Once we had room to lower the throttle and rev up the twin 430 hp MerCruiser engines, we could bring this 16,000-pound boat onto plane without much squat or delay — the bow started to fall in about five seconds. We hit 30 mph in about 13 seconds and topped out at 44 mph. All nice numbers for a boat with this displacement. The Formula 370 Super Sport, which retails for $507,220 with the same test power as the Corsair 36, is a more performance-oriented day cruiser, with a lighter 15,100-pound listed dry weight, a narrower 10-foot-9-inch beam and a twin-stepped hull. In a past test of the 370 Super Sport with twin 420 hp Volvos, it broke the 60 mph barrier, giving it a double-digit speed edge over the Corsair 36. That said, the Chris-Craft has the more interesting cockpit layout.
I’m a big fan of the U-shape cockpit seating that wraps around the Corsair 36’s transom. It makes for a great conversation pit, especially with the teak table deployed. The seats slide up and out to reveal finished fiberglass stowage bins with rubberized mats to keep gear from knocking around. I also love the rear-facing recliners on either end, allowing passengers to kick back and watch the wake. The standard refrigerator and wet bar are smartly positioned between the cockpit and the seats at either console, with space for an optional ice maker ($2,000) or second fridge ($1,761). Kudos too for making the passenger seating at the port console forward-facing and for making it double-wide with a flip-up bolster, just like the helm seat. It gives the forward cockpit area a more uniform look and allows the co-pilots to see what the captain sees. I did not love the access to the bow deck, specifically the windshield walk-through panel, which I found awkward to handle.
Belowdecks, the galley to port features a solid-surface counter with fiddled rails to keep everything off the floor — our tester had the optional maple and cherry floor. The cherry veneer cabinetry has positron latches. Forward, the elevated dinette converts to a V-berth; access to the optional ($17,000) bow thruster is underneath — not a bad option for those who are timid in the docking department, or who view it as a peace-of-mind investment for their half-million-dollar baby.
A handcrafted cherry door leads to the well-appointed head. I liked the acrylic shower door that separates the shower from the rest of the head.
Most owners will probably view this boat as a luxury day boat, but those wanting to overnight will find rest in the aft cabin, which has a double berth, a cedar hanging locker and a bench. The single port doesn’t allow much natural light. Everywhere else, though, the Corsair 36 shines so brightly that no one passing by will miss it.
Comparable model: Formula 370 Super Sport