Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider (2015-)
(w/ 1 x 300-hp MerCruiser 350 MAG)

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The 258 Bow Rider is a premium sportboat in anyone's book. From her unique "styling lines" on the hull sides to her plush interior upholstery, this is a boat that is intended to provide a comfortable day of fun on the water and be as luxurious as any sportboat on the water her size. By using exactly the same fabrics and materials employed in the large express cruiser line, the Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider should appeal to boaters who want an up-market sportboat. Her 22-degree deadrise at the transom and large swim platform are designed specifically for watersports activities, making her second to none in that category as well.

Key Features

  • Standard hull stripe
  • Optional wakeboard tower with speakers
  • Aft sundeck convertible to 3 positions
  • Composite seat cushions bases and backs
  • Power steering
  • AM/FM/CD stereo with USB port and 4 speakers
  • 48 quart integrated cooler
  • Stainless steel ski tow
  • Extended swim platform
  • Bimini top with boot

Specifications

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider (2015-) Specifications
Length Overall 25' 0''
7.62 m
Dry Weight 5,160 lbs.
2,341 kg(w/ eng)
Beam 8' 6''
2.59 m
Tested Weight 5,915 lbs.
2,682 kg
Draft 39.5''
1.00 m
Fuel Cap 68 gal.
257 L
Deadrise/Transom 22-deg. Water Cap N/A
Max Headroom open Bridge Clearance 58''
1.47 m
Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.

Engine Options

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider (2015-) Engine options
Std. Power Not Available
Tested Power 1 x 300-hp MerCruiser 350 MAG
Opt. Power 2 x 300-hp MerCruiser 350 MAG B3
2 x 320-hp MerCruiser 377 MAG B3
2 x 320-hp MerCruiser 377 MAG B3 with Captain's Call Exhaust
Three Volvo Penta V8 engines from 300-hp to 320-hp.

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider (2015-) Captain's Report

Mission

The 258 Bow Rider is a premium sportboat in anyone's book. From her unique "styling lines" on the hull sides to her plush interior upholstery, this is a boat that is intended to provide a comfortable day of fun on the water and be as luxurious as any sportboat on the water her size. By using exactly the same fabrics and materials employed in the large express cruiser line, the Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider should appeal to boaters who want an up-market sportboat. Her 22-degree deadrise at the transom and large swim platform are designed specifically for watersports activities, making her second to none in that category as well.

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider running shot

The Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider has an overall length of 25' (7.62 m), a beam of 8’6” (2.59 m) and a draft of 23.75” (.60 m). With 60 gallons (227 L) of fuel, and 2 people aboard we had an estimated test weight of 5,915 lbs. (2,683 kgs.).

Distinguishing Features

Following is a list of features that set this boat apart from most others in class--

Construction

Standard extended swim platform design

High freeboard and deep cockpit seating

Ride quality

Stepped hull

Upholstery quality

Unusual styling

Major Features

Convertible Rear Seating/Sun Pad. This convertible arrangement provides three functions: 1) Sitting facing forward when racing along; 2) With the seat back in the forward position it converts into a chaise for lounging when at anchor and watching activities behind the boat; and, 3) with the seat back in the down position it creates a large sun pad for two.

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider aft bench

In its "normal" mode, the aft bench seat faces forward and seats 2 to 3 people. Under it is the engine room.

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider chaise lounge

In the chaise lounge position facing aft when at anchor the seat back swings forward and provides back support.

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider sun pad

With the seat back fully down we have a sun pad for two -- or more. Note how the seat back is shaped to fit the contours of the port side seat creating even more contiguous sunning space.

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider stern

It is 13" (32.8 cm) off the water which enables people to sit on it and dangle their feet in the water without worrying about getting wet.

Extended Swim Platform. One of the most distinguishing features of the Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider is her extended swim platform. It comes standard and has been expertly designed to provide the room needed to get boards on peoples' feet before entering the water, rather than having to struggle to get them on once in the water.

This is a key feature watersports enthusiasts and there is nothing quite like it in class. The builder has thoughtfully tapered the platform in so that it does not hit the dock when taking off bow first. It extends well beyond the lower unit when it is in either the down or up position, an important safety feature.

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider swim platform

From any angle this extended swim platform is the largest in class making it easy to get boards on, then a quick hop into the water.

Stern Amenities. A stainless steel tow bit for tubing is located in the center of the transom and on the port side, stereo remote controls and a motor tilt switch to keep the outdrive off the bottom when launching and retrieving. A fresh water shower wand is located handy to the 4-step re-boarding ladder and the transom gate.

A secondary advantage of the large swim platform is that it is an ideal place to carry an inflated water toy when it is not being towed. This frees-up the cockpit for the guests.

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider head compartment

Although small, the head clearance is 48.5” (123.19 cm), which provides 27.5” (69.85 cm) sitting head room on the optional Porta-Potti. Note the opening portlight.

Head. Everyone will appreciate the head compartment which serves as both a changing room and a place for a toilet. There is a solid surface contertop with sink and faucet. The faucet is a wand style and can be extended out on a hose to use as a shower. Natural light and ventilation is provided by the portlight. There is also a vanity light. Headroom is 48.5" (1.23 m) and there is 27.5" (69.4 cm) clearance over the Porta-Potti seat lid

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider sinks

The 258 Bow Rider is the only boat in class that has a sink in the head compartment and a second one on deck. This makes it easy to wash up before a picnic or preparing sandwiches.

Deep Cockpit Seating. The high freeboard at the bow of 38.5” (97.79 cm) creates a deep and safe cockpit depth forward. The cockpit itself is 30" (75.7 cm) deep forward and the seatbacks themselves measure 14" from the seat to the coaming. This is relatively deep for a boat this size and is an important consideration when there are young kids aboard. The walkthrough is 21” (50.4 cm) wide, which is about as good as it gets.

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider grab rails

The stainless steel grab rails are 1” in diameter and extend the length of the seating area on both sides to provide the passengers with a solid hand hold while underway. The chaise lounge configuration is comfortable and provides a secure feeling thanks to the high freeboard at the bow.

Each chaise lounge at the bow has a retractable arm rest that easily raises up, locks into place and with the touch of a release button, drops back down into place. Next to the seating are the sound system speakers and two stainless steel cup holders.

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider storage compartment

The storage compartment is 8" deep at the aft end and 17" deep forward. CSS boats are the only ones we know of that have under deck access through two hatches. (The seats in this image belong to an older model, so disregard them.)

Huge Under Deck Storage. The in deck storage box between the helm and companion seating is 8” (20.32 cm) deep by 23” (58.42 cm) wide and 56” (142.24 cm) long. The forward in deck storage box is 17” (43.18 cm) deep x 11.75” (29.84 cm) wide by 32” (81.28 cm) long. Because these two compartments are connected they can hold all sorts of things in addition to skis. The center mounted latch is a bit of a stretch to reach, but once open, the gas assist strut will keep it from slamming closed.

The Helm

The helm has a two tone, brown and tan combination of colors, that Cruisers Sport Series calls its Latte package. The materials are coordinated with a sporty Bussi wheel, which tilts. The brow is a non-glare marine grade Spradling vinyl with excellent fit-and-finish. The accent double stitching looks good and should prove to be durable in the elements. The AM/FM stereo is mounted at the lower left section of the helm. There is the usual array of gauges and the side mounted throttle control is mounted in an ergonomic position.

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider windshield

We think this is one of the most graceful windshields in class. The largest piece of glass is rounded so that no mullions interrupt the captain's view to starboard where boats have right-of-way. So, the windshield is both attractive and safe. Note that the header is polished stainless steel.

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider helm

On each side of the wheel is a storage area large enough to hold a cell phone and car keys, with a raised edge to keep things inside while underway. Note that there is room for a moving map display in the middle of the dash.

Captain’s Seat. The standard deluxe captain’s chair, and matching companion’s chair, are an all new design from the manufacturer. One of the things we immediately noticed when looking at the chairs was the various upholstered materials and fabrics that the designer selected and that they are coordinated with the exterior color schemes of the boat.

The exterior upholstery is marine exterior grade expanded vinyl. The cushions are fabricated from two foam densities to provide a firm base and comfort. And all the upholstered seats are hand sewn with a heavy duty bonded nylon thread. The attention to detail and the high quality fit and finish of the seat was impressive

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider helm seat

The newly-designed accent colored helm and companion seat have drop down armrests, a padded bolster, slide back and forth, and also raise and lower, something that is unusual.

