Same Hull, Different Decks
The Corsair 22 and Launch 22 share the same 23' 2" LOA (7.06 m) x 8' 3" (2.52 m) beam deep-V-hull, but differ in the deck design: The Corsair is a cuddy model, the Launch a bowrider. Each boat is reminiscent of the Golden Age of runabouts, but built with modern technology and equipment. Chris-Craft offers a choice of engines in both, now starting with either a 300-hp 5.7Gi Volvo Penta or a MerCruiser 350 MAG MPI of the same power.
When we tested a Launch 22 with a 270-hp Volvo Penta 5.0GXi, the boat ran 49.1 mph (79 kph), cruised at 35.6 mph (57.3 kph); with the new 300-hp standard engine, her performance should be a little better. Chris-Craft lists both the Launch 22 and Corsair 22 at the same displacement, so the performance should be similar for both, too.
Easier Deck Access
The cuddy-cabin layout of the Corsair 22 requires a safe, convenient method of accessing the foredeck. The boat originally had the typical walk-through windshield, but now Chris-Craft says they have modified that design for easier passage from the cockpit. They didn't tell us exactly what the change was, but, based on the boat-show photos the company provided, it looks to us like a deck hatch has been added just forward of the walk-through windshield, maybe incorporating steps. We'll have to wait and see.
The Oldest Boatbuilder?
Chris-Craft is arguably the world's most famous production boatbuilder, and certainly one of the oldest. It was founded by Christopher Columbus Smith before the turn of the 20th century: Smith built his first boat, a hunting skiff, in 1874; by the 1920s he was building Gold Cup-winning race boats. Soon everyone wanted a Chris-Craft, so Smith developed standardized models that could be built quickly and efficiently in a factory. (This was the era of Henry Ford and the production line.)
Was Chris-Craft the first production boatbuilder? If not, it was certainly one of the first, and one of the longest-lived, too. Today, Chris-Craft builds some of the most elegant runabouts around, boats that can hold their own in styling and aesthetics with the best Mediterranean speedboats. In the 21st century, the company builds boats from 20 to 36 feet.
Standard and Optional Features
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
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