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Chris-Craft Launch 36 (2014-)
(w/ Currently no test numbers)


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Brief Summary

One of the most popular new boats at last winter's Miami Boat Show was the Chris-Craft 36 Launch. In a word, she is "extraordinary," and one of the most exciting boats we have come across in long time. She is at once a center console, a cruising boat, a long week-ender, a deluxe entertaining platform, a sun bather's dream and overall one of the coolest vessels on the water of any size or type. Regular readers know we don't often get this excited about a new boat.

Key Features

  • 3 Year Chris-Craft Protection Plan
  • Full berth that sleeps 5 adults
  • Custom designed Bimini top with concealed storage
  • Diamond pattern non-skid on cockpit sole, engine hatch, and swim platform
  • Integral swim platform with hidden 3-step ladder
  • Entertainment center with cook top,grill, icemaker, refrigerator, microwave and sink
  • U-shaped aft cockpit seating
  • 316 stainless steel hardware
  • Main dash, gauge, and switch panels with silver perforated panels
  • Specifications

    Length Overall 36' 3''
    11.05 m
    Beam 12’ 6''
    3.81 m
    Dry Weight 16,000 lbs.
    7,257 kg
    Tested Weight N/A
    Draft 31''
    78 cm
    - Draft Up N/A
    - Draft Down N/A
    - Air Draft N/A
    Deadrise/Transom 20-deg.
    Max Headroom N/A
    Bridge Clearance 9' 10''
    3 m
    Weight Capacity N/A
    Person Capacity N/A
    Fuel Capacity 286 gal.
    1,083 L
    Water Capacity 50 gal.
    189 L
    Length on Trailer N/A
    Height on Trailer N/A
    Trailer Weight N/A
    Total Weight
    (Trailer, Boat, & Engine)

    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.

    Engine Options

    Std. Power 2 x 380-hp Volvo Penta V8 CE DP EVC FWC Catalyst
    Tested Power Currently no test numbers
    Opt. Power 2 x 430-hp MerCruiser 8.2L H.O.
    2 x 370-hp Volvo Penta D6 diesels
    2 x 430-hp Volvo Penta V8-430

    Captain's Report

    Mission Statement

    Chris-Craft has created the Launch 36 to return elegance with functionality to the water. Built as more than a family day boat than a cruiser, the Launch 36 can entertain a large number of people with a BBQ, a luxurious on-board cocktail party, a day sunning, swimming, diving, or just sightseeing in regal comfort. As unusual as the boat is on deck, she has big surprises in store below where she can sleep five.

    Chris-Craft Launch 36
    The Chris-Craft Launch 36 comes standard with a pair of Volvo Penta V8-380 engines with Duoprop outdrives or twin 430-hp MerCruiser 8.2L HO engines with B3 outdrives.

    Distinguishing Features

    Clever Use of Space.

    All throughout the Launch 36 there are innovative ideas that add more features to a small space. A table elevating from the deck… impressive bow seating that extends the existing sun pad… triple wide helm seat….a mid-cabin that sleeps three adults… And we’re just getting warmed up. •

    Full Walk-around Capability.

    Forget narrow sidedecks, the Launch 36 has a large center console that does nothing to hamper the 12’6” (3.81 m) beam, leaving plenty of room to walk 360-degrees around the boat with either rails or high gunwales providing safety. •

    Three Trim Packages Available.

    Chris-Craft offers the Launch 36 in three levels of teak trim. The Standard Edition covers the engine hatch walkthrough, all the steps and footrests in teak and includes the full forward sun pad. The “Heritage Trim Edition” builds on the Standard by adding teak to the swim platform, covering boards, and aft grab rails. The “Heritage Edition” adds additional teak decking to the cockpit sole. •

    Sleeps 5 Adults.

    While she carries the charm and amenities of, what may be considered the ultimate day boat, the Launch 36 can also sleep 5 adults in the cabin without having to make any alterations to accommodate them. •

    Standard Entertainment Center.

    Chris-Craft certainly takes being on the water seriously, and that means that there should be no reason to head to a restaurant, or pull sandwiches out of a cooler. Here, the company has included as standard a first-class outdoor galley, better equipped than any we’ve seen. It comes complete with a ceramic cooktop, a separate grill, an icemaker, a refrigerator, a microwave, and a sink, all while still leaving room left over for storage.

    Chris-Craft Launch 36
    The Launch 36 provides full walk-around capability with multiple areas to gather and relax.

