BOAT TEST: CROWNLINE 240LS

By: Mark Ward, Photography by: Mark Ward


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Even for just a day out on the water you may feel a little underdressed in the luxurious Crownline 240LS bowrider, writes Mark Ward

BOAT TEST: CROWNLINE 240LS
CROWNLINE 240LS

Renowned for their luxurious interior that matches sports car styling, Crownline boats have been at the forefront of luxury bowriders for many years. With so many imports, Crownline are not in a position to be complacent.

The Crownline bowrider range is huge and includes the massive 320LS coming in at just under the 10m mark, but the 240LS supports all that is synonymous with elegant bowriders in a trailerable version that manages to fall under the 100K price tag.
Designed for family boating, cruising and skiing, the 240LS achieves this in absolute luxury. Step on board and you may feel immediately underdressed, as everything from the helm to the swim platform is so classy.
After spending a few minutes lifting hatches and looking closely at the workmanship of the Crownline, it was hard to fault. The entire trim is very neat and supported by a five-year warranty on the stitching, seams and manufacturing defects.

 

 

STERNDRIVE POWER


All Crownlines run an inboard sterndrive configuration and the test boat was fitted with the MerCruiser 350MAG 300hp engine running a Bravo III leg with 26in pitch dual props.
The 240LS weighs in at more than 2000kg so having a few healthy stallions on the stern does not go astray. The 5.7lt V8 MerCruiser has plenty of low-end torque and pulled the 240LS out of the hole and had her planing at just under 10kts.
I found the 300hp engine perfect for cruising and there would be no problem pulling a couple of skiers out of the water. If this did not impress and more power is needed, engine options include the beastly 8.1lt high-output MerCruiser pushing out 425hp.
The 240LS feels a lot smaller and lighter than it really is. There's a slight lag before springing to life and lifting onto the plane, but remembering it is a 7.6m 2000kg boat made me forgiving of a little lag.
The hull was not too sensitive to the trim setting, so there was no need to keep adjusting. Even in sharp corners there was no prop slip.
The 240LS managed a top speed of just under 70km/h and was happy to hum along at 51kmh and 4200rpm.
The 240LS is designed with a 19-degree deadrise and a large reverse chine that lifts the boat nice and high on the plane while the 39-degree entry at the bow made easy work of the wind chop.

 

 

AT THE HELM


Cruising along in the Crownline and being absorbed into the seats went beyond what I was expecting. I found it a very classy and easy boat to operate, with everything in easy reach, including all gauges and controls clearly marked and visible.
The skipper's seat has the fold-down cushion to prop yourself up a little higher, but I preferred to sink into the seat and cruise. The height of the adjustable steering wheel meant that the helm was easily customised to the skipper's preferences.
The hull is surprisingly heavy, largely due to the stringer system being encapsulated in hand-woven layers of fibreglass. The stringers are then foam filled which gives the 240LS its noticeably soft, quiet ride.
The Crownlines come with the best warranty in the range, so the 'old school' build is backed by a confident manufacture. The warranty includes a lifetime for the original owner on the stringer system, deck, hull and transom, and five years on gel coat, stainless steel, engine and drivetrain.
The layout is front and rear U-shaped seating, with the bow seats doubling as 'hot tub' style recliners. All seats, especially the recliners on the bow were extremely comfortable and I couldn't think of a nicer way to cruise the waterways.
The bow had recessed drinkholders, stainless steel grabrails and with nothing else but an anchor well and a slot for a removable table, one can relax and enjoy the ride.
The stern is similar in appearance with the U-shaped lounges, under-seat storage and also has a slot for a removable table. Access to the swim platform is through the back seats, with everything folding away so there's no stepping over or on the upholstery. All Crownlines come with clip-in carpet throughout and the finish is faultless.

 

 

ABLUTION AMENITIES


The portside bulkhead opens up into a small portable toilet, electric exhaust vent, sink and shower facility that is lockable. With the door closed, you wouldn't even know that there was an entire bathroom fitted into the bulkhead.
This also doubles well as additional storage for camping or extended trips. While the head is tiny, it's still surprising how well this space is utilised and, while small, it's functional and an excellent feature on such a vessel.
The 240LS has a 56lt freshwater tank with pressurised water that also supports the handheld shower that can be used on the swim platform after skiing or swimming.
The swim platform is an entertainment area in itself. Plenty of storage, boarding ladder, antiskid surface, tow point and stainless steel grabrails finish off what is an uncluttered and functional swim platform. The large swimming platform and the lack of an outboard makes the Crownline double well as a skiboat, while the wakeboarders will love the extra weight of the hull. Ski and wakeboard storage is under the floor, with the starboard bow seat also large enough to provide additional ski storage.
I would have liked to see a rear facing lounge in a similar design to the 'hot tub' style in the bow for observers to relax in. The standard bimini is a nice touch to keep the sun off both skipper and observer.
Safety features in the 240LS include foam laid into the hull, automatic bilge pump with manual override, nav lights, horn, retractable cleats and fire extinguisher all standard.
The package as tested included the bimini top and all canvas covers. The 240LS is also fitted with a Sony marine stereo with MP3 and iPod input.
Tattoo-style graphics that dress up the two-tone gel coat are optional and apart from engine upgrades, there is very little more to option up the Crownline with.

 

 

WHAT WE LIKED


Soft riding and luxurious drive
Lockable toilet and clean-up area
'Hot Tub' style sun lounges

 

 

NOT SO MUCH


Heavy for its size
Bow ladder but no bow access unless climbing over the seats
Requires a light truck or 4WD to tow

 

 

 

 

Specifications: Crownline 240LS

 

 

HOW MUCH?


Price as tested:   $94,990 w/ motor and trailer
Priced from:    $89,900 w/ motor and trailer

 

 

GENERAL


Material:    Fibreglass
Length:    7.6m
Beam:    2.59m
Deadrise:    19º
Weight:   2131 to 2223kg

 

 

CAPACITIES


People: 12
Fuel: 182lt
Water: 56lt
Rec. max. HP: 425

 

 

ENGINE


Make/model: MerCruiser 350MAG w/ Bravo III twin-prop leg
Type: V8 petrol
Displacement: 5.7lt
Max. RPM range: 4600 to 5000
Max. HP: 300
Props: 26in duo-props

 

 

SUPPLIED BY


Satisfaction Marine,
328 Brisbane Road,
Labrador, Qld, 4215
Phone: (07) 5529 0711
Websites: www.satisfactionmarine.com.au; www.crownline.com

 

Originally published in TrailerBoat #233

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