: twin gas or diesel engines TANKAGE: 350 gallons fuel, 100 gallons water BUILDER: Chris-Craft, Sarasota, Florida. chriscraft.com
The couple sold the Lagoon and bought the Chris-Craft for $55,000. Stamberger had been searching for boats online when the 28-year-old twin-engine Chris-Craft caught his eye. “As a devotee of classic styling and design, I believe the Chris-Craft Motor Yacht is the standard bearer,” he says. “This boat, last of the series, has very stunning lines, and the monochromatic beige gelcoat looks perfect.”
One problem: It was in Vermillion, Ohio, six hours from the couple’s other home, in upstate Ovid, New York. Stamberger, the owner and operator of Water to Wine Tours, had one of his captains look at the boat. “He knew the broker and called me from the boat to say it was perfect,” he says. “I made arrangements to make the trip to view her.”
He found what he calls a “time capsule.” The freshwater boat had been shed-kept, and the vintage 1986 refrigerator, microwave and icemaker were “perfect,” Stamberger says. “She was not only in the best condition of any of the 17 [boats] I visited, but she was the least expensive.”
Ted Patrick, of Lake & Bay Yacht Sales in Marblehead, Ohio, arranged the sale. The Stambergers took the boat through the eastern Great Lakes, down the Hudson River and the Intracoastal Waterway, through Florida from Stuart to Fort Myers and north to Port Charlotte. Twin Volvo 280-hp TMD70C turbo diesels provide the power.
“We mostly cruise at trawler speeds of 8 to 9 knots,” says Stamberger. “She will run for hours at 16 knots and will top out over 20.”
The boat handles best in protected waters. “With a draft of 3 feet, 3 inches and a bridge clearance of 21 feet, she is an inverted pendulum,” Stamberger says. “I grew up on those round-bottom [C.P. Leek & Sons] boats, so I knew what we were getting into.”
The Chris-Craft is perfect for the couple. “We can take groups of friends for a wonderful harbor cruise,” says Stamberger.
Cabbage Key and Fisherman’s Village are favorite local destinations. They’ve also done the so-called “Florida Loop” from Fort Myers to Lake Okeechobee to Stuart to Miami to the Keys, the Everglades and home. Holidays are excuses for boating, too. And, the couple says, having the twin-cabin cruiser at their home dock adds two rooms to their guest accommodations.
Although the boat didn’t require much work, the electronics needed to be replaced. “I visited my friend Mark Norton at Clark’s Landing on the Manasquan River [in New Jersey], and he set me up with a Garmin HD radar with a new MFD chart plotter and a new VHF with AIS capabilities,” says Stamberger. “I still need a windlass and an inverter.”
But he says Craic — an Irish term for fun with other people — is fulfilling her mission. “I have tremendous pride of ownership in this boat, and I look forward to preserving her as her previous owners have clearly done,” he says. “It is pretty easy to spot a boat that is loved.”
The Chris-Craft 410 Motor Yacht was prized for its twin-cabin accommodations and twin-engine performance in a cruising package. The profile shows the high sides, straight sheer and semimilitary bearing that were popular at the time. The well-designed flush-deck layout on the 41-footer centers on a large main saloon with a protected helm station and afterdeck. Walkaround decks with rails make for easy access on a single level from stem to stern. Early models had a hardtop, and a flybridge with a helm station and companion seating was offered on later models.
The 410 went through several cabin configurations during its production run. All had a master cabin aft with an en-suite head compartment. A queen-size berth became standard. Forward cabins had different bunk arrangements, but the layout allowed for an adjacent enclosed head compartment, as well. The galley is to port, ahead of the saloon, and equipped with standard features, including a stove, refrigerator and sink.
Twin gas engines produced 16-mph cruising speeds. Diesels later pushed that to 20 mph. The engine room is large, with good access.
Few could have predicted the popularity of the 410 Motor Yacht when it was introduced in 1972. With roomy accommodations and impressive cruising performance, it developed into one of Chris-Craft’s most popular models, remaining in production through 1986. The 410 Motor Yacht is easily found on the used-boat market, and prices range from just under $50,000 for an early 1970s boat to about $70,000 for a late-production model.
This article originally appeared in the December 2015 issue.