    Well Equipped as Standard.

    If there was ever a nicely equipped boat with everything needed as standard, this is it. Very few items are on the options list making this among the best standard packages we’ve seen. •

    Choose From Standard Gel Coat or Painted Hull.

    Chris-Craft is among the few production boat manufacturers that offer painted hulls and decks. Its 5-part DuPont paint process provides a hardened polyurethane finish that is UV-resistant. When placed side-by-side there’s simply no comparison to a gel coat finish. Gel coat is white. Painted hulls separate the same old boat from every other boat on the water. Choose from either metallic or non-metallic finishes.


    Chris-Craft has made a remarkable comeback to the days when the brand was a household name. With this latest generation, premium levels of quality are present and her styling remains Chris-Craft. She has the painted hull coloring options and boot stripe. A tumblehome defines the stern. The bow has the characteristic flare of a Chris-Craft. There’s teak everywhere (all come with teak, the buyer specifies how much). And lastly, she flies the Chris-Craft burgee from the aft staff.

    Chris-Craft Launch 36
    Some of the classic Chris-Craft features are seen here such as the rounded bow and the tumblehome stern.

    Quality Standards

    Chris-Craft takes great strides to ensure that each of its boats adheres to 6 standards that will not be strayed from. 1.

    Timeless Beauty.

    The bows have a shape that seems to easily transfer from one model to the next. The reverse transom adds a look of elegance and eases boarding via the swim platform. Rounded gunwales as the eye runs back from the bow add more space forward and overall elegance. Everywhere there’s custom fabricated deck hardware. And if there was any material that defines Chris-Craft, its wood. The question isn’t whether the Launch 36 will have teak but how much it will have. 2.

    Agile Performance.

    While we haven’t tested this model and therefore cannot provide a third-party evaluation on it’s performance, we’ve been around long enough to have been on our share of Chris-Craft boats and all have been stellar performers leaving nothing to be desired in the handling characteristics. 3.

    Durable Dependability.

    It’s easy to say that these are boats built to last a lifetime, but these are words that come to mind as we take a walk to the waterfront and see Chris-Crafts from the ‘60s and ‘70s still plying the same waters today. Of course, the factory uses the latest CAD CAM design software and CNC routers. But strength is also built in with a 6-step lamination process with quality control monitoring each phase. Take a look into the engine compartment and the mounts are custom made for the model and engine. All wiring harnesses are made in-house with tinned copper wiring. 4.

    Traditional Craftsmanship.

    Chris-Craft takes great care to ensure that its use of woods remains stylish and long lasting in a marine environment. All cabinetry is matched for both grade and grain. 316-grade stainless steel is used exclusively and adorns most wood components such as the handrails. Teak coaming and caprails are fitted with custom logo’d cast cleats. 5.

    Stylish Comfort.

    The cabin environment is stylish and comfortable with a bright and open ambiance. The solid surfaces resemble marble or granite and are practical alternatives and Chris-Craft even provides custom china. The seatbacks are all angled to provide a slight recline and multiple density foams are used to provide more support where needed, and less where it is not. 6.

    American Heritage.

    Chris-Craft has been an American owned and operated company since Chris Smith started it more than 140 years ago. That is a tradition that continues today and will not change.

    Chris-Craft Launch 36
    A wide-open layout and full walk-around functionality are the key characteristics of the Launch 36.

    Features Inspection

    The Launch 36 has a lot to offer and it’s best to look at her many amenities from a perspective of how she’ll be used.


    There are few day boats that have a more inviting atmosphere than this. And once all are onboard the fun begins, and seemingly never stops. Boarding is from the swim platform that runs full beam and the teak decking adds beauty to the functionality. Once the swimming is done, go ahead and toss some water toys into the mix. The ample storage onboard swallows everything from inflatable water toys, to kayaks, to scuba gear.

    Chris-Craft Launch 36
    With the Bimini top deployed, guests in the cockpit can relax in the shade.


    Everyone’s back aboard? Time to eat. The outdoor galley at the cockpit deck keeps the chef in constant touch with the crowd just behind in the cockpit seating. And this cooking area is among the best equipped we’ve seen on any boat, large or small. For example, take the cooking surfaces. We’ve seen outdoor ceramic cooktops on some boats, others go with grills. Here Chris-Craft went with both. A double burner stove to one side and grill to the other. Can’t decide between a cockpit refrigerator or an icemaker? Apparently neither could Chris-Craft as both are included here.

