Chris Craft Boats

Chris Craft boats was a part time “duck hunting” wooden boat maker in 1874.

It became a fulltime boat building operation owned and run by Christopher Columbus Smith and his brother Henry later. The boats were a part of a mix of carving duck decoys and selling their “catch” at times.

1910 saw a two style boat builder, either boat runabouts or boat  race boats.

Now, in 1925, is the first use of the name “Chriscraft”, as a single word, run together. Boat sales were 111 units in 1925 including Chris Craft race boats.

In 1927 Chris Craft Boats first started building boats year around and 447 boats were made in runabouts, racing boats, commuters, and cabin boats called sedans..

Post WWII, Chris Craft used more and more styles of boats including cabin cruisers and cedar wood  joined various types of wood called mahogany. These pieces were made into planks and large panels, both in plywood sheets and also cut into planks arranged as both smooth-sided and clinker-built planked hulls.

In the fifties, by also expanding to other boat building material choices, Chris Craft reached higher sales levels. Steel, Aluminum, and Fiberglass added more choices and unit sales went over 8,000 units. Fiberglass cabin tops and other parts preceded  fiberglass hulls. Chris Craft boats, cruisers, and yachts built a good provn hull and they did not want to lose that in their transition to an all fiberglass boat.

Chris Craft had 10 open, two closed plants and an administration building in their business by 1965.

By the way, the latest good read on Chris Chris, the building of Chris Craft, and inside the factories is The new book by Tony Mollica and Chris Smith, ISBN 978-0-7603-3592-5.

Seabuddy recommends it as a great gift item to any boater.

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