It’s been many years since Chris-Craft built a full-sized cabin cruiser intended for overnighting, weekending, and even serious cruising, but the 2017 Commander 42 marks a new era for this company. This model has sleeping quarters for five people, a full galley, a full stand-up head, and a separate shower. Step aboard with reviewer Alex Smith, to get a look at the Commander 42 both inside and out.


Note that much like other recent Chris-Craft models, the Commander 42 is finely detailed and finished with touches like teak decking, glossy wood in the interior, and curvaceous lines. In recent years Chris-Craft has set high standards for quality and styling with boats like the Capri 25, the Catalina 34, and the Launch 36, and the Commander is yet another model that aims to impress. One of the interesting aspects of all of these models is the way their design mixes a classic boat’s look with modern performance and technology. The Commander 42 certainly continues this trend. The almost plumb bow and raked transom reflect a lobster boat heritage, while the hull is matched up with a pair of Volvo Penta 435 HP D6 diesels to provide modern performance. The boat’s styling and design benefits from the Italian firm Austin Parker, which partnered with Chris-Craft in this venture.

Those interested in Chris-Craft’s return to the cruiser market will also want to note that their choices will soon expand beyond the Commander 42. Chris-Craft says that both larger and smaller Commander models, a 52 and a 36, will be launched in the next year.

For more information, visit Chris-Craft.

See listings for the Chris-Craft Commander 42.

Written by: Lenny Rudow
With over two decades of experience in marine journalism, Lenny Rudow has contributed to publications including YachtWorld,, Boating Magazine, Marlin Magazine, Boating World, Saltwater Sportsman, Texas Fish & Game, and many others. Lenny is a graduate of the Westlawn School of Yacht Design, and he has won numerous BWI and OWAA writing awards.