Chris-Craft Industries is a privately held American manufacturer of
civilian powerboats based in Sarasota, Florida. It has over 130 years of
boatbuilding history and tradition. Founded in 1874 by Christopher
Columbus Smith, it is famous for its mahogany hulled powerboats of the
1920s through the 1950s.
The company sold high end boats to famous customers and Hollywood stars
such as Dean Martin, Katharine Hepburn, Frank Sinatra, and Elvis
Presley. Their boats were often made from the finest mahogany and were
considered to be among the best available. They were also easy to
operate, a must for their "weekend sailor" owners.
Between the 1960s and 1980s, Chris-Craft lost market share as
competitors with more innovative designs and less expensive
manufacturing techniques such as fiberglass hulls came on the scene.
Chris-Craft ended production of its last mahogany hulled boat, the 57'
Constellation, in 1971.
The company's ownership changed several times during the next several
decades until it was purchased by partners Stephen Julius and Stephen
Heese in 2001.
The company currently offers fourteen models ranging from 20' to 43'
with MSRPs starting at around US$42,000. The management plans to
continue to expand the model range in the future.
Craft boats have been featured in many movie films including House
Boat (starring Sophia Loren and Rock Hudson) , Donavan's Reef, Back to
School, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Godfather II, On Golden
Pond, The Dirty Dozen, Striking Distance and on the television series
A Chris-Craft also made an appearance in the film Pearl Harbor, but
experts note that the film, set in 1941, anachronistically featured a
1950s era Capri. Of current models, the Corsair 25 was seen in
Mission: Impossible III and the Launch 25 will be seen in Fool's
Gold in Spring 2008 (with Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson)