38-foot Commander Express and Sedan (Photo Documentation)

38-foot Commander Express and Sedan (Photo Documentation)

Paul
Paul

October 28th, 2005, 4:41 pm #1

I'm building a file in the "MASTER INDEX" to document the various models of Commander with photos. Since the photos of the 38 are dispersed all over the place, I thought I'd consolidate some here just to show off the two basic models.





38-foot Commanders came in two basic configurations, Express and Sedan. A third version (Sport Fisherman) was also available but these are a bit rare, and they have some unique features such as the center helm station and windshield of the Sedan, and a lowered aft deck and no aft railing for fishing needs.

The Express and Sedan were offered with or without the flybridge, therefore there are Express Flybridge and Sedan Flybridge models. The Sport Fisherman came standard with the flybridge. The basic difference between the Express and Sedan is the configuration of the helm station and interior cabin, as the exterior of these two boats will look almost the same, and the basic hull is the same.

One of the easiest ways to tell an Express from a Sedan is the front windshield or the enclosed sliding glass enclosure around the helm from viewing the boat from the rear.. The Express has the traditional two piece operable windshield, and the Sedan has a single center section of operable glass. From the rear of course, the sedan has sliding glass panel enclosure and the Express is an open boat.


Here are some examples of frontal views of each boat: This is the Express



Heres the Sedan windshield detail



The following photos show the similar side profile of the Express and Sedan. Visually, the external hull is almost identical between the two boats.


Commander Express side profile

Commander Sedan side profiles




Now the big part of the difference between the Express and Sedan becomes readily apparent when you take a look at the helm station. The Express is an open boat, and the Sedan is an enclosed cabin, which opens up into the living quarters below. Both are great boats, but the Express is a little more Spartan while the Sedan is a little more luxurious. Which one is the fastest? Well with the same power the lighter boat will always win, so the fastest of the 38 Commander series would be the Express. Here are some photos that document the difference in cabin and helm construction between the Express and the Sedan.


Heres the aft deck of an Express, note the helm station over on the Port Side, as the Sedan has the Helm at the just-Starboard-of-center section of the cabin.




Here are two photos of the helm station on a Sedan, note the configuration of the window, where the helm is located, and take a peek down that hatchway to see a glimpse of the galley along the Port side of the boat.




Here is a photo of the helm station of the Express, note the fact that the hatch is on the center-Starboard side of the boat.








Here is a loaded Express


Here is a loaded Sedan Flybridge


Hope this helps you guys and gals out there who may be shopping around for a 38, or just trying to understand the differences between the two models.

Regards, Paul
1966 38 Commander Express (aftermarket flybridge added)
Original 427 power











Last edited by FEfinaticP on May 26th, 2015, 8:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Bill Rayson
Bill Rayson

October 28th, 2005, 11:59 pm #2

I've never seen a document that does what this post does. It's a nice tool for anyone who may be shopping in the future, who may want to sell a boat, or who may just want to understand more about the differences between the various commander boats.

Nice job,

Bill
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Dave Mehl
Dave Mehl

October 29th, 2005, 3:32 am #3

I'm building a file in the "MASTER INDEX" to document the various models of Commander with photos. Since the photos of the 38 are dispersed all over the place, I thought I'd consolidate some here just to show off the two basic models.





38-foot Commanders came in two basic configurations, Express and Sedan. A third version (Sport Fisherman) was also available but these are a bit rare, and they have some unique features such as the center helm station and windshield of the Sedan, and a lowered aft deck and no aft railing for fishing needs.

The Express and Sedan were offered with or without the flybridge, therefore there are Express Flybridge and Sedan Flybridge models. The Sport Fisherman came standard with the flybridge. The basic difference between the Express and Sedan is the configuration of the helm station and interior cabin, as the exterior of these two boats will look almost the same, and the basic hull is the same.

One of the easiest ways to tell an Express from a Sedan is the front windshield or the enclosed sliding glass enclosure around the helm from viewing the boat from the rear.. The Express has the traditional two piece operable windshield, and the Sedan has a single center section of operable glass. From the rear of course, the sedan has sliding glass panel enclosure and the Express is an open boat.


