1955 Chris Craft Continental David from Illinois

“The older you get, the wiser you become.”

We have all heard that before either from a parent, a grandparent, or the old man sitting on the bench in the park. That quote has held true for David Mackey over the years. David has been debating what hot water heater he should buy for the past six months. He wants to make sure that he picks the right one, not paying for any feature that him and his family does not need. David makes sure to do his research before pulling the trigger on any large purchase.

This fall David and his wife Margret traveled up to Lake Geneva Wisconsin from their home in Northern Illinois to visit with friends and for the Classic boat show as they have in years previous. While at the show they stopped at Delavan Lake Boat Shed. There David saw an old wood boat that shined in the sun of a warm fall day. The more David looked over the boat the more he fell in love with the planked mahogany, the shine of the chrome and varnish. That old boat he was checking out was a 1955 Chris Craft Continental.

After a few minutes, a gentleman came up to David and his wife, who were still admiring the beauty of the Chris Craft. The gentleman introduced himself as a salesman for Delavan Lake Boat Shed. David and the man got talking for some time and come to find out, the boat was owned by an older gentleman who was selling it to health reasons. The boat has been kept at the Boat Shed for many years. The salesman told David that every time the owner was done with the boat the Boat Shed would clean thoroughly, polish with vinegar, and store the boat for the owner in a fully enclosed rack storage.

David was the first person to be looking at the boat as it was just listed online the day before. After talking for about 45 minutes with the salesman David went over and talked to his wife. David expressed to her how he loved the looks of the boat and its classic style. He admitted that he does now know much about Chris Crafts except for his childhood growing up on the lakes in Michigan and his friend’s parents having the boats and endless hours on the lake. David knew that he would want to review, research, and shop a bit more before he made any offer or considered the purchase of a boat, especially one that is almost as old as he is. David’s wife looked him right in the eye and said “If not now, when? You just turned 68. If not now, when?” With that David turned around and shook hands with the salesman.

When David retuned a few weeks later to pick up his boat, claim the title, and exchange money, he found out that there was a man that came into the boat shop about 15 minutes after David and his wife left originally with cash in hand to purchase the Chris Craft that day. To David’s relief the salesman honored the simple hand shake that they exchanged minutes before the arrival of the other potential buyer. If it was not for the stern voice of his wife and breaking of habit, David would have missed out on the boat and the memories that he and his wife will now be able to share together.
David told me that this is the fastest that he has ever bought anything in his life, and with no research. In less one hour David went from visiting with friends to becoming a boat owner of now his beautiful 1955 Chris Craft Continental.

In our conversation David wanted to make sure to pass a message along to me: The older you get the less time you have to enjoy the little things that life gives you. Don’t miss on any opportunity due to over thinking it. Life is short and you don’t want to miss out. In other words “The older you get, the wiser you become.”

Ryan Ruskowski