Chris Craft Launch 35 GT Flagship Gives Taste of Boating Good Life for Under $500K

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Since we’re celebrating American Month at autoevolution, I felt it an appropriate time to bring to light an American manufacturer of boats and yachts, Chris Craft. If you’ve never heard of this crew, it’s very possible you’ve never had to seek out their expertise. Whether you do or don’t by the end of this article remains to be seen.

Around since 1874, Chris Craft has always been focused on building an accessible boating experience that revolved around American values. In the process, they’ve been running for over 147 years, time in which they even merged with the Winnebago Industries group of companies.

One craft in this team’s arsenal that’s sure to open your eyes to what this possible in terms of an inexpensive yacht is the Launch 35 GT, a flagship yacht that comes in with a starting price of $478,190 (€407,133 at current exchange rates) for a sterndrive option. The outboard drive option starts at $542,340 (€461,750 at current exchange rates), still well under the million-dollar vessels most manufacturers produce.

So, what do you get for half a million dollars these days? Well, in the case of the 35 GT you’re looking at a 37-foot-long (11.27-meter) boat with 35 feet (10.7 meters) of usable space, hence the ’35’ in the boat’s name. There’s just one catch, the 35 GT includes a Yacht Certified seating, meaning that you don’t really have a limit to how many guests can come aboard, but it is something that is in the hands of the owner or operator to decide. So, basically, bring all your friends, but the captain goes down with the legal ship if anything happens.

Whenever you try to consider the number of features and spaces you can find on a boat of this sort, it would mean we’d be here for quite a long time, so to help you get a broad understanding of the ship, I’ll stick to some main features. 

First off, guest accommodations. I mentioned that the GT includes a Yacht Certified seating layout, but within the ship, at the bow of the ship, a circular lounge fills the entire space and already looks like it can fit your extended family.

Behind this space, the helm and passenger seats sit back-to-back to a large lounge with seating along the edges of the boat. However, from bow to aft, the main deck is split by a walk-through allowing for free passage on the deck. However, aft, the walk-through shifts to the starboard of the vessel and creates a large back-to-back lounge that allows three to four passengers to enjoy a view of the world behind. In case anyone hooks up a water-skiing rig, all the better.

Below deck, features like a bedroom and bathroom can also be found shaped a whole lot like features in RVs. After all, fiberglass is king, and Winnebago Industries and Chris Craft have a very long history in this material’s manipulation. Several different kinds of trim packages allow you to create the interior you wish for.

Back up top, wood flooring, finely highlighted with semiprecious metals, all offer a balanced look against a seemingly excessive use of vinyl. Again, options to change the color and even the materials used in furnishings are offered.

Things like waterworks, electrical systems, and several safety systems are also in place. Did I mention the entertainment center? No, I didn’t. How about the full-feature galley you can add as an optional package? Nope, missed that too. Things like colored underwater lights, satellite radio, hardtops, and just about anything else you can think of can all be had for an extra buck.

Sure, it may not be the largest yacht or boat on the market, but for the sort of cash you’ll dish out on the Launch 35 GT, you should really consider this craft as a vessel meant to give you more than just a taste of the boating life.

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