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The 1965 Commander 27 hurricane survivor as found--I deemed her an excellent candidate for restoration because she was one of the simplest models, single engine and no fly bridge;
1965 was the second year of the "Styled In Fiberglass" Commander 27; Our example was the smallest of three hull models offered for the Commander 27;
I undertook the restoration for my dear friend Tony Bianco of New York--Tony named the boat "JB" after his father

The cockpit, as found

The interior, as found

The V8 gasoline engine, not the original GMC 327--possibly an aftermarket Oldsmobile model

The bilge with engine removed--50 years accumulation of grease!

The forward bilge under the V-berth... more grease!

Helm console removed; repairing bulkhead rot

Tools for removing the old cutlass bearing, which was a nightmare!

The cutlass bearing--finally out!

Jacking the stbd/forward cockpit well back into place

The bilge in the engine space showing old engine beds removed; new engine beds installed
prior to wrapping them with triaxial 'glass and epoxy

The old gas tank mounted right up against the transom--typical Chris Craft installation
and an absolute bitch to remove!

The new gas tank--larger and further forward; battery boxes to left; mufflers P & S--all new

The new Buck Algonquin stuffing box and built-up shaft log

New bronze seacock mounted to original bronze thru-hull (good)
The Commander had been in the Great Lakes--fresh water

Installing new transom exhaust fittings

Installing false frames for ceiling planking to cover the original hideous orange shag carpeting

The original refrigeration compartment--an absolute bitch to remove

The new refrigeration compartment insulated and ready for the new refrigerator

The new Isotherm refrigerator (from France) with correct beverages (from Ireland)

The new bilge pump for the V-berth bilge--I isolated the bilges into two seperate sumps
separated by a new watertight bulkhead

The aft bilge pump under the engine

The fresh water pump and strainer mounted on the new engine room watertight bulkhead

The new instrument panel--back side showing wiring

The new helm console, controls, compass and instrument panel
The aftermarket steering came with the boat

The Commander in primer--Awlgrip 545

Finish paint--Nauticoat linear polyurethane
Flag blue topsides; fighting lady yellow sheer & cabin sides; vivid red boot stripe; black antifouling

The new plastic water tank under a settee

Original coachroof overhead work--very shoddy

Epoxy repairs to overhead and pre-wiring for lights

Finished overhead--pre-painted 4mm plywood; mahogany trim; lights

A Sunbrella cover for the propane tank in the cockpit

New electronic ingnition kit for the rebuilt GMC 305 (5 liter) V-8 engine

The rebuilt GMC 305 V-8; Hurth transmission; paired 6VDC deep-cycle batteries & boxes

New prop and existing rudder with old retrofitted trim tab, which I had to modify

Replacing rotten engine room vents from the cabin sides

Replacing window components from the cabin front

The cabin front window frames after removing the old windows,
which I replaced with smoked Acrylic

The rebuilt cabin sole with new drawers and painted settee faces;
poplar ceiling planking (right); new mahogany trim

The rebuilt cockpit


The galley--new cabin sole (teak & holly plywood); New mahogany companionway steps;
New two-sided mahogany plywood doors and Perko hardware; New USCG plaques

      Old engine room vent and cleat                  New engine room vent & cleat

The foredeck painted; New anchors and deck pipes;
The aftermarket railings and bowsprit came with the boat

                  Original plastic drawers                 New wooden drawers using original mahogany faces

Wiring, elecrtical panels and battery charger inside the helm console

The instrument panel back cover (top);
True sine wave inverter (left);
AC and DC electrical panels;
Hand-held VHF radio, fire extinguisher, air horn, etc
I replaced all wiring and fixtures except for the original bow running lights

The head--original sink; refinished original mahogany bulkheads; new hardware; new sole

The original settees and table--the blue seat cushions came with the boat (not stock);
I stripped the laminate plastic off the table and glued on a mahogany veneer;
New teak & holly plywood cabin sole;
New poplar ceiling planking; New mahogany trim;
The sliding glass windows are original, but I replaced all the tracks;
New foam V-berth cushions and Sunbrella upholstry;
Refinished original mahogany drawer faces
I removed and restored all SS and aluminum trim, inside and outside

The view forward in the saloon; The forepeak door is original, refinished, with new hardware;
There is a filler panel and cushion for the V-berth to convert it to a double bed

Settees looking aft

The new galley with Eno SS 3-burner range, composite sink, new sliding Acrylic cabinet doors;
I laminated mahogany veneer and ceramic tile on the new countertop

View forward; the chopping block on the sink is a high-density synthetic

We had to search for new name plates--found them!

Ready to splash!

On our delivery north from Florida to New York, I hit a submerged tree in the ICW approaching Great Bridge, VA--severely damaged the rudder, strut and prop--
had to haul out at Atlantic Yacht Basin (an excellent boatyard)

The new rudder and strut--we replaced all the damaged parts in one long weekend

Side view--I trimmed the tabs down 8 degrees for much better performance

Nice wake!

Tony Bianco--JB's owner, and my close friend--serving a taco dinner on our trip north

JB on our trip north--we had a great time!
The 50 year old Commander 27 was a joy to drive, and turned heads everywhere we went
We cruised at that "sweet spot"--around 13 knots--to conserve fuel
JB has a top speed of 25 knots

Leaving Manhattan in our wake

JB in her new slip at Minnefords in City Island, New York
The total restoration cost $62,000, and took parts of two winter seasons