REVIEW: CROWNLINE E2

By: JOHN WILLIS, Photography by: ALISON KUITER


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One of the most stunning boats John Willis has ever seen, the new E2 from Crownline proves sometimes you can judge a book by its cover.

Crownline E2 turning

 

American sportsboat giant Crownline has released its new range of marine masterpieces, the "E", or "Eclipse", series, and it raises the questions: is the all-new E2 the most beautiful boat ever made? The E-Type Jaguar of the water, maybe? Some will surely think so. As for me, let’s say I rate it among the elite of the world’s top five.

Crownline has developed a beautiful, perfectly balanced and dynamically optimised combination of manufacturing quality and timeless design, and the E2 is a fantastically functional sportsboat that will turn heads whenever it goes.

Much like I can still remember seeing my first E-Type Jag as it thundered past my primary school all those years ago, I reckon I’ll always remember when I first laid eyes on the E2 Crownline.



 

CROWNLINE E SERIES

Crownline E SERIES

This is a big trailerboat. Really big. Stretching to an overall length of almost 7m (6.86m, to be precise), its 2.59m width surpasses the standard Australian towing regulations, which means wide-load restrictions will apply.

Crownline also makes no apologies about the boat’s weight, which comes in at around 2300kg on the water (2900kg dry on its trailer). Following extensive research and development, the company believes the weight distribution of the Eclipse series has been dynamically optimised, which makes for a well-balanced boat with bigger volume through higher freeboard and a full, buoyant stem, allowing more room for creature comforts.

The designers have extended the transom, which gives greater buoyancy and stability, as well as a fast, clean hole shot for immediate acceleration with minimal bow lift. You can feel the balance immediately, but you will also be amazed at the satisfaction of measured performance without hull slap or harmonic noise. The boat is especially quiet, even as it (easily) transverses wakes and chop.

The hull isn’t the only thing that’s balanced, though. The power selection of a 300hp MerCruiser 350 Magnum MPI, combined with a Bravo 111 leg, gives a satisfying V8 thrill with loads of trim control and thrust. The boat is very direct in reverse and comfortably cruises along up to a top end of around 43kts (79.6kmh).



 

LUXURY DECKBOAT

Crownline E2 deckboat

Deck boats are specifically designed to carry full weight in the bow, and the E2’s more rectangular design will comfortably cater for four adults. There’s plenty of features up front, too.

The fully-lined seats are trimmed with double stitching to the premium Crownline standard. The upholstered backrests are nice and high and our demo boat also had optional flip-up armrests.

The boat has a well-proportioned anchor well, as well as a four-step folding bow ladder. And much to my satisfaction, the designers didn’t forget drink holders.

Crownline has fitted some flexi-teak decking to the well-designed bow for added safety, and it provides a nice accent to the mouldings, fittings and upholstery. A convertible table sits on an angled side mount so you won’t be continually kicking it, and there is a cooler under the front seat. Crownline provides plenty of stainless steel grab rails and there’s a pull-out freshwater shower at the bow and stern.

As you enter the helm you will immediately be impressed by the stainless steel-framed, lightly-tinted wraparound windscreen, which has a bumper to stop it banging and lock to keep it in the open position.

There’s also loads more storage under the driver’s console, and the walkthrough is nice and wide.

The mushroom-coloured clip-in marine carpet features well against the triple-toned upholstery, as well as the ebony and ivory gelcoat scheme.

The E2’s helm and cockpit are really quite gorgeous, and the level of comfort and ergonomics is world class (something the E-Type Jag definitely can’t claim).

The helm combines a mix of futuristic technology with timeless presentation. There’s a full set of stainless steel-framed analogue gauges, illuminated waterproof switch panels, a Sony sound system with optional iPod connectivity, and a stylish combination sports steering on a tilting bezel. The passenger has a small-ish glovebox, stainless steel grab handle and a small flat dash for storing loose items.

The boat’s dash presentation is beautifully finished with a black leather-look trim and smooth-actuation flush-mount throttle control, and driver and passenger bolster swivel seats are a work of art. This is quality, style and comfort at its best.



 

AMERICAN-MADE BOATS

Crownline E2 layout

Folding open the port console door reveals a large toilet and bathroom capsule, where the extra freeboard and depth of the hull have allowed good headroom, even for a big man like me. There’s also a padded head lining with exhaust fan, flexi-teak floor, oval porthole, sink with pressurised water and a benchtop. It all works beautifully.

A gigantic ski and wakeboard locker, accessed via a solid lid assisted by gas shockers, sits under the floor. Its huge volume is another benefit of the increased freeboard and ensuing depth.

