Newly released for the 2003 cruising season is Rinker’s newest member to the family; the 290 Fiesta Vee. Filing the gap between their 270 and 310 cruisers, the 290 was designed with a fresh sheet of paper to include attributes of a big cruising machine rolled into a smaller package. Also included in the 290’s design, is all the intelligent use of space and value that Rinker is known for throughout the boating industry. Like all the Rinker boats, you get a lot for your money. At first glance, the 290 is a big cruiser. With an overall length of 31 feet 6 inches, and a roomy beam of 10 feet 6 inches, she provides all the room you need for entertaining on the water. Because of her high freeboard, boarding is best accomplished at the extended swim platform only. Here you will find handy features like the integrated fender storage at the transom, a telescoping boarding ladder and quick release dingy cleats built into the swim platform.Access to the cockpit entertainment area is through a starboard side transom gate. I liked how this door opened and locked in place in either direction. Unfortunately it does not use a lockout switch to prevent the engine hatch from being opened when the transom gate is in the closed position. The cockpit is basically two separate areas; fore and aft. The aft area has just one settee located along the transom. A removable table can be inserted for alfresco dining, but only for a few, as this table is tiny. The rest of your guests will have to relax in the forward area that supplies a long L-shaped settee on the port side. Of course there is lots of storage under all the lounge seating cushions. Separating the two lounges is a molded storage area and drink holders. A small wet bar is aft of the helm station and although it is minimal, it does provide a sink, some counter space and a small, removable cooler for beverages.At the helm, the Captain is treated to a wide, fully adjustable chair. The helm’s dash layout is simple, straightforward and elegant. Who said you had to spend a million to look like a million? All the controls and instrumentation wrap around the helmsman and the ergonomics are excellent. White-faced gauges, wood grain dash accents and a wood ringed steering wheel add a touch of class to this already refined helm. Finally, molded steps at the helm make the trip to the foredeck much easier.Going below is easy too, with the one piece, sliding, acrylic cabin door. Inside the cabin, I was surprised at the space and amenities that you get with the 290. A full sized stand up head with shower is located to starboard. Inside you’ll find a vanity with sink, a flush toilet, and comfortable shower space. The port side galley is complete with a small refrigerator, a microwave oven, sink and an alcohol stove. Although they have been around for millennia, the alcohol stove is outdated for a boat like the 290. Despite that, there is lots of concealed storage in the galley for stores, spices and such.The only thing that is awkward in the cabin is the forward berth. To starboard is a dinette that converts into a narrow, double berth and is adjacent to a narrow, double mattress to port. Although comfortable for singles, paring up may be a bit tight. Alternatively, you can bunk down in the 290’s aft cabin that is wide enough for three, but does not have much headroom.Underway, I found the 290 Fiesta Vee to be quite nimble. With twin Mercruiser power, this 11,000 pound cruiser gets on plane easily and has a good top speed of almost 45 mph with the two 5.0 liter mills. Considering that these engines only produce 260 horsepower each, the 290 has a very effective bottom design. You’ll love that attribute when you get to the gas dock and realize your achieving almost a mile and a half per gallon of gas. You might do a little better than that if you go with the standard power of the 4.3 liter V-6, but you’ll notice the lack of power out of the hole and your top speed will be cut by at least 5 mph.With all things considered, and a base price well under a hundred grand, you’ll have tough time trying to find a boat that compares to Rinker’s 290 Fiesta Vee.By Capt. Ron SvobodaTest Captain
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Rinker 290 Fiesta Vee (Not in Production) is 44.5 mph (71.6 kph), burning 38.9 gallons per hour (gph) or 147.24 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Rinker 290 Fiesta Vee (Not in Production) is 29.0 mph (46.7 kph), and the boat gets 1.47 miles per gallon (mpg) or 0.63 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 198 miles (318.65 kilometers).
- Tested power is 2 x 300-hp MerCruiser 5.0L MPI.
Standard and Optional Features
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Boats More Than 30 Feet
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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