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A familiar name is back in the game

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Chris-Craft has entered the center console market for the first time since the 1980s with the Catalina 23, a “high-style” outboard fishing boat designed for anglers and families.

Chris-Craft has entered the center console market for the first time since the 1980s with the Catalina 23, a “high-style” outboard fishing boat designed for anglers and families.

The Catalina shares the styling of the Sarasota, Fla., builder’s other smaller boats, with a flared bow, tumblehome aft and liberal use of teak accents and stainless steel on deck. The new boat was six months in development, which Chris-Craft director of engineering Chad Gould says is a little longer than usual. However, the 23-foot center console is the first in what will be an eight-boat line, so caution was warranted.

“We have a lot of talent, a lot of guys from around the industry who’ve built fishboats,” says Gould. “We spend a lot of time in plug building, especially with this boat as the first in the fishboat line. … And we wanted it to fit in with the whole Chris-Craft family.”

The Catalina 23’s wood-free construction includes an integrated fiberglass structural liner and foam-filled deep-vee hull and deck. The self-bailing cockpit has a fiberglass walkthrough transom door and the hatches (rubber-gasketed) are made using vacuum resin infusion so they’re finished on both sides. All through-hulls are stainless steel, as are the six 8-inch pop-up cleats.

In addition to a powder-coated aluminum leaning post at the helm, seating includes a folding transom seat for two, forward console seating for two and a cushioned forward seating area with storage beneath. An optional cocktail table has a filler cushion to convert to a sunpad and the forward console seat flips up to reveal a portable marine head.

Fishing features include a 20-gallon lighted live well at the leaning post, port and starboard fiberglass rod storage boxes, eight rod holders and tackle drawers in the console. Other options include a Bimini or T-top, electronics upgrades and an anchor windlass. A 72-quart helm seat cooler is available in lieu of the standard 36-quart cooler and the live well.

A variety of hull colors are available and a Heritage Edition includes teak coaming rails. “It’s got styling, it’s got grace, but it’s still very functional,” says Gould. “You can go out and go fishing on it.”

Chris-Craft plans to introduce 26- and 29-foot center consoles and a 29-foot walkaround to its fishing-boat line this year.

SPECIFICATIONS

LOA: 23 feet, 6 inches

BEAM: 8 feet, 4 inches

DRAFT: 1 foot, 4 inches

DISPLACEMENT: 4,484 pounds

HULL TYPE: deep-vee

TRANSOM DEADRISE: 21 degrees

TANKAGE: 103 gallons fuel, 13 gallons water

ENGINE OPTION: single 250-hp outboard

SPEED: 50 mph top, 31 mph cruise

PRICE: $79,000

CONTACT: Chris-Craft, Sarasota, Fla.

PHONE: (941) 351-4900

www.chriscraft.com