2019 Crownline Boat E285 285 Fresh Water Like New Grill Bathroom Fridge Bowrider
Crownline designers went back to school to create a dayboat that earns a major in entertainment. At the heart of this design is an entertainment center that features an electric grill and a drawer-style refrigerator. Normally, items such as these are found on cruiser-type boats with generators — or on boats stranded at the sandbar because their electrical system couldn’t handle the load.
Typically, anything that generates heat or cold is a battery killer. Crownline, though, worked with its electrical systems supplier for 18 months to make sure boat owners could enjoy hamburgers right off the grill without having to call for assistance at the end of the day.
To counter the big drain, Crownline created a dedicated battery system just for the entertainment system. A pair of class 31 house deep-cycle batteries deliver an hour of grilling time. Anyone who needs longer than that is overcooking the food anyway. To keep everything running, the E 285 series, which includes a sterndrive model, utilizes a voltage-sensing relay (VSR) for the charging system; it samples each battery and directs charging power to the one that needs it the most.
During the day, when the boat is running it will be recharging the batteries, thanks to the high-output alternators featured on today’s big-horsepower motors. Then, at the end of the day, owners just plug an extension cord into the 1,500-watt charger and it automatically charges all the batteries. The Crownline E 285 also has an inverter, so frozen beverage fans can bring their blender from home and plug it in.
Keeping vibration low and countering some of the prop torque is Mercury’s Advanced Mid-Section (AMS), a feature that has migrated up to select models of Mercury’s new V-8 platform. AMS uses four motor mounts, instead of the usual two, and all four have variable amounts of cushion. At slow speeds, they are soft and stiffen as the speed rises. This mounting design also acts like a 4-inch jackplate setback, which helped push the Crownline on plane in just 3.3 seconds. Also notable was the lack of significant bowrise during holeshots.
Featuring the F.A.S.T. Tab hull, the Crownline E 285 uses a vented chine design to introduce air under the hull and reduce drag. Such an arrangement improves fuel economy and increases top-end and cruise speeds, but missing part of a chine can sometimes inhibit a boat’s ability to turn. Crownline thought of that. Its hull acronym stands for Fin-Assisted Safe Turn, and it refers to a pair of fi ns just behind the vents that more than make up for the reduced chine. When I threw the E 285 into a hard turn, it leaned over and allowed me to turn the wheel all the way to its stop without prop ventilation.
The Crownline E 285 features 20 degrees of deadrise at the stern and a cleaver-sharp 39 degrees where the hull greets the water. Combined with a narrow-for-its-length 8-foot, 6-inch beam and a solid 5,865 pounds of hull heft, it can handle choppy conditions smoothly. The beam makes the boat towable in all 50 states without a permit or red flags on the back. And the E 285 comes standard with a dual-axle trailer, so even owners who live in Indiana, where the boat is built, can hook it up in the dead of winter and head for the Keys.
Probably the most impressive standard feature on the E 285 is a Kicker KMC10 stereo system that features eight high-end Wet Sounds speakers, two of which are rear-firing 6.5-inchers on the Social Swim Transom Design. Further enhancing the key-off fun is a doublewide rear lounge. Unlike other lounges whose backrests only have a couple of positions, this one comes standard with an electric backrest that ups the cool factor and provides an infinite number of backrest angle options, including all the way forward to form a tanning bed. Despite having an outboard, the boat has a large swim platform padded with Soft Touch matting that matches the bow platform, where a boarding ladder facilitates beach landings.
This Crownline is ready for watersports with a standard — getting tired of that word yet? — aluminum arch equipped with a high tow-line anchor point and a Bimini top. The electronically actuated arch can be dropped down for storage or to transit under low bridges; simply remove two bolts with hand-knobs and then press a toggle switch. Ski storage abounds in the bonus storage area under the rear sunpad/recliner, courtesy of the vacant sterndrive engine housing. And there’s more room for boards in the centerline storage compartment that also houses a side-mount cockpit table that stores out of the way in a dedicated pull-out drawer.
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Location: West Springfield, Massachusetts, United States