The Chris-Craft Launch 28 is a versatile runabout designed to be the envy of your yacht club, harbor or the megayacht fleet if she is your tender. She is equally at home on Lake Wawasee, Indiana, or Monte Carlo. This boat is for the discriminating boater who understands the Chris-Craft heritage and appreciates the high watermark of runabout design which began in the 1920s -- over 90 years ago.
The "mission" of the Chris-Craft Launch 28 is not to be the fastest boat on the bay, because there is always someone in a bass boat or PWC who can go faster. Rather, the Launch 28 is intended to be the most elegant boat around. To that end she can hold her own with glitzy yachts 20 times her size which cost millions, but are often decidedly deficient in nautical refinement. Yes, the 28 can be used as a yacht club launch. She seats 10 people easily, and any club that we know would love to have her for she aims to please. The 28 would also make a refined captain's gig for a megayacht. With an LOA of 28' 9" (9.0 m) and a 10' (3.05 m) beam she will fit easily on most boat decks of vessels of 130' (40 m) or more.
We are hard pressed to think of any boat built on the west side of the Atlantic that has the exquisite finish work, intricate fiberglass moldings and elegant details all rolled up into one as does the Chris-Craft Launch 28. To us, and many other boaters who have been around awhile, she is almost a piece of artwork, one sculpted out of fiberglass, teak and stainless steel instead of marble.Every square inch of this boat's exterior has been fashioned in the best traditions of the sport of boating. She is a 21st century replica not of any individual boat but rather of a concept of old-world style and elegance. To us, those are her unique features. Ironically she is made of the same fiberglass, resin, and stainless steel of lesser boats. In fact, even her engine, equipment and inner workings are mostly the same components as in boats a fraction of her price. But what the other boats don't have is the total package wrapped-up in an enduring design.
Set up the teak cocktail table ($1,537) and settle down for a evening on the water with lights on the shore twinkling. Don't worry about the time or a call of nature because there is a modern marine toilet aboard ($2,427) in the helm console. There is sitting headroom inside. Only the highest grades of UV-resistant vinyls and upholstery have been used for the 28's lavish wrap-around seating both in the cockpit and in the bow.
The cockpit sole comes standard with a carpet, but we recommend going with the Heritage Edition Package (about $20,000 for the whole boat) which puts teak in all the right places, including swim platform, over the engine cover, the cockpit, step treads, cap rail, etc. The pictures you will see on the page below are mostly from the Heritage Edition Package.
One of the most important places on any boat is the helm. The Launch 28 is no different. Just as on all boats you want to make sure that the helm seat fits your body and when you look out through the windshield your vision is not obstructed by the windscreen frame or anything else. The helm seat is a double (31" wide) and there is a power option available ($1,078). Also, with the bolster up and your head above the windshield frame, make sure there is enough room between you and the steering wheel and that the bolster is comfortable for you. Everyone is different and one size does not fit all.
Several years ago we tested both the Chris-Craft Launch 28 and the Corsair 28 (a cuddy) which are both on the same hull and have the same displacement of 7,500 lbs. (3,401 kgs.). When we tested the Corsair we were able to wind-up the twin Volvo Penta 280-hp 5.7L engines to 4800 rpm for a top speed of 56.4 mph. When we tested the Launch 28 the highest rpm we got at WOT was 4500. At that rpm we recorded 52.6 mph in the Launch. Best cruise speeds were found on both models at 2500 rpm where we got 25.4 mph in the Corsair and 25.3 mph in the Launch. Miles per gallon fuel consumption at best cruise were 2.16 and 2.02, respectively, in our tests. All of these performance numbers are good, and we assume that we could have gotten 56 mph out of the Launch with some tweaking. Fuel economy at cruise speeds was certainly respectable and the engines were just loping along at 2500 rpm. What this means is that this boat is surprisingly fast for its weight. She is one of the heavier boats in class.
The 2011 Chris-Craft Launch 28 comes standard with a single Volvo Penta 8.1L GiC 400-hp engine. For an extra $16,497 you can upgrade to twin Volvo Penta 5.7GiC 300-hp Duoprops. The highest horsepower twin engine package available these days is twin Volvo Penta 5.7GxiC 320-hp for $20,880. MerCruiser engine options are also available for similar prices.With twin 640 horses driving the 28 -- 80-hp more than in our tests above -- she ought to be capable of speeds in the high 50s. That's how you become the fastest runabout on the water. And, if you're not the fastest, you will certainly be the classiest. Chris-Craft also offers Volvo Penta 200-hp D3 twin diesel engines for a $50,442 up charge.
Pros and Cons
First the cons. While you can waterski and wakeboard from the Launch 28 we don't know how a wakeboard tower would look on the boat and we're afraid it would ruin the aesthetics -- and this boat is all about the look. That means that the boat probably won't be used for that purpose. Also, we found that the helm seat was a little too high for us and we were looking at the beautiful stainless steel windshield frame, instead of through the windshield which was curved both from top to bottom and from center to port and starboard. Simply be sure that the seat is adjusted to your individual ergonomics.
Now, the pros: While the Chris-Craft Launch 28 might seem expensive at its $131,248 MSRP base price and about $175,000 with twin 5.7s and some nice options, in fact it is half to a third the cost of a 33' Riva Aquariva powered by twin diesels. In that perspective, the Launch 28 is a great deal. You get a boat that is almost as beautiful as the Riva, and is certainly faster and has some amenities the Riva doesn't have. Another "pro" that is hard to quantify: There should be terrific pride of ownership associated with this boat. Not many are built each year and you are one of the lucky few. We would say that having a 28 would be like owning a Picasso, except he ground out art faster than Chris-Craft could ever manufacture boats and Chris-Craft has been around much longer.
If you think the Aquariva might be a little over the top for your boating area, then you can't go wrong with the Chris-Craft Launch 28. She is dignified, elegant, and unassailably fashionable anywhere in the world. Even on Italy's Lake Sarnico (the home of Riva) she will give the Aquariva a run for her money -- and, in fact, win! Riva claims a top speed of 41 knots/47.2 mph for the Aquariva and our old tests show that the Chris-Craft Launch 28 can easily go over 50 mph with twin 320-hp engines. With the new, higher-powered engines that Chris-Craft is making available for the Launch 28, an owner can pretty much write his (or her) own ticket on speed. If you want to be the fastest runabout on the water in addition to the coolest, you can now do that. If you don't need high speed, a single 400 will hold you in good stead. At the dock the Launch 28 will always look fast.
Standard and Optional Features
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
Pricing Range: $131,248.00Prices, 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.