Buying a 74 Commander 45

Hello everyone with good taste, my name is Darin this is my first post. I am about to buy a 74 Chris Craft commander 45'. I was hoping one of you guys can give me some advice on what to look for on this model.

Everything looks to be original even the carpet and blinds. She has twin 8V71's with 1,200 hrs.

I hope everything goes well with the purchase.



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  • I bought a 1977, 45' flybridge commander nine years ago. I would make sure structurally the hull etc is solid. Check for soft spots on the foredeck and decks. Have the diesels surveyed by a Detroit Diesel mechanic. The motors are the most important part of buying this boat. Obviously take the boat for more then one test ride, with the mechanic if possible. There will not be a line of buyers for a boat this old. Play hard to get. There are too many things to list to watch out for. In nine years I have replaced almost everything except windows and the drivetrain. The good part is you will never run out of things to do. I love my 45 and all the work that has been put into it. If you have any questions, I can be reached at Good luck, Billy K.

  • Checkout all systems! Is everything working? If it's a saltwater boat double check! Ask sell for all maintenance records. Last time strut bearings replaced? Find a qualified surveyor and have it surveyed.

    I always look at the exterior  for general condition, hull is waxed and shiny, bright work is finished. If tow rail is wood, it must be caulked to keep water from leaking inside. If the exterior is in good condition, go below deck, checkout the engine room. Is it clean, not a lot of rusted equipment, bilge is clean. Thru hulls are functional.

    If maintenance looks rough, few maintenance records, walk away. I agree, play hard to get!

    Joe Marino

  • Thanks Bill and Joe for the great advise. I was just wondering if these models have common problems to be aware of. For instance, Marine Traders commonly have fuel-tank leaking problems. The teak decks ALWAYs leak as well. Anything like that with these Commanders. 


  • Make sure all the helm controls work. I believe 1977 still has the Total Command System which was Chris' attempt at modularization of the control panel. Common problems with TCS includes flakey gauges, intermittent switches and overall gremlins. 

  • Is this the boat at Gregg Neck in MD?

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