This rare 48-foot 1930 Chris-Craft Commuter was the best of the best
In the midst of the Great Depression, Allez was an anomaly. A luxury boat that only a select few could afford. An exorbitant, no-holds-barred work of art. Today, more than nine decades later, it’s still a marvel. The 48-foot 1930 Chris-Craft Commuter, the first of five models built and one of only two known to exist, is now ready for its next captain.
The luxurious wooden vessel—fully restored and offered for $649,000 through Antique Boat America—was created as a prototype and given the name Allez (“Go” in French) by Chris-Craft founder Christopher Columbus Smith.
“This is an amazing opportunity to own a historically significant vessel that has been under single ownership for many years,” says Mark Krzyzanowski, Antique Boat America’s vice president of operations. “This prototype by Chris-Craft is truly a bookend to an era of wealth, extravagance, and luxury.”
The Smith family used Allez for the first six months of its life and displayed it at the 1930 New York City and Fort Lauderdale Boat Shows before selling it “to a wealthy New York City day trader,” Krzyzanowski says. Shortly thereafter, it was purchased by a woman named Amy Guest, whose family owned much of the Florida land that was later developed into Miami. Allez later spent years on Vermont’s Lake Champlain before being added to a private collection in Montreal in 1976.
There may be a lot more to the story. If “Amy Guest” is Amy Phipps Guest, a wealthy entrepreneur with connections to both New York and Florida, it would be significant addition to Allez‘s provenance. In 1928, Amy Phipps Guest leased a three-engine monoplane named Friendship and planned to fly it across the Atlantic Ocean, but her family talked her out of it. So Guest selected another female pilot to take her place: Amelia Earhart. The rest, as they say, is history.
Hull no. 1 possesses the best nautical features of the era: open forward cockpit with windscreen, amidships settee and adjacent Pulman bunks, spacious upper deck, and twin 330-horsepower Mercruiser 454 eight-cylinder engines. Allez was built to taxi up to 30 passengers at a top speed of 30 knots (34.5 mph), and it was equipped with all the amenities of home, including a galley, salon area, forward and stern staterooms, and ample room for entertaining.
The sale of Allez includes comprehensive documentation, with photos of the boat throughout its life, along with restoration details, ownership history, and copies of the original factory photos. The boat is currently being stored out of the water in a temperature-controlled building in Montreal, and the company that has been responsible for moving the boat since the 1980s will also transport it to its new North American owner.
Even without a confirmed connection to Amelia Earhart, the Allez has an amazing history as one of the most extravagant boats that Chris Smith ever built. Now she could be yours.