The first fiberglass Chris Craft. A “Corvette” of the sea.


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Chris Craft Commander 19
Chris Craft Commander 19 Supersport (XK19)

Late 1960s, United States of America. Chris Craft launches one of the most beloved hulls among enthusiasts, a 6-meter boat destined to become a cult object of many amateurs. His name? Chris Craft Commander 19 Super Sport, since 1970 also known as Chris Craft XK-19. It is small, it is agile, it accommodates up to 5 people and it flies at 37 knots. It takes very little for it to become an icon, a symbol: it is the Corvette of overseas water mirrors.

Chris Craft Commander 19 Supersport (XK19)

Designed by Jim Wynne, Dick Avery and Walt Walters, the Commander 19 is Chris Craft’s first sports boat to be made entirely of fiberglass. It is a 230-horsepower-powered bolide, a 24° V-shaped hull destined to make its mark. It will be produced in 101 units under the nomenclature Commander 19 Supersport, then in 276 units under the title XK-19.

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Chris Craft Commander 19
Chris Craft Commander 19 Supersport (XK19) restored by YNOT Yachts

Chris Craft Commander 19 Supersport (XK19) – Project

Commander 19 was born on paper in 1968, commissioned from world offshore champion Jim Wynne. The goal is one: to create a low and wide runabout with a 24° deep-V hull. Inspiration? Offshore of course. The Commander had to be thoroughbred, especially in terms of speed and agility. The task succeeds: a boat is born that combines performance, pragmatism, and fun.

From 1969 to 1970, 101 units were produced with 230-horsepower Chris Craft engines, strictly V-Drive. Then the stroke of genius, Stern-Drive propulsion was born, developed just for the 19, some say, now renamed XK-19. The momentum further improves.

Chris Craft Commander 19 Supersport
Chris Craft Commander 19 Supersport

Chris Craft Commander 19 Supersport (XK19) – Exterior

Coming to the space component, the layout is that of the classic Made in USA small runabout. If the European contemporaries were still soft, classic and very elegant, the Americans, on the other hand, already had a serial approach, more “squared off,” if you will, strengthened precisely by the extensive use of fiberglass and molds. The Commander is thus a sleek, sporty, but more “angular” hull, closer to what would later be seen almost a decade later.

Chris Craft Commander 19

Spaces, on the other hand, look at comfort. The bow is closed, flush and not usable, but the stern makes up for it, with a large sundeck above the engine compartment, complete with handrail and swim ladder just beyond. The cockpit, on the other hand, is protected by a large edge glass. Two seats serve the wheelhouse; a settee in the back seats 3 people instead, bringing the maximum capacity to 5. A more than respectable number in size and purpose.

The dashboard of the Chris Craft Commander 19 restored by YNOT Yachts

Chris Craft Commander 19 Supersport (XK19) – Data Sheet

Length Over All (LOA) 6 m | 19′ 3⅜
Baglio Massimo (B.max) 2.3 m | 7 ‘4⅜”
Displacement 1300 kg
Motorization 1969 > 230 hp Chris-Craft 327QA (V-Drive)

1970 > Chris-Craft 302FLV (Stern-Drive)

Maximum speed 37 knots
Fuel tank capacity 129 L / 34 gallons
Passengers 5
Project Jim Wynne, Dick Avery and Walt Walters
Years of construction 1969 – 1974
Specimens produced 101 + 276
Construction material Hull and Deck: Fiberglass

Pagliolato: plywood

Construction site Chris Craft

Discover Classic Boats from previous articles

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