The Cruisers Sport Series 298 Bow Rider was designed to be a luxurious and extremely comfortable small yacht that can accommodate friends and family on an upscale day of cruising or watersports. With the sleek hull profile and the aerodynamic sport arch, she looks fast even at the dock.
Following is a list of features that set this boat apart from many others in class.
The Cruisers Sport Series 298 Bow Rider has an overall length of 29’ (8.84 m) with the swim platform, a beam of 8’6” (2.59 m) and a draft up of 24.5” (62.23 cm). With 17 gallons (64.35 L) of fuel and 2 people aboard, we had an estimated test weight of 6,967 lbs. (3,160 kg).Our test boat was powered by the MerCruiser 8.2L (502 cu. in.) Big Block V8, producing 380-hp powering the Bravo 3X outdrive.
At WOT, the engine was turning 4800 rpm, producing 49 mph, providing us with a 28.0 gph, with a range of 104 statute miles.Best cruise speed for economical performance was at about 3000 rpm, providing us with 30.3 mph, burning 11.9 gph with a range of 156 statute miles, with a 10% fuel reserve.
The 298 Bow Rider was not designed to be as sporty handling as her little siblings, but rather to be a luxury performer with an exceptionally comfortable ride at speed in a chop. During our test she cut through wakes and waves with hardly a bump. And despite her considerable displacement, she was quick to respond to the helm. On acceleration, the bow comes up approximately 12-degrees, but there was no loss of forward visibility.
Her 21-degree deadrise at the transom provided us with a stable, comfortable ride and the 7 layers of mat, roving and chopped strand in her hull lamination contributes to the solid feel of this boat. Even with 380 horses in her engine room, at no time did we feel that the boat was out of control or that there was too much power for the boat. Because of her high freeboard and displacement, in addition to her 29', the CSS 298 Bow Rider is definitely appropriate for saltwater sportboat use.
Stem to Stern Inspection
The manufacturer offers a couple of design options and several optional colors for the boat. She can be built in the classic, standard white, or full hull gel coat color with stripe accent styling.
When looking down the hull of this boat, note the style lines molded into the side of the boat and how they add depth and character to the overall look of the vessel. Cruisers Yachts has also added some other unique design features to the boat. For example, the air vents for the engine room are completely hidden by clever cowling on both the starboard and port side of the hull. It is mounted high to keep spray out of the engine room, something particularly important in saltwater.
The builder installed an aluminum sport arch on our test boat, with tow point and a Bimini top to add to the boats aggressive profile. The beefy tower is billet aluminum and the tower can be easily disconnected from its mounting bracket and folded down for trailering.
At the bow
the horn is flush mounted at the top rail and the pop up cleats drop down flush with the top rail for a nice clean look. The forward bow compartment houses a 4-step stainless steel telescoping boarding ladder that deploys on the starboard side.
was elegantly upholstered by Cruiser Yachts own craftsmen in the Latte color scheme and accented tones throughout the boat.The deep bow seating is contoured for the human body making it exceedingly comfortable and secure. A rounded foot well area measuring 27.5” (69.85 cm) provides plenty of room for people to sit, facing each other and not bang knees.Under the forward seat is an integral cooler which self-drains overboard. In this way the folks in the bow have easy access to cool beverages without having to move aft.
opening between the windshields is a comfortable 20.5” (52.07 cm) wide. The head is located on the starboard side in the console in front of the companion seat. The latching head door extends to the overhead to make it easier to enter and exit. There is full sitting headroom in the optional Porta-Potti.
There are two under deck storage boxes in the cockpit. The mid deck box is shallow but long and wide. The forward compartment is more narrow, 17" deep.
At the Helm
At the lower left side of the dash, a premium sound system is easy at hand for the captain. On both sides of the padded Italian leather tilt wheel from Gussi are small storage compartments -- just large enough for keys or a cell phone. Below is the usual array of toggle switches and an optional 4” LCD navigation system is conveniently centered on the dash.
The bolster is in an accent color and raises up for leaning or sitting when the captain wants to see over the windshield header. We found the bolster a little uncomfortable to sit on but it did provide adequate support when standing and leaning against it. The inboard and outboard arm rests can be raised or lowered.
Behind the helm seat
on the starboard side is a wet bar. The hard surface countertop has a built in sink with stainless steel faucet, a stainless steel designer rail to keep things from sliding off, and a dual stainless steel beverage holder will come in handy.
The convertible sun pad
is located at the stern as we continue along the wrap around seating, here is a molded-in step, with the optional Sea Grass Mat carpeting that leads up to the stern gate, which doubles as a jump seat at the stern.
Under the sun pad
area is the engine hatch access. The whole seating assembly rises up on dual gas assist struts to keep it secure while performing the routine engine checks. At the base of the aft bench seat is a stainless steel mounting bracket for the pedestal table that can be installed here, at the aft seating area or at the bow seating area.
At the port side
, under the port quarter stern seating area is the access to the batteries and battery control switches. Forward, under the seat is a 48-quart portable cooler for the folks who like to load it up at home and bring it to the boat already filled. There is a well-designed compartment molded in under the seat that is both attractive and functional.This is one of the few sportboats on the market with three coolers aboard, two integral and one portable.
The swim platform area
includes the aft facing seat and an added extended platform with its functional tapered design. These days more and more time is spent by boaters on the swim platform, and for that reason the designers have made this a special place by making it so large. Not only can two boarders get ready at once, but it also makes an ideal place to tie down inflatable water toys when going to and from the two areas.
The platform is raked
in on each side so that when the boat pulls away from the dock bow first, the platform will not scrape along the dock. It is also raised about 13" off the water, higher than what we find on most boats. The reason for that is that when at anchor, people naturally enjoy sitting on the platform with their feet in the water. Because the platform is high, they don't have to worry about a wake or wake getting them wet. The integrated design of the sun pad, the color scheme and the SeaDek faux teak material at the extended swim platform give this 29 footer a much bigger feel and look.
MerCruiser 8.2L, 502 cubic inch, MAG, 380-hp with the Bravo 3X sterndrive.
Options to Consider
Base Boat (with Specified Engine) $106,825Manufacturer’s Options on test boat $26,237Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail $133,062
The 298 Bow Rider is the second largest boat in the Cruisers Sport Series line up. Overall, the 298 Bow Rider proved that she can be used for all sorts of watersport activities, with plenty of amenities. But because of her size, we think she should be considered seriously by boaters wanting to engage in entertaining afloat. She has the seating capacity of many pontoon boats, but is a lot more fun to drive. Plus, given the expense of first-class pontoon boats, the vessel is not much more and is even more versatile. Most important, she was designed for big water -- either freshwater or saltwater. Her thick lamination, her considerable displacement, and her freeboard, all go to make this boat one of the most comfortable and capable in most any condition.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Cruisers Sport Series 298 Bow Rider (2015-) is 49.0 mph (78.9 kph), burning 28.90 gallons per hour (gph) or 109.39 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Cruisers Sport Series 298 Bow Rider (2015-) is 30.3 mph (48.8 kph), and the boat gets 2.54 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.08 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 156 miles (251.06 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 380-hp MerCruiser 8.2L MAG MPI.
Standard and Optional Features
Limited 10-years structural
||Limited 10-years structural|
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