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drivers perspective of the bow of a 1949 Chris Craft Sportsman Utility runabout cruising down the bay

1949 Chris Craft Sportsman Utility


Full Restoration

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Hull Rebuilt

Interior & Engine

Treasure Background

Chris-Craft Boats was an American manufacturer of boats that was founded by Christopher Columbus Smith (1861–1939).

Chris Smith built his first wooden boat in 1874 at the age of 13, years later he built a duck hunting boat. His friends liked the way he built them, and they asked him to build them one. This was technically the start of the boat company. He soon began to build more boats and joined his brother Hank in 1881 to begin producing boats full-time.

In 1910, the brothers joined with other partners to form the Smith Ryan Boat Company. The firm's name was changed in 1922 to Chris Smith & Sons Boat Company, then to Chris-Craft in 1924. The company became well-known for its sleek racing boats in the 1910s and 1920s. Chris-Craft sold high-end powerboats to wealthy patrons such as Henry Ford.

After the second World War, Chris-Craft introduced a new lineup of civilian pleasure boats in time for the massive American consumer expansion of the 1950s. That decade marked the height of company prestige, and the Chris-Craft brand name became virtually synonymous with pleasure boating selling to the likes of Elvis Presley and Dean Martin.

Their boats were often made from the finest mahogany and were considered to be amongst the best available.

Scope of Work

May 2021-September 2022

TREASURE came to Koehler Kraft for a complete rebuild.  Her engine was removed along with all hardware, seats, tanks, etc., flipped over, and her bottom planking layers were removed.  The chine logs, keel rabbit, frames, etc. were prepared for new planking.  We spilled, fit, and installed the inner layer to replace intercostal frames.  Spiled and fit outer layer.  Faired and laminate glass on the outer hull, tight filled and faired, primed and painted.  The topside planking was removed and we prepped the frames, stem, etc.. We repaired frames and battens, copied and fit new planks, installed planking, and placed bung and trim pieces.  The hull was then faired, stained, sealed, varnished, and flipped.  The deck was refinished, hardware installed, the interior installed, the engine replaced and fitted out and electrical wiring replaced.

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