Posted: January 1, 2014
Boat Buyer's Guide 2014Although the “E” in Crownline’s 2014 E4 probably stands for Eclipse, the name of its four-boat deckboat lineup, it could easily stand for ergonomically correct, since that seems to be its underlying theme. In a sense, the E4 is like a compilation of Crownline’s greatest hits dating back to 2003 when its deckboat line was first unveiled. An innovation called the three-position sunpad was a huge hit and has evolved into what we see today. Another innovation, the Hot Tub bow seat, originated in 2007 and cradles the human form in absolute comfort, which makes these bowrider recliners the most dibs-worthy locations aboard. The four-step stern boarding ladder is angled and has a grabrail at the top for easy boarding onto the Soft Touch Mat-covered swim platform. And for beach exploring, there’s another four-step ladder at the bow.
Our test E4 is powered by the MerCruiser 350 MAG, which produces 300 hp and comes with a five-year warranty that goes two years beyond the three-year Mercury warranty. The engine range is from 260 to 320 hp, so our test engine is in the middle and is a good choice to power this 24-foot, 6-inch boat. On plane in 3.8 seconds, the E4 reached 30 mph in 9 seconds and peaked at 48.3 mph. Its vented F.A.S.T. Hull has 19 degrees of deadrise, which, when combined with its solid 5,200 pounds of weight, creates a ride that feels like a luxury car on the interstate … until you crank it over into a hard turn, at which point it transforms into a sports car.
Passenger capacity is a whopping 13, and comfortable seating can be found in the expansive bow section thanks to the beam being carried all the way forward. In the cockpit, a wide stern bench and a pair of open-backed wraparound captain’s seats provide plenty of seating when combined with the jumpseat behind the helm. The jumpseat features a flip-up seat bottom that’s supported by a stainless steel ram, and inside is a huge 100-quart cooler that drains overboard. The large port-side head console has cherry wood cabinetry along with a faux teak sole. It comes with a stainless steel sink, a spigot, a granite-like countertop, an exhaust fan and an electric Dometic toilet. The four-speaker stereo is an upgraded Sony unit that’s compatible with a wide range of music delivery systems.