Looking for information on the 1936 Chris Craft 19-foot race boat? Or wondering how you can renovate an antique boat? The answer is simple, become a registered member of the Chris Craft Antique Boat Club. If you are someone who owns a Chris Craft or takes interest in antique collections of Chris Craft boats or classic boats in general, then you definitely qualify for a membership. This club is one of the prestigious and oldest active marine marque club in the world.
The Chris Craft Antique Boat Club was founded in 1973 in honor of Chris Craft’s rich history. It is dedicated to research, documentation and preservation of classic Chris Craft boats. But what led to the launch of this club? In the 1960’s traditional wooden boats were rapidly replaced by boats made of fiberglass. This change had an impact on Chris Craft, the giant among recreational boat manufacturers. Production of Chris Craft’s classic mahogany-hulled boats stopped in 1971 and the last wooden boat was sold to a customer in 1972. But even after Chris Craft stopped production of these boats, the interest in them kept growing. All these boats that remind us of the golden-era of Chris Craft constitute what is known as the antiques and classics of today.
The Chris Craft Antique Boat Club was formed by a group of boating enthusiasts and chief among them was Bill MacKerer. Also known as “Mr. Chris Craft” because of his long-standing career of over 40 years as a Chris Craft employee, he was the first to suggest that a club be formed to encourage preservation of old Chris Craft boats. MacKerer was in charge of production at the factory and was a meticulous recorder of facts and procedures. He maintained detailed notebooks of boat specifications, both Chris Craft’s as well as its competitors. This habit of his led to the detailed engineering catalogs of Chris Craft’s operation in later years. Apart from preserving antique Chris Craft boats, the boat club was formed to establish a means of communication between owners, dealers and Chris Craft Corporation.
Chris Craft Antique Boat Club that started with a membership of around 100 in its early years, now boasts of over 3600 members across 35 countries. The club has an amazing website that makes it possible to complete membership formalities online. Members of the club become part of an international network that works together to solve problems related to classic boats. Do you know that every classic Chris-Craft boat was assigned a hull number and hull card that recorded details of the boat including dates, materials, colors and accessories? Owners of such boats can use the hull number to research the origin of the specified boat. Members of the club get exclusive access to an online hull registry that lists all antique and classic Chris Craft boats irrespective of make or age. Though owning a Chris Craft is not mandatory to become a member of this distinguished club, most current members of the club own a Chris Craft boat.
The next time you have a question on a classic Chris Craft boat or need help with restoration of a Chris Craft boat, you know you just have to take advantage of the benefits that come with being a member of this esteemed club. Participate in the club’s online auctions of Chris-Craft accessories, gain access to the club’s quarterly newsletter ‘The Brass Bell’, or take part in its online discussion forum ‘Boat Buzz’. And most importantly, realize that with each passing day your Chris Craft boat becomes more rare and invaluable.