February 15, 2024 

Three men next to each other and one in the middle cutting a ribbon


Legendary boat brand sets sights on reaching next generation of boating enthusiasts

SARASOTA, Fla. - Feb. 15, 2024 – Chris-Craft, America’s Boatbuilder Since 1874 and a wholly owned subsidiary of Winnebago Industries (NYSE: WGO), is commemorating 150 years of boat-building excellence with the introduction of a special anniversary edition of its iconic Launch 27. The exclusive boat, debuting this week at the Miami International Boat Show (Feb. 14-18, 2024), is the first of two Chris-Craft products launching in 2024 as the brand focuses on reaching the next generation of boating enthusiasts.

“Very few companies have the privilege of prospering long enough to celebrate a 150th anniversary,” said Stephen Heese, president, Chris-Craft. “It’s a testament to the vision of the founder of our company, Christopher Columbus Smith, and to the craftsmen before us who delivered unparalleled design and handcrafted beauty of Chris-Craft boats. Since 1874, our boats have been beloved and passed down to generations of owners worldwide. While we are excited to celebrate this milestone, we are committed to furthering the legacy of Chris-Craft by continuing to invest in new technologies and designs that captivates boaters today and tomorrow.”

Special Edition Launch 27 on Display at the Miami International Boat Show

The centerpiece of the Chris-Craft 150th anniversary celebration is the release of a special edition of the brand’s iconic Launch 27 boat. Distinguished by a signature aquamarine trim that harkens back to one of the signature colors incorporated into Chris-Craft boats over generations, the special edition Launch 27 pays homage to the brand’s legacy of pleasure boating. Each anniversary boat comes equipped with a 150th burgee and steering wheel cap.

Additionally, the anniversary edition Launch 27 features all the hallmarks that inform Chris-Craft’s legendary approach to boatbuilding, including a signature deep-V hull, reverse transoms, classic lines, hand-selected teak and an uncompromising attention to detail.

A Brand for the Past, Present and Future

Founded by Christopher Columbus Smith in 1874, the Chris-Craft story is interwoven with American history. From pioneering engine-propelled boats and skiffs in Algonac, Michigan, to contributing over 12,000 vessels to the U.S. military during World War II, Chris-Craft has always been a proudly American company.

Chris-Craft boats, which are defined by their handcrafted beauty, elegant design, stylish comfort and peak performance, have drawn discerning boaters and historical figures ranging from Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy to Frank Sinatra and Katherine Hepburn. The brand’s timeless elegance has attracted the attention of audiences in generation-defining films and television shows, including On Golden PondMission: ImpossibleThe Sopranos and The Crown, among many others.

Chris-Craft's story continues to unfold, shaping the future of pleasure boating. The recent expansion of the brand’s manufacturing operations in Sarasota, Florida, reflects the brand’s commitment to pioneering new technologies and designs, ensuring a legacy of excellence for the next 150 years. In this spirit, Chris-Craft will soon announce an all-new, next-generation boat with a sportier design to attract new members to the Chris-Craft owner family.

Chris-Craft will be celebrating its 150th anniversary throughout 2024 with a series of marketing activations celebrating Chris-Craft owners and dealers, including a unique consumer campaign that spotlights Chris-Craft owner stories across generations.

For more information about Chris-Craft and its full product portfolio, visit ChrisCraft.com.  


Chris-Craft, America's Boatbuilder Since 1874, leads the industry in craftsmanship and quality which represents the brand’s enduring devotion to its proud past. Headquartered in Sarasota, Florida, Chris-Craft builds the following sterndrive and outboard power boat models for its 2024 Collection: Launch, Launch GT, Calypso, and Catalina, which range in length from 24 to 35 feet. Chris-Craft is a wholly owned subsidiary of Winnebago Industries (NYSE: WGO), a 66-year-old manufacturer of outdoor lifestyle products. For more information, visit chriscraft.com.


Allison Scharnow, Chris-Craft
Vice President, Marketing & Customer Experience
+1 (941) 358-3737 | allison@chriscraft.com