NEWS - Chris-Craft for Sydney International Boat Show
Iconic powerboat builder Chris-Craft
The unveiling of the new line-up was this week held in the company’s home town of Sarasota, Florida, and Trade-a-Boat magazine was in attendance.
Chris-Craft CEO Stephen Heese says the maker is feeling upbeat after surviving the worst of the Global Financial Crisis.
“We have a huge legacy and we have chosen to participate in under 40 feet for right now,” he said. “But we have plans and dreams to go bigger and, also, to cut new ground.”
For example: “The issue of green says to me, does the boat really need to go 50 miles an hour? How’s the owner going to use it?”
Five new models were featured in the combined launch and dealer conference. They were:
* A Limited Edition version of the 20-foot Silver Bullet;
* A Corsair 22 and 32;
* Plus two versions of the Catalina 29 – the Sun Tender and Express.
However, the five new boats were only part of the story - several other models were available for test, showing off a range of upgrades.
For Australia, the key models are the Launch 28 and Corsair 28, which Trade-a-Boat got to experience in dead calm waters on the west coast of Florida.
The combination of a compact boat with a very large engine naturally means that performance is abundant. For example, the Corsair comes standard with an 8.1-litre powerplant claiming 375 horses, but can be specified with packages of up to 600hp.
Finish is done to an exceptionally high level, something Heese takes a lot of pride in. “We don’t build the boat to a price,” he says, “We prefer to build the boat the way it should be and then put a price on it.”
Australian importer Steve Hannes, of Premier Marine in Sydney, says the local scene is warming to the appeal of the Chris-Craft range.
Several have been sold over recent months and he says interest in the Launch 28 (priced at $230,000) and Corsair 28 ($240,000) is strong. “They’re a perfect Sydney Harbour boat,”
Both the 28s will feature at the Sydney International Boat Show, starting on July 28.
Look for an in-depth interview with Stephen Heese in an upcoming edition of Trade-a-Boat magazine.
Photos: Corsair 28; Launch 28.