Walsh has been boating since he was a teenager, driving ski boats and sailing Hobie Cats out of Wilmette. He and his wife, also 44, met in college and lived for a year on a Sea Ray 450 Sundancer. When it came time for them to captain a boat that would carry their five children, they decided on a classic motor yacht made of fiberglass. On Lake Huron, they found the Chris-Craft they eventually bought, in 2010, for $100,000. Forty-five years old, the boat’s interior had suffered from a fire and its exterior was coated in thick layers of black paint. But the hull and engines were in good shape, says Walsh, who shares the boat, Dig Deep, with his best friend, Nick Kadjan, who owns medical spas in Chicago and also has children.
They fixed it up for about $200,000 with the help of Marine Service in Dolton and Michael. They blasted off the black paint, kept the original mahogany strip ceiling, added seating and tables, combined beds, updated bathrooms and laid plastic flooring for ease of cleaning.
Michael used marine-grade materials that prevent mold, mildew and fading for every surface. For Michael, who grew up on the same model boat, bringing one back was a trip down memory lane. The blues, teals and whites he chose were inspired by the 1960s, when the boat was made, he says.
The restored Chris-Craft (American-made since 1874) gives the Walshes harbor cred wherever they go, even though the yacht crawls along at a mere 14 miles per hour. [via Chicago Business]