Intriguing joint venture
An intriguing joint venture was announced in June between the iconic American boat builder, Chris-Craft and Italian boat builder, Austin Parker.
Chris-Craft reintroduced its Commander brand at its dealer meeting in July with the debut of the all-new Commander 42. Based on the classic Down East lobster boat it will be built by Austin Parker using their existing 42ft hull but with Chris-Craft designed interior and specifications.
The boat will be showcased at major shows and events across the world, beginning with the Cannes Yachting Festival in France, and the Newport International Boat Show in Rhode Island both in September 2016.
Chris-Craft will launch a Commander 36 and Commander 52 in 2017 again using existing Austin-Parker hulls, bringing the Chris-Craft Commander range of open boats to three models.
These will be sold exclusively on a global basis under the Chris-Craft brand name. Austin Parker will discontinue its branded models in the Commander size but will continue to build and market a range of Flybridge boats in 54, 64 and 74 ft lengths under the "Austin Parker" name.
Diversification, speed to market, volume, cost reduction and sharing of critical expertise and experience are just some of the advantages to both brands.
The big differences between European and American built boats are interior design and equipment specifications rather than hull design.
Add to this the sheer proliferation of boat brands and models in an increasingly nervous market it is easy to imagine that similar ventures will take place in the not too distant future.
That will be good news for boat builders and owners alike!
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