What izit? Chris – Craft? Look Again?

Thanks to fellow Woody Boater Denis from Germany for sending in this. Its a unique thing for sure. Was it changed? Take it away Denis.  I recently bought a boat which was sold as a Chris Craft but I don´t think it is one.

It would be great to get any additional information about the boat before starting

restoration. Do you have any idea what brand this boat is?

The length is 23“

I think the upper deck is wrong, the front part has a higher profile than the rear part.

It seems that one additional rib has been added for a longer front part.

Maybe there was a triple cockpit wich has been closed in the past.

I really appreciate any information.

47 replies
  1. Dan T
    Dan T says:

    The way she’s constructed, I’d say it’s a Chris Craft. Could be a one off custom build. Possibly a yacht tender built for the European market in 1928. Interesting boat.

  2. Jim Staib
    Jim Staib says:

    Nothing in the Bible with a hull number like that. I’m going with “Experimental”.
    Ok, more coffee and it could be “European”
    Truth is I have no idea.
    Any photos of the hardware?

    • Cameron
      Cameron says:

      I agree, the bow section does seem higher and more bowed than usual. It may have been built up in a previous renovation?

  3. Dan T
    Dan T says:

    According to the Essential Guide, the are some 324 hull card missing and another 144 that don’t indicate model represented between 1922-1930.

  4. Mike Green
    Mike Green says:

    I really don’t think its a Chris Craft. The construction is way off. I have never seen a hull constructed that way using blind fasteners on the sides going through the battens and they definitely never constructed a bottom with battens. The frames are not right as well, Chris Craft used a main frame that tied into the side frames and then sub frames that where in-between the main frames. This boat only has main frames. The forward deck has a large crown to it that just stop at the dash and does not follow the rest of the deck so I think it was changed or maybe the boat is a custom build by someone. I think Hacker Craft used a blind fastening system in the early years but not sure it is a Hacker either. My guess is a home built boat.

  5. Rick Gambino
    Rick Gambino says:

    Thanks for today’s header. Just missed the m in Gambino. Then again spelling is optional on Woodyboater.

  6. Garfield Wood
    Garfield Wood says:

    Mike is on target. This is not a Chris-Craft. Or this would have to be the FIRST Chris-Craft ever discovered with a batten seam bottom.

    • Matt
      Matt says:

      Here is my question. Why would someone create a fake Chris Craft hull plate like that? They wouldnt. But they would rebuild a bottom and customize a boat. The real gold for me would be knowing what that Hull Plate number means.

      • Garfield Wood
        Garfield Wood says:

        Why would they rebuild a bottom using entirely different construction methods? Why would they also reengineer/rebuild all structural elements? Why would they also rebuild the sides using riveted construction? From top to bottom, this is not a Chris-Craft. There have been countless boats over the years referred to as Chris-Crafts, including leafing the Chris-Craft logo on the hull sides, promoting boat as such on eBay, etc. I can think of dozens that used a Hercules-based engine with Chris-Craft Marine cast in the manifold top. Just by using that engine, the boats become “Chris-Crafts” in many cases.

  7. Dennis Schmidt
    Dennis Schmidt says:

    Hello everybody,

    thanks a lot for your help!
    I just made some more pictures of the steering and rudder linkage. Unfortunately the boat has no other hardware.
    The upper deck has definitely been made later and is not original. Underneath the deck I could see that they added some wood to change to the higher profile, furthermore someone made it 1 foot longer. Maybe it has been a utility instead of a runabout?
    I really appreciate your help.

    With best regards

  8. Verne
    Verne says:

    I agree with Matt. No one would fake the metal CC plate if the boat wasn’t completely restored. To me, the presence of the plate indicates it started life as a CC. What happened to it after that, is anyone’s guess.

  9. Garfield Wood
    Garfield Wood says:

    A common thing to do was to grab a 16-foot Chris-Craft split cockpit, redeck, put different hardware on it and call it a Gar Wood Speedster. Many of these had Gar Wood hardware. Every attempt to make it look like a Speedster was made. The hull was a Chris-Craft. Gar Wood hardware, a new deck, etc., could never make it a Gar Wood.

  10. Matt
    Matt says:

    Agree, and still am bugged by the Hull Number on the plate. Why? I dont disagree that it Feels rather Hacker designed, and we all know that hacker sold hulls, and there were one off companies. Shcillo boats for example. But why that dam Chris Craft number? Is the number more valuable than the boat? Does Dennis restore the hull number or whats in front of him?

  11. Texcritter
    Texcritter says:

    Greetings from Texas Denis. I think a proper name for her would be either “Ms Mystery ” or “Mystery Date”like the board game. Lol .

  12. Garfield Wood
    Garfield Wood says:

    Pre war vintage boat, as evidenced by the construction methods. Chris-Craft very few if any Alpha letter prefixes on hull numbers prior to WWII. Alpha lettering was a war time into post war thing. Even so, I cannot recall any post war hull numbers starting with E. I could be wrong on this—need to check my resources.

