Chris-Craft Launch 38The elegant picnic

By Andy Adams

It’s hard to imagine a more elegant way to spend a day on the water than being aboard the Chris-Craft Launch 38. Everywhere you look - materials, hardware, fit, finish - all show impressive craftsmanship and quality.

Chris-Craft is perhaps the most venerable name in pleasure craft, at least in North America, and the Chris-Craft name is over a century old. There have been a few changes in ownership, but the Chris-Craft reputation remains untarnished. Our test boat was heavily optioned, including a metallic sapphire-blue hull colour, extensive teak trim and decking, and fiberglass interior areas that were finished in a rich, french vanilla cream colour.

In fact, the test boat was the Heritage Edition with gorgeous real teak decking just about everywhere from the swim platform to the bow. This boat is made for entertaining, but it's not a party barge - it’s the elegant picnic.

The Chris-Craft Launch 38 has room to seat about 12 people with great areas for entertaining. The side decks are wide and deep for a secure feeling when moving around. The swim platform and cockpit are the primary passenger areas, but the bow has a forward-facing sun lounge as well as bow seating, and the floor can be filled in for more lounge area.

Be sure to order one of the hardtops with yours; there are several choices. On our Launch 38 test boat, there was full headroom and protection from getting too much sun. Our Launch 38 had the hardtop with the sunroof and electrically extending SureSHADE - lots of choices that way. The hardtop is on a tower structure and all the welds are beautifully smooth, the structure is rock solid, and the powder-coat paint finish is an identical match to the cream fiberglass. It's the perfect structure to lean on, or to hang on to when running.

Helm
This is a shot of the helm as we come into the yacht basin at Friday Harbour. The twin Garmin multifunction displays can show practically any onboard information, but we really like the instant read you get from the three analog gauges.

Helm
The helm area is protected by a big, wraparound glass windshield, but we were curious as to why there were no wipers. Perhaps the captain looks over the windshield most of the time. Anyway, at the helm are three gorgeous bucket seats. The driver gets a footrest that lifts up, revealing a storage compartment, and the companion seats have a foot rest as well plus grab bars for the port side and centre passengers.

The seats are very handsome, have flip-up bolsters for standing or sitting, and everyone gets a foldaway armrest. Even the armrest brackets are gorgeous fabrications - no simple bent metal here. There is stainless steel and aluminum everywhere, and it is top-notch, smooth, and substantial.

Back to the helm, the boat has very good ergonomics, almost unimpeded sightlines, and the steering wheel is centred (not to the side the way the website design diagram shows). The rich, varnished, mahogany wheel tilts and has a weighted Chris-Craft logo in the centre that always remains level – what a detail!

The wheel feels perfect in your hands. The Mercury control box is just to the right with twin levers, ganged power trim, and an option to run on a single lever with both engines electronically synchronized. To the centreline is the Mercury Joystick Docking Control, which includes their Skyhook feature for station holding. Press the button and the boat holds its position while you are waiting to lock through, fish, or for your turn at the fuel dock…but never use it while swimming for obvious safety reasons!

A neat feature on the Joystick is the coloured light that circles to indicate the direction the boat is moving. The Mercury Vessel View information screen is on the centreline and near at hand for engine information. There's also a Garmin VHF and Fusion stereo system with controls on the side by the companionway. The test boat had twin Garmin GPS map screens that displayed tons of information.

In an appreciated gesture, Chris-Craft also gives you two analog tachometers and a speedometer, so you can see at a glance what's going on. There are also switches and breakers ganged with their resets down the centre panel. The test boat had a power windlass as well as the optional underwater lights and an electric sunroof in the hardtop. Our Chris-Craft Launch 38 had just about every feature available!

Outdoor Galley With the lid up on the teak galley unit, you can see the grill on port, sink in the centre, cooktop on the starboard side and the three locker doors below are concealing the refrigerator, microwave and icemaker.

Cockpit Features
One of the coolest features on our Launch 38 was that the cockpit had a full outdoor galley. This included a mirrored, stainless steel backsplash revealed when you raise the cover. It's a big piece but easy to lift thanks to gas struts. To port was a Kenyon grill, a sink in the centre, and a good sized two-burner Kenyan cooktop to starboard.

