The Evolution of Chris-Craft Boats: A Look at Their History and Innovation

Owning a boat is a dream come true for so many people out there. Naturally, we can see that this is a pretty luxurious thing, which makes it hard for so many people out there to get one. Still, that doesn’t mean that it is impossible, right? Of course, there are so many boats out there to check out, different models, designs, and practically manufacturers offer their clients boats with different features.

So, before you purchase a boat, you need to find exactly the one you want, right? There are so many things that can influence your decision when it comes to this. For example, besides your preferences, you should think about the environmental conditions in the area you live. But no matter what conditions we are talking about, we can see that Chris-Craft boats are particularly popular. You can find these at

Everyone who has a significant experience with boats knows about this company, and just how much influence its products had in the overall market. People grew to appreciate these models. Today, we want to provide you with the history of Chris-Craft boats, how they came to be, and the innovation they have set as a standard in the industry.

The Company’s History


We can see that Chris-Craft has one of the longest traditions out of all the companies in the United States. The company is found back in the late 19th century, 1883 to be precise. The start was not easy since it was just a small boat shop found in Michigan. The first products were made solely out of wood, which made them extremely popular among the local population that grew to love them quite a bit.

More than two decades later, the company introduced the first metal boat into their offer. In 1910, the year when this full-metal model was launched, was a year when the company started to grow immensely. The 1950s and 1960s marked another massive change since this was the time when their boats were made of fiberglass, which was nothing short of revolutionary for the industry.

As you can see, this company has a habit of setting standards for the industry. They have done it more times than even the most experienced people can count. Of course, the ones we name there are only the most visible ones. There are so many details that have been introduced that reshaped the industry and they are the main component of what we today know as the boating industry.

The Master Mind


The man who created this company was Christopher Columbus Smith. We are talking about a man who loved to work with wood and he combined his love with practical things, like creating boats. Naturally, picking the right wood for making these is nothing short of an art. Furthermore, we can see that the ways to process the wood are also a crucial part of the process. Wood needs to be as water-resistant as possible.

The woodworking skills of Christopher Columbus Smith were legendary, and people used to refer to the highest grades of wood as “Chris-Craft quality.” When you think about it, there is no bigger honor than other people in the industry who address the highest possible quality with the name of a person, right? These days, you will see that the standards for making boats are practically untouched since his time.

Naturally, that doesn’t mean that useful innovations are not implemented in the modus operandi to enhance the quality of boats. The company employs the most skillful cabinetmakers and carpenters in the country. Also, the company offers the services of creating customizable boats. Therefore, they also have highly skilled artisans that can make the customer’s wishes come to fruition.

The Products


Now that you understand the history of the company, we want to focus on the products they offer. For a lot of time, the company had only a couple of products to offer to the market. For instance, you will that in the 1940s the company had only three of them. Nevertheless, these three models have made the company immensely popular and to this day they are considered to be the foundation company is built.

Even with the company introducing so many other products as well, you will see the touch of the early models and how they influence what they do today. For example, the techniques used to pick and process the wood are pretty much untouched. The boats are made of a couple of sorts of wood, like oak, maple, walnut, and cherry. All of these are a great choice, especially when they are processed properly.

The Antique Club


Last but not least, we want to talk about the Chris Craft Antique Club. The club was created back in 1973, to honor the older models of the company. The main reason behind the creation of this club was the replacement of older models with new ones, which were all made of fiberglass, as we’ve pointed out earlier.

The last one made of wood was sold in 1971, and that marked the beginning of a new era. Still, many people enjoy owning older models. You will not only see older people who have owned these models since the fifties or sixties as members of the club. Instead, many younger adults are particularly interested in these models, mainly because of their impeccable design.

Today, these models made of wood help us understand how the market looked back in the day and why they were so revolutionary back in the day. You will be surprised to see that a vast majority of older models are widely present in harbors all over the United States. Still, their price is quite high since they are not produced any longer.

Last Thoughts

Chris-Craft, as a company, has made an irremovable mark on the industry, and many of the standards it introduced are still widespread. Here, you can take a look at the most important things you should know about this company, its products, and why it is highly relevant even in this day and age.