This is a handmade “Boat Bar,” it was built using an authentic 17 foot 1948 Chris-Craft Deluxe Runabout that was cut in half down the centerline.
Once the original boat had been bisected it was carefully converted into a bar with cabinets, a working refrigerator, a glass rack, a bottle rack, and a white quartz bar top. The door handles on the cupboards are all miniature ship’s wheels, and it’s accompanied by three bar stools and custom “Uncorked” wine glasses.
Chris-Craft is one of America’s most celebrated boat builders, it was founded 150 years ago in 1874 by Christopher Columbus Smith in Algonac, Michigan. Smith had built his first wooden boat at the age of 13, using the lessons learned he later built a duck hunting boat.
This duck hunting boat became popular with Smith’s friends, some of them asked him to build them one, and in this way the company was formed. Chris-Craft began building sleek mahogany racing boats in the 1910s and into the 1920s, this would be the style of boat the company would become best-known for, and it’s what Chris-Craft’s reputation is built around today.
Although the firm’s high-end boats were exclusively owned by the wealthy, the company management realized there was a large, untapped market among America’s growing middle class. They released some smaller, less expensive boat including the 22′ Cadet in 1927, and offered payment plans – bringing the formerly exclusive world of mahogany speedboat ownership to regular Americans for the first time.
Over the years many of America’s biggest celebrities would own, and be photographed, in Chris-Craft boats including Elvis Presley, Dean Martin, Katharine Hepburn, and Frank Sinatra.
The Chris-Craft “Boat Bar” shown here started life as a 17′ Chris-Craft Deluxe Runabout and it still has half its original windscreen, many of the brass fittings and fixtures, as well as the front and rear flags. It’s now a complete private bar right down to the stools, it just need to be plugged in and filled with your favorite tipple.
It’s now due to roll across the auction block with RM Sotheby’s in early March at their Miami auction. It has a price guide of $65,000 – $75,000 USD and if you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can visit the listing here.
Images: David Bush ©2024 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
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Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with well over a million monthly readers from around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.