Chris-Craft has been working hard since the introduction of the 36 Roamer at the Miami Boat Show. With the 36 in much demand we finally had the chance to take her out for a test run. It took two days because of the typical Florida summer patterns, but the second drive down to Sarasota, FL was well worth it. The good folks at Chris-Craft and their Palmetto, FL sales office provided a clean boat ready to run and proved very helpful in getting everything done. It’s apparent their dedication goes beyond simply getting the boats out of the production line and onto the dealer’s floors.
Up on the Bow
This particular boat had the Heritage package with beautiful teak accents. The flared bow is sculpted to include a “sit-pit” that combines an area for sitting safely aboard up front while slowly cruising an anchorage, beach or Intracoastal Waterway. I don’t recommend being forward of the cockpit while at cruising speed on any small craft, but relaxing up here while showing off your boat around the marina, anchorage or beach should be nice. A space for sunning is in the center with spaces for your cool beverages.
A nice stainless steel windshield surrounds the cockpit, which also had teak floors that looked easy to take care of. It’s a short step down from the helm to the rest of the cockpit and the companionway. The teak is so well placed, the difference in the height here fooled me and I caught myself stepping into space a couple times. (Short distance, but it did make me look!) The helm is extra wide, with a bolster behind the wheel. It had a great combination display, which featured a radar and mapping GPS. The instruments were all easy to reach and accented with a perforated aluminum dash panel.
At the Helm
Besides a wide helm station, there’s a large bench on the port side for the rest of the crew, and semi-circular seating at the stern with a fold-over table. Just behind the helm station is a full wet bar with sink, refrigerator and icemaker. In the floor astern of the wet bar is a day hatch for a quick check of the oil, battery and bilges before taking off, or the entire stern area lifts on electric rams for more detailed and less cramped checking of the power plants. Nothing is designed to drain into the bilges on this boat.
Stepping on through the stern walk-through gate, you step onto an optional teak covered swim platform and have access to the swim ladder. When you’re ready to get out of the water, a shower with hot and cold faucets are ready to serve you at the stern.
Back into the cockpit and on through the sliding companionway door, you can’t help but notice the “flying cherry steps” leading down to an equally beautiful maple floor. Along the starboard side is a large lounge settee with a clear table top (with Chris-Craft’s logo in the supporting metal frame). The end of the V-berth flips up to increase the size of the settee during the day and down at night to make a large bed. A privacy curtain tucks away inside a closet to starboard, and a flat screen TV, DVD and CD player adorn the port side of this boat.
Center of the cabin, on the port side, is a hide-away galley. All closed up, it looks like cherry cabinets you would expect in a library of a fine home. The upper cabinets to the right hold Chris Craft’s signature china, to left a microwave and coffee maker. The base cabinet flips up to expose a double burner cooktop and sink. Be careful about closing this right after cooking because you might overheat the laminate on the bottom of the cover. To the right of this is a covered bin and six tumblers for cool evening beverages. Center of the base cabinet are three drawers including a nested silverware drawer, with the refrigerator and freezer to the left.
Behind the flying steps is the crawl space to the stern berth. This makes a normally tight space seem more open and airy. They even have the air conditioner back here in a cabinet so well insulated that it’s hard to hear running. The port side between the stern berth and galley houses the full head, which has a semi-circular Plexiglas enclosure.
Performance and Handling
The Roamer 36 handled like a dream, transitioning from hole-shot to plane with ease. I needed little bow trim to level the boat and had plenty of throttle control for maneuvering in a busy area. I didn’t feel much of a loss of power, even in a full circle turn to starboard. I was thankful for a nice gap between the bimini and the windshield with the awesome heat we had. If I wanted to catch a really cool breeze, I just opened up the air conditioner vent on the starboard side, next to the companionway!
We tested her on the morning of day two since a storm came along and chased us back into the office on day one. With three guys on board and a quarter tank of fuel, the twin 370hp diesels performed well. We reached a top speed of about 33 mph and were consuming around 34 gallons per hour. She was on plane in about ten seconds and passing 30mph in about sixteen, and when it came to her noise levels she was quiet for a diesel boat, with just 87 dBa at top end.
I must say that it appears Chris Craft is doing a great job of building boats that would make the original designers very happy.
Chris-Craft Roamer 36 Test Result Highlights
Top speed for the Chris-Craft Roamer 36 is 38.1 mph (61.3 kph), burning 135.6 gallons per hour (gph) or 513.25 liters per hour (lph).
Best cruise for the Chris-Craft Roamer 36 is 16.3 mph (26.2 kph), and the boat gets 0.49 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.21 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 125 miles (201.17 kilometers).
Tested power is 2 x 375-hp Volvo Penta.
For complete test results including fuel consumption, range and sound levels go to our Test Results section.
Chris-Craft Roamer 36 Standard and Optional Equipment
Dripless Shaft Seals
Washdown: Fresh Water
Outlet: 12-Volt Acc
Boats More Than 30 Feet
Oil Change System
= Standard = Optional
Chris-Craft Roamer 36 Warranty
Chris-Craft Roamer 36 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!
Chris-Craft Roamer 36 Price
Chris-Craft Roamer 36 Price
Base Price (MSRP)
Price as Tested
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.
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