A New Chapter In The World Of Classic Power Boating


Chads Signed image of Chris at the helm of the 17 Barrel Back factory photo

With the passing of Chris Smith, The grandson of Christopher Columbus Smith, founder of Chris Craft, we mark an important moment in the boating industry. Now some of you may claim there are others and so on, but Christopher Columbus Smith is regarded as the first that made it all happen in a big way. And Chris Smith, was a direct line to him. And most importantly lived up to that part. Chris was always a wonderful ambassador to the family connection. He not only had memories, but he embodied the spirit of it all. You could feel it when you were around him. Once you met him, you understood it all on a spiritual level. Like meeting Herb Pocklington, and many others of that era. You just got it, and how it all came to be.

Chris Smith

With the passing of Chris, we now enter into a different understanding of “that feeling” It’s gone. And now on us, the next generation to make sure that spirit stays true. The good news is we have many around to help. Mike Green for example is that connection. Mike embodies the family connection. But even Mike would say, Chris was special, and was there, did that, did this. It’s almost impossible to describe this connection, but we all feel it today. Chris if you have internet service in heaven, THANKYOU FOR ALL YOU DID, you lived a very full, and loving life, you made a huge difference and kept your family legacy alive and well.

Christopher Columbus Smith, Grandson Chris Smith, and Great, Great grandson Mike Green , MISS ALGONAC at Algonac.

You can find out more about Mike Green here at his website, Maritime Classics


10 replies
  1. Murdock
    Murdock says:

    Agreed on all points Matt.
    I was blessed to grow up with real characters of the Greatest Generation in our foundries and pattern/machine shops in Cincinnati.
    There was absolutely no wall, roadblock or challenge that couldn’t be overcome. They just did it.
    I’m sure several had difficulties dealing with past battlefield experiences but they never let on around me. They always had time for an inquisitive and bothersome kid in the way. They gave me an answer and then a task to do. Men and women both.
    As you said, we who are left who had the privilege and the honor to have known such people bear the responsibility of becoming the next caretakers and “characters” to the next generations.
    The men and women who have passed before me taught me five key things:
    Manners, Morals, Values, Honor and Tradition.
    Solid rules then, solid rules now.

  2. MikeM
    MikeM says:

    Mike is an incredible ambassador for the legend of Chris Craft. He has a lot to offer to our lifestyle.

    Last weekend at the Mahogany and Merlot show I had the privilege of getting on a boat with Joe Frauenheim at the helm. Joe’s family owns JAFCO Marine in Buffalo. As kids (12-14 YO, maybe younger) Joe and his brother Tom were flown, usually last minute, to Detroit, and ultimately Algonac, to pick up and drive back the big boats that his dad sold. He has first hand experience and plenty of amazing stories. Two kids running a big boat all the way from Algonac to Buffalo!!

    Can you imagine sending a kid to do that today?? Without a phone??

  3. Mike Green
    Mike Green says:

    Thank you for the kind words. The shoes those men wore are huge and very hard to fill in a life time.

  4. Bob Braaf
    Bob Braaf says:

    I would add to that group Chris’ Son Mark Smith and Chris’ daughters Chris Ann and Joy. Each in their own way. They all grew up at the hand of a Master.

    • Sandy Buller
      Sandy Buller says:

      So true. They made it possible for Chris to enjoy his passion for antique boats for more years than he could have enjoyed without their support.

  5. bob smith
    bob smith says:

    The Turner family who have made Aristocraft wooden boats for multiple generations – great people great boats made for the average boat owner and there’s Stancraft boats ; same story; generational boat building on a smaller but significant scale; Lets celebrate what we still have but the Smith family will always be legendary !

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