Chris-Craft boats have a special place in the history of Chattanooga. The company was founded in the late 19th century by Christopher Columbus Smith and it became famous for the mahogany wood hull powerboats built in the 1920’s through the 1950’s.
A majority of the boats were built in the Holland, Michigan Chris Craft Cruiser Plant.
But, in 1947 Chris-Craft came to Chattanooga and, on the former site of the Richmond Sewing Mill on Dodds Avenue, built a facility that would eventually employ hundreds in the River City. The first boat to come off the line was a 23-foot Express Cruiser and on June 4, 1947 it made its way to its first owner. A Chattanooga area doctor, Dr. T.C. Crowell, took possession of and captained his new boat to his home and boat garage on Chickamauga Lake.
Today the Chris-Craft plant on Dodds Avenue has been gone for decades but the history and relationship between our southern town on the river and these hand-crafted mahogany boats continues. The 1964 Chris-Craft CXB Constellation, or “Connie” for short, is a 37-foot yachtsman’s dream.
Scott Steele, Compass Auctions marketing director, said, “This one was christened 'Tradersville' by its former owner, Herb Adcox. Many in Chattanooga will remember the Adcox family and their nationally recognized Chevrolet dealership that was located on Lee Highway until the mid 2000’s.
"Tradersville was treated like the fine maritime vessel she is and was housed at the Chattanooga Yacht Club in an enclosed and climate-controlled boat house until 2018. Since then she has had two owners and the boat spent another two years at the Yacht Club before moving to the Big Ridge Yacht Club where it is currently docked.
“We have been approached to find a new owner for Tradersville and will offer this beautiful mahogany hull boat on May 26 at public auction,” said Mr. Steele. “Compass is honored to be able to bring this vessel, made by a great company with local history, to Chattanooga and the surrounding area and will find a new captain for Tradersville.”
Tradersville, like most all Chris Craft boats from its time period, has a hull and decking made from Phillippine mahogany and, as a Constellation cruiser, comes replete with a number of terrific features including a forward sun lounge, sleeping cabin, galley, bathroom, and enough space to sleep a total of six. It has some additional amenities like a depth finder, Pioneer stereo system, Horizon Omni marine radio, and air conditioning.
For those interested in bidding on this item that was once owned by one of Chattanooga’s most successful businessmen of all time, please visit www.SoldOnCompass.com or call 423-729-6466 for assistance with registration. Tradersville will be available for inspection prior to the auction please check the online catalog for dates and times. The auction will be held on May 26 and will start at 10 a.m. ET.