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider adjustable helm seat

Operators who like to drive with the tunes blaring will like this helm with a speaker right at knee level. Both the captain's and companion’s chairs adjust three directions and are plush.

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider head rest

The contrasting head rest design element is an attractive addition to what might otherwise be a conventional-looking seat.

Performance

The Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider has an overall length of 25’ (7.62 m), a beam of 8’6” (2.59 m) and a draft of 23.75” (.60 m). With 60 gallons (227 L) of fuel, and 2 people aboard we had an estimated test weight of 5,915 lbs. (2,683 kg).

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider running shot

A nice view of the high freeboard to keep us dry as we test her performance and handling.

Our test boat was powered by the MerCruiser 350 MAG, 300-hp with the Bravo 3 outdrive.

Hole Shot Times. We took 4.0 seconds to reach planing speed and accelerated to 30 mph in 7.5 seconds and 40 mph in 9.7 seconds. The 258 Bow Rider is certainly a sporty handling boat and is quick to respond to the helm. On acceleration, the bow comes up 12-degrees, so the sight lines to the horizon are never lost. Once on plane, trim the drive to the one quarter mark on the trim gauge to get her into her proper cruising attitude of about 4-degrees.

Speed Numbers. At wide open throttle, we hit 46.6 mph at 5200 rpm. Best cruise was found to be at 3500 rpm, providing us with 29.1 mph, burning 10.2 gph providing a range of 175 statute miles, with a 10% fuel reserve.

For those who want to break the 50-mph "barrier" we recommend going to a 320-hp engine and a 22" pitch prop. However, don't count on the boat being quite as fuel-efficient as this one. We have tested a sistership and have gone 52 mph with a 320-hp engine turning 22" diameter props.

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider running shot

Handling

She leans 12-degrees into the turns, with a confident bite in the water. No indication of chine walking or loss or speed during hard turning. There is plenty of mid-range power to handle any of the watersports and can easily accommodate a full load of passengers and gear. Our captain reported that when he punched the throttle while cruising the engine had plenty left in her and the boat bounded ahead.

Stepped Hull. The 258 Bow Rider has a stepped hull with the step a little farther aft than we normally see. Nevertheless, in this class only a few boats have a stepped hull. We have tested enough boats over the years from many brands with stepped hulls and have become believers in the concept. The "step" is a notch in the chine connected to a grove across the bottom of the boat which pulls a vacuum when underway at speed. The air is then distributed along the bottom which helps detach water molecules clinging to the boat's bottom and thereby making it faster.

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider running shot

Captain Jim bashes the 258 Bow Rider through our photo boat's wake and the ride is so gentle he does not even have to sit down.

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider running shot

Here he takes the 258 laterally over the wake and she stays on a fairly even keel, and again captain feels comfortable in his standing position.

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider running shot

Just at cruising speed the 258 Bow Rider shows her stuff. The hull graphics seen here are standard.

She has a high freeboard'', 38.5’’ forward, 34’’ freeboard at the aft end of the cockpit, keeping us dry in all conditions that we encountered. Because she is ruggedly constructed and among the highest displacement vessels in class she punched through the waves made by our photo boat with authority and easily sliced through the waves.

Her 22-degree deadrise at the transom, together with her displacement, keeps the ride as comfortable as possible for a boat in this size range. This is something that both mom and guests will appreciate, as there was no pounding or wash-boarding.

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider running shot

The boat is very responsive to the input from the wheel and is easy to maneuver at speed. The 300-hp engine provided excellent mid-range power and very little hull speed is sacrificed when there’s tight turning and maneuvers.

The Forward Cockpit

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider bow

Starting at the bow, each of the port and starboard seat cushions can be raised on a hinge system to access abundant storage underneath.

Stowage. The 258 Bow Rider has stowage under both chaise lounge seats forward, under the helm console in the deck from the cockpit all the way forward to the bow area, and under the aft cockpit seats. There is an insulated, self-draining cooler under the forward bow seat and in the aft cockpit is a dedicated place for a large portable cooler.

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider ladder

This is a standard feature for this boat and one that comes in handy when going ashore on a sandy beach. Even if the boat can't come right up to the beach, it usually can get close enough to enable crew to wade ashore without water higher than knee caps.

