Constellation

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The Constellation was generally considered the top of the line mahogany cruisers offered by Chris-Craft between 1955, its inaugural year, through 1972, the last mahogany cruiser to be delivered. The only exception would be Motor Yachts. The Constellations were fitted for comfort and elegance. The accessory lists were short for most of the larger models and some of the smaller ones as most everything was already included. Chris-Craft announced the 53' Constellation in January of 1954 with a Spec. Sheet distributed to their dealers. A total of 42 of them were built, all were designated as 1955 models.

Contents

[edit] Overview

Constellations were offered in lengths between 25’ (1961-1962) and 66’ (1960-1961). This 66’ Constellation has the distinct honor of being the longest mahogany cruiser that Chris-Craft ever built. The 57' Constellation was the last wood cruiser built by Chris-Craft in 1972.

Beginning in 1961 all Constellation models received the distinctive “Triple C with Arrow” embellishment on their topsides near the bow. The name “Constellation” was not present inside or out, and to my knowledge only appeared on the hull cards.

Chris-Craft produced more than 7,200 of these great mahogany Constellation cruisers in 47 distinct models. See also the Constellation Express, Sedan, Salon and Tri-Cabin models.

The following is a tabulation of Constellations by year and lengths offered: Note that the Express, Sedan, Salon and Tri-Cabin models are not included.

Year Quantity Lengths Offered
19554253'
195633035' 38' 42' 46' 54'
195750528' 30' 35' 38' 42' 46' 48' 55'
195836528' 31' 35' 38' 40' 42' 48' 55'
195959027' 31' 35' 40' 55' 65'
196080027' 32' 36' 40' 45' 50' 55' 66'
19611,09025' 28' 32' 36' 41' 45' 50' 55' 66'
196290025' 28' 32' 36' 48' 50' 55'
196373527' 30' 34' 37' 42' 46' 52' 57'
196450027' 30' 34' 37' 42' 46' 52' 57' 65'
196550028' 30' 32' 36' 37' 43' 46' 52' 57' 65'
196640528' 36' 37' 45' 48' 52' 57' 65'
196723030' 37' 45' 48' 52' 57' 65'
196812530' 45' 52' 57' 65'
196910531' 36' 45' 57'
19702031' 57'
19711057'
19723542' 57'

7,290 Total Constellations built (quantities approximate except for 1955, 53' model).

It's interesting to note the growth in popularity that peaked in 1961 and then began to fall rapidly. This may be attributed to other Division sales such as Cavalier and Sea Skiff as well as luxury Aluminum Roamers and Fiberglass Commanders that were later being introduced.

[edit] Models

Models are broken into two categories, the first representing the period when the Smith family owned Chris-Craft and the second after the purchase of Chris-Craft by NAFI.

[edit] 1955 to 1960

Model Year   Hull No. Series          Quantity Length       Notes                                                      
1955        X-53-101 to -142           42        53'     First Constellation
1956-1959   X-35-101 to -236('56)     136        35'
            X-35-501 to -634('57)     134        35'
            X-35-701 to -900('58-'59) 200        35'
1956-1958   X-38-101 to -192('56)      92        38'
            X-38-201 to -258('57)      58        38'
            X-38-301 to -336('58)      36        38'
1956        X-42-101 to -131           31        42'
1956-1957   X-46-101 to -157           57        46'
1956        X-54-101 to -138           38        54'
1957-1958  CD-28-001 to -138          138        28'
1957       CD-30-201 to -302          102        30'
1957-1958   X-42-201 to -230('57)      30        42'
            X-42-301 to -354('58)      54        42'
1957-1958   X-48-101 to -126           26        48'
1957-1960   X-55-101 to -128           24        55'      See Notes 1, 3.
            X-55-201 to -260           60        55'
1958-1959   X-31-501 to -604          104        31'      
1958-1959   X-40-501 to -536           36        40'      See Note 2.
1959-1960   X-27-501 to -1298         798        27'      See Note 3.
1959        X-65-101 to -102            2        65'
[edit] Notes:
  1. Four Conquerors were built in this hull series and were designated with hull prefix CX-55.
  2. This model was continued in 1960 with new Hull Number Series CXA-40 series.
  3. When Chris-Craft Corporation was purchased by NAFI in 1960 the hull number series prefix was modified by the new owners. Two Constellation models maintained their original Hull No. Series during the transition year of 1960, the 27' and the 55' models. The 40' X-40 series, however, was changed as noted. All other Constellation models were new beginning in 1960.

