This American classic iconic brand deliver the perfect weekender in the 38 Launch.
The Launch 38, the second-largest boat in the 142-year-old builder’s lineup, is built to do what Chris-Craft boats have always been built to do: safely and comfortably host a group of people — it’s rated for a 15-passenger capacity, and all of them will have a place for their rear end — for an enjoyable day on the water. Its outdoor galley unit makes it possible to keep everyone fed and hydrated, and an extendable SureShade aft and a Bimini on the bow ensure folks who want sun can get it and those who don’t can take cover. But it can do more than be a dayboat.
At a top speed of 52.4 mph, the Yamahas were burning a combined 78.1 gph at 5900 rpm. The most efficient cruise speed was 34 mph, which had the F300s turning at 4000 rpm and burning 35.4 gph, for 0.96 mpg. Fuel burn was 47.1, 55.9 and 69.5 gph at 39.9, 44.4 and 48.8 mph, respectively.
Twin flush-mount Garmin GPSmap XSV multifunction displays occupy the sloped dash. Above them are engine gauges. On a small flat section to port (though I’ve seen it to starboard on other 38s) is the Optimus 360 joystick, which makes docking a breeze, and on sloped faces to either side of the wooden and stainless steering wheel are a stereo head unit and the engine throttles. Once the bow levels out on plane, the driver’s view all around is excellent. So is access to the bow. Sidedecks to either side, which are elevated two steps from the helm area, to create headroom in the cabin below, are easy to transit, and a safety rail runs from just aft of amidships to the bow.
The galley unit — built into the same console that serves as the base for the helm seats — is going to be the center of activity on the boat. Under an easy-to-lift gasassisted lid is a grill, a sink with a spigot and a two-burner cooktop. Built into the base of the unit are more make-the-day-last-longer amenities, including a refrigerator, an ice-maker and a microwave, each with its own access door.
Aft of the galley is a settee that is split into two halves by the walkthrough from the swim platform. A table rises up out of the deck at the push of a button and folds open to doubl