An antique wooden Chris Craft holds a lifetime of memories for one Florida family.
Guy Marvin bought Majestic, a 22-foot 1936 Chris-Craft triple cockpit runabout, more than 20 years ago so that he and his wife, Laurie, and their kids, could spend time together out on the St. Johns River near their home in Jacksonville.
But what started off as a recreational toy became a family heirloom for the Marvins. Through the years, Guy has kept the wooden vessel in pristine condition by regularly refinishing Majestic’s varnish. Despite her beauty, the antique runabout was made for getting up on plane and flying down Florida’s waterways. The boat was originally powered by a Chrysler Majestic engine, which inspired her name. The Chrysler engine eventually needed to be replaced, and a Chris-Craft MBL, which produces 58 horsepower and pushes the boat along at about 40 mph, was added.
“We don’t baby it,” Laurie said on a recent fall day in Jacksonville. “The kids used to waterski behind her when they were young.”
With their children all grown up, Laurie and Guy have found new ways to enjoy Majestic. Every spring, Guy organizes a group cruise of about 30 antique boats on the St. Johns River. The fleet departs out of Jacksonville and ends up in Tavares at the Sunnyland Antique Boat Festival. The 140-mile trip takes about seven days, including the three-day festival, which attracts about 200 boats from across the United States and Canada.