The Mission of the Crownline Eclipse 2
The Eclipse series from Crownline falls into a category of boat than other builders might call a deckboat. However, some deckboats have low freeboards, are boxy looking and are not known for their performance. In its Eclipse line Crownline has tried to marry the virtues of deckboats -- i.e. interior room and a dual purpose bow -- with the racy lines of a well-designed sportboat. As you can see from our comments about curb appeal, we think she has definitely scored a hit on the latter point.
Loaded with Standard Equipment.
Again, Crownline is clearly trying to pack everything possible into this boat to make it as useful and as compelling as possible and still be competitive on price. We think they have succeeded -- pending a full test of the boat to show how she handles and performs.
Soft Touch Mats on Bow and Stern.
Fiberglass decks when wet can be slippery, even when they have a good non-skid pattern molded in. Moreover, materials like imitation teak can be blistering hot in the sun. The E2 has a good solution to both of these potential problems by incorporating large Soft Touch Pads on both the ends of the boat. They look good and nautical and feel good on the soles of the feet.
4-Step Swim Ladder.
Most sportboats, even premium ones, have just three steps on their swim ladder. That is fine for young kids, but when it comes to adults, it is not so comfortable. Crownline has done it right.
On-Board Battery Charger.
When the boat is stored in a garage, there is a pull out plug and cord that can take advantage of local juice to keep the battery topped off.
SS Windshield Header.
When we make a list of the things that make a sportboat sing, a stainless steel windshield header is always on the list.
They may not be used often, which is why most builders make them an option, but they sure look cool.
DF, Air and Water Temp Gauges.
Most builders – even those with premium boats – who are trying to keep their MSRP down will put details like this, if they offer them at all, on the option list. The depth sounder is a must and it is always good to know what the water temperature is.
Dual Battery Switch.
In our book every boat should have two batteries and evidently Crownline feels the same way as they make the dual battery switch standard.
Impressive Warranty Package.
A 5-year warranty on the engine and drive train comes standard. Only a few premium builders offer this, and Crownline is one of them. There is also a 5-year warranty on the canvas against defects, seam tears and thread separation. Five years on gel coat blistering, and lifetime warranty on the hull, deck and stringers.
Standard Features We Like
In addition to the distinguishing features above there are also a number of standard features that we like to see on boat. These include: Snap-in carpet, courtesy lights, fire extinguisher, an opening portlight in the head that is screened, and gas assist struts on all of the hatches.
The Hull Shape
Crownline calls its bottom shape the F.A.S.T. Tab hull. The E2 has a 19-degree deadrise at the transom, which is standard for boats in this class. There is a 39-degree deadrise at the bow. The bottom has a vent at the chine to introduce air under the bottom for improved performance. It also has a small fin at the vent intended to make high-speed turns more stable and safer. The chines are reverse to knock the spray down. Overall, the bottom shape is designed for faster times to plane and better fuel economy.The swim platform is integral to the hull and not a bolt on, and it extends beyond the lower unit in the down position.
Only engines from Mercury are offered and they range from a 220-hp 4.3 L gas engine to a 320-hp 377 MAG engine with Bravo II drive. In between are options with horsepower ranging from 260 to 300.We have not tested this boat so can give no performance date nor remark on the boat's handling and dryness factor.
Options To Consider
The WOW Factor.
We like colored hulls and Crownline offers several approaches ranging from full hull band for $575 to the "Triple Threat Gelcoat with color-matched deck vents." People preferring a teak treatment for the swim platform can add $500.
We would order the side mounted table ($455) which can be used in the bow or in the cockpit with a side mount bracket. We also would order a SS windshield lock ($145), and hot/cold shower heads for both the bow and the stern ($615).
Towers and Arches.
Optional towing towers are available and run from $5k to $6k. Arches are also available, both manual and electric ranging from $6k to $7k.
Trim tabs with indicators ($1,155) and an automatic fire extinguisher for the engine room ($610) would both be on our list of must haves. Crownline offer five different variations on a wakeboard tower. None of them are cheap but all are collapsible and look good. We would go for black. Prices range from $6,000 to $7,000 for the towers.
Crownline is building a premium boat and while we think the boat is good value it is not cheap. A boat that looks this good could not be. Most people will spec and engine ranging from 260-hp to 320-hp, and the MSRP range from $75,555 to $84,095 in the U.S., respectively. Prices elsewhere are about $3,000 less because the engines do not have the U.S.-mandated catalyst.
We started this report by saying that she caught our eye a boat show and stood out from many other boats. While part of the reason for that may have been the good in-water location of the E2, she also simply looked fast and sexy tied up at the dock. When we compare the basic specs of this boat with other premium boats in class we see that the E2 is right there with the others in terms of displacement beam and draft. When it comes to selecting this boat or a conventional sportboat with a pointy bow, consumers must consider carefully how they are going to use the boat. If beaching the boat and swimming off of both ends is not part of the mission statement, then a conventional bowrider might be more in order. Crownline builds 16 other sportboat models, including three cuddies, and most of them have the same forward styling of the E2.
Standard and Optional Features
|Washdown: Fresh Water||Optional|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
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