Begun in a basement in Arlington, Virginia, in 1991, Chesapeake Light Craft supplied at first plans for kayaks, and shortly thereafter complete kits. In the 1990’s Chesapeake Light Craft designs were featured in a series of widely read books and articles by founder Chris Kulczycki, who helped expand CLC’s mission to offer high-performance kayaks that were easy to build. John C. Harris joined the company in 1994 and in 1995 set up CLC’s first kit manufacturing facility at our current location on George Ave. in Annapolis, Maryland.
Embracing computer technology in the mid-1990’s, CLC’s line of boat kits expanded quickly. To meet the exploding demand, in 1997 a custom-built industrial-scale computer numerical controlled cutter was installed at a cost of over $50,000---the first kit company to be so equipped.
In December 1999 John C. Harris purchased the company and Kulczycki moved on to other pursuits. As CEO, Harris embarked on a successful expansion program that included new---and wildly popular---rowing and sailing craft, vastly upgraded instructional materials including videos, a busy boat show schedule in the United States, more boatbuilding classes, and overseas dealerships in Japan, Australia, the UK, and France. In addition, he has pursued alliances with other companies who benefit from CLC’s singular expertise in boat kit manufacturing, including WoodenBoat Magazine, the WoodenBoat School, Guillemot Kayaks, Shearwater Boats, and the United States Naval Academy, among others.
Numerous companies utilize our CAD/CAM technology for manufacturing projects. CLC also has a sideline in corporate team-building projects, with a client list that includes the Harvard Business School, Outward Bound Professional, the World Bank, Monument Realty, and other large organizations.
Currently CLC employs around 15 full-time employees at our Annapolis showroom, classroom, office, and factory. In 2009 we installed our third CNC machine, a 10-foot by 20-foot monster.
Chesapeake Light Craft has been the recipient of many business and product awards, including Sea Kayaker's Best Kit Kayak award and Best Northeast Paddleshop. CLC was recognized for Maryland's "More With Less" award and in 2011 the Chamber of Commerce voted CLC Small Business of the Year. CLC has gained recognition for leadership in the world of amateur boatbuilding. Events like Family Boatbuilding showcase our unique ability to communicate the joy of wooden boats to people of all ages and backgrounds. Our annual customer rendezvous, OkoumeFest, draws hundreds of boatbuilders from across the country to share their work and meet fellow boat nuts.
Owner & CEO: John C. Harris, firstname.lastname@example.org
General Manager: Ed Wigglesworth, email@example.com
Sales Manager: Joey Schott, joey@clcboatscom
Production Manager: David Fawley, firstname.lastname@example.org
VP-Marketing: Matt Cordrey, email@example.com