    Chris-Craft Launch 36
    The entire galley is surrounded by wood and protected with teak doors below and a closable hatch above. The close-molded hatch is held open with dual gas struts and the underside is mirrored.
    Chris-Craft Launch 36
    Chris-Craft included both an icemaker and a refrigerator in the galley. Between the two is storage and a microwave.


    When it comes time to settle down and relax, the Launch 36 offers several places to do so.


    Chris-Craft loves to add “sit-pits” to its bows to add versatility to an otherwise blah area, but it also allows a more uninterrupted view from the helm. This is important when the area is made so inviting that it’s inevitably going to be used, and used a lot. Here Chris-Craft went with aft-facing seating fully forward. A space separates the seat from the sizable sun pad just abaft and this space includes storage in the self-draining deck.

    Chris-Craft Launch 36
    The forward seating “pit” is two steps down from the main deck level. The drink holders, grab handles and cleats are all stainless.
    Chris-Craft Launch 36
    Storage is under the seats and the deck. Speakers have stainless grilles.

    The sun pad is much more than a cushion tossed onto the foredeck as an afterthought. This is a dedicated lounging area that is sunken into three padded sides replete with drink holders and stainless tipped teak rails. It’s interesting that Chris-Craft didn’t just go with the same old pad on top of the deck. Most builders do this to maximize the headroom in the cabin below. Perhaps Chris-Craft thinks that this day boat will get more use above deck than below, or that there’s still plenty of headroom as it is in the cabin. Regardless, we agree on both counts. If desired, the sun pad can be extended further with the addition of a filler cushion that runs to the aft-facing seats ahead. Now we can have several people, all enjoying the sun, while facing each other.

    Chris-Craft Launch 36
    Aft facing seats are just ahead of a sunken sun pad surrounded by more padding on three sides.
    Chris-Craft Launch 36
    Filler cushions extend the already huge sun pad to include the seat just ahead. Now we have a sun lounge that is both fore and aft facing.


    Here the relaxing goes from lounging to opposing seating, providing a welcoming conversational atmosphere. All seats are in close proximity to the galley and music is streaming through strategically placed speakers. Storage is all around the area, both in the deck and under the seats.

    Chris-Craft Launch 36
    The cockpit seats are to both sides of the walkthrough to the swim platform. Here it’s easy to see how the Bimini top stores out of the way and is prevented from rattling against the bulwarks.
    Chris-Craft Launch 36
    The dining table rises from the deck. Having it open up and expand like this solves two problems. First, it allows for all of the people seated to be within reach and second, it removed the concern about a table rising from a location where feet just were. Here we have a clean surface to place food on.
    Chris-Craft Launch 36
    Cockpit storage is in deck compartments to both sides of the seats. Both of these shots offer another look at the Bimini storage as well.
    Chris-Craft Launch 36
    Storage for smaller items can go under the seat cushions.
    Chris-Craft Launch 36
    The seats lift to access even more storage, such as for fenders and lines. Also, this is how the Bimini will be removed from storage.


    Just because the sun goes down doesn’t mean the boat has to head back to the barn. Chris-Craft built in overnight accommodations that can address the sleeping needs of up to 5 adults with no modifications to any components (such as converting a dinette to a berth). The quality of the woodwork and joinery seems to be stepped up even more so than that we saw in the upper deck. The mixture of the wood tones and textures is pleasing to look at and makes the accommodations deck even more comfortable.

    Chris-Craft Launch 36
    The island berth is accessible from steps to both sides. Windows overhead, forward and to the sides keep the area bathed in natural light.
    Chris-Craft Launch 36
    In the aft bulkhead, the exquisite woodwork is evident. We can see how Chris-Craft goes to great lengths to match the quality of wood and the grains to maximize the effect.

    Forward is an island berth, and here is where the headroom reflects the sunken sun pad at the bow. It has little effect as where the overhead is lowered is right over the berth itself. Above the berth, Chris-Craft takes good advantage of the space forming the bow, to add cabinet storage with grains matching so closely that seams between the doors can hardly be seen. A mid-cabin under the cockpit deck has a pair of berths, a single to one side and twin to the other, and this rounds out the accommodations for our five adults. Much like in the forward berth, here we also see an excellent use of space with the overhead cabinets. Storage is underneath the berths.