[edit] 1960 to 1972

Model Year   Hull No. Series          Quantity Length       Notes                                                      
1960        CXB-32-001 to -057            57        32'
1960        CXA-36-001 to -202           202        36'
1960        CXA-40-001 to -042            42        40'     Continuation of 1958-1959 X-40 Series
1960        CAA-45-001 to -056            56        45'
1960        CAA-50-001 to -042            42        50'
1960-1961   CMA-66-001 to -005             5        66'     Longest wood cruiser built by Chris-Craft
1961-1962   CXA-25-001 to -200('61)      200        25'
            CXC-25-001 to -120('62)      120        25'
1961-1962   CXA-28-001 to -410('61)      410        28'
            CXB-28-001 to -300('62)      300        28'
1961-1962   CXC-32-001 to -180('61)      180        32'
            CXD-32-001 to -170('62)      170        32'
1961-1962   CXB-36-001 to -170('61)      170        36'
            CXC-36-001 to -190('62)      190        36'
1961        CXA-41-001 to -026            26        41'
1961-1962   CXB-45-001 to -035('61)       35        45'
            CXC-45-001 to -056('62)       56        45'
1961-1962   CXB-50-001 to -030('61)       30        50'
            CXC-50-001 to -030('62)       30        50'
1961-1962   CAA-55-001 to -036('61)       36        55'
            CAB-55-001 to -036('62)       36        55'
1963-1964   CXA-27-001 to -185('63)      185        27'
            CXB-27-001 to -120('64)      120        27'
1963-1968   CXA-30-001 to -220('63)      220        30'
            CXB-30-001 to -160('64)      160        30'
            CXC-30-001 to -150('65)      150        30'
            CXD-30-001 to -130('66)      130        30'
           CXD-30-2001 to -2100('67)     100        30'
           CXD-30-3001 to -3060('68)      60        30'
1963-1964   CXA-34-001 to -110('63)      110        34'
            CXB-34-001 to -030('64)       30        34'
1963-1967   CXA-37-001 to -125('63)      125        37'
            CXB-37-001 to -080('64)       80        37'
            CXC-37-001 to -065('65)       65        37'
            CXD-37-001 to -030('66)       30        37'
           CXD-37-2001 to -2045('67)      45        37'
1963-1964   CAA-42-001 to -050('63)       50        42'
            CAB-42-001 to -030('64)       30        42'
1963-1965   CAA-46-001 to -044('63)       44        46'
            CAB-46-001 to -040('64)       40        46'
            CAC-46-001 to -045('65)       45        46'
1963-1968   CAA-52-001 to -022('63)       22        52'
            CAB-52-001 to -016('64)       16        52'
            CAC-52-001 to -012('65)       12        52'
            CAD-52-001 to -008('66)        8        52'
           CAD-52-2001 to -2004('67)       4        52'
            CAE-52-001 to -014('68)       14        52'
1963-1972   CAA-57-001 to -028('63)       28        57'
            CAB-57-001 to -033('64)       33        57'
            CAC-57-001 to -036('65)       36        57'
            CAD-57-001 to -040('66)       40        57'
           CAD-57-2001 to -2036('67)      36        57'
            CAE-57-001 to -034('68)       34        57'
            CAF-57-001 to -030('69)       30        57'
           CAF-57-2001 to -2025('70-'72)  25        57'     See Note 1.
1964-1968   CAA-65-001 to -002('64)        2        65'
            CAB-65-001 to -003('65)        3        65'
           CAB-65-2001 to -2003('66)       3        65'
           CAB-65-3001 to -3002('67)       2        65'
           CAB-65-4001     (1968)          1        65'
1965-1966   CXC-28-001 to -080('65)       80        28'
           CXC-28-2001 to -2050('66)      50        28'
1965        CXE-32-001 to -035            35        32'     See Note 2.
1965        CXE-36-001 to -040            40        36'
1965        CAA-43-001 to -035            35        43'
1966-1969   CAD-45-001 to -019('66)       19        45'
           CAD-45-2001 to -2020('67)      20        45'
           CAD-45-3001 to -3015('68)      15        45'
           CAD-45-4001 to -4005('69)       5        45'
1966-1967   CAA-48-001 to -026('66)       26        48'
           CAA-48-2001 to -2024('67)      24        48'
1969-1970   CXA-31-001 to -060('69-'70)   60        31'
            DXA-31-001 to -013('70)       13        31'     See Note 3.
1969        CXG-36-001 to -010            10        36'
1972        CAC-42-001 to -027            27        42'
[edit] Notes:
  1. Hull Number CAF-57-2024 was the last mahogany cruiser built by Chris-Craft, shipped Nov. 4, 1972.
  2. This model was also built as a Constellation Express model.
  3. These were built in the Stratford, Ontario, Canada facility prior to its closing in 1970.

[edit] References

  • Chris Craft, The Essential Guide, by Jerry Conrad; Mariners' Museum
    • Type: Book; English
    • Publisher: Newport News, VA : Mariners' Museum, ©2002.
    • OCLC: 49780180

[edit] Links