By: DEAN SAMPSON, Photography by: JOHN FORD

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A new player has emerged in the top-end range with the Chris Craft Launch 25, it’s sure to impress everytime it hits the water, writes Dean Sampson


From bow to stern, the new Chris-Craft is a real eye-catcher that oozes sheer style, performance and quality and a quirky dash switch.

Underway, the 25-footer moves comfortably on Sydney Harbour on slight to moderate swell and as the throttle eases up to a cruising speed of 56kph the boat rose smooth and gracefully on to the plane with no effort.

Pushing the throttle forward this boat really starts to make a statement as you are pushed back in the seat and taken for an exhilarating ride.

Top speed was 95.4kmh and as the tacho hits 4710rpm, at no time did this vessel feel out of control, even as it was thrown into tight turns, it still handled like a true high-performance boat.

Despite offering style and grace, this boat is also ideal as a recreational (ski/wakeboard) vessel and a feature on the stern is a hidden pop-up ski-pole.




On the dash, amongst the vast array of switches is a quirky, selectable exhaust switch that changes this boat from mild to wild.

Any rev-head worth his salt, knows it's not enough just to look good it has to sound good, and when you flick this switch the boat transforms right before your ears.

So what's it do. It changes the direction of exhaust gases through the leg which is submerged under the water to outlets just above the waterline on either side of the boat. It gives a real throaty sound and really makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck.

Once I discovered this switch it did not return it to its original position for the remainder of the test.

This vessel is really what cruising in style is all about, I could not fault this vessel no matter what I threw at it. I believe this is one of the best boats that I have tested in this category.




Equipped with an 8.1gi (375hp) Volvo Penta in-board that has enough horses to move this top-end launch around in comfort and style.

Under idle you'll find yourself checking if the whisper-quiet engine is actually running, however, when you flick the exhaust-resonator switch the pitch from the engine is pure music to the ears and is a feature.

At 2500rpm you are travelling at 30.7 knots which is the optimum cruising speed while, at 4710rpm top speed of 51.5 knots is achieved, impressive for this size and style of craft.

The cruising range is an impressive 458km on 321lt of fuel.

The finish of this Chris-Craft is at the top-end of the market. With stainless steel fixtures, highly-finished fibreglass and timber in-laid decks this boat is setting the bar high amongst its competition.




I rate this boat as one of the best American imports on the market. It is a top-end boat aimed to please both the cruising and sports-minded enthusiast. A real feature is the full fibreglass structural liner, foam-filled for floatation and sound-deadening which makes for a safe and comfortable ride.





Superb finish
That quirky exhaust switch
Impressive cruising speed
Whisper-quiet engine




With a craft like this it was hard to find any faults

Specifications: Chris-Craft Launch 25





Price as Tested: $165,000

Trailer is available at an extra cost of $13,900





Material: Fibreglass, foam-filled

Type: Bowrider

Length overall: 8.28m

Beam: 2.6m

Weight: 2315kg

Deadrise: 20º





Fuel: 322lt

People: 10 (max)




Make/model: Volvo Penta 8.1gi

Type: V8 sterndrive

Rated HP: 375 at 4600rpm (max.)

Displacement: 8.1lt





Premier Marine,

594 New South Head Rd,

Rose Bay, NSW, 2029

Phone: (02) 9328 0999


Originally published in TrailerBoat #243


Find Chris-Craft boats for sale.


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