The cook gets a big handrail for safety. Under the counter is an icemaker to port, a microwave in the centre, and a refrigerator to starboard.

Forward BerthWhat an elegant wide-angle view of the forward berth! The Launch 38 has a surprising amount of cabin room considering this design of boat.

The whole galley is trimmed out in teak plus there are port and starboard side lockers - two small and two large. Then you get underfloor storage and engine room access from the cockpit. The hatches are all finished on both sides, which is very elegant, and it means that all the edges are smooth to the touch.

 

Bow
Access forward is by a recessed side deck walkway trimmed out in teak. The bow can be configured as a large sun lounge - like a playpen for adults - with teak handrails, drink holders, and an angled backrest, making this ideal for sun tanning.

The bow seating also includes drink holders and a 12-volt power point plus speakers for the stereo. Under the sun lounge there is storage for a filler cushion for the foot well. In addition, LED footlights strategically placed around the boat make it safe and luxurious at night.

 

Stern and decks
Huge stainless steel cleats on the teak covering boards make it easy to secure the boat. We liked that the swim platform has a handhold that lifts up, and there is a boarding ladder under the deck on the starboard side.

 

Cabin
It's amazing to see how much cabin space there is in this boat. Located five steps down, the light wood floor and forward glass panels make it bright and inviting. There is a big berth forward, and for storage there are four lockers in the side panels opening with gas struts. The test boat featured a Samsung TV forward and a second one in the aft cabin area. This area is mostly open, so it has a very spacious feel and portside lockers with four shelves and a separate hanging locker with a mirror.

 The HeadThe vessel sink in the head compartment on the starboard side is very stylish.

Head
The head is very important to all-day cruising comfort. This yacht includes a separate shower compartment on the port side with LED lights and very elegant fixtures as well as an overhead hatch for daylight. The separate starboard side head compartment includes a vessel sink and a Tecma MSD plus a full mirror on the medicine cabinet, which is open. Towel racks are included.

 Stern CockpitThe deck level layout is very accommodating with port and starboard side walk-around's finished in teak decking and with the teak galley unit behind the three helm seats. Love the sapphire blue hull color!

Big boat, big power
The Chris-Craft Launch 38 has so many features, we almost forgot to talk about performance! The test boat had twin MerCruiser 8.2 litre V8 engines, each making 430 horse power. There’s lots of muscle here! They included automatic trim and tabs, too, with LED indicators so you can tab down for rough water, planing a big load, or to balance the boat in a side wind.

Just running with the tabs up, we planed off in about 15 seconds, but the Launch 38 was basically going full tilt by then - we didn't particularly notice much bow rise or when the bow came down. It is a big boat with a sweet ride and very stout construction that can run in the 40 mph range. Exact performance data was not available but our driving experience was very satisfying. The steering is effortless at all speeds, and even idling in gear we found that it tracks straight and true. This is a great speed for sight-seeing. The idea with the Launch 38 is to set your course using the Garmin GPS map screens to guide you. Get on the power for an exciting yet comfortable ride, and then anchor out and enjoy the day onboard.

Cockpit SeatingThe overhead view of the cockpit shows the handsome seating surfaces and in this picture, alternative type of flooring than the teak strip our test boat had. Chris-Craft offers a huge range of optional colours and finishes.

The Launch 38 would be a great way to see the Trent Severn or to cruise even long distances, sleeping onboard some nights and staying at hotels or B&Bs on others. At an anchorage, it’s great to have the walkaround design making this big boat very easy to handle. Our Chris-Craft Launch 38 was loaded with features like the sunroof. I love the analog instruments and those big MFDs make navigating a breeze. We reviewed the boat at the new Friday Harbour development and it’s a perfect boat for people who own those waterfront condos. From Friday Harbour, you can have an easy little boat ride but it’s also a magnificent boat for exploring and entertaining. The Launch 38 makes a huge lifestyle statement.

 

SPECIFICATIONS

ENGINES: Twin MerCruiser 8.2 L V8 engines with 430 hp each, Digital Throttle and Shift, Seacore drives and Joystick Docking.

