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VIDEO: On the water with Chris-Craft

Chris-Craft pulled the cover off its new Launch 32 and Corsair 36 at the Miami International Boat Show a few weeks ago, and I got a chance Wednesday to check out the boats in the water in Sarasota, Fla.

I drove the Launch 32 for about 20 minutes, zipping around Sarasota Bay. It handles like a much smaller boat, and its Volvo Penta sterndrive joystick makes low-speed and docking maneuvers an afterthought.

I pushed the 32 on plane, with little bow rise, and had her going about 53 mph in a 1- to 2-foot chop. “Our customers have been asking for the 32 Launch for several years, but with the downturn the time was not right,” Chris-Craft president Steve Heese told me at the boat show. “The 36 is probably our most successful boat ever and we've redone it.”

Click here for video of the test ride.

The new Corsair 36 uses the same hull design as the previous version, but it has a completely new deck layout, Heese said. The boat is 36 feet, 3 inches, with a beam of 12 feet, 6 inches.

The Launch 32 is a new boat from the keel up. It measures 34 feet, 3 inches, with a beam of 10 feet and transom deadrise of 20 degrees.

The Launch sells for around $200,000 with twin sterndrives and the Corsair is about $500,000 with twin sterndrives.