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Cranchi’s new ‘sports boat’

Cranchi, a 135-year-old Italian boatbuilder, is hoping to make a bigger splash in the United States with its new CSL 27.

“It’s really a sports boat,” says James Clayton, Cranchi’s U.S. factory representative. “But it’s a sports boat with a difference.” That difference, he says, is in its spaciousness, ability to run on both lakes and coastal waters and affordability.

Founded at Lake Como in 1870, Cranchi has sold a variety of boats in the United States for about 12 years. The builder is based in Piantedo, and its offerings range from a 21-foot sportboat to a 50-foot yacht. The company builds boats at what Clayton calls an “automotive-style” factory in Italy. The economies of scale at the facility save the company money, he says, which is reflected in the CSL 27’s price.

“[There are many] tiny companies building beautiful boats, but they’re costing hundreds of thousands of bucks,” says Clayton. For the first time, he says, Americans will be offered a European product that represents a great value.

Prices range from $80,378 for a CSL 27 with a Volvo Penta V-8 gas sterndrive to $94,784 with a 260-hp Volvo Penta D4 diesel sterndrive. The most powerful engine package — a pair of 225-hp Volvo Penta 4.3-liter V-6 gas engines — is the most popular package, Clayton says. That setup reaches a reported top speed of about 50 mph.

Topside, the layout is open with a large sunpad at the stern and L-shaped seating at the aft end of the cockpit/ helm area, which includes a wet bar to starboard and removable cockpit table. (The sunpad lifts hydraulically for engine access.) The centerline helm station sports swiveling, adjustable electric skipper and companion seats, as well as power steering, leather steering wheel, Ritchie compass, and Raymarine depth and speed instruments.

The 27’s windshield is asymmetrical, with a large sweeping port section that helps provide access to the cabin. The starboard side has the look of a more conventional sportboat windshield. The two sides meet just to starboard of the centerline, and the windshield opens to access the foredeck. Because of the windshield shape, the bow rail also is asymmetrical.

“There’s a lot of design to this boat that’s kind of radical,” says Clayton.

The CSL 27 also has non-skid decks, a storage locker at the bow, electric anchor winch with a Bruce anchor and remote control, and a large circular forward hatch.

Below, the interior is trimmed with varnished American cherry, and the furnishings are done with what the company calls a “suede-type” fabric. The cabin houses a convertible berth, electric head and stereo system with CD player.

Cranchi describes the main electrical panel as a work of art, with a brushed chrome face and softly glowing blue LED indicators. Other standard features include a swim platform, stainless steel swim ladder, and hot and cold fresh-water transom shower. Among the options are a Bimini top, refrigerator and antifouling paint.

The hull carries a one-year stem-to-stern warranty, as well as a five-year hull and deck structure warranty and a five-year blister warranty, according to the company. Construction is solid fiberglass, with hand-laid Kevlar reinforcement and Divinycell stringers.

Cranchi of the Americas currently imports about 150 boats a year. It plans to add 40 to 50 CSL 27s to that number in the first year, according to Clayton. “I’d say we’re going to be delivering hundreds of them sooner rather than later,” he says.


LOA: 28 feet, 1 inch BEAM: 9 feet, 6 inches HULL DRAFT: 2 feet, 1 inch DISPLACEMENT: 5,800 pounds HULL TYPE: modified-vee TRANSOM DEADRISE: 19 degrees TANKAGE: 86 gallons fuel, 19 gallons water ENGINE OPTION: single gas or diesel sterndrive, twin gas sterndrives SPEED: 50 mph top, 39 mph cruise (with twin 4.3-liter Volvo Penta gas engines) SUGGESTED PRICE: $91,235 CONTACT: Cranchi of the Americas, Pompano Beach, Fla. Phone: (954) 784-7833.