Chris-Craft marks 130 years of boating history
1874 -- Chris-Craft starts in Algonac, Mich. It was here that Christopher Columbus Smith built his first boat in 1874 at age 13. These Smith-built boats were referred to as "punts" or "skiffs." With his reputation as a master boat builder on the grow, Smith joins with his brother Hank in 1881 to begin producing boats full time.
1927 -- Chris-Craft is recognized as world's largest builder of mahogany-constructed power boats. Jay Smith, Chris Smith's son, is appointed president and general manager, a position he holds for the next 31 years before his retirement.
1935 -- Feeling the effects of the Depression, sales weaken tremendously. The line is narrowed, and the company goes back to the basics of building runabouts.
1941 -- Chris-Craft begins building patrol boats, utility launches, and rescue vessels for the U.S. Navy and Army (12,000 military vessels by 1945).
1971 -- Chris-Craft builds its last mahogany boat -- a 57-foot Constellation, completing the transition to fiberglass products.
1989 -- Outboard Marine Corp. purchases Chris-Craft Boats.
2000 -- Outboard Marine Corp. files Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and Chris-Craft operations are put on hold.
2001 -- Chris-Craft is purchased by investment group Stellican Ltd. Operations resume, and the new owners reveal plans for the future with the introduction of three new Heritage models and a 43-foot Roamer Yacht.
2002 -- Chris-Craft unveils plans for two cuddy models on the Launch hulls and larger models up to 60 feet.
2004 -- Chris-Craft celebrates its 130th anniversary.
-- Stephen Frater