Captain's ReportThe Return of the Golden AgeChris-Craft has returned to write a new chapter in the history book of powerboating, with the introduction of their entry-level runabout, the Launch 22. The Launch series of pleasure craft are reminiscent of the Golden Age of wooden powerboats. With sleek lines, teak decking, and polished stainless steel hardware, the 22 restores the image of the affluent boating lifestyle.In the world of boat testing and evaluation, we come across many boats that look good, however few provide the quality or the performance that savvy boaters expect. I was pleased when I had the opportunity to scrutinize the restructured Chris-Craft company’s latest offering. Presented in traditional nautical colors of white with deep blue, the 22 is a beauty just to gaze at. Whether at the dock or pulling into the marina, people stop what they are doing, admire the retro styling, and start asking questions. But enough about looks, let’s get into the nuts and bolts.This boat is all about functionality and longevity. Overall build quality is excellent as well as its attention to detail. Of course you pay for such attributes, and for some of us that is more important. Just because this boat may look like something from the past, she is not engineered that way. Contemporary technology is used throughout, both in design and manufacturing.Her deep-V hull uses a 20-degree deadrise to slice through the chop. The flared bow keeps the boat dry, except at idle speed where I got a splash to remind me that I was on the water. The wrap-around seating at the bow is wide and comfortable, and incorporates flip-out grab handles and flip-down cup holders. The upholstery is supple and done in an off-white tone which helps reduce cleaning intervals. Below the removable cushions, is ample storage for your gear. Up at the bow you will also find a deep anchor locker and a trademark, polished stainless steel running light housing. As we move aft through the folding windscreen and into the cockpit, we find another surprise at the helm. The stainless steel looking steering wheel is really a soft vinyl unit that provides a good grip and safety. The dash panel is reminiscent of 1930’s era aircraft instrumentation, with a perforated stainless steel panel and vintage gauges. I was pleased to see a manufacturer using multi-function gauges, as this cleans up the look of the helm and reduces the hunting around the dash for engine information. Because of their unique styling, the gauge readout does take some time to get used to. Like the rest of the helm, the switches are done in steel and are easy to use. Captain and companion seating is typical for a boat of this size, with full swivel, adjustment fore and aft, and flip-up bottoms to aid in maneuvering. Your guests will be able to relax in the 22’s aft seating area. The L- configuration, and soft cushions can be removed for additional storage beneath. Located to starboard is a transom walk through, which is a great safety feature but a little too narrow for big-footed boaters. Working my way back to the teak soled swim platform, I found the telescoping boarding ladder. Despite many attempts, I could not readily deploy or retract the unit without going for a swim.Under the manually operated, padded engine hatch, you’ll find a single sterndrive power plant from either MerCruiser or Volvo-Penta. You have half dozen choices of horsepower outputs or you can be bold and order your 22 with a Yanmar diesel. Whichever way you go, you can’t beat the added performance of dual-counter rotating propellers from the Bravo 3 or Duo-Prop drives. Overall performance was surprising, as this boat really wanted to run. She got on plane quickly and scooted across the water without having to fuss with trim or tab adjustments. Slalom turns were tight and handling was predicable, even when the water got bumpy. The Launch 22 combines the best of cruising, good looks, and the ability to pull a skier all in one boat.By Capt. Ron SvobodaTest Captain
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Chris-Craft Launch 22 is 49.1 mph (79 kph), burning 19.8 gallons per hour (gph) or 74.94 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Chris-Craft Launch 22 is 35.6 mph (57.3 kph), and the boat gets 3.63 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.54 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 238 miles (383.02 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 270-hp Volvo Penta 5.0GXi.
Standard and Optional Features
|CD Stereo||Standard Clarion|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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