|Length Overall||31' 8''
|Draft Up||N/A||Person Capacity||N/A|
|Draft Down||N/A||Fuel Capacity||
|Air Draft||N/A||Water Capacity||N/A|
|Deadrise/Transom||N/A||Length on Trailer||N/A|
|Height on Trailer||N/A|
|Bridge Clearance||N/A||Trailer Weight||N/A|
|Total Package Weight (Trailer,Boat & Engine)||N/A|
|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.|
|Std. Power||Not Available|
|Tested Power||Currently no test numbers|
1 x 300-hp MerCruiser 350 MAG
Captain’s Report by Dan Armitage
To offer a feature-filled express cruiser capable of entertaining a dozen guests topside and comfortably sleep two couples, or a family of four, below. The target market for the new 290, according to our Rinker spokesman, is the young family who may be entering the cruiser market or moving up from a smaller class cruiser to allow them expanded entertainment options while cruising or relaxing dockside.
The new Rinker 290 Express Cruiser is Nautic Global Group’s first 2013 model-year boat to be introduced.
Price. There is no getting around the fact that historically Rinker has fielded cruisers that are among the lowest-priced in class, and the 290 EC is no exception. The builder proudly proclaims that the 290 is available for "as low as" $80,999 equipped with a 350 MAG (300-hp) MerCruiser sterndrive.
Rotating helm seat. The double helm seat swivels to port and even slightly aft to provide more conversational comfort in the cockpit when a crowd is aboard. We have seen this feature in only a couple of boats.
Full camper canvas is standard with the Rinker 290 EC for 2013 – as is MerCruiser 300-hp gas engine which Rinker tells us pushes the vessel to a top speed approaching 45 mph. We have not tested the boat.
Cruising canvas. The Rinker 290 EC comes standard with "camper canvas", a piece of equipment that is usually relegated to the option list by most builders, even the most expensive ones. We like this feature as it extends the useful season of any boat. Mom will like it because it means she can stay topside if it begins to rain.
Options for cruising. Because most buyers will use the 290 strictly as a day boat, it has put a lot of expensive cruising-oriented equipment on the options list. In that way most people will not be paying for things that they will rarely use. The 5 kW generator, A/C, folding radar arch, colored gel coat in the topsides and other up-grades are all on the option list.
Having said that, there are a number of standard items on the 290 which we sometimes see on a builders option list, such as a pressurized transom shower, a stowable table for the cockpit, an electric engine hatch lift, a spotlight and a windshield wiper.
The forward deck design of the 290 accommodates a large, integrated optional sunpad that fits in pockets designed for the purpose. A stainless steel anchor roller and locker with cradle are standard.
The helm console features a clear view of multi-function Faria gauges and a large magnetic compass centered over a five-position tilt wheel. The view of the optional sonar/GPS screen flush-mounted on the port side of the wheel is partially blocked. Note the bolstered armrest built into the gunwale aft of the throttle/shift control. Standard trim tabs have LED indicators.
The cockpit offers an aft-facing reclining lounge seat to port and the double-wide, bolstered helm seat that can swivel to port and partially aft to face the passenger area. The topside galley area features are well-integrated, offer a surprising amount of Corian surface space for food prep and are readily accessible from seating areas fore and aft.
The open cockpit design offers a good flow from transom to companionway aboard the new 290 model. Stereo and speakers are standard.
The open layout also creates a comfortable conversation-pit area in the cockpit. There is easy access to the refreshment center, food prep area and refrigerator. Note the aft backrest that reclines or folds flat to form a sun pad. When in the upright position, it reveals the aft-facing “rumble seat” over-looking the transom.
Sectional, snap-in carpeting extends all the way aft beyond the transom door to the edge of the integrated swim platform fitted with a three-step telescoping ladder.
The galley offers good surface and cupboard space in custom-made cherry wood-veneer cabinets, a sink with hot/cold pressurized water system, a refrigerator/freezer, microwave and a single burner alcohol/electric stove. Most people will use the boat in this mode, with the table up for lunch below in cool weather.
The cabin entertainment center comes with a flat-screen LCD TV with DVD and a full-featured stereo system. There is also a stereo remote on the transom.
This view of the companionway shows the open layout of the galley area of the cabin which, according to Rinker, offers 6’ 5” of headroom. Note access to the mid cabin abaft the galley.
The dinette converts to double vee berth with overhead directional and sconce lighting as well as considerable natural illumination via two functional ports and a hatch overhead.
The mid cabin has a double berth, an optional flat screen LCD TV, and overhead lighting.
The all-fiberglass head is equipped with a porcelain toilet and a hot/cold shower fed by a six-gallon water heater/exchanger.
The layout of the Rinker 290 EC.
The 290 EC appears to have met Rinker’s goal of producing a sleek-looking, 30-foot-class cruiser designed around entertaining and comfort topside and below. The cockpit seating set-up is modern and functional – from rotating double-helm seat and aft-facing to the rumble seat aft. Standard accessories and options are sensible without being over the top and the standard power is sufficient for most purposes.
The boat is priced at $80,999, plus freight and dealer prep, for the standard package. I suggest that you go through the option list, determine what you will really need, if anything, and tack that on to this low price. My guess is that most people will still be under 100k.
|Washdown: Raw Water|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc|
|Boats More Than 30 Feet|
= Standard = Optional
|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!