Cruisers Sport Series has built this boat for sharing the watersports and day boating activities with family and friends. Whether its wakeboarding, water skiing, tubing, catching some rays or just spending the day on the water, this boat is designed to provide that functionality in a Sport Series boat with upscale accommodations, superior ride quality, and plenty of sizzle.
Following is a list of features that sets this boat apart from most others in class--
The Cruisers Sport Series 278 Bow Rider has an overall length of 27’ (8.23 m) with the swim platform, a beam of 8’6” (2.59 m) and a draft of 23” (58.23 cm). With 51 gallons (193 L) of fuel on board and 2 people aboard, we had an estimated test weight of 6,421 lbs. (2,913 kgs).Our test boat was powered by the Volvo Penta V8-320C, 320-hp with counter-rotating DuoProp.
We recorded a top speed of 46.2 mph at 5400 rpm. "Best cruise" was found to be at 3500 rpm where the boat went 28.6 mph, burning 10 gph, giving her a range of 175 statute miles and an endurance of 6.1 hours.
At 3000 rpm
the 278 Bow Rider went 22 mph, burning 8.55 gph for an endurance of 7.2 hours.
With 27’ (8.23 m) length overall and with a tested weight of 6,421 lbs. (2,913 kgs), this boat is well equipped to provide some big wakes for the wakeboarders to play in. The key is to find the best plowing position with the hull by adjusting the trim so the bow gets up, the stern digs in and then adjust the speed to a comfortable pace for the wakeboarder.
The only way to test a boat designed for wakeboarding…..is to put a wakeboarder out on the tow and see what he can do. For the CSS 278 Bow Rider that was part of our test. Be sure to check out the video.
The 278 Bow Rider is certainly a sporty handling boat and is quick to respond to the helm. On acceleration, the bow comes up approximately 12-degrees, but the forward visibility remained good.
She leans 12-degrees
into the turns, with a confident bite in the water. No indication of chine walking or loss of speed during hard turning. She has a high freeboard forward and at the aft end of the cockpit, keeping us dry in all conditions. She has a sharp bow entry and that together with her 6,100-lbs. displacement easily handles chop both on small and large bodies of water, providing a comfortable ride.
Her 22-degree deadrise
at the transom bottom is nearly as deep as they make them, so if the boat should catch air, she will come down on a hull made to maximize comfort in those conditions. The boat's deep-V hull along with her seven layers of glass lamination in the hull -- the same as in the large Cruisers Yachts -- means this is a boat that can take far more punishment than her operator. These construction scantlings are particularly robust for a sportboat and the builder is rightly quite proud of them. Not only is there more material in the 278's hull than many of her competitors, but there are also more man-hours.
Extended Swim Platform.
While all of the boats in the Cruisers Sport Series bowrider fleet have the extended swim platform as standard, this was our first look at the optional SeaDek material which we found on the 278 Bow Rider's platform.
The extended platform
sits high off the water to make it easier to board the vessel from a floating dock. At anchor guests will enjoy sitting on the platform and dangling their feet in the water without getting inundated by the wake of a passing boat. Another advantage is there is no large step up to the transom passageway, so no turned ankles or tripping. Most important is the fact that it extends well beyond the lower unit when in the down position.
Double the Sunning Space.
The integrated design of the sun pad and extended swim platform give this 27 footer a much bigger feel and look, and much more sunning deck space than normal. Because the stern platform is so large and the faux teak deck is so soft, this area makes another sunning venue. And the tapered aft section of the platform allows for easy departures from the dock without worrying about scratches on the platform.
As for the cockpit, she can accommodate quite a few passengers. She is yacht certified, meaning that she can carry a safe amount of passengers with no particular limit because her length is over 26’. So it’s up to the operator to safely load the boat.
The transom bench seat
is a 3-way convertible design. When the seat back is tilted aft it provides a comfortable forward-facing seat. When tilted forward it makