By James Corns
Crownline 210 LX: Performance Test
Crownline 210 LX: Good made better.
Last year, Crownline’s 208 LX was hailed as being part of the “next generation” of the company’s sportboat line. The boat was a success in virtually every way, but Crownline has endeavored to make the boat even better, so the company’s designers have made a few tweaks to the boat and decided to rename it the 210. We heartily approve of the changes — and we think you will, too.
In past boat reports, you’ve heard us drone on and on about how excellent the fit and finish on a Crownline boat always is, so we’ll spare you many of the details. Let’s just leave it at the fact that you’ll be hard-pressed to find a single thing to complain about in that department.
The hull is unchanged from last year, so those of you who had the opportunity to test ride the boat last year won’t notice much of a difference. Most of the changes are aesthetic — with the most notable change being the windshield, which has been made a bit sleeker and seems to have received a slight upgrade in construction materials.
Around the Lake
We tested the 210 LX on California’s Lake Puddingstone (or Puddingstone Lake, depending on whom you ask) during an absolutely beautiful day on the water. Such a fine day was not to go unnoticed by our fellow boaters, though, so the lake was much busier than we usually see it.
Nevertheless, the lake was far from crowded. We had plenty of room to have our way with the boat, and the occasional wake kicked up by passersby helped us gauge the 210′s reaction to rougher waters.
We had two adults aboard for the test, and the fuel tank was exactly half full. In addition, we had the Bimini top up, so that might have slowed us down just a tad, but not significantly.
Our test boat was powered by a 260 hp 5.0L MerCruiser MPI Alpha 1 stern drive. This felt like an appropriate amount of power for the boat. We might suggest a slightly more powerful engine, if you think you’ll need it, but the 5.0 MPI was acceptable. The boat is rated for as much as 320 hp, so watersports lovers and speed freaks can find contentment somewhere among the engine packages.
As we took the wheel, we were amazed by how this boat drives. The response is so immediate that it’s just like you’re at the wheel of a car. The boat’s 21-degree deadline helps it cut across corners without even breaking a sweat. The 210 isn’t too excited about making super-sharp turns unless it is properly trimmed, though, so you’ll have to get a feel for that.
With some boat-engine combinations, you have to turn the steering wheel several inches to one side or another before you see any actual change in direction, but with the 210, that slightest turn of the wheel shows a change. We loved that. It made for a very satisfying ride.
When we hit the occasional hard wave, there was a hint of shuddering, but it was almost nonexistent. The boat is only a 20-footer, so it’s not equipped to deal with huge waves — but it’s highly doubtful that anyone buying this boat is planning to take it out on the open ocean, so that shouldn’t be a problem.
Visibility was good. The bow does come up a bit before hitting plane, but we could still see over the edge of the boat. We didn’t need to make use of the seat’s bolster, but shorter skippers might.
Our top speed that day on the water was 48.8 mph. The tachometer showed an rpm of 5,200 at wide-open throttle, but the 5.0 MPI shouldn’t be pushed to more than 5,000 rpm, so some prop adjustment was in order. The boat went to plane at just over 2,500 rpm, and settled in at a nice cruising speed of 26.7 mph at 3,000 rpm.
Thought of Everything
Although the 210 looks like a simple bowrider at first sight, Crownline has done an excellent job of thinking through every part of the boat. For instance, the self-bailing anchor locker at the very tip of the bow not only includes a liner, but also a telescoping ladder that makes it possible to board the boat from the front.
Another one of our favorite parts of the boat is the engine compartment, which is wide open and easy to get to. Moreover, mechanics will really love this boat, because the entire front side of the engine compartment folds completely forward, for unparalleled access. The stern settee flips forward to make this possible — and it’s a terrific idea that is well executed.
The stowage space under that rear settee is generous, and getting to the stowage areas is done in an interesting way: You slide the settee cushion slightly forward and then in hinges up for access. The port side of the settee has a built-in 25-quart removable Igloo cooler.
A large sunpad lies atop the engine compartment. A small swim step is incorporated into the back of the boat, and it includes a built-in telescoping ladder.
The newly designed bucket seats at the helm and passenger consoles are attractive and contemporary. They’re another change from the 208.
The helm console is decorated with a full set of instrumentation, with stainless steel, bezeled Faria gauges that include a lifetime warranty. Faux burled wood accents are in abundance and give the console some sophistication.
The passenger console has a locking glove box and two cup holders. In fact, two-tier cup holders are conveniently located throughout the boat, and they all have overboard drainage. Now that’s attention to detail.
An in-deck finished lockable ski and wakeboard locker with hinged lids, a drainage channel and a removable rubber pad is located at the center of the cockpit. Diamond skid-resistant surfacing runs throughout the deck, and snap-in carpeting is standard.
A V-shaped bow settee is located up front, and a small cooler is built in under the settee’s center cushion. Stowage takes up the space under the rest of the settee.
When you turn the wheel of the Crownline 210 LX, the boat turns exactly as you expect it to. When you look underneath the fiberglass finish, you find immaculately finished spaces in areas that often go unseen. We go into a boat test with high expectations, and the 210 did not disappoint.
Crownline 210 LX Specifications
|Fuel capacity||45 gallons|
|Maximum power||320 hp|
|Model||MerCruiser 5.0 MPI stern drive|
|Bore and stroke||3.74″ x 3.48″|
|Maximum engine speed||4,600-5,000 rpm|
|Top speed||48.8 mph at 5,200 rpm|
|Cruising speed||26.7 mph at 3,000 rpm|
Anchor locker w/through-bolted tie off, 12v receptacle, automatic bilge pump w/manual override, bow cooler w/drain, six cleats, courtesy lights, lockable glove box, in-floor ski/wakeboard locker, ski tow eye, two-tier drink holders.
Sport Package (w/depth sounder, stainless steel rub rail, remote control for courtesy lights, woodgrain dash and wheel insert), Premium Package (w/Sport Package, plus a forward boarding ladder and extended swim platform), Bimini side curtains, Sony six-disc changer, compass, docking lights, transom trim switch, bow canvas, wakeboard tower, woodgrain kit.
For More Information
Crownline Boats Inc.
11884 Country Club Road
West Frankfort, IL 62896