Under the bow hatch we find the beach ladder and anchor locker. There is room enough under the ladder to stow the anchor and rode. I would like to see a bitter end ring and a dedicated cleat for securing the anchor line.

A beach boarding ladder is nestled under the forward hatch along with the anchor and rest of the ground tackle. This compartment is also self-draining. Both this locker and the cooler drain overboard.

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider bow seating

The bow seating area is uniquely designed with a curved opening at the most forward section, providing 22" (55.5 cm) of foot room.

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider built in cooler

Underneath the center bow cushion is a built in self-draining cooler. The lid is held in place by two strong magnets. Look closely to see the side-mount fitting for the bow table. In entertaining mode, we would have two tables aboard. Note the classy vinyl upholstery below the bolster/backrest.

Aft Cockpit

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider cockpit

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider wrap around seating

The main cockpit of the 258 Bow Rider has virtual wraparound seating. The cushion in front of the transom gate at left comes out to make a passageway aft. There is storage under the seat at the bottom of the picture and the engine is under the aft bench seat that lifts easily to reveal the engine room. Note that the 48-quart carry-on cooler is securely anchored in place.

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider table

At the aft seating area of the cockpit, a table can be easily inserted into a beefy stainless steel pedestal mount to accommodate some mid-day snacks or drinks. The same table, or a second can be used in the bow. This optional table looks like it is made of wood, but it is hard polyurethane that is impervious to weather.

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider color upholstery

The three-color Latte upholstery package actually uses materials that Cruisers Yachts uses in its 54-footer.

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider cockpit seating

The wraparound seating plus the helm and companion seats provide comfortable accommodations for eight adults. With five more sitting in the bow, the owner of this boat can have 13 people for an on-the-water picnic.

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider fabric

This close-up shows the fabric covering the side of the boat under the starboard backrest.

In the aft cockpit, the starboard corner seat has a storage locker underneath and the seat back doubles as the stern gate. Lift it up from its locking position and step out onto the swim platform. Forward there is a single seat behind the helm seat with storage underneath. And in the port quarter there is still more storage under the seat there.

The Table. Check out the table, it’s not wood, although the simulated grain pattern is so well done that one would think that it was real. It is actually a polyethylene high density plastic. It is waterproof and UV resistant and when not in use stows in a dedicated location in the helm console.

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider cockpit carpet

The cockpit carpeting on this boat was the optional Sea Grass, woven mat. Notice how it is cut and bound to fit perfectly. And the stainless steel reinforced snaps will keep it in place and prevent tearing.

The 48 quart cooler on the port side is on a latching bracket that will lock into place when raised up and is easily released with a quick lift of the seat and the assembly will close back down.

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider cooler

There is a raised lip at the outer edge to keep the cooler from sliding out and two stainless steel cup holders to put the beverages in that just came out of the cooler.

A Bimini top and boot come standard along with a complete bow and cockpit cover, the latter is something we usually find on the options list. During our two days of testing we had the opportunity to put on and take off the covers several times and found the fit perfect with just enough give to avoid the language often heard during their evolutions.

Construction

The lamination regime used on the 258 Bow Rider is remarkable in that we are told by a company spokesman that it is the same that is used on the builder's large express cruisers designed to go offshore and crash through big seas at 20 knots or more. This Cruisers Sport Series model -- and all of the rest as well -- are built with seven layers of glass, including chop strand, woven roving, mat and cloth. As we said, it is remarkable. But we see the logic in it both from a production standpoint and an engineering one -- after all, this boat will be hitting the same water at twice the speed of the big boats and the energy released upon impact grows exponentially with speed.

By eliminating wood in the boat, and by keeping the amount of resin used under strict control, Cruisers Sport Series has been able to keep the boat's total weight to 5,160 lbs. (2,345 kgs.) dry, which is about the same as three other premium boats in class, and just 10% heavier than one of the lightest boats in class.

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider gel coat

A BoatTEST.com captain examines Cruisers Yachts' Image gel coat at the company’s factory in Oconto, Wisconsin. There the work force is stable and the average time with the company is over 20 years.