    The rake of the stem into the curvature of the foot looks a bit Hackerish, but I do not think so. The running gear does not jive with a Chris.

    The bottom construction— a diagonally laid inner plank bottom. Yep, Chris-Craft did that. But with longitudinal stringers in addition? These would need all new bottom frames, not for such stringers. Knees—Chris-Craft never made knees in that shape. This would have to be the first boat ever discovered that did. The knees are also reinforced with bolted metal angle pieces. I cannot get on board with that, although those could have been added later. Everything Mike Green notes is right on.

  13. charley quimby
    charley quimby says:

    Never seen a Chris number like that one: “C” looks like it was struck with a cold chisel, and there is a slash used instead of a dash. Braces at stern on the stringers look like bent metal plates. Is this a vee-drive? I suspect the boat is a one-off home or yard-built custom. CQ

  14. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    Double plank bottom with battons? No way that started as a Chris Craft. Likely it was a Century style single plank and baton bottom with notched frames that became double plank with the diagonal inner layer added at time of a re bottom job. It would make no sense to notch out all the frames to add battons that don’t line up with the inner seams but it could sorta make sense (in their minds at the time) to switch to a double layer bottom if they had leakage issues with the old single plank and batton bottom.

    The Chris Craft plate is far more likely to be altered from another boat. Throw the Chris Craft name on an unnamed or unknown boat and suddenly it has name recognition. Not just with the lay public, heck it worked well enough to get attention here.

    Barring shocking new evidence I would say that boat never was a Chris Craft and whatever it was, it has since been dramatically altered.

  15. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    Hacker’s had more crown and “falloff” from dash to bow stem and their transom’s were not as deep and wide as this example. Some of their deck framing was poplar and 5/8″ of an inch thick whereas CC’s were 3/4″ or 7/8ths inch thick if I’m not mistaken and mahogany. Data plate issue seems like someone was trying to put one over on buyer?

  16. Mike U
    Mike U says:

    It’s a Chris Kunst – a re-engineered Chris Craft in Germany (think u-boat engine room?)

  17. Dan T
    Dan T says:

    We’re all guessing, but I tend to disagree with the naysayers. In the 1920’s Chris Craft was still in its infancy and not yet a fully evolved production builder. It would make perfect sense that in those early years different building techniques and designs were tried and tested just as they are today. Compared to what we’re familiar with, mostly later boats, it definitely has some oddities about it. I still vote Chris Craft. E-01 and only.

  18. Jim Staib
    Jim Staib says:

    None of the steering is Chris-Craft. Sorta reminds me of putting a Chris-Craft tag on a boat to get it through customs. Not that I would do it.

  19. John Bettano
    John Bettano says:

    Also wrong is the shifter. And steering column. CC never used ribbing like that this just looks wrong. However if it dose turn out to be a real CC you may have hit the mother load

  20. thomas d
    thomas d says:

    I think the hull plate was added to make it sell faster, anyone can find a blank hull plate and letter/number stamps.

  21. greg wallace
    greg wallace says:

    Perhaps it is a European builder…..Forslund maybe?? Does anyone know what the hull designation was for landing craft? There should be a few of those hull plates laying around.

  22. jim g
    jim g says:

    Dodge boats are the only ones that I know of that did there bottoms double planked like Chris Craft but also used the battens like the Century single planked bottoms.

    Dodge also cut there bottom planks to the curve of the chine. Instead of fairly straight runs like the other manufacturers. A couple of pictures of the bottom battens look to support this. As they would be curved also.

    The chine landings in Dodges are also done at an angle and not notched out. Which this boat has.

    The battens were also screw to the planks from the inside with round head wood screws. This boat looks to have been copper riveted. I’ve only have worked on 3 21′ 6″ models form 1931 to 1932. So the earlier ones could have been riveted or this could have been done to it later.

    For the moment I’m leaning toward it being a Dodge boat. I also agree with Jim Staib that the Chris Craft plate was probably made up for importing.

    • jim g
      jim g says:

      The shifter mechanism also looks dodge as the actual lever you push on came through the dash offset form the center. Not on the side like some of the Chris Craft models did.

  23. Herb Hall
    Herb Hall says:

    Having once owed one, My guess is it’s a Dee Wite. They fastened the planks from the back side of the batten as seen on this boat. they also used a single plank seam and batten bottom, just like a Century. They were also known for high crown decks as seen on this boat.

  24. Cobourg Kid
    Cobourg Kid says:

    Couldn’t help but immerse myself in Dennis Schmidt’s marine mystery. fact is I have a strong suspicion that that old CC plate with the prominent “E” at the start of the serial no. probably suggests that long ago a CC engine had been stuffed into that boxy hull, which, by the way, does not seem to have any real CC lineage Having said that I do also have a wild theory that the hull may have some racing history , but to narrow that wild hair some dimensions would be useful. Dennis can you specify length and breadth in imperial?

  25. Pete
    Pete says:

    The only “E” hull number I could find was an Chris-Craft Sedan. Could the top have been chopped and re decked?

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