|Headquarters||Sarasota, Florida, United States|
Chris-Craft, Inc. is a privately held American manufacturer of civilian powerboats based in Sarasota, Florida. The original company, Chris-Craft Boats was founded in the late 19th century by Christopher Columbus Smith and became famous for its mahogany hulled powerboats of the 1920s through the 1950s.
- See main article: Chris-Craft Boats
Chris Smith built his first wooden boat in 1874 when he was 13 years old. He soon began to build more boats and joined his brother Henry in 1881 to begin producing boats full time. In 1910, the brothers joined with other partners to form the Smith Ryan Boat & Engine Company. The company name was changed to Chris-Craft in 1924. The Detroit area company became well known for their sleek racing boats in the 1910s and 1920s. In 1927, Jay Smith who is the son of Chris Smith, took over the company as President and General Manager. Jay Smith would stay in charge of the company for the next 31 years. Chris Smith than died in 1939, at the age of 78, as the company started to feel constraints from the economy. Due to World War II, in 1941, Chris-Craft helped build patrol boats, rescue vessels, and utility launches for the United States Army and Navy. Chris-Craft explored new markets when in 1955, Chris-Craft built their first fiberglass boat. The company continued to be independent until it was acquired by Shields & Company and National Automotive Fibers in 1960. They renamed the company Chris-Craft Industries, Incorporated.
- see Main article Chris-Craft Industries
Chris-Craft Industries sold its boat division to Murray Industries in 1981, but retained the Chris-Craft trademark and licensed it to Murray. Chris-Craft Industries was acquired by News Corporation in 2000 for its television subsidiaries.
Outboard Marine Corporation acquired Chris-Craft Boats in 1989. OMC went into bankruptcy in 2000 and was purchased by Genmar. Genmar sold the Chris-Craft division to Stellican, Ltd., then Stellican purchased the Chris-Craft trademark from News Corporation, thus reuniting the two parts of the company to form Chris-Craft, Inc..
There are a variety of Chris-Crafts offered for the 2013 boating season. The boats are broken down into three categories with various models to choose from. The available categories to choose from are Corsair, Launch and Catalina. Each offer their own unique features separating them from the rest. The most notable difference is how the Catalina offers a fishing boat style resulting in a niche customer base.
Corsair Category: Capri 21: This boat has a 21 foot length with the addition of the swim platform tacked on the back. The fuel capacity of the craft is a 34 gallon tank. Bullet 20: This boat is 20 feet long, but offers a more sport orientated experience different from what Chris-Craft is typically known for. Lancer 20: The length of this craft is 20 feet long and also offers the 34 gallon fuel tank. The craft also offers a top speed of 51 miles per hour. Corsair: This craft comes in a variety of lengths ranging from 22 to 36 feet. All the various length models offer different features as the crafts get longer, but for the most part these are all comparable crafts.
Launch Category: Carina 21: This craft is 21 feet long with the swim board on the back included. With a variety of engines to choose from the top speed is hard to determine. The boat itself also infused more fiberglass into the hull of the craft rather than wood, thus creating a more modern look. Launch: This, like the Corsair, comes in a variety of lengths from 20 to 32 feet long. The styling is similar to the Carina with more fiberglass being used in the hull of the craft. One cool feature of the this craft is it actually has a grill built right into the craft providing a more convenient way to spend a day out on the water. Thanks to the twin motors it provides a top speed of 61 miles per hour.
Catalina Category: Catalina: These fishing style boats provide people with the fishing boat style, but the luxury of a Chris Craft. These fishing boats are between 23 and 29 feet in length. With an all fiberglass hull, and twin outboard motors showing on the rear this craft looks much different than the other chris craft ships offered. While the top speed is 53.4 miles per hour, it should not be mistaken for not being as sporty as some of the faster crafts. the outboard engines allow for much better movability of the craft.
- "Everything Old Is New Again: The New Chris Craft" (html). boat digest.com. Force 12 Media, LLC. January 7, 2007. Retrieved 2009-07-20.[dead link]
- "1989-2000 Chris-Craft History". Chris-Craft. Retrieved 2 October 2013.