Performance Data (not available at press time)

Length Overall (w/o Swim Platform): 36'3" / 11.05 m
Centreline Length: 36'3" / 11.05 m
Beam Maximum: 12'6" / 3.81 m
Dry Weight: 16,000 lbs. / 7,257 kg
Fuel Capacity: 286 gal / 1,083 L
Water Capacity: 50 gal / 189 L
Holding Tank: 27 gal / 102 L
Price As Tested: $972,090.21 CAD at time of testing

Boat and price provided by: Pride Marine Group, Keswick Ontario.

Related Articles

Friday, 02 August 2013 14:41

Here is a motto to make your cruisin’ lifestyle better; know your boat, know your mechanic and know your butcher! Plan your course and chart your meals. In my younger days, while I was in training...

Thursday, 10 October 2013 12:58

As exotic and exciting as a bareboat yacht charter sounds (and is) it can still be accessible to the yachting novice because the preparations and details are all clearly spelled out and frequently,...

Friday, 03 January 2014 11:51

The brand new Cruisers Yachts 328 Bow Rider is one of a new breed of boats that is redefining our expectations. The emphasis is on living space, entertaining friends and family on board and on going...

Thursday, 10 October 2013 16:13

We were really looking forward to visiting True North Yachts for the opportunity of driving the all new 2013 Sabre Yachts 38 Salon Express because it is equipped with Volvo Penta IPS 400 pod drives....

Tuesday, 16 July 2013 14:02

Regal is a front runner in the new style of sport coupe cruisers. Instead of the old-style of express cruisers that were essentially open cockpit boats with cabin space below and only canvas above,...

Wednesday, 21 May 2014 13:52

Hans M. Fogh was born March 8, 1938 and on March 14, 2014, Canada lost a great sailor, while the world of competitive sailing lost a great friend.Many people know that Hans Fogh was an Olympic medal...

 

 

Beneteau Oceanis Yacht 54By Zuzana Prochazka

Beneteau saw an opportunity to add a little thrill to any cruising adventure, so they took the hull of the First 53 racer (introduced just last year), and with a few fashionable changes, created the Oceanis Yacht 54, the new entry-level of Beneteau’s swanky Oceanis Yacht line. The result is a performance cruiser that sails like a witch and looks like a grande dame.

Design

Roberto Biscontini is the naval architect and Lorenzo Argento created the details of the exterior and interior design. 

Read More

Destinations

  • Prev
Over the course of four days in September 1864, representatives from Prince Edward Island, Nova ...
The new owners of L’Orignal Marina offer boaters a new destination. Located in a charming ...
Commemorating 100 (+1) years of through-navigation on the Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic ...
On Friday, April 2 at 7 pm ET on TVO and streaming anytime after that on tvo.org and the TVO ...
Salt Spring Island, the largest among the Gulf Islands, has a certain mystique—much of it having to ...
Located in Lake Huron, the internationally significant Manitoulin Island is the largest freshwater ...
In Part I, Sheryl Shard ended the story at June and the start of Hurricane Season when they were ...
You likely aren’t quite ready to travel yet, but we have our fingers crossed that we can all fly ...

Riverest MarinaThe new owners of L’Orignal Marina offer boaters a new destination. Located in a charming francophone village in Eastern Ontario, this joined marina and restaurant venue is the ambitious initiative of long-time entrepreneur André Chabot and biologist Alexandra Quester, both residents of L’Orignal.

The purchase of the L’Orignal Marina was made official in November 2020. The new year was barely underway when all 50 available slips were already reserved. No wonder the addition of member and visitor slips is already planned for the 2022 season – the 2021 count is up to 62 power and sail already. At the moment, the Riverest Marina offers boaters a stop where they can launch their boat...

Read More

Lifestyle

  • Prev
Photograph taken on Sept 15 while drifting home after the last Wednesday evening race at Collins ...
On the afternoon of Sunday, October 3, fourteen exceptional sailors were inducted into the Canadian ...
My husband and I purchased this beauty in Gananoque two weeks ago and boated it from there across ...
Last issue we featured a story about the engagement proposal aboard Via-Mara, a 1969 Trojan 42 Aft ...
With thanks to Sail Canada, here’s a collection of photos that are Olympic quality. Clearly our ...
Wow. That was a lot of fun reading the collection of boat names that came in from all over the ...
No individual had a greater impact on the modern sport of sailing than Bruce Kirby. Known and ...
Just off The Ocean Race European Tour, Daniel is setting his sights on competing in The Ocean Race ...
After being our fearless leader and publisher since CYOB kicked off, Greg Nicoll, handed over the ...
Swim Drink Fish is spearheading the Vancouver Plastic Cleanup by installing, maintaining, and ...