    Chris-Craft Launch 36
    Under the aft cockpit we have berthing for another three people.
    Chris-Craft Launch 36
    And again, we can see the dedication that Chris-Craft’s cabinet makers have for their trade.


    Chris-Craft went with a split head layout with the shower to one side and the water closet to the other. This makes an ideal scenario as one can be used for getting ready for the evening while the other is still accommodating another for showering.

    Chris-Craft Launch 36
    The head compartment didn’t get spared the outstanding woodwork and contemporary flair of the rest of the boat.
    Chris-Craft Launch 36
    A separate shower room is to the other side of the cabinet and an overhead skylight adds natural light to the environment.



    The helm sits just ahead of a triple-wide helm seat with separate flip-up bolsters and individual backrests. This goes way beyond the desire to have more eyes looking forward and seems to focus on the simple fact that the operator is likely to be the owner of the boat and the one that invited the guests onboard. Having the boat underway should not be cause for separation from the host, and here it clearly is a welcome facet to the entertainment experience.

    Chris-Craft Launch 36
    Triple wide seats at the helm means that the operator will never have to be separated from guests just because the boat happens to be underway.

    The helm itself lies to starboard of the center console. The windshield is framed in 316-grade stainless steel. The panel is built to accommodate the optional Raymarine e165 15.4” (39 cm) multifunction display. Analog gauges are provided as well at either the EVC display from Volvo Penta or the VesselView display from Mercury, depending on the power choice chosen. Joystick functionality is also offered as an option ($18,737 from Mercury, $12,594 from Volvo Penta), regardless of which engine is chosen. A bow thruster is also offered ($15,985).

    Chris-Craft Launch 36
    The starboard helm is among the most uncluttered we’ve seen while keeping all the information displays readily accessible.
    Chris-Craft Launch 36
    The wood trim continues here with the footrests and steering wheel. To the sides are padded “knee guards” flanking the switch panels.

    Ground Tackle

    At the forepeak is an anchor locker and rather than add a pulpit, Chris-Craft chose to go with an anchor chute through the stem to preserve the classic lines of the Launch 36. A windlass with SS anchor and line is optional ($4,850). An all-chain package is also available ($5,859). We’d also add the bow docking lights ($495) since we rarely return to the dock just because the sun decides to drop below the horizon.

    Chris-Craft Launch 36
    Storage here includes paddles for kayaks (above the generator) and a fold-up bicycle. The pedestal to the left is for the electrically-actuated cockpit table.

    Engine Compartment

    The engine compartment is cramped but mostly because it shares space with so much of the storage, and for a boat designed to do it all, that’s a fair tradeoff. We’re not going to be walking around these engines and they remain accessible for daily checks and light maintenance, so we say go ahead and load it up. The layout includes a generator and auto-discharge fire extinguisher. A water filter is attached to the water tank. All hoses are color-coded, depicting functionality.

    Chris-Craft Launch 36
    The side bulwarks conceal storage and the ships battery switches, engine starts to the sides and house generator to the center.

    Engine Options

    Chris-Craft makes four engine choices available for the Launch 36. Standard engine package is a pair of Volvo Penta V8-380 engines or 430-hp MerCruiser 8.2 HOs. Customers can upgrade to a pair of Volvo Penta V8-430 engines ($17,748) or twin 370-hp Volvo Penta D6 diesels ($63,297). Options to consider for any of the engine packages are selectable exhaust ($6,730), a closed cooling system ($6,996) and the joystick functionality we’ve already discussed ($18,737 for Mercury Axius, $12,594 for Volvo Penta joystick).

    Chris-Craft Launch 36
    Chris-Craft offers an optional convertible top, but doesn’t charge any extra for it. So why not?


    The Launch 36 carries an MSRP of $473,702 with the Standard Edition trim package. Adding to that with the Heritage Trim Package brings the price up to $478,285. Adding another level to the Heritage Package brings her to $501,004. All of these prices reflect the base power of twin Volvo Penta V8-380 gas engines with Duoprop outdrives and EVC.


    Clearly, the Chris-Craft Launch 36 is a well thought-out boat with clever amenities and innovations. She definitely strikes us as the ultimate day/weekend boat with a look of class and distinction that tells all around her that her owner is a person of discriminating style.

    Standard and Optional Features


    Icemaker Standard
    Microwave Standard
    Refrigerator Standard
    Stove Standard

    Exterior Features

    Swim Ladder Standard
    Swim Platform Standard
    Wet bar Standard


    Bimini Top Standard


    Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!

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