A Few Words On The 2015 Chris – Craft Capri V -Drive Prototype.

Capri V Drive 33While down in Lake Dora a couple weeks ago, we had the chance to go out and drive, touch and basically molest the new prototype Chris-Craft Capri V Drive from Katz’s Marina. The details and much better photos will be featured in an upcoming Brass Bell, so we will just report our feelings and snap shots. One word describes how it feels, so it’s gonna be a short review. Here it is.




OK, that’s it. No real need to talk about the amazing smooth power, or smooth ride. I won’t talk about that. Or the brilliant hommage to it’s rich history. Nope, not a peep!

Those lines are very familiar. Seth prepping for our short shoot

Seth Katzs

Seth getting ready.

Capri Prototype

Out for a nice run!

Then Don Ayers took the helm to try it out. Seth is very generous with folks driving. Did I mention this is a prototype! As in one of one!

fla 2015 CC Capri Prototype 2

Don Ayers at the helm while Tommy holds on.

v drive capri

Power to re power your day!

The designers at Chris-Craft get it. They understand how to keep the boat a Chris-Craft without falling into the trap of a dead end retro look.


On land at the Katz tent. You can see the stern area. No outdrive!


Chris Craft Blue! Post post post war blue

Very nice perfect interior.

Very nice perfect interior. Kudos to Chris Craft and Seth for specking out colors that are different.



Very nice dash and floor combo. The textures are fantastic


Capri V Drive-1

Seth pulling away, what a cool dash!

The desire is always to bring back greatness instead of improving on it. And they pulled off that in spades. Only a few companies are able to achieve this. Porsche, BMW, Mercedes, Rolls Royce, Bentley, and Chris – Craft..  Bringing back a V drive version is more than just engineering, it’s a statement. And we love what it statements! So we won’t go on, but will end it with just 4 words. Thanks you Chris Craft!

FLA 2015 CC Capri Prototype

Wood deck, perfect copper bronze boot stripe matched up with a beautiful interior.

30 replies
  1. Walt
    Walt says:

    I know I may be in the minority but that poo brown upholstery just doesn’t work for me. And if this is a “classic”, where’s the mahogany?

  2. Matt
    Matt says:

    Walt, you old Poo! HA – The brown is perfect, and warms up the interior perfectly. As to Mahogany, Mahogany does make something a classic. The design and approach do. Also, what also makes it a classic is that its unique, makes a statement and has a point of view.

  3. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    What is the performance hit vs the stern drive version? I hope they sell well so I can pick up a used one after the kids are done getting their ejumacation and other silly things my wife thinks are spending priorities.

  4. Matt
    Matt says:

    The performance was amazing! We did not go out and compare. Don, or others can chime in. I will say it was a perfect sound and very smooth accelaration

  5. Cliff
    Cliff says:

    I like it! Just a thought however to the marketing department…get some better looking drivers for the advertising department to have on hand. The boat is great, but mmmmm the guys behind the wheel not so good. There is this guy named “Troy” you might want to check with him. Keeping these “models” would be like showing up in Florida with like only 50 coffee mugs or something.

    • Greg Lewandowski
      Greg Lewandowski says:

      I am having my first cup of coffee in my new WoodyBoater cup that I just got yesterday. It is as great of an idea as a V Drive in that CC, but much less obvious. Good job Matt!

  6. Texx
    Texx says:

    The new Chris-Craft Capri V-Drive is (to me) a great looking runabout. Or should we refer to it as a Sportboat?

    It should perform well with that Ilmor power, those guys know how to build high-performance engines.

    I also like the grab bars in the second row seating – nice functional feature.

  7. Speedboat Outlaw
    Speedboat Outlaw says:

    Don’t like the roll bars on the front seats. I can just see people (grandkids) in the back not paying attention, that cruiser wake being bigger than expected, the CC doing a rapid decelleration and teeth from the rear not. Can you say ‘faceplant’. Ouch. Get rid of them and you have a cool boat.

    • Mike U
      Mike U says:

      I agree with you Mr. Outlaw – the front seats remind me of a cheesy 1980’s kitchen table set (chairs with coasters). As far as the rest of the design, I’m OK with the hull & that’s about it. I find the Cherubini & Vanquish runabouts much more desirable.

  8. Jan Hadley
    Jan Hadley says:

    There’s no doubt that the new CC Carpi V-drive is an impressive offering but for the six-figure+ price tag, there are a lot of other boats I’d buy first…restored woodys that would either hold their value or appreciate. Of course, for me, it’s academic but I’ll keep the Capri in mind for when I win the Powerball.

  9. David
    David says:

    The white dash is a bit blinding. A bit of wood trim on the dash sections would probably help and make it look much less “plastic.” Otherwise a nice looking boat. Today is my first day drinking Coffee Varnish, and it really tastes pretty good!

    • John Baas
      John Baas says:

      Agree David. Dash is “too white”. Or something. Doesn’t really compliment anything. I guess it’s ok for those who have more money than they know what to do with. Would rather see “classic” than “neo-classic”.

  10. Don Ayers
    Don Ayers says:

    I was thrilled to finally see Chris-Craft do this. I’m just a fan of a prop under the boat.

    Issue 2 2015 is done so I could not get a write up done in time but will shoot for number 3.

    I’ll put it this way, it was a unique ride that was a pleasant departure from the typical competition ski boat experience. Just pure fun. We will also capture some perspectives from Chris-Craft’s POV of the market and future plans.

    Seth was very kind in letting myself and others experience the new craft.

  11. Don Ayers
    Don Ayers says:

    And yes… Pics with ladies in the boat are much preferable. Hard to come by though.

    Special surprise on that subject coming in Issue 2

  12. Bob B
    Bob B says:

    Love prop under the boat.

    Also like that the windshield does not extend too far back on the sides. On some “sportboats” the darn windshield practically goes to the back seat.

    Just my 2 cents. Now, off to the lottery store.

  13. hamster
    hamster says:

    I was lucky enough to get a ride with Matt and Tommy in the new Capri. From a pure performance stand point it is awesome, strong out of the hole, the trim tabs lighten up the boat a speed to make it very lively on the water. Every body had grins on when we came back to the dock.

  14. Randy
    Randy says:

    I have been looking to C-C to get rid of that outdrive for a long time — too many issues of maintenance/failure with those things. The only difference in performance with the vee is a loss in slow speed maneuvering when you don’t have the prop turning in the direction you want to go. A very small drawback to the minuses of yearly servicing (which most people neglect) on those outdrives.

    A beautiful (pricey) little classic in my estimation — but you do really get what you pay for!

  15. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    I kinda like Beanie’s interior version, at least on screen. Maybe, in person the brown looks better. Agree the chrome bars look mid century design. change to back of seat instead of on top. Bow pole should be raked like the original Capri’s and loose that tacked on horn on the deck. Would like to see a longer bow deck, looks stubby but that could be camera lense compressing length? With 6 figure cost, longer bow deck gives a more luxurious appearance.

    • FLASH
      FLASH says:

      The short deck is necessary with a closed bow, v drive design. With a longer deck, you lose interior space. Many of the older Century’s look like they should have a longer deck, but nobody’s complaining about the lack of room in a big Arabian.

    • Alex
      Alex says:

      Thats the first thing I noticed as well, frt. The bow looks too short to my eye.

      I also think the metal bars on the cool backs are indeed potential hazards. My kids have been thrown within a boat before. These bars are clearly are design features. Padding them would make them safer, but would compromise the look. Guess which side won?

      Ilmor makes fine engines, so I can see why Texx commented re the sound and seamless performance of the powerplant.

      The V drive is interesting, but I have to believe this will be a real niche boat. I love V drives – don’t get me wrong. (I own 10 of them, compared to 1 I/O.) However, the advantages of and I/O are not just slow-speed maneuverability. They are ALL-speeds maneuverability, and reverse maneuverability as well. Most of us probably agree I/O’s ruin the transom design of many a boat. But there’s no denying they were a massive step forward in performance. Sure, they require added maintenance. And sure, they can fail. But we’re talking boats here. When has that stopped any of us? 🙂

      V drives makes better ski boats. But for a runabout today, this Chris, in my opinion, is a styling and retro hat tip, with a step back in performance over an I/O that buyers will not mind taking — because they love the idea of it.

      I’m not intending to dis the boat. I’m sure construction and materials are exemplary. I’m merely commenting on design and features.

      I wish C-C the very best with this boat and their entire line.

      P.S. I know color choice is personal, but I like Seth’s choice for this boat. It is an elegant combination.

      • Cobourg kid
        Cobourg kid says:

        Alex it’s OK to offer constructive criticism that’s how we move forward in design and technology, question is is Chris Craft actively listening to folks like you who want to endure that the great brand they represent stays around for another 100 years,

        Good companies do listen and in my experience they profit from that openness . Those with their head stuck in the sand don’t, and in my experience they tend to evaporate rather quickly

        As for the out drive issue I have no problem with the lines of my 92 sea ray outdrive it hides nicely under the swim platform and you don’t see it unless you actually look and right now I would rather not as the paint on the ol mercruiser is in serious decline

        Note to IO owners don’t forget to change your zinks !

  16. steve bunda
    steve bunda says:

    A good start, but look at the real thing , the decks have blond accented wood offsetting the traditional chris craft stain.
    I love the dash and power, but too much vinyl, more real wood please in the cockpit.

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