2019 Chris-Craft Carina 21

Boat Reviews

Boat Review by: Richard Crowder

carina 21 series

Chris Craft, “America’s Boatbuilder since 1874,” has produced many memorable models of runabouts, cruisers, and motor yachts over those many years and continues to offer models that stand out, are different, and are memorable. Chris Craft calls them “objects of desire.”

And so it is with the Carina 21, the only model in the Carina series which is one of six series consisting of eighteen models of open bow, launches, and center consoles from twenty-one to thirty-eight feet. The open bow Carina 21 is recognizable and memorable not only for its “classic vertical bow” design, a throwback to vintage Chris Craft designs, but also to the slight horizontal and vertical taper to the stern plus the moderate tumblehome of the stern hull sides.

The Carina 21 may have some design elements that remind you of its heritage but make no mistake, it is constructed to the most current of fibreglass technology. Along with the overall design, teak accenting is one of the more noticeable and memorable features of the Carina 21 and there is an abundance on display.

The integrated swim platform complete with grab handle and hidden three-step stainless steel boarding ladder is fully finished with teak overlay as is the center walk-over beneath the removable center cushion on the large transom sunpad. More teak overlay beneath the removable center cushion of the molded stern bench seat completes this access from the swim platform to the cockpit.

The twin L-shaped low profile stainless steel grab rails around the transom sunpad are highlighted in teak and more teak accenting is found on each side of the unique Chris Craft center bow navigation light. The large helm footpads cum footrests are also solid teak. The caulking which separates and outlines the teak strips is available in your choice of black or blonde and a teak maintenance kit comes with the boat.

The driver and passenger are pampered with luxurious high-back, swivel, and adjustable bucket seats with flip-up forward bolsters and completely surrounded over the top and sides with a stainless steel grab rail. Through the center opening section of the three-piece curved windshield with stainless steel header is U-shaped bow seating with surrounding bolster padding for lounging. Chris Craft calls this “the bow pit.”

Storage is found beneath all bow cushions including dedicated anchor storage plus more storage beneath the stern bench seat cushions and beneath the transom sunpad beside the engine. There are not one but two in-floor storage compartments; one being a dedicated insulated cooler and a second larger one ideal for storage of watersports accessories.

You have an amazing nine choices of solid or two-toned vinyl upholstery colour choices from which to decide. Couple that with your choice of standard Ivory Cream hull colour or optional non-metallic Midnight Blue or from eight choices of metallic hull colours and your boat will be distinctly yours and yours alone. There are also multiple choices of bootstripe colours.

The custom molded and distinct dash of the Carina 21 with its silver perforated panels and light dimmer control features a custom Chris Craft mahogany-rimmed stainless steel tilt steering wheel with standard power assist along with Chris Craft branded gauges of two large and three small diameter including depth finder. An upgraded Fusion AM/FM Bluetooth-compatible stereo with MP3 port, USB input, amplifier, subwoofer, and JL Audio System speakers is standard along with a dash remote. A 12-volt accessory outlet and USB auxiliary input are supplied.

Other notable standard features include a battery charger, removable ski pylon, bimini top with dedicated storage beneath the sunpad, bow stainless steel scuff plate, LED courtesy lighting, automatic fire extinguishing system and of course the trademark Chris Craft trumpet horn and flagstaff with embroidered pennant. Standard power is from a MerCruiser V8 6.2L 300 horsepower with Bravo 3 outdrive and DTS (Digital Throttle and Shift).

Since so much is standard on the Carina 21, the option list is relatively short. You may choose the same displacement but upgraded to 350 horsepower MerCruiser or a V8 5.3L 300 or 350 horsepower Volvo with Duo-Prop outdrive, FWC (Fresh Water Cooling), and EVC (Electronic Vessel Control). Engine options, depending on your chosen brand may include push button start, active trim, and selectable exhaust.

Other notable options include docking lights, underwater lights, trim tabs, transom shower, fender clips, Sirius Satellite radio capability, Woven Seagrass cockpit carpeting, bow, cockpit, and mooring covers, and of course, colour contrasting upholstery stitching.

The Carina 21 stands out with details that have defined Chris Craft for decades and in its own words, “is ideal for splashing around the bay, or acting as beautiful tender for a larger boat.”

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Length: 21'2" 6.5 m
Beam: 7'11" 2.4 m
Dry weight: 3,499 lbs 1,587 kg
Draft: 2'10" 86 cm
Fuel Capacity: 129 US gals 34 L
Base Engine / Drive: MerCruiser, Volvo Sterndrive
Engine HP: 300-350
Fuel Type: Gas
Deadrise: 18
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