Prior to the initiation of construction of the Commander 38, Chris Craft conducted extensive research into fiberglass boat construction, and the Commander 38 was the exquisite product of that research. The Commander 38 model was built for only the five year period 1964-1969, and is characterized by very heavy fiberglass construction specifications. During these early years of fiberglass boat construction, the longevity and strength of this material was somewhat unknown, and Chris Craft “overbuilt” these hulls using exceptionally strong scantlings for all parts of the hull. Chris Craft also paid close attention to the composition of the gelcoat on the exterior of the hull, and the gelcoat on Northern Star is original and in exceptional condition.
Interior Details and Accommodations
In the last year of the production run for the Commander 38 (1969), Chris Craft decided to use a wood grain plastic laminate material for all cockpit and interior surfaces, reportedly because it was easier to maintain than varnished wood. The current owners wanted these surfaces to be wood, so all interior walls were sheathed in sapele mahogany marine plywood with a varnish finish. All cockpit surfaces were either replaced or sheathed in the same sapele marine plywood and varnished. The cockpit panels were refinished/varnished in 2018.
The cabin is accessed from the main deck by three steps leading to the teak and holly cabin sole added by the current owners. The cabin area is finished with varnished sapele mahogany marine plywood. The cabin contains a utility closet to starboard containing the shore power fuse box, air conditioning system, and some storage racks. The galley containing the Norcold AC/DC refrigerator, sink, and Princess electric stove and oven are to port of the entrance steps. Underneath the sink are a small drawer and large storage cabinet with shelves. To port is a bench seat with backrest cushion, which raises up on hinges to create a Pullman Style separate bunk. Underneath the bench seat is a set of three large drawers faced in teak veneer. To starboard is the cabin dinette with cushions on either side, the table of which detaches to align with the fold down cushions to create a 4’ wide bunk approximately 6’ length. Below the table and seat system are three large drawers. Lighting fixtures have been replaced with LED fixtures, with the main cabin light controlled with a dimmable switch. Forward of the bench/Pullman bunk on the starboard side is the head which has been renovated by the owners with teak and holly sole, Vacuflush head system, and soft light lighting fixture. The old wallpaper in the head was stripped and the walls have been repainted in a soft yellow color. The head contains fixtures for a shower and a shower sump and pump system (not currently being used)
The V Berth contains side cushions and an insert panel and cushion to create a fully level berth without gaps. Inside the V Berth area is a hanging storage locker with shelf above. This area contains screened portholes on both sides and a front hatch with movable screen. Below the V Berth is a compartment containing the dedicated anchor winch battery. The current owners refinished the V Berth area by stripping the old wallpaper and replacing it with mahogany side paneling and painting the remaining surfaces in a cream-colored enamel. The V Berth is set up with a custom mattress topper and custom sheets for a king-sized bed. It can be reconfigured as two twin beds by removing the insert panel.
Deck and Hull Details
The cockpit area is fully enclosed with a hard top and custom side panels for approximately one half of the distance to the stern, with the remaining area covered with a custom stainless steel structure encapsulated with a canvas roof and removable canvas side panels. Mosquito net panels are available for substitution of some of the canvas panels. A fiberglass fish box is custom fitted into the transom and covered with a custom upholstered cushion. Two teak chairs with custom cushions sit on either side of the upholstered fish box. The fresh water transom shower controls are mounted to the right of the transom/swim platform ladder (starboard side of transom). The swim platform is varnished teak. A foldable water entry ladder is mounted to the underside of the swim platform aligned with the teak transom ladder.
The Deck area from bow to stern is fully enclosed in a stainless steel bow rail/stern rail and steel cable/stanchion lifeline system. The foredeck cabin windows are covered by cream colored canvas coverings.
Anchoring is facilitated by a Lewmar anchor winch mounted on the varnished teak bow pulpit with 75 feet of chain rode backed by 150 feet of ½ inch nylon anchor line. A bow pulpit cradles the 35 lb. CQR plow type anchor. The bow pulpit was refinished and varnished in Spring 2021.
The teak toe rail was totally replaced in 2017-2018 and finished in varnish. The toe rail was refinished and varnished in Spring 2021.
Forward of the transom and fish box seat is a large lazarette hatch providing access to the lazarette area below containing the water tank and raw water wash down controls. This area also contains the fresh water pump and hot water heater and provides easy access to the fresh water and fuel filters. Forward of the lazarette are the large double panel gull wing folding engine room hatches providing access to the 454 cu. in. Crusader V-8 engines.
Owner Upgrades and Maintenance
Upon acquisition, the current owners commenced a thorough re-conditioning or replacement of virtually all onboard systems in the boat. The systems replaced or added include hydraulic steering, the fresh water pump, new galley faucet, raw water wash down system, LED cabin light fixtures, Garmin GPS/Depth Sounder, Faria tachometer gauges, Vacuflush head system, Norcold AC/DC refrigerator, fresh water transom shower, stereo/radio system, cushions, 35 lb. CQR anchor and 75' of chain rode backed by 150' of ½ in. nylon rode and retrieved by a Lewmar anchor winch. The owners also reupholstered all cushions, stripped old wallpaper and painted and installed wood paneling in the V berth, refinished the head, and installed beautiful teak and holly sole throughout the cabin, V berth and head. Unique to this Commander 38 is a custom stainless steel structure supporting a full canvas roof with removable isinglass side panels which fully enclose the cockpit area, creating a large, level cockpit surface protected from sun and weather. A second set of screened panels is also included.
Annual or semi- annual maintenance items include:
- Spark plugs (annual)
- Oil change and filters (annual)
- Zincs (annual)
- Haul, block, power wash and winterize (annual)
- Bottom sanding and bottom paint (annual); bottom soda blasted, barrier coated and painted with copper/bronze bottom paint (the original bottom color, replacing the then current blue color) in 2010
- Hull and superstructure washed, waxed and polished (annual)
- Impellers (semi-annual)
Extra Equipment/Parts Included
- Two teak folding arm chairs with custom cushions
- One teak folding deck chair
- All safety equipment including multiple life jackets, flares, fire extinguishers, etc.
- Four fenders with whips
- Mooring lines
- Multiple misc. spares, spare parts (fuel filters, portable vacuum cleaner, electrical components, nuts, bolts and screws, etc., etc.)
- Files containing manuals of all systems
The Company offers the details of this vessel in good faith but cannot guarantee or warrant the accuracy of this information nor warrant the condition of the vessel. A buyer should instruct his agents, or his surveyors, to investigate such details as the buyer desires validated. This vessel is offered subject to prior sale, price change, or withdrawal without notice.