History of Chris-Craft - A brand that dates back to 1873.

Chris-Craft Heritage

In 1874, Chris-Craft set a standard by which all other boats were measured. Today, nothing has changed.

Chris-Craft, started from humble beginnings on Point du Chene, in Algonac, Michigan, a small town on the St. Clair River. It was here that Christopher Columbus Smith built his first boat in 1874 at age 13.

Joined by his brother Hank in 1881, Chris began to build boats full time, and as demand grew for these hunting craft, the duo began to standardise their production methods – laying the groundwork for the their future as boat-builders.

In 1927, Chris-Craft was recognised as the largest builder of mahogany recreational power boats, with Chris’s son Jay Smith at the helm. By 1950, the company was producing 139 power boat models!

Whilst the last mahogany boat was built in 1971 – a 57 foot ‘Constellation’ – giving way to the introduction of fibreglass, over the years, Chris Craft has developed a reputation for quality and performance.

A powerful vision for the future, a dynamic programme of constant development, particularly in the sport of boat racing – through the 80s, Chris Craft has continued to maintain its reputation for both advanced technology and traditional boat building combined, to produce craft of exceptional quality.

In 2019, Chris-Craft celebrated its 145th anniversary. And while the company benefits from its rich heritage, it continues to face forward, developing some of the most advanced leisure craft of its type and upholding its tradition as a true American legend.

Discover the Calypso range of boats by Chris-Craft, plus our featured model the Corsair 34.

Chris Craft Historic War Poster - Buy War Bonds