The rear entertainment and seating area is lush and inviting, easily accommodating several guests. This area has more space because, while previous models, as well as many competitors, would put a sink behind the driver on the starboard side, Crownline’s research revealed few people actually use it and are in fact happier with more comfortable seating and another moulded icebox, which is exactly what the E2 supplies.

The cockpit also boasts a large L-shaped lounge formed by a seat module running from behind the passenger and flowing right around the stern, where its undersides transform from storage to the engine box.

There is also a neat convertible backrest / sun lounge on top of the engine box and part of the rear lounge, which Crownline calls a Flip Flop. The backrest folds to provide forward and upright seating, or, alternatively, the Flip Flop folds down forming an upholstered sun lounge. Love it.

There is another mounting position for the plug-in table, and the entire deck is lined with fibreglass and drains through to the automatic bilge.

A walkway through the full-width moulded platform on the driver’s side means you don’t have to scramble wet or dirty feet across the upholstery. The platform forms a huge watersports staging area and makes for easy boarding when moored side- or stern-on. The platform has more flexi-teak, enhancing its appearance and safety, plus a long stainless steel grab rail, folding four-step ladder in its own compartment, and the back of the sun lounge / Flip Flop seat makes a great preparation bench for getting your ski gear on or off.



 

HANDLING AND RIDE

Crownline E2 planing

Try as I might, I couldn’t get the boat to cavitate in tight turns unless I did something stupid, and its confident demeanour certainly didn’t need trim tabs. The hull shape and extended transom running surface provide exceptional stern buoyancy and thus a flat and early transition to plane.

Down low, the E2 holds a very low planing speed, with clean and well-shaped wake, but get it humping along and the trail evens out.

From the outside, the E2 is heart-stoppingly beautiful. Its two-tone ebony and dazzling ivory gelcoat emphasises the beautiful flowing lines, creating an awesome presentation. The stainless steel accents and quality fittings reflect Crownline’s commitment to longevity, and the FAST Tab, vented chine with big reverse chines and voluptuous hull all work exceptionally well.



 

THE TRAILERBOAT VERDICT

Crownline E2 passengers

To be honest, I would need pretty much this whole magazine to fully describe the Crownline E2 and its array of features. A boat that will appeal to all ages, it’s an alluring machine just waiting to envelope you and your loved ones in elegant luxury and style.

There’s a lot more to tell you about this boat, including warranties, prime fittings, loads of standard and optional accessories, and value-packed Australian trailers, but I guess you’ll just have to find out the rest for yourself.

The Australian dealers and agents all tell me Crownline is listening to the market and recognising boaties’ changing styles, needs and wants. I have no hesitation in saying congratulations to Crownline — the E2 sits comfortably in the exclusive league of boating’s upper echelon.



CROWNLINE E2 PERFORMANCE

22.1kts (40.9kmh) @ 3000rpm

32.5kts (60.1kmh) @ 4000rpm

41kts (75.9kh) @ 5000rpm

43.9kts (81.3kmh) @ 5300rpm (WOT)



ON THE PLANE...

· Exquisite presentation

· Functional layout

· Large capacity

· Satisfying performance

· Swim platform



DRAGGING THE CHAIN...

· Wide-load towing restrictions



 

CROWNLINE E2 SPECIFICATIONS

HOW MUCH?

Price as tested: $104,990

Options fitted: MerCruiser 5.7L 300hp Bravo 111 stern drive; five-year power train warranty; Easytow tandem Supa Roller trailer; inverse gelcoat with colour-matched deck vents; black-wrapped dash; stainless steel window lock; bow and stern shower; flip-up arm rests; table; rear swim platform; bow and tonneau cover; stainless steel bimini and targa bag; toilet compartment with porta pottie and sink; two stainless steel ladders; safety equipment; registration (VIC).

Priced from: $99,990



GENERAL

Type: Luxury deckboat

Material: Fibreglass

Length: 6.86m

Beam: 2.59m

Weight BMT: 2900kg (dry)

Deadrise: 19°



CAPACITIES

People: 11

Rec. HP: 300

Max. HP: 300

Fuel: 208L

Water: 45L



ENGINE

Make/model: MerCruiser 350 Magnum MPI combined with a Bravo 111 leg

Type: V8 multi-point electronic fuel injection four-stroke

Weight: 460kg

Gear ratio: 2.20:1

Propeller: 24in



MANUFACTURED BY

Crownline Boats

West Frankfort

Illinois USA

Web: www.crownline.com; www.crownline.com.au



SUPPLIED BY

BL Marine

612-614 Plenty Road

Preston

Victoria 3072 Tel: (03) 9478 1420

Web: www.blmarine.com.au; bl-marine.tradeboats.com.au

 

Find Crownline boats for sale.

Originally published in TrailerBoat #299, September / October 2013

 


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