6 March 2015

Your stories: Art Hampton’s 1959 19-foot Chris-Craft Capri

Before entering the service more than 40 years ago, Art Hampton spent many afternoons on New York’s Greenwood Lake. After a classic wooden boat caught his eye one day, he regularly cruised past the home where it was docked so that he could get a closer look.

Occasionally the owners would be outside. He would wave and they would wave back. This went on for some time until one day the couple waved him in and invited him to sit down for a chat. Hampton learned that they were the original owners of the 1958 19-foot Chris-Craft Capri, and since they were elderly they only used the boat when their children or grandchildren came to visit. He stopped by more and more, and the three became friends. Upon Hampton’s return from the service in 1972, he received a startling phone call. The elderly gentleman had passed away, and his widow wanted Hampton to have the boat.

Since the Capri had never been restored, it was in dire need of some tender loving care. But years passed – 34 of them – before it was restored to its former glory. Art’s wife, Nancy, often asked her husband, “When are you going to work on the boat?” Art would reply: “Someday.” Finally, in 2006, after a year-long restoration, the Capri was seaworthy. The Chris-Craft retained most of its original components, except for a new bottom, upholstery and finish. Art’s greatest memory was unveiling the boat’s new name to a very patient and supportive Nancy. Meticulously painted on the transom were two words: “It’s Someday.” Their dream had been realized.

Art and Nancy enjoyed the boat for five years before Nancy passed away. She was the inspiration for bringing the Capri back to life, and her husband still shows the boat at events around the country, always happy to tell the story behind the name.

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