Here are some examples of frontal views of each boat: This is the Express



Heres the Sedan windshield detail



The following photos show the similar side profile of the Express and Sedan. Visually, the external hull is almost identical between the two boats.


Commander Express side profile

Commander Sedan side profiles




Now the big part of the difference between the Express and Sedan becomes readily apparent when you take a look at the helm station. The Express is an open boat, and the Sedan is an enclosed cabin, which opens up into the living quarters below. Both are great boats, but the Express is a little more Spartan while the Sedan is a little more luxurious. Which one is the fastest? Well with the same power the lighter boat will always win, so the fastest of the 38 Commander series would be the Express. Here are some photos that document the difference in cabin and helm construction between the Express and the Sedan.


Heres the aft deck of an Express, note the helm station over on the Port Side, as the Sedan has the Helm at the just-Starboard-of-center section of the cabin.




Here are two photos of the helm station on a Sedan, note the configuration of the window, where the helm is located, and take a peek down that hatchway to see a glimpse of the galley along the Port side of the boat.




Here is a photo of the helm station of the Express, note the fact that the hatch is on the center-Starboard side of the boat.








Here is a loaded Express


Here is a loaded Sedan Flybridge


Hope this helps you guys and gals out there who may be shopping around for a 38, or just trying to understand the differences between the two models.

Regards, Paul
1966 38 Commander Express (aftermarket flybridge added)
Original 427 power










This will become a favorite page, can we track how many "reads" a given thread receives?

Regards, Dave
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EH
EH

October 29th, 2005, 12:40 pm #4

I'm building a file in the "MASTER INDEX" to document the various models of Commander with photos. Since the photos of the 38 are dispersed all over the place, I thought I'd consolidate some here just to show off the two basic models.





38-foot Commanders came in two basic configurations, Express and Sedan. A third version (Sport Fisherman) was also available but these are a bit rare, and they have some unique features such as the center helm station and windshield of the Sedan, and a lowered aft deck and no aft railing for fishing needs.

The Express and Sedan were offered with or without the flybridge, therefore there are Express Flybridge and Sedan Flybridge models. The Sport Fisherman came standard with the flybridge. The basic difference between the Express and Sedan is the configuration of the helm station and interior cabin, as the exterior of these two boats will look almost the same, and the basic hull is the same.

One of the easiest ways to tell an Express from a Sedan is the front windshield or the enclosed sliding glass enclosure around the helm from viewing the boat from the rear.. The Express has the traditional two piece operable windshield, and the Sedan has a single center section of operable glass. From the rear of course, the sedan has sliding glass panel enclosure and the Express is an open boat.


Here are some examples of frontal views of each boat: This is the Express



Heres the Sedan windshield detail



The following photos show the similar side profile of the Express and Sedan. Visually, the external hull is almost identical between the two boats.


Commander Express side profile

Commander Sedan side profiles




Now the big part of the difference between the Express and Sedan becomes readily apparent when you take a look at the helm station. The Express is an open boat, and the Sedan is an enclosed cabin, which opens up into the living quarters below. Both are great boats, but the Express is a little more Spartan while the Sedan is a little more luxurious. Which one is the fastest? Well with the same power the lighter boat will always win, so the fastest of the 38 Commander series would be the Express. Here are some photos that document the difference in cabin and helm construction between the Express and the Sedan.


Heres the aft deck of an Express, note the helm station over on the Port Side, as the Sedan has the Helm at the just-Starboard-of-center section of the cabin.




Here are two photos of the helm station on a Sedan, note the configuration of the window, where the helm is located, and take a peek down that hatchway to see a glimpse of the galley along the Port side of the boat.




Here is a photo of the helm station of the Express, note the fact that the hatch is on the center-Starboard side of the boat.








Here is a loaded Express


Here is a loaded Sedan Flybridge


Hope this helps you guys and gals out there who may be shopping around for a 38, or just trying to understand the differences between the two models.

