Sportboats on the lake fall into roughly three groups: 1) Average, run-of-the mill sportboats with no particularly impressive features; 2) The hot dog boats that are usually smaller and cheaper, with basic interiors, but with an over-blown engine that make the boats very fast; 3) Classy sportboats with room, many amenities, a deep-V and weight for comfort in a chop. The CSS 258Z is aimed directly at a sub-set of the consumers in Group #3 -- one that wants all of the comfort, room, security, and handling safety that boats in this class usually have -- but who also want a boat that looks fast. Sort of like the BMW 7 Series.The Cruisers Sport Series 258Z was designed specifically for this discerning, but small market.
Major Features of the CSS 258Z
The Cruisers Sport Series 258Z has a length overall of 25’ (7.62 m), a beam of 8'6" (2.59 m) and a draft of 3’3.5” (1.05 m). With an empty weight of 5,160 lbs. (2,341 kg), full fuel and two people onboard we had an estimated test weight of 5,988 lbs. (2,716 kg).
With the 320-hp Mercury 377 MAG turning a Bravo III outdrive with 22.5" pitch propellers we reached a top speed of 48.7 mph at 4900 rpm. At that speed we were burning 24.6 gph giving us a range of 121 miles.
came in at 2500 rpm and 23.3 mph. That speed reduced the fuel burn to 7.45 gph giving us a range of 191 miles and an endurance of 8 hours and 12 minutes while still holding back a 10% reserve.
The engine hatch opens completely to allow access to the entire front of the engine. Notice the pedestal base just above the grab handle. Another available option offered with the 258 is a switchable thru-hull exhaust, to add the deep-throated racy sound to the go-fast looks of the Z package.
The 258 is certainly a sporty-handling boat and she's quick to respond to the helm. On acceleration, the bow comes up 15-degrees leaving no interruption to the sightlines of the horizon.
Once on plane, bring the trim up to the one quarter mark to get her into her proper cruising attitude. If too much trim is added then bow oscillation starts long before the prop will ventilate. Be sure to bring the trim back down before starting any maneuvers otherwise the prop will ventilate.
She leans 12-degrees into the turns and shows no sign of falling off the turn or chine walking. Even on our choppy day and in hard over turns she showed no tendency towards chine walking, and this is a situation that typically creates such characteristics. She has plenty of power to easily transform into an excellent towboat. Her high freeboard and her narrow entry allows her to slice cleanly through waves and stay dry at the same time. When taking power off she settles back into the water stern first, again with no loss of visibility to the horizon.
The Z package
The 258Z is, of course, built on the same hull and design as the standard 258. There are four major standard features that separate the two--
The low-profile smoked glass windshield with polished stainless steel frame,
The all-black hull with a mirror like finish,
The upgraded, quilted upholstery, and
A Jet black bow, Bimini and cockpit cover.Still other options, such as the Captain's Call exhaust cut-outs that compliment the racy theme of the boat, are available.
The bow is laid out with V-shaped seating surrounding a rounded footwell in the center. There's storage underneath the seats accessed by lifting the seat cushions on articulating hinges towards the rear. An optional side mount pedestal table ($565) is available with the pedestal mounting to the forward end of the footwell. Standard flip up armrests to the inboard sides, along with padded bolsters to the outboard side add to the comfort level.
For storage, a massive in-deck storage compartment is in the center of the walkthrough, and a second is just ahead between bow seats. Both of these compartments are lockable.
Bow By the Numbers.
For measurements at the bow, the bulwarks measure 16” (40.64 cm) to the top of the caprail, 18” (45.72 cm) to the top of the stainless steel grab rails. The bolsters measure 6'5" (1.99 m) across, the seat tops started at 21”(53.34 cm) across and widened to 24”(61 cm) moving forward. The top of the table is 30”(76.2 cm) off the deck.
The cockpit goes beyond the typical sportboat seating arrangement. Where we usually see dual bucket seats and a bench seat across the stern here, Cruisers went with L-shaped seating across the stern, adding a bit more functionality and taking a little more advantage of the available space. A
stores under the port seat. Steps leading to the transom walkthrough are to starboard. A
is just to the port side and the port console is occupied by
a head compartment
. A Porta Potti is available for $190, or $565 with deck pump-out. Both the observer seat and the helm seat swivels around to face the crowd in the cockpit. The helm seat can be raised as standard, and the companion seat has the adjustable height option for $210. The helm is elegant in its simplicity and features a high-end Italian leather wrapped steering wheel mounted to a tilt base. One unusual, but highly welcome, feature is the lockable storage compartment to the right side of the helm. This is a handy place to lock up a wallet or cell phone.
Cockpit By the Numbers.
Cockpit measurements show 31”(78.74 cm) of cockpit depth providing safety for all onboard. Seats measure 40”(101.6 cm) across.
The stern includes aft facing seating, a molded swim platform and an added extended platform included as standard. This makes not only for a comfortable gathering area, but a welcome place to sit while watching the kids swimming off the stern. The re-boarding ladder is off to the starboard side, well clear of any sharp edges under the platform. An optional freshwater shower ($190) and stereo remote ($205) round out the features.
Stern Platform Done Right.
Perhaps most important, the extended stern platform goes beyond the lower unit when it is in the down position, which means that people sliding of the platform will not hit their feet on sterndrive metal. Also, the sides of the platform are angled in so that when taking off from a dock the stern quarter does not hit the dock. The 258 is one of the few sportboats so designed. A simulated teak wood or gray wood vinyl is available for the swim platform for $750.
The Cruisers Sport Series line has certainly come into its own in the last few years. They all have the fit-and-finish as well as the quality build of the company's largest sport yachts and that's a significant piece of information right there. Cruisers determined long ago that it was easier to build the same quality into all of its boats rather than have some of its shipwrights produce lower quality in a smaller, less expensive vessel. That is a prime factor separating the Cruisers Sport Series boats from others in class.As for the 258Z, by offering the Z class options, Cruisers has taken a classy and well-handling boat and given it a healthy dose of visual testosterone. And the fact that she isso easy on the eyes doesn't hurt either.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider (2014-) is 52.9 mph (85.1 kph), burning 24.60 gallons per hour (gph) or 93.11 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Cruisers Sport Series 258 Bow Rider (2014-) is 23.3 mph (37.5 kph), and the boat gets 3.12 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.33 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 191 miles (307.38 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 320-hp Mercury 377 MAG CAT.
Standard and Optional Features
|Carpet: Cockpit||Optional Snap-in|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
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