Chris-Craft’s Silver Bullet hits the big screen Twilight movie features …

“It’s a very sexy boat, top of the line model, like a sports car without the traffic,” said Marketing Manager Kirsten Pedersen. “It is built like a high-performance vehicle.”

Producers of “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1” gave Chris-Craft a call wanting to find a vintage boat for the movie.

“We suggested they look at the Silver Bullet instead,” Pedersen said. The company sent photos and video to the producers who decided to buy two of the boats at slightly less than $100,000 each for the filming.

One was used in Brazil and another in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Available with optional 300-horsepower Mercury or Volvo engines, the boat is capable of speeds in excess of 60 mph and “comes in any color, as long as it’s silver,” Chris-Craft officials said.

Production of the Silver Bullet is limited to 150. With hordes of movie-goers filling up theaters to see the popular series, Connecticut Chris-Craft dealer John Benchimol knows he’ll be busy.

He has already sold the model used in Vancouver to a private collector, who owns about four other Chris-Crafts. The purchase price: $90,000.

“He bought it sight unseen because it was part of the movie,” Benchimol said.

The dealer bought it off the set after the filming and sent a trucker to pick it up and inspect it. It had never been in the water, used only on a sound stage and in the studio.

“There wasn’t a mark on it, it was perfect,” Benchimol said. “But I wasn’t worried, I could fix anything that could be wrong with it.”

It’s certainly not the first time a Chris-Craft boat has been used on the big screen.

Movies including “On Golden Pond,” “The Proposal,” “Fool’s Gold,” and “Mission Impossible 3” all featured Chris-Craft models.

“We are the most respected name in boating,” said the Clinton-Harborside Marina dealer. He thinks the boat is attractive to movie-makers because it isn’t mass-produced like other brands.

“It is a classic-looking boat — it doesn’t go out of style,” he said.

Benchimol has a Silver Bullet on display outside the movie theater in Westbrook, Conn., this weekend and has already gotten more than a dozen emails from potential buyers interested in the boat.

The movie promotion will be a good shot-in-the-arm for sales of the iconic brand during an economic downturn. Things are looking up, says Pedersen, and the company is now hiring, hoping to add 15 employees by the end of the year. Positions include areas like boat production, final rig, engineering and dealer development.

“We are humble and optimistic, glad we are still in business,” Pedersen said.

Jennifer Rich, Herald Business Editor, can be reached at 941-745-7087.


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