This Weekend You Won’t Be Alone With Your Woody Boat!

Chris Craft History

Ya, I was there!

Every time you go out on your Woody Boat, you are living history. That’s right, you’re never alone in a classic boat, because you have all the wonderful family history with you, not to mention the hands that designed her and built her. I can’t tell you, but I will, how many times I have been out on the water and felt like I was part of a continuum of history, of the dreams that have filled every grain of her mahogany like a thick stain of humanity. Each decision made by Christopher Columbus Smith is there in my woody boats living being. You may think I’ve gone deep into the thinner fumes, but you know I am right. You just have to open up your emotional pours and take it all in. Once you allow yourself that, you will never ever go back to the emotional coldness of a new plastic boat. Oh sure, there is some emotion in all sorts of fiberglass designs. But nothing is as deep and the bond of history, varnish and sweat all blended together in a magnificent symphony of rumbling power as you cruise down the water ways of time….. WOW, Ok, I just woke up from my dream, as i looked at this amazing photo on ebay today. Sorry.. I am back now.. Until i go out this weekend, then I am back boating with my mind in the clouds of the past.

matts dream

ya, that’s me and the boatress times two.

And for those of you that want a piece of history for the wall. here is the original photo I meesed up with my dream.

Factory photo

Reading from right to left: Jay W. Smith, President& General Manager; Chris Smith, Chairman of the Board of Directors; A.W. MacKerer, Naval Architect & Plant Superintendent; John E. Clifford, General Sales Manager; Gordon P. Manning, Advertising Manager; J.R. Whiting, Director of Service and R.Mack Krebs, Service Manager.” NOT ME on fare right..


15 replies
  1. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    I love the quote in the header today. “Life’s Too Short To Own An Ugly Boat.” A local boatyard uses it on a bumper sticker. (I have one on my fridge.) Of course I read a variation from Doug P. once, when in all his infinite wisdom he wrote “Life’s Too Ugly To Own A Short Boat.” Who am I to argue?

    That would be a cool picture to own, I think I like the version with you in it Matt. You could sell copies in the classifieds.

  2. Tom
    Tom says:

    There is no such thing as an ugly wooden boat. It is just that some wooden boats are better looking than others.

  3. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Make the pilgrimage to Algonac in June, and you can walk in the footsteps of those in the photo. See you there!

  4. Matt
    Matt says:

    HA, you took the bait Greg, nice plug. You should get life size cut outs of christpher smith we can pose with at the factory.

  5. David
    David says:

    Amazing how they even timed the picture perfectly so the burgee was standing straight out so you could read Chris Craft on it.

  6. David
    David says:

    Matt, you are right about that string, but what threw me off was the hair. I thought it was pre-Justin Bieber back in those days, without hair gel and all, and it was just the wind blowing their hair. But evidently not. Not only were Chris Craft boats way ahead of their time, but their hair was too! Trend Setters!!

  7. Matt
    Matt says:

    These guys you see here get it.. They knew about the power of marketing before most even knew it was a thing. Thats why its such a huge “brand” Note that there were a ton, tons of other boat builders out there. some even made superir boats, but no one knew how to market them like Chris- Craft. We are so blessed to have Herb Pocklington around one of the fathers of great marketing. To watch him in action up in Algonac years ago was inspiring. This photo is amazing and it captures so much more than a bunch of guys in front of a boat. Its the group at the peak of there game!

    • Cobourg Kid
      Cobourg Kid says:

      Why is the “Chris craft” script on the burgee in reverse?. If cc really was “great”at marketing would it not have made that flag two sided so you could read the logo from port or starboard ?

      Either that’s a one sided burgeree or the entire photo is flipped horizontally,

  8. Matt
    Matt says:

    HA, pre retouching again, not flipped, look at the hull logo. I suppose its honest atleast so people would not complain that there flag was not like the one in the photo

  9. Royce A. Humphreys
    Royce A. Humphreys says:

    Love the picture Matt, my only question is the obvious absence of famed newscaster Brian Williams!

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