DIY & How to

  • Prev
Finding the right PFD can seem like a daunting task and extends beyond finding one that fits and ...
If chartering is something you’ve been dreaming about, this series is really for you. BUT be ...
So many decisions to make when planning for haul-out. When/how to winterize? What type of ...
It’s a scary thought - whether your boat is made of wood, fiberglass, aluminum or composite – it’s ...
It’s a scary thought – but whether your boat is made of wood, fiberglass, aluminum or composite – ...
Last summer there was tremendous interest in buying a boat to have fun in the restricted world ...
The boat buying or selling market is hot now and has been since the late spring of 2020. Sean ...
Last issue we got up with Montreal sailor Marc Robic who has accumulated a lot of tips and tricks ...
While some parts of the country are lucky enough to have year-round boating, there are plenty of ...
A Transducer is a device that is installed below the waterline that provides underwater data to a ...

Galvanic CorrosionIt’s a scary thought – but whether your boat is made of wood, fiberglass, aluminum or composite – it’s slowly deteriorating under you. Part of this is the nature of the marine environment: Sun, moisture, waves, wind, movement and vibration all contribute to components breaking down.

But there are other factors that are much more concerning and act at a significantly faster rate that the environment can take credit for. One of these is commonly spoken of, but not terribly well understood: Corrosion. As boaters, we’re concerned with two main types of corrosion: Galvanic and Stray-Current. This edition will focus on galvanic corrosion – in two weeks, stay tuned for info on stray-current.

Read More

 

  

Marine Products

  • Prev
Dockmate®, manufacturer of advanced wireless remote controls for yachts, has announced expanded ...
PORTS Guides are The Essential Boating Companion and Look Great in Gift Wrap!    
Updated features and benefits offer next level of product excellence by integrating innovative ...
AkzoNobel Yacht Coatings has introduced a new, easier to apply topside system with two new products ...
Whether for news, weather or just to watch the game, onboard television reception is important. But ...
Kanvaslight® was specifically engineered for a long life in a salty, sun-drenched environment. The ...
Watermakers take ocean water and create perfect drinking water using reverse osmosis. A Schenker ...
If you’re headed out for a weekend afloat or on a week-long cruise you often must park your vehicle ...
Ten years ago, St. Margaret’s Bay (Halifax), Nova Scotia-based SailTimer Inc. made the first ...
Between the odor and working in confined spaces, replacing an onboard sanitation line is never a ...

News

  • Prev
According to digital news outlet www.insuaga.com, a new, full-service and modern Port Credit marina ...
The Canadian Sailing Hall of Fame and the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston are pleased ...
Paul Tennyson adapted from the reinforced plastics business to form Canadian Sailcraft in 1963. ...
Canadian sailors Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance from Chester NS won the bronze medal at the ...
Royal Canadian Yacht Club’s Defiant completed a six-race sweep of the Cup for Canada over Zing, the ...
On September 6, Groupe Beneteau laid out its course to develop new boating experiences, new ...
Last Friday, the first ever Canada’s Celebration of Sailing honoured the season for Sailing in ...
Boating Ontario is very proud to have Transport Canada’s Office of Boating Safety jump on ...
Montreal-based Vision Marine Technologies, Inc. is headed to the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout to ...
Summer is in full swing with Canadians enjoying time outside and on the water. So, while enjoying ...

Mia and Caleb's EngagementOn July 23 last year, CYOB published a piece on a beautifully restored 1967 Trojan 42 Motor Yacht in Oromocto NB. (That piece was also expanded in CY magazine later in the year.)

One of our Canadian Yachting contributors, Denise Miller, had shared the article on my social media and a young man reached out and asked if she could connect him with the owners of the boat, Dave and Barb. Denise leapt into action and Dave and Barb were thrilled. They concocted a plan that the young lady, Mia, thought she was coming to model for a sales brochure for Dave to do charter tours.

Read More