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Chris-Craft Research Assistance

The Chris-Craft name is synonymous with speed and craftsmanship. For more than sixty years, this worldwide boating empire, founded by Christopher Columbus Smith, was a leader in producing powered pleasure boats.

The archives of Chris-Craft Industries were acquired by the Museum in 1986. Comprising more than 350 linear feet of records, this collection is considered one of the most complete histories of a boatbuilding company. The collection covers all models produced by Chris-Craft from 1922 through 1980 and consists of the major components listed below.

A black and white photo of a group of white females and males riding away for the viewer in a Chris-Craft boat.

Chris-Craft staff at The Mariners’ search the company archives to prepare research packages tailored to a specific Chris-Craft boat. The research is based upon the Chris-Craft hull identification number and/or the original engine serial number. If you would like to order a Chris-Craft research package, you must provide the hull number. Failure to do this will necessitate additional correspondence, delaying your research since the Chris-Craft Corporation filed the permanent record of each boat by this number.

What materials are available from the Chris-Craft Collection?

  • Boat equipment record “Hull Card”
  • Plans and drawings
  • Photographs
  • Research Package consists of photocopies of the following types of primary documents, depending upon the quantity of archival information available for a specific boat:
    • Boat equipment record “Hull Card”
    • Sales literature
    • Original price sheet
    • Black and white production photographs
    • Original engine information
collage of images related to Chris-craft. Top image, men and women riding in a Chris-Craft boat. A woman is standing up on the back of the boat holding a rope connected to the bow of the boat. Middle left image is of a Chris-Craft hull card. Text in image reads "Cruiser Equipment Record" It shows rows and columns with text in them. Text is too small to read. Middle right image is sepia tone with two white woman in swim suits standing on the bow of a Chris Craft boat as a white male in a captains hat looks up at them smiling. Text on image reads "Water Ways, Chris Craft". Bottom image is plans of a chris craft boat.

How do I find the Chris-Craft Hull Number?

The locations of the hull numbers are as follows:

  • On a metal plate attached to the underside of the engine hatch cover or engine box on single-engine models and on a metal plate attached to the underside of the starboard engine hatch cover or engine box on twin-engine models.
  • Stamped into the aft surface of the forward header of the engine hatch on single-engine models and stamped into the aft surface of the forward header of the port engine hatch on twin-engine models.
  • Stamped into the top edge of the engine stringer starboard adjacent to engine coupling on single-engine models and stamped into the top edge of the inboard stringer, port engine, adjacent to engine coupling on twin-engine models.
  • Either on top of wood towing bitt, aft face of bow block, extreme-forward inboard surface of port toe rail, or aft face of stem midway between chine and sheer.
  • SPORT BOATS AND RUNABOUTS – Stamped into the forward surface of the aft deck beam if the seat back is removable.

  • On the exterior surface of the port bow, just aft of the stem and slightly below and parallel to the sheer.
  • Stamped into the engine mounting pad, in the case of outboard-powered boats, and into a transom frame or suitable wood member in this area. Where no wood surface is readily available, the number will be glassed into the transom on the inboard side.

  • On the interior surface of the port hull side, forward of the foremost bulkhead. Numbers are glassed over with glass cloth impregnated with clear resin.
  • Outboard-powered models of the sailboat division will also have the number stamped into the engine mounting pad.

How do I request Chris-Craft Research Assistance?

Fill out the form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Contact Us

[email protected]
(757) 591-7785

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