5 Most-Common Problems With Chris Craft Boats (Explained)

Chris Craft Boats is a luxury brand that builds the highest quality pleasure boats. They have been known for providing the best quality boats since they have been in operation.

Chris Craft Boats also opened a middle-class boat production that lowered the price of their mass-produced boats.

If you are shopping for a Chris Craft Boat, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will share the most common concerns faced by boat owners.

We have searched through all the Chris Craft information to find the issues you might face with a Chris Craft Boat.

Check also our article on how reliable Chris Craft boats are.

1) Problems with Wood Rot

There are some known problems that Chris Craft owners have posted about across the forums.

Christ Craft boats have been in business since 1881. They have seen many changes over the decades in business. One of those changes was switching from wood construction to fiberglass construction.

The old wood models have had major problems with wood rot. More recent models have resolved this problem. However, if you plan to purchase a used boat, you want to ensure there is no rotting wood on the boat.

Another concern that owners have noted is that the boat will swell when it is taken out of the water. Many Chris Craft Boats is double planked with a layer of canvas that acts like material between the layers. In the forums, owners suggest leaving the boat hanging in the slings overnight.

2) Concerns with Fiberglass

Since the inception of the business, Chris Craft Boats have made many upgrades to its boats. One of these upgrades was switching to fiberglass construction.

As a result of fiberglass construction, many owners have stated across the forums that they have problems with delamination or the fiberglass getting soft.

Delamination of fiberglass tends to be more common in older boats, especially houseboats. This occurs when water gets in between the layers of matting in the fiberglass.

Often, delamination is a result of poor manufacturing and materials. For example, older fiberglass resins were not always of the highest quality. This can be repaired; however, it is expensive and can take a fair amount of time.

When looking at a Chris Craft Boat which you are interested in buying, you should look for stress, rot, damage, and delamination around the stringers, motor mounts, transom, upper structure, and roof.

The early models of these boats had thicker fiberglass hulls.

However, in the early days, they did not know enough about the fiberglass enforced resin material they were using.

The early fiberglass boats have a flotation foam in them. This foam is an expandable foam with two parts. First, it is poured in the voids and between the stringers once the boat is constructed.

The foam that is used is a closed cell foam which means it is going to soak up a large amount of water after it has been exposed to it for a long time. Because it soaks up so much water, it will never be able to dry. The best way to address this issue is to remove the foam and repour new foam.

3) Problems with the Stringers

Owners of Chris Craft Boats in the 1980s saw a number of problems with stringer cracks and soft decks.

In addition, some owners have reported problems with stringers debonding from the hull.

Many of these problems are caused by water infiltration. It can impact the stringers and the transom. The downside to this problem is that the boat must be torn apart to correct the problem if it can be fixed.

While it may be generally thought that these problems occur when the boat bounces off waves, however, there are numerous owners that state this occurred even on their gently used boats.

4) Crack in Gel Coating

Many owners have reported problems with their gel coating. In some cases, the gel coating is cracking. In other cases, there are bubbles and blisters in the gel coat. In many cases, this is a cosmetic problem.

It can be an indication of a larger problem, but it may not be.

When you know that the cracks in your gel coat are cosmetic only, it is possible for you can fix the gel coating on your own. These are the steps you should follow to correct the cracking gel coat on your own:

  • Before you take any other steps, you want to first ensure that you completely clean and dry your boat.
  • The next step is that you use a grinding tool to open up the cracks more.
  • You want to use the same grinding tool and continue to open up the small cracks to make them wide enough to allow you to fill in the hole with a paste you will make from the gel coat.
  • After you open up the holes, so they are bigger, you want to sand the area lightly using a gentle touch.
  • When the area is completely sanded, you should use acetone to clean the area once more.
  • Before you prepare to fill in the holes, you should take the time to match the color of the gel coat. Once you have the correct color, you should mix the gel to match the color of your boat. As long as you do this, no one can tell you fixed the gel coat.
  • Once you mix up the gel coat color, you will then use it to fill in the area that you gouged. It would be best if you used a putty knife to fill in the space.
  • You want to carefully overfill the holes when you are filling them with the gel coat mixture. This will guarantee that you do not leave any air holes.
  • After that, you should wrap the area to keep out the air to ensure it cures properly.
  • Once it cures, you should sand the area and polish it with a high quality finish.

5) Locating Older Replacement Parts

Chris Craft Boats have been in business since well before World War 2.

As a result, there are some replacement parts that you are not going to be able to find. If you can find them, they are incredibly expensive. This is going to be the experience for owners looking for boat parts before 1960.

Boats that have been built and constructed from the 1970s to the present still have some parts that owners can locate. Unfortunately, many of these parts are sold by the original manufacturer and not Chris Craft.

If you cannot locate parts through the manufacturer, there is a FaceBook page with an active community of users where you may be able to locate parts.

There are also owner forums where you may be able to find assistance locating parts.

General Pros and Cons for the Chris Craft Boat


Current model boats have a stringer bonding system that uses a superior adhesive that is more common in tabbed-in construction. This means there is less flex in the hull when waves are pounding.

There has been the addition of stainless steel and backing plates to help prevent cracking in the fiberglass.

The resin, which is a vinylester, helps the gel coat be more resistant to cracking and blistering.


  • Problems with the gel coat cracking
  • Difficulty locating parts for older model boats

What Do the Reviews Say?

Many boat owners prefer a wood boat, even though it has its own set of challenges.

“The Key feature of the Chris Craft Boats is that they use wood, specifically teak. The company has used various woods over the years but have found that the teak wood resists salt water better…wood is stained and caulked to give it more of a classic look”

[Source: VesselVendor]

What is the Resale Value on the Chris Craft Boats?

When it comes to the question of holding on to resale value, it depends when looking at Chris Craft Boats. Older model boats may not hold onto their resale value as well as newer model boats.

For example, if you purchase a boat from the 1930s, you can expect to be able to sell it for the same price at which you bought it.

However, it is going to be costly for you to maintain it.

Even wooden boats that were crafted to the highest standard are going to require maintenance and refurbishment.

According to some professionals, Chris Craft boats from the 40s through the mid-70s are considered part of the classic era. These boats increased in value by 5% over the past 20 years.



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