The dual-console format has increased in popularity among coastal boaters thanks to its ability to provide a crowd-friendly layout while maintaining fishability. In a world where people expect their boats to do more than one thing well, it’s an ideal crossover vehicle. Chris-Craft takes the concept and runs with it in the form of its elegant Calypso 26.
With the broken sheer line and aft tumblehome, rich gelcoat (or paint job) and teak accents, Chris-Craft knows how to create a distinctive look that screams instant classic. The Calypso 26 combines that with the dual console’s crowd-pleasing layout. Starting at the bow, the boat features a spacious lounge with forward-facing backrests against the consoles. Each side features sturdy flip-up armrests for passengers looking to kick back. Filler cushions can be added to create a full tanning bed. These details, along with the stylish curved windshield with a walk-through door, are things you can’t get on typical fishing-centric center consoles.
Chris-Craft put a lot of thought into maximizing seating in the main cockpit without compromising space. Instead of building a fold-down bench on the transom, Chris-Craft went with a fixed aft bench and deployed fold-down jump seats in both consoles — separate twins to port and a love seat to starboard. Deploy them all for a wraparound conversation pit, bolstered by the entertainment center behind the helm to starboard. Fold them all away for more usable space, should you want to fish, or just keep the aft cockpit open for flow or to hold a tow toy.
The Calypso 26 has performance chops too. The deep-V hull tapers to 21 degrees of deadrise at the transom, so it handles a bay chop and small coastal swells without issue. Handling and cornering proved superb in our testing; we carved graceful hard-over turns at speed with no blowout, and when trimmed out at wide-open throttle, we felt no evidence of squirrelly behavior or instability. Our test model was equipped with twin Yamaha F200 outboards that pushed the boat north of 52 mph, despite a full crew and the speed-inhibiting T-top. You’ll want that top on hot days though, especially with the pull-out shade that extends over the cockpit.
Comparable Model: Scout 275 Dorado