1964 Chris Craft Cavalier Dory, Source: RC Anderson Collection
The Pacific 22 series boats are based on the original 1960's era 22 foot Chris Craft Cavalier Dory and Cutlass hull designs. Designed by RC Anderson, these classic lapstrake hull designs are noted not only for their aesthetically pleasing upswept Dory-type hull lines, but most importantly, their time-proven rough water performance advantages.
The 1964 open deck Chris Craft Dory model was one of the first production center-console boats on the market and the Cutlass version followed with the same Dory hull form, yet featured a unique “wedge shaped” cuddy house design. The Cavalier Division Dory / Cutlass models were originally built of lapstrake plywood construction through 1968 at Chris Craft's Cadillac, Michigan plant. Starting in 1969, fiberglass versions of the same basic hull design were built by the Chris Craft Corsair Division and sold under the Cutlass, Cutlass Fisherman, Sportsman Outboard, and Cuddy models names through 1977. Some 906 hull numbers were assigned to the 22’ Dory and Cutlass models up through 1977. In addition, from 1966-1968, 220 units of a 26’ Cutlass version were also built based on RC Anderson's enlarge Dory-type hull lines. Refer to Jerry Conrad's book: CHRIS CRAFT, THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE for complete details under the Cavalier and Corsair Division chapters.
The original drawings and related documents for the 60's era Dory / Cutlass models were researched and obtained from the Mariner's Museum, Newport News, Virginia. RC Anderson's name and Cutlass line drawings were framed on my office wall for a number of years while I recreated his thinking into the Pacific 22 Series boats. I often wondered who and where he was; yet a Google “Anderson” name search is not an easy one, and RC Anderson remained a mystery.
Yet just before Thanksgiving 2006 an 81 year old gentleman called me after reading a trade magazine article on the Pacific 22 Series boats. “My name is Dick Anderson and I'm the guy who designed your boats” were the words I never expected to hear. We became instant friends. Dick Anderson still lives in Pompano Beach, Florida and over a period of time he has shared his memories with me regarding his Chris Craft design years and his original “thinking” on the Dory and Cutlass models.
Dick Anderson joined Chris Craft's new Pompano Beach headquarter facilities team in 1959 as a naval architect for the Cavalier Division. He remembers the general hull bottom designs were pretty “flat” prior to the early 1960's – they generally had about 5 degrees “V” rocker shape built into a long and narrow hull design. A lot of Dick's design work was trying to get the chines out as wide as possible to create a larger planning surface, and he was also working more “V” into the bottom sections for strength and better rough water handling benefits.
Dick related he always liked the looks and understood the strength advantages of the lapstrake hull designs. He still has his original pencil sketch of his Dory concept in his collection, and volunteered he was surprised Chris Craft let him design the Dory / Cutlass and put it into production under the Cavalier Division. He explained the lapstrake hull form was visually related to the Chris Craft 50's era Sea Skiff Division lapstrake designs, yet the one big difference was his 1964 Dory design incorporated a hard chine and sheet plywood bottom advantages. Unique for plywood designs of the era, he also engineered about 16 degrees V into the bottom at the stern section and running from the stem aft, his Dory 1/2” plywood bottom design features a complete convex bottom shape – there are no flat sections common to earlier plywood bottom designs.
The Dory's convex bottom coupled with the upswept sheer line produced a respected rough water boat design. For the next 13 years RC Anderson's popular Chris Craft lapstrake hull designs were proven to be just that – an eye pleasing and sea worthy design for the serious yachtsman. Good lines last a long time.
When Chris Craft closed their Pompano Beach facilities in 1979 Dick went on to join the noted Jim Wynn Marine design group, Miami. With this group he worked on a number of 1980's fiberglass projects for noted builders Slick Craft, Hatteras, and Cobalt Boats to mention a few.
RC Anderson was a respected, quite and simple man. His Dory and Cutlass are a respected, quite, and classically simple boat. I'm honored to re-introduce them as the Pacific 22 Series; and I am equally honored to have known Dick and write his "story" prior to his passing in March of 2008. Read The RC Anderson Story under the Media tab on this site.
1977 Chris Craft Tournament Fisherman model. Credit Chris Craft brochure.
RC Anderson's Chris Craft center console Dory design was used from 1964 through 1977 where it was last offered as the all fiberglass Tournament Fisherman and Cuddy cabin models. The designs are now being replicated by Pacific Marine Mfg. and feature the classic lapstrake lines along with the simplicity of a traditional center engine, direct drive boat.