Chris-Craft continues its 1920s retro design theme with a new entry into its Launch Series of boats. This bowrider has a vertical bow which is reminiscent of many boats built in the Golden Age of boating out of wood, as well as having the brand's signature tumble home, reverse transom and rounded sheer. Read on for more details on the Carina 21 in our snapshot review.
Helm and companion seats
Teak swim platform
Stainless steel bow plate
Chris-Craft Carina 21 (2013-) Specifications
21' 2'' 6.46 m
2,913 lbs. 1,321 kg
7' 11'' 2.16 m
34'' 86 cm
34 gal. 129 L
Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.
The new Chris-Craft Carina 21 comes standard with a Mercury 5.0 L 260-hp sterndrive and is covered with polyurethane "Dark Graphite" paint which has been polished to a high sheen.
The Mission of the Carina 21
Mission #1 is to look cool in a classy, elegant retro style. No boat builder executes that task with as much taste and art as does Chris-Craft so we can say "mission accomplished." She is the first boat in a prospective new line of launches that has a vertical stem. The line might reach as big as 25' (7.62 m). Chris-Craft's current "Launch" series has five models from 20' to 32' (6.0 m to 9.75 m).
This vintage Chris-Craft launch has the canoe bow, stainless steel strike plate and tumble home that inspired the creation of the Carina 21.
The Carina 21 will certainly make a handsome tender for a megayacht no matter its style. Tony yacht clubs on inland lakes would do well to have such a boat to ferry members out to their moorings. People who have summer lake houses with a mooring for their primary vessel can use the Carina 21 to get from the shallows of their dock out to the mooring, or to cruise down the way to the local bistro.
The secondary mission for the boat is to take family and friends for a cruise around the lake in comfort and high style. Finally, the Carina 21 can also be used for watersports such as towing a skier or wakeboarder. Anyone with a dock in front of their house will appreciate the panache of having a boat as swell looking as the Carina 21 docked out front.
In profile the canoe bow with the vertical stem can be clearly seen. Note the rake to the windscreen.
Virtually everything about the Carina 21 is different than anything else on the market. Her use of counter-sunk teak on the swim platform and bow is exquisite. Her custom-made stainless steel deck hardware is second to none. Having said that there are a few other things that stand out as well beyond this boat's vertical stem--
No Windshield Frame for the Walkthrough. This is a remarkable design feature and we can't think of any other boat that has done such a thing. While there is a stainless steel header frame on the windshield there are no frames on the other three sides of the windscreen that folds back for the walkthrough, thus eliminating the annoying and ugly vertical frames seen on most bowriders.
This bird's-eye shows the division of space in the Carina 21.
New Graphite Gray Standard Color. On the Carina 21 this color has replaced the standard Midnight Blue that Chris-Craft has used for so long.
Silvertex Upholstery. This is a new upholstery used by Chris-Craft and it is said to be highly resistant against abrasion, UV and stains. (See below).
This restored Chris-Craft launch is much bigger than the new 21, but it has the same canoe bow and strike plate.
As can be seen in the photos of old Chris-Craft launches on this page the new Carina 21 is not a replica of the classic Chris-Crafts. They were all built of wood, and while that is a terrific material with which to build houses, fiberglass is much better for boats. Unfortunately for founder Chris Smith, that was the best material available in his day.
Today, the designers at Chris-Craft draw their inspiration from the boats built during the Great Gatsby era, but fiberglass lets them riff on this nostalgic theme on their CAD CAMs. The rounded sheer and stern quarters are two obvious places that fiberglass simply creates lines that clearly Chris Smith had in mind, but which were simply not practical to execute in wood economically.
Windshields are another area where today's technology is simply far ahead of what could be accomplished in the 1920s when most motorboats this size had no windshield at all, or if they did it was a relatively flat, narrow piece of glass. Just as in the old boats, the windshield on the Carina 21 is not high and when running most people will be looking over it not through it. The folks at Chris-Craft tell us that people 5'5" (1.65 m) can look through the windshield, but folks taller will look over.
We like the varnish cockpit sole in this image. The teak deck is optional.
The rated capacity of the vessel is for seven people, which is largely a function of the boat's low freeboard. For this reason the boat cannot be loaded up with people in the bow. In fact there is comfortable seating for seven.
The bottom of the Carina 21 has a 18-degree deadrise at the transom, 2-degrees less than what Chris-Craft molded into the Silver Bullet and other boats it makes this size. This makes sense to us because the boat is intended for flat water; a deep-V serves little purpose and only slows the boat down.
This drawing of a "high-speed" Chris-Craft launch appeared in an ad for an era gone by. Note the windshield and cool rumble seat.
Ski Locker. There is a hatch in the cockpit sole to a locker that will hold four skis.
Towing Pylon. A tow pylon comes standard and fits just abaft the cockpit seating. A wakeboard tower is not available for this boat.
Helm and Companion Seats. These seats are adjustable fore-and-aft and they both swivel.
Teak Swim Platform. Natural teak is standard on the swim platform and on the bow. Teak on the cockpit sole is optional. Varnished teak is also optional.
Power Steering. Chris-Craft uses the standard Mercury power steering system.
Stainless Steel Bow Plate. This polished piece of stainless steel on the stem is a nod to the old ways of building when it covered the joint of the planks coming together at the boat's stem. While it is not needed for that purpose in the Carina 21, it will certainly protect the fiberglass from a forward bump -- and it looks very cool.
This is a CAD image of the new Carina 21, but we are told that the size of the driver is a good representation of the scale of the boat.
Complex Molds. Chris-Craft uses the standard materials and processes for the construction of its boats. Where it is markedly different from other builders is in the complexity of its molds. Typically molds in boat building are somewhat like a Jello mold -- wider at the top than at the bottom. In that way the product inside can easily be released from the mold.
Because of the tumble home, the reverse transom and other design flourishes, Chris-Craft cannot mold its structures in a "one-piece" mold. Rather, its hull molds must be "multi-part." This means that the port and starboard side of the molds must be clamped together and the stern is made with yet a third mold.
Once the lamination process is completed, the molds are unclamped and a hull emerges in one part. However, it is a long way from completion, as the "seams" must be burnished away and be made invisible.
Another CAD image gives us a good view on the windshield and the absence of a frame from the walkthrough.
Painted Hulls. Chris-Craft uses a DuPont automotive polyurethane paint in order to reach the high gloss it wants on the exterior surface of its boats. This is a five-step process--
First, a primer coat is put over the gel coat. Then the polyurethane paint in the color desired by the customer is applied. After that three coats of clear coat are applied. After each one the surface is sanded and buffed in order to give a bright, glossy shine to the hull and deck.
New Upholstery. In the Carina 21, Chris-Craft is using a new vinyl material called Silvertex™ which is manufactured by Spradling. The vinyl has the texture of fabric which sets this material apart from others on the market. The vinyl is covered by Permablock3, a coating that was specially formulated for the hospitality industry. It has superior U.V. protection we are told, plus the material resists abrasion, fungus, mildew and mold.
The vinyl manufacturer says that all manner of things can be easily washed off, including black felt-tipped pen if "caught quickly." Chris-Craft techs conducted their own tests of the material by putting on ketchup, mustard, suntan oil, grease and soda, then leaving it out in the sun for several hours to bake. The material passed the test.
This close-up CAD drawing shows the attention Chris-Craft has lavished on the hardware. Just remember that it is all custom made.
At press time the final price for the boat was not yet set, but we gather that the Carina 21 will be sold in the high 70s or low 80s.
This is a photo that appeared in an ad for a 1935 Hudson. The Chris-Craft launch is 16' (4.87 m) and weighs a total of 2,665 lbs. (1,211 kgs.), including the two ladies. Note how far the stainless steel bow striker plate was carried below the waterline.
Standard and Optional Equipment
Chris-Craft Carina 21 (2013-) Standard and Optional Equipment
= Standard = Optional
Chris-Craft Carina 21 (2013-) Warranty
Chris-Craft Carina 21 (2013-) Warranty Information
Warranties change from time to time. While BoatTEST.com has tried to ensure the most up-to-date warranty offered by each builder, it does not guarantee the accuracies of the information presented below. Please check with the boat builder or your local dealer before you buy any boat.
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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