One Staff for Both Lines. Historically in the boat building business when one company built both sportboats and large cruisers it would be done in different plants with different crews. Typically the level of fit-and-finish required for the larger, more expensive boats would be much higher than for the smaller boats, so having one crew work on boat lines was fraught with problems.

We're told by the folks at Cruisers Yachts that its veteran work force puts into the Cruisers Sport Series boats the same level of TLC lavished on the big boats, thereby eliminating a double standard of quality. The result is obvious to see. And it is no secret that the CSS line has more man-hours in the boats than most other sportboats of similar size.

No Double Standard for Materials. Likewise, the fabrics, vinyls, resin and other raw materials used in the Cruisers Yachts line is also used in the Cruisers Sport Series boats. This keeps inventory and SKU numbers down. It also means that the buyers of the CSS boats are getting the same level of materials as the big boat buyers.

For example, premium Image gel coat holds color longer, is harder and resists scratching, and has greater UV protection than does the standard gel coat used in the industry. Not surprisingly, it costs 30% more. Cruisers Yachts uses it on all of its boats, large and small. The same goes for most of its other materials and components.

Details of Styling

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider styling lines

The red arrows indicate the shadows cast by the 258 Bow Rider's "styling lines" in the hull even on the overcast day we tested this boat. They break up what would otherwise be a solid white sheet of boring fiberglass and gives the boat a subtle character all of its own that separates this boat from the pack.

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider windshield angle

The windshield is raked back at a sleek angle yet allows the captain to look through it when seated and over it when sitting on the bolster. The curved glass and stainless steel header make this boat look fast when standing still.

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider anchor scuff plate

The anchor scuff plate on the stem gives the bow an up-market look and the two inset docking lights remind us of the eyes painted on the bows of colorful Mediterranean fishing boats.

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider engine step

The arrow at the bottom indicates the "step" and directly above it is a metal styling element that gives an edge to the black panel aft. The arrow at the top points to the cowling over the engine room air intakes and hides them from view -- and helps to keep water from being sucked into the mechanical spaces.

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider sculpture reliefs

Look closely at the two arrows just above the waterline aft. They point to sculpture reliefs which make the boat look like it is moving. The three arrows forward point to the subtle speed lines on the metal edge. Note the graceful plunge of the sheer line down to the swim platform.

Engines

Our test boat was powered by the MerCruiser 350 MAG, 300-hp with a Bravo 3 outdrive and counter-rotating props.

Optional Power:

• 300-hp Volvo Penta V-8 300C

• 320-hp Volvo Penta V8-320C

Options to Consider

• Bow filler cushion to create a second sun deck

• Trim tabs

• Swim platform, cover and soft deck

• Full hull color

• Table (or two)

Price

Base boat (with MerCruiser 350 MAG engine) $81,806

Manufacturer’s options (as tested) $11,770

MSRP $93,576

Observations

Clearly there is a lot going on with this remarkable 25' (7.62 m) sportboat. Perhaps the most important thing about the Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider is that she is so different than all of the rest of the 25-footers in the marina, yet there is no doubt that she belongs in that class. There is nothing mediocre here. This is a boat that is yearning to turn heads wherever she goes.

Having said that, she is as practical and as steady as a plow horse. Her massive swim platform takes some getting used to, but once seen in action, its functionality will never be in doubt. Her convertible stern seating is useful for three different activities. With her optional tables she can entertain 13 people (her USCG capacity) in comfort for cocktails or a picnic. And, given the fact that she built like tank, her performance seems relatively unaffected.

Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider (2015-) Test Result Highlights

  • Top speed for the is 46.6 mph (75 kph), burning 23.80 gallons per hour (gph) or 90.08 liters per hour (lph).

  • Best cruise for the is 29.1 mph (46.8 kph), and the boat gets 2.85 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.21 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 175 miles (281.64 kilometers).

  • Tested power is .
For complete test results including fuel consumption, range and sound levels
go to our Test Results section.


Standard and Optional Equipment

  Standard and Optional Equipment

Standard = Standard Optional = Optional

Warranty

  Warranty Information
Warranties change from time to time. While BoatTEST.com has tried to ensure the most up-to-date warranty offered by each builder, it does not guarantee the accuracies of the information presented below. Please check with the boat builder or your local dealer before you buy any boat.

Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!



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