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24 Feet 1937 Chris Craft Sportsman

24 Feet 1937 Chris Craft Sportsman

$159,900 (USD)

Boat ID: 42713

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Boat Summary
$159,900 (USD) SOLD
Boat ID: 42713

Chris Craft built 101 Prewar Sportsman Utility boats of 24ft and 25ft length from 1936-1941. None were built in 1942. Only 12 were built with twin engines and they were all 24ft long. Twin production by year was: 1939 - 1, 1937 - 5, 1938 - 4, 1939 - 2. Of these 12 one was delivered to London in the summer of 1938 and may have been destroyed during WWII. Leading Lady is boat number 2 of the remaining 11 and was the first one out the factory door on March 7, 1937. At this time we are only aware of 3 surviving prewar twins; one in upper Michigan, one in Wisconsin, and Leading Lady in Texas. At the time Chris Craft was the only builder that had a national dealer network. Boats were usually delivered to dealers by rail and sold locally, but these large "Utilities" were many times a special order item for the well-to-do families in America. Leading Lady was just such a special order boat and was delivered by water from Algonac, Michigan to its new owner in Detroit, Michigan. The late Christopher Smith (grandson of the founder Christopher Smith) stated that as a young boy his job was to water test the boats prior to shipping out by rail and to deliver boats by water to buyers in the local Detroit area. Leading Lady might just have been delivered by the young Chris Smith in the Spring of 1937. Information from the 1937 Chris Craft factory specifications sheet tell us that Leading Lady is a Model 716 Utility Boat sporting two 85hp Chris Craft "K" engines made by Hercules Motors. The Hercules motors were used by Chris Craft from the 1930s to about 1957 when the first V8 was offered. Other specifications: Length 24'0", Beam 92",Weight 4585 lbs, Fuel 60 gal, Speed 34 mph, Price $3090. Additionally the Sportsman model offered a live bait well under the front seat utilizing a water "pickup" and "discharge" tube to aerate the live bait. I found this option under the front passenger seat during restoration. Without a rear seat, "Utility" class boats with engines under wooden "boxes" were used to deliver mail during the Great Lakes summer months and to haul supplies/groceries to island dwellers. They were the precursor of the SUVs and pickup trucks that are so popular today. Like many restorations this boat was found in a barn in Peoria, Illinois in November 1998 after a 4 year search and has been in restoration ever since. Yes that is over 25 years! 90% of wood replaced includes an Epoxy No-Soak bottom, New wood on sides, Decks, flooring and interior seating performed by Reardon Boat Works in the Dallas, Texas area. The owner finished the stain, varnish, and chrome. Both engines were rebuilt by the late "Mr. B" in Texas and the new leather upholstery was professionally added in 2023. After almost 40 years of drydock, Leading Lady won "Best in Class" in the prestigious "Keels & Wheels" boat show in May 2023. Now complete, this "bucket list" project needs a new custodian to take this boat forward into the future.

Location:
Kingwood, TX
Views:
3,330
Boat Details
Year:
1937
Manufacturer:
Chris Craft
Model:
Sportsman
Length:
24
Beam:
Engine Details
Year:
1937
Make:
Chris Craft K 85 hp (2)
Cylinders:
6 (2)
Hours:
0
Max Speed:
Fuel Type:
Trailer Details
Year:
Manufacturer:
Custom Aluminum
Axles:
2
Capacity:
Brakes:
yes
Comments:
All SS fittings and in Trailer
Other Information
Boat Cover:
Yes
Stereo:
No
Tonneau:
No
Spotlight:
No
Side Curtain:
No
Convertible Top:
No
Fume Detector:
No
Fire Extinguisher:
No
Comments:
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