BOAT TEST: CROWNLINE 255CCR

By: Mark Ward, Photography by: Mark Ward


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It’s on the limit as ‘trailerbility’ goes, but the Crownline 255CCR is a luxury cuddy cab that’s ready to go for the weekend, writes Mark Ward

BOAT TEST: CROWNLINE 255CCR
CROWNLINE 255CCR

It feels like an injustice to call the Crownline 255CCR a cuddy cab. We are not used to testing luxurious cuddies that have a good-sized galley and are ready straight out of the box for overnight stays or weekends away.

At 8.1m and nudging four tonnes with trailer, it pushes the boundaries as a trailerable dayboat, but as long as you have a vehicle capable of doing the towing, the advantages of having such a vessel on a trailer are huge.
As a dayboat or cruiser, the 255CCR can host up to 10 in comfort. The small kitchenette has a sink, stainless steel refrigerator and plenty of bench space, while the overhead cupboard is ideally suited to have a microwave installed.
The addition of cherrywood cabinets add a nice touch to an interior that is loaded with storage areas. Portlights and the overhead hatch provide good lighting and the hatch is fully screened to help with ventilation.
The slip-in table converts the aft to a great outdoor dining area while the same can be done in the cab where it is large enough to seat six. The bulkhead also houses a small toilet and shower area so it is certainly a cuddy cab with all the features of a cabin cruiser.
The new Social Swim transom that was fitted to the test boat includes a Sony marine stereo and speakers. The swim platform also has a tow point, boarding ladder and a reasonable amount of storage. The 255CCR has under-floor storage for skis and the handheld deck shower completes a very neat skiing and swimming package.
The U-wrapped aft deck is extremely comfortable with access to the swim platform through the fold-down cushions and keeps dirty feet off the upholstery.
There is plenty of freeboard, making the 255CCR very kid friendly. The U-wrap design also lends itself well to observing skiers as does the swivel chairs up front.


 
GUARANTEED TRIMMING
Crownline have a reputation for quality trimming that doesn't fall apart after a couple of years of use and the 255CCR is no different. The stitching has a five-year warranty and a close look at the work that has gone into the trimming and you soon see why Crownline can afford to back their product for so long.
The high helm position gave the Crownline the feel of a large boat, but it handled and responded like a little runabout.
Instrumentation is excellent and well laid out with speed, revs, temp, trim, fuel and more positioned high on the dash while trim tabs and switches are positioned to the sides of the wheel.
All gauges and accessories are in good view and simple to read. The wooden sports wheel is a nice touch and the seating is a pedestal with fold-down cushion to prop the skipper up when berthing or picking up fallen skiers.
From the helm, the Crownline did all that was asked of it in absolute luxury.
She lifted onto the plane with very little effort for a boat of its size and was happy to plane at 22kmh.
Trim tabs are standard and extremely handy with a few people on board to level out the boat while underway, but the hull was very efficient and once the tabs were set, there was no need for constant adjustment.

 

SPORTSCRUISER
The 255CCR has all the look of a sportsboat and performs adequately but is more suited to cruising and day trips. Opening up the 300hp MerCruiser gave a top speed of 61kmh and cruising at 4200rpm has the Crownline pushing along at 44kmh.
The 300hp V8 proved to be an excellent fit for cruising, but if more performance is what you are after, the option is there to have the big 8.1lt 425hp high-output MerCruiser fitted. The fuel capacity is a generous 235lt.
The Crownline was faultless on the plane and the high bow combines well with the weight of the vessel to insure a dry, smooth ride. The F.A.S.T Tab hull design incorporates a large reverse chine and planing plate to quickly lift the vessel out of the hole and have it planning high in the water.
The hull didn't tend to over pitch and even at cruising trim, the dual props had a firm hold on the water, giving the push required to power the 255CCR through the corner. I was impressed with how the hull, that was not overly powered, performed so well when it was driven aggressively.
The hydraulic rack and pinion steering with adjustable sportswheel and smooth control box made everything from the helm easy and the dual prop Bravo III leg was very responsive.
Low-speed maneuvering in both forward and reverse was first-rate and apart from the hull being a little susceptible to being blown around in a breeze, the Crownline is a simple boat to operate at both cruising and low speeds.

 

SAFETY PLUS
The 255CCR hull was fitted with all the standard safety features with added foam to give the hull basic floatation. The 255CCR is also fitted with a high-water audio and visual alarm along with an automatic fire extinguisher system fitted to the engine compartment. This not only saves a life, but getting an engine fire out early can prevent a massive amount of damage.
 Storage is a huge issue with boats the size of the 255CCR so having it dry, fully covered and stored somewhere safe gives the owner a little peace of mind. As part of the standard package are full canvas covers to insure that she is clean and dry between trips.
Adding to owner's peace of mind is the original-owner lifetime warranty on hull, deck, gauges and transom as well as stringer de-lamination. All Crownlines are also covered by a five-year warranty on stainless steel, trimming, gelcoat, engine and drive train.
The 255CCR is not optioned with a trailer so an aluminum trailer to keep the weight down can be built for around $13,000.
The dry hull weighs 2800kg so an alloy trailer, belly full of fuel and a few extras will have her weighing in around the four-tonne mark and will require a light truck to get her around.
As mentioned before, it might be a little involved to have it ready to tow but it is a huge advantage to have a vessel like the Crownline 255CCR mobile and out of the water. The V8 MerCruiser is a great engine but will go through some fuel so having the hull on a trailer and touring to different locations before dropping her in the water will save both time and money while opening up many more options than wet storage can.

 

WHAT WE LIKED
Well appointed cuddy cab
Lifetime warranty on hull and stringers
Five-year warranty on engine and drive train

NOT SO MUCH
Requires light truck for towing

 


Specifications: Crownline 255CCR

 


HOW MUCH?
Price as tested: $105,990 w/ options, dealer delivery and trailer
Priced from: $96,990 w/ dealer delivery and trailer

GENERAL
Material: Fibreglass
Length overall:  8.1m
Beam:  2.59m
Deadrise: 21º
Weight: 2800kg (dry)

CAPACITIES:
Fuel:   235lt
Water:  56lt
People: 10
Rec. max. HP: 425

ENGINE
Make/model: MerCruiser 350 MAG MPI
Type: Fuel injected four-stroke V8 petrol
Rated HP: 300 at 5000rpm
Displacement: 5.7lt
Weight: 430kg
Drive (Make): Brave III sterndrive
Prop:  Counter-rotating duoprop

SUPPLIED BY 
Satisfaction Marine,
328 Brisbane Rd,
Labrador, Qld, 4515
Phone: (07) 5529 0711
Fax: (07) 5529 0178
Email: info@satisfactionmarine.com.au
Websites: www.satisfactionmarine.com.au; www.crownline.com

Originally published in TrailerBoat #238

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