boat test Chris Craft Cobra, test Racing Runabout?

Chris Craft Cobra classic boat photo image

classic Chris Craft Cobra boat only( forward) cockpit

The 21’ Cobra Chris Craft was the same as a 19’ Racing Runabout from the waterline down. Chris Craft boats liked the sales of the 503 boats that they built of their 18’ 11” Racing Runabout model that they added to the hull design above the water line color stripe so the Cobra classic boat measured 20’ 10” and the boat at the deck rub rail was widened from 6’ 1” for the Racing Runabout model to 6’ 9” for the Chris Craft Cobra. They then added either a big block Cadillac V-8 or a Chrysler Hemi. It was one fast classic boat!

While the Racing Runabout was a success in the number of units and the number of model years (1948 -1954) it was offered, the Coba only sold 55 units. Why? Some say price. Some say it was too special. Some say it only had one bench seat where the Racing Runabout had two benches in two cockpits.

When seabuddy boat tested a Racing Runabout the three on board was divided two in the front cockpit and one in the aft cockpit. It seemed natural for the size of the three of us. Our restored classic had a well running in line engine. It was the right engine for the Racing Runabout. The boat was lighter, however, than a Cobra by about 400 lbs. This weight coupled with the different engine made the goal of knowing what it feels like to drive a Chris craft Cobra by testing a 19’ Chris Craft Racing Runabout on a wide open lake a false test. One note, I did love the ride and handling of the Racing Runabout.

These are seabuddy photos of a 21’ Chris Craft Cobra, but they do not show the 19’ boat I tested.

wood Cobra model Chris Craft with fiberglass tail fin boat photo image

wood Chris Craft Cobra inboard runabout with its signature tail fin

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