Paradise with a Crownline
Paradise with a Crownline
Friday, 18-1-13 NEWS 67 GOLD COAST: 2018 Commonwealth Games Host City Living outdoors FISHINGBOATINGCAMPINGOFF-ROADINGCARAVANNINGWATERSPORTSMOUNTAINBIKINGBUSHTUCKER A 260hp V8 Mercruiser sterndrive ensures the Crownline 19SS has exciting performance to go with its quality finish and stylish good looks. UNLESS you’ve a one-track fishing mind, there’s a great deal to be said for bowriders around the Gold Coast. They look great, are only bettered by dedicated ski and wakeboard boats when it comes to social skiing and general wake toy towing, and can cater for two and sometimes even three couples for a day on the water. A 19-footer, the Crownline 19SS is one of the latter. Between its helm and passenger seats and with comfortable spacious lounges bow and stern, there’s plenty of room for six adults or several adults plus some kids. With a 260hp Mercruiser V8 tucked away beneath a big sunbathing lounge, even heavy loads make little difference to its exciting performance. To which can be added standards of styling and finish that’d do any luxury performance vehicle proud. On the same bumpy Broadwater day the NZ-built Huntsman – which so impressed me a few weeks back – was tested, the Crownline went one better than the Kiwi’s praiseworthy rough water performance. The 19SS’s 18-degree deadrise hull basically ignored wind chop offered on the day – not to mention some mega cruiser and ferry boat wakes. With a muted rumble from the Mercruiser hidden away below decks ever present in the background, this upmarket American built lady sure showed off an impeccable pedigree. Americans have an old saying about there being no substitute for cubes when it comes to powerful engines and this boat proves it to be so! The Crownline 19SS’s V8 powerplant displaces 5 litres or 305 cubic inches (cubes) which is a lot Paradise with a Crownline Perfect for summer boating on the Gold Coast the Crownline 19SS bow and stern lounges and super supportive helm and passenger seats are all colour coordinated with the exterior. oating WITH WARREN STEPTOE more ‘‘cubes’’ than the average marine engine found moving 19-foot (5.9 metres in Aussie metric) boats around. Thanks in no small part to the immense amounts of torque delivered by the big Mercruiser the Crownline 19SS’s top speed was over 40 knots, 42.6 to be precise, a whisker short of 80 km/hr. But it was through the mid range, where the most fun towing folk on skis and wake toys happens, that the power was most impressive, it was just there on call. Although American built, the test boat is a special model for the Australian market distributed by our friends at Nitro Marine. Other power options include 4.3 litre 190 hp and 4.3 litre MPI 225 hp V6 Mercruisers and they’d obviously have less power available for less dollars. The 5-litre engine in our test boat delivered power through Mercruiser’s ever reliable and evergreen Alpha One sterndrive. This was a new boat of course but I must say that one of the things that’s impressed me about Crownline boats in general is that boats three or four years old and more that have been treated with due respect still look literally good as new. That’s a sure sign of quality construction and while you’re looking at around $55,000 for the Aussie spec boat tested (maybe less if some manufacturer promotional discounts pending at the time have come through) the standard of finish and fittings do no less than deliver what you’re paying for. Inside, the Crownline 19SS continues with the same style featured on the exterior. Colour matched upholstery oozes quality and the deep bucket seats provided for helm and passenger, observer when it’s facing aft, are no doubt intent on keeping their occupants in place and comfortable regardless. At the helm you’re seated low just like in sports cars; which isn’t an entirely inaccurate comparison given the Crownline’s nimble handling and hydraulic power steering. This is a definite asset not only for skiing but to get around the narrow channels between sandbars we call the norm around here. The bow and stern lounges are flatter and although less supportive, security during turns is provided by cleverly placed grab bars close to both lounges. I always like to see helm seats like this one with a flip-over bolster to raise the helmsperson’s eyeline when docking, driving the boat back onto the trailer and negotiating shallow water. Along the centreline of the cockpit, there’s a roomy ski locker capable of stowing bulky skis and heaps of other gear out of the way. All the carpet can be removed for cleaning and faster drying and a folding section of the aft lounge facilitates entry and exit beside the roomy sunbathing lounge to a moulded swim deck across the outside of the transom. This is where the requisite boarding ladder awaits stowed neatly beneath a moulded cover. American trailers aren’t used in Nitro Marine’s packages. They instead put the Crownline boats they sell on top quality Australian built Dunbier trailers. The bimini shade top you see snugged away inside a neat zip-up sock on our test boat is another feature of this Aussie model; as are bow and cockpit covers, a glass windscreen and stainless steel rub rail around the hull’s periphery. Pop up cleats keep everything neat and tidy until needed, and a final good impression is assured when you find a moulded liner in the anchor locker to quieten ground tackle.