Regards, Paul
1966 38 Commander Express (aftermarket flybridge added)
Original 427 power










The so-called "Express" design has been around for many years and it's basically a big utility with a forward cabin and open helm station with a cover on top. I saw a Commander that had the top taken off, believe it or not, and replaced with a very professional looking convertible rig. With the canvas in the down position, it looked like a big open utility with a cabin up front. They're both great designs, but I like the simplicity and open features of an open boat, and therefore like the Express.

Ernie
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Tom Slayton
Tom Slayton

October 29th, 2005, 3:13 pm #5

I'm building a file in the "MASTER INDEX" to document the various models of Commander with photos. Since the photos of the 38 are dispersed all over the place, I thought I'd consolidate some here just to show off the two basic models.





38-foot Commanders came in two basic configurations, Express and Sedan. A third version (Sport Fisherman) was also available but these are a bit rare, and they have some unique features such as the center helm station and windshield of the Sedan, and a lowered aft deck and no aft railing for fishing needs.

The Express and Sedan were offered with or without the flybridge, therefore there are Express Flybridge and Sedan Flybridge models. The Sport Fisherman came standard with the flybridge. The basic difference between the Express and Sedan is the configuration of the helm station and interior cabin, as the exterior of these two boats will look almost the same, and the basic hull is the same.

One of the easiest ways to tell an Express from a Sedan is the front windshield or the enclosed sliding glass enclosure around the helm from viewing the boat from the rear.. The Express has the traditional two piece operable windshield, and the Sedan has a single center section of operable glass. From the rear of course, the sedan has sliding glass panel enclosure and the Express is an open boat.


Here are some examples of frontal views of each boat: This is the Express



Heres the Sedan windshield detail



The following photos show the similar side profile of the Express and Sedan. Visually, the external hull is almost identical between the two boats.


Commander Express side profile

Commander Sedan side profiles




Now the big part of the difference between the Express and Sedan becomes readily apparent when you take a look at the helm station. The Express is an open boat, and the Sedan is an enclosed cabin, which opens up into the living quarters below. Both are great boats, but the Express is a little more Spartan while the Sedan is a little more luxurious. Which one is the fastest? Well with the same power the lighter boat will always win, so the fastest of the 38 Commander series would be the Express. Here are some photos that document the difference in cabin and helm construction between the Express and the Sedan.


Heres the aft deck of an Express, note the helm station over on the Port Side, as the Sedan has the Helm at the just-Starboard-of-center section of the cabin.




Here are two photos of the helm station on a Sedan, note the configuration of the window, where the helm is located, and take a peek down that hatchway to see a glimpse of the galley along the Port side of the boat.




Here is a photo of the helm station of the Express, note the fact that the hatch is on the center-Starboard side of the boat.








Here is a loaded Express


Here is a loaded Sedan Flybridge


Hope this helps you guys and gals out there who may be shopping around for a 38, or just trying to understand the differences between the two models.

Regards, Paul
1966 38 Commander Express (aftermarket flybridge added)
Original 427 power










In my opinion, the 38 Express is "the" transition from wood to glass, and it offers the same style and configuration previously being sold by the company in wood. Chris Craft chose the sporty and fast Express line to make their splash, and it was a good one. Anyone have any information on just when the Sedan came about, was it offered initially with the Express, or did it come along later?

Tom
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Paul
Paul

October 29th, 2005, 4:29 pm #6

I could live with either model. I have an Express and I like it, but I would also enjoy the Sedan too. The Sedan is "a bigger boat" within the same hull, because it has more "interior room".

Paul

1966 38 Commander Express
Original 427 power
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Joined: September 16th, 2005, 3:49 pm

November 6th, 2005, 1:08 am #7

I'm building a file in the "MASTER INDEX" to document the various models of Commander with photos. Since the photos of the 38 are dispersed all over the place, I thought I'd consolidate some here just to show off the two basic models.





38-foot Commanders came in two basic configurations, Express and Sedan. A third version (Sport Fisherman) was also available but these are a bit rare, and they have some unique features such as the center helm station and windshield of the Sedan, and a lowered aft deck and no aft railing for fishing needs.

The Express and Sedan were offered with or without the flybridge, therefore there are Express Flybridge and Sedan Flybridge models. The Sport Fisherman came standard with the flybridge. The basic difference between the Express and Sedan is the configuration of the helm station and interior cabin, as the exterior of these two boats will look almost the same, and the basic hull is the same.

One of the easiest ways to tell an Express from a Sedan is the front windshield or the enclosed sliding glass enclosure around the helm from viewing the boat from the rear.. The Express has the traditional two piece operable windshield, and the Sedan has a single center section of operable glass. From the rear of course, the sedan has sliding glass panel enclosure and the Express is an open boat.


Here are some examples of frontal views of each boat: This is the Express



Heres the Sedan windshield detail



The following photos show the similar side profile of the Express and Sedan. Visually, the external hull is almost identical between the two boats.


Commander Express side profile

Commander Sedan side profiles




Now the big part of the difference between the Express and Sedan becomes readily apparent when you take a look at the helm station. The Express is an open boat, and the Sedan is an enclosed cabin, which opens up into the living quarters below. Both are great boats, but the Express is a little more Spartan while the Sedan is a little more luxurious. Which one is the fastest? Well with the same power the lighter boat will always win, so the fastest of the 38 Commander series would be the Express. Here are some photos that document the difference in cabin and helm construction between the Express and the Sedan.


Heres the aft deck of an Express, note the helm station over on the Port Side, as the Sedan has the Helm at the just-Starboard-of-center section of the cabin.




Here are two photos of the helm station on a Sedan, note the configuration of the window, where the helm is located, and take a peek down that hatchway to see a glimpse of the galley along the Port side of the boat.




Here is a photo of the helm station of the Express, note the fact that the hatch is on the center-Starboard side of the boat.








Here is a loaded Express


Here is a loaded Sedan Flybridge


Hope this helps you guys and gals out there who may be shopping around for a 38, or just trying to understand the differences between the two models.

Regards, Paul
1966 38 Commander Express (aftermarket flybridge added)
Original 427 power










I always thought the windshield on a Sedan was moved a bit forward to allow for a larger helm station, but from looking at your photos carefully, it appears as though the external dimensions of the boat are identical.

Nice job,
Charlie

Commander35
Cape Vincent, NY
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Joined: September 16th, 2005, 3:49 pm

November 8th, 2005, 12:39 am #8

Paul, looking at the link to Warren Pateman's 38 you put on the "IVECO" thread, I found this photo, and wanted to know what you think of it. It looks like a custom extension of the cabin top/flybridge deck. Any thoughts?



Charlie,

Commander35
Cape Vincent, NY
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Paul
Paul

November 8th, 2005, 3:17 pm #9

Look at the standard commander photos in this file, and you'll see the rear edge of the roof is even with the "point" on the side of the cabin. What Warren did was add an extension to his roof, and unless there's some steel or aluminum channel in there, I'm not sure I'd want to stand out on the edge. Knowing Warren, it was done right.

regards, Paul
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Paul
Paul

November 8th, 2005, 3:30 pm #10

My 38 had the flybridge added after it left the Chris Craft plant. It's an aftermarket unit. Upon acquisition, I noticed the roof wasn't as solid as I thought it should be (we're talking about the roof of the Express, and the deck at the flybridge level). I therefore removed the headliner, some of which was damaged in transit over the road (but that's another story) and I reinforced the roof structure with layers of wood in a built-up "laminated beam" configurtion. That really helped a lot.

Then I noticed the side panels at the helm, when off, exposed a steel I-beam that had "US Steel" embossed on it. That gave me some confidence, but following it downward, I found a base plate that wasn't sitting on anything. Apparently CC intended for "some" of the strength to be transferred down to the glass side structure, via a piece of cushioning wood, but the wood was long gone, and my base plates were just hanging out there in air.

Naturally this caused flex in the structure. I'd suggest all commander owners check this structural issue, and if the steel base plate is not supported, then add a length of treated wood, with wedges to snug it nicely but not too tight, and fix everything in with 3M 5200 so it won't go anywhere.

Paul
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