We had a long idle run to get to the inlet on test day, a jaunt that brought us past two luxury hotels and several mansions with slips housing world-class boats and yachts. At slow speeds we had time to look around, and the one thing I noticed is that we were being noticed. The Chris-Craft Corsair 36 is the type of boat that turns heads.
The best thing Chris-Craft did was re-establish its classic brand identity, so anyone walking by the marina will immediately recognize it as such. Like all the new Chris-Craft models, the Corsair 36 flaunts its distinct aft tumblehome in concert with its eye-catching bow flare. The teak Heritage Package on our test boat — which includes the teak swim platform, cockpit sole, bow lounge and trim — only further enhanced its curb appeal. What’s not teak is 316-liter grade stainless steel, from the deck plates to the light cover to the fuel-fill cover to the through-hull fittings to the gate for the centerline walk-through to the swim platform.
For evidence of a quality build, take a look at the hatches on board. They’re all resin-infused for quality control and to keep weight down, and are smooth on both sides for a tidy appearance. Stainless-steel gas-assisted struts hold them open. When I stuck my head in the anchor locker — and later in the spotless engine compartment — I got a good look at the boat’s wiring: It meets ABYC standards and is loomed in plastic tubing. Note the waterproof Deutsch connectors.
Chris-Craft builds a noteworthy boat in places you can’t see too. The gelcoat is vinylester, which better resists fading and osmotic blistering. The stringer system is bonded to the hull with Weld-On, an adhesive that joins the two parts as if they were one piece. The hull is bolted to the deck and the rub rail is reinforced with a wooden backing strip, making this boat fit for offshore duty. Back on deck, you’ll note that the beefy stainless-steel cleats come engraved with the Chris-Craft logo. You’ll appreciate that they’re bolted into a half-inch-thick aluminum backing plate, which distributes the load, preventing gelcoat crazing and cracking and — ultimately — part failure.