John martino, annapolis school of seamanship and annapolis yacht         management
The following review was written by John Martino and prepared by the marketing department of Chesapeake Bay Magazine. Mr. Martino is the founder and president of Annapolis Yacht Management and Annapolis School of Seamanship. He develops and teaches hands-on training courses for recreational boaters and professional mariners, and offers yacht delivery and onboard training services for powerboaters as well as sailors.
Chris craft roamer 43 NOVEMBER 2003
Length overall  43'6"
Beam 14'0"
Draft  38"
Displacement  27,000 lb
Fuel Capacity  400 gals
Water Capacity  95 gals
Deadrise  20 degrees

(Above) The Chris Craft Roamer sports lots of above deck living room, as evidenced by the cockpit bench seats and folding table, perfect for enjoying the sunset or casual entertaining with a dinner for four. (Below) The Roamer 43's master cabin features a posh, centerline full island berth, beautiful mahogany brightwork, hanging lockers and an entertainment center.

Elegant. Simply elegant in a nostalgic sort of vein. That's the first impression you get of the new Chris Craft Roamer 43. They've blended all their long history of elegant craftsmanship with the performance and amenities of modern Euro-style express cruisers to come up with this very pretty piece of work.

Just stepping down the companionway, it strikes you,sole of light blonde maple inlayed with cherry, white faux leather upholstery and headliner, light faux marble countertop, all contrasting with the deep varnish brightwork paneling and cabinetry in mahogany, The steps are braced by these swooping sculptural mahogany accents with stainless steel columns. The settee to port curves around a table inlaid with the Chris-Craft logo. A Pana-sonic flat-screen TV is mounted in the opposite bulkhead.

The galley is a real work of art, with an expanse of countertop, with the round sink and the two-burner electric stove hidden beneath Corian lids. A stainless-faced microwave is mounted into the bulkhead, and there are deep drawers and cabinets in that pretty mahogany built under the counter and cupboards above.

The coffee maker's hidden behind a Corian-faced cupboard door, and the Tundra fridge lies underneath the counter. Best of all, a wide portlight just above the counter provides good like as well as a good view for the cook.

The master stateroom forward has an oval-shaped full-sized island berth on the centerline, with a deep hanging locker to one side and an entertainment center on the other side. The Bomar hatch overhead is accented with more of that mahogany brightwork. The head has a cylindrical Plexiglass shower stall with a rotating door. That door must be fully opened to use the VacuFlush toilet, but it is an ingenious use of space. An exceptionally large oval sink has been molded into the Corian countertop a sturdy stainless handrail doubles as a towel rack for the Chris-Craft embroidered linens.

The guest cabin is amidships, and like many of these arrangements on similar boats, the twin berths are tucked underneath the raised helm deck and there isn't a lot of headroom back there. But the redeeming feature is the dressing area, with a beautiful mahogany bench seat with deep drawers underneath and a large hanging locker behind. A small "powder room" sized head fills one corner of the cabin, and while it's compact, it does have standing headroom, elbow room, a decent sized vanity counter, and the faucet pulls out to double as a hand-held shower head.

Like the best Euro-style express cruisers, there's lots of living room above decks, from the recessed seating pod on the bow to the spacious sun pad gracing the foredeck, with its brilliantly finished teak hand rails and beverage holders. The expansive integral swim platform is a full four-and-a-half feet long and spans the beam. In the cockpit, with its facing bench seats and the folding table in between, there is enough room for the entire crew. And, of course, there is plenty of space under the hard top. The wet bar is to starboard, just aft of the helm seat, with a fridge and ice maker. The lounge seat curves around the port side, set up high both for the splendid view and to provide headroom in the guest cabin below.

The helm itself boasts an incredibly comfortable Pompanette adjustable chair, a high dash with all of those pretty brushed aluminum analog gauges, and the adjustable custom mahogany wheel. There's additional room on the dash for Raymarine electronic displays. Visibility from the helm is outstanding, whether you're seated or standing. The upright supports for the hard top have been aligned with the corner braces of the high stainless-framed windshield to minimize interference, and all four corners of the boat are in plain sight at all times.

My host on that brilliant late summer day was Peter Ouellette, a yacht broker with Dimillo's, the Portland Chris-Craft dealer. Heading away from the Dimillo's docks in Portland, shooting north past the entrance to the harbor and up the expanse of Casco Bay with a 20 to 25-knot breeze out of the south, we got 29.5 knots at just over 3400 rpm, wide-open throttle, and found a comfortable cruising speed at 3200 rpm, which gave us a reading of 27.5 on the GPS. Going upwind, we got 26.5 at cruise and 29.3 wide open. The twin 370 hp Yanmar Diesels provided plenty of power and smooth exhilaration. Acceleration, I mean. No, both. The boat remained steady in the "wallow" test, and the steering system provided smooth, though not particularly tight turns. We headed back to the docks just in time for a lobster lunch.