Brawny inboard motors, lovingly crafted wood hulls, and swank chrome accoutrements are all synonymous with Chris-Craft, the most prestigious name in the history of American boatbuilders. This beautifully illustrated history of the Michigan-based company and its most significant powerboats begins in 1922, when the mercurial Christopher Columbus Smith and his three sons formed Chris Smith & Sons Boat Company. Modern color photography depicting restored and factory-original runabouts and cruisers at speed and dockside details the evolution of Chris-Craft boats from the early hand-built years through the introduction of assembly-line techniques, the move to fiberglass hulls and Chris-Craft's demise in the 1980s. Archival photography provides an evocative historical context and images of key personalities, while the history also discusses the business climates in which Chris-Craft operated-including a tenuous alliance with Gar Wood-who split from the Smiths to form his own acclaimed boatworks-and concurrent products introduced by Gar Wood and other competitors.
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185-horsepower 20-foot Custom advertising Algonac attractive barrelback Boat Company Boat Division Boat Show boatbuilders boaters build builders built buyers cabin Cadet Capri catalog Cavalier Cavalier Division Chris Smith Chrysler Classic Boating magazine Cobra competition configuration Constellation construction Continental Courtesy The Mariners covering boards craft cruiser fleet cruiser models Custom Runabout Custom Ski Boat dealers Double Cockpit Forward early Express Cruiser featured fiberglass Futura Gar Wood Gold Cup Holiday horsepower hull Hydroplane inboard included interior introduced lapstrake Lyman MacKerer marine engines miles per hour Miss America Miss Detroit model name Motor Boating Motor Yacht Museum offered option planked plywood plywood boats popular postwar prewar production race boats Racing Runabout Riviera round-bilge Sea Skiff Series Total Silver Arrow Ski Boat Smith family sold speed sport boat Sportsman Standardized Runabout strakes styling Super Sport traditional transom utility models varnished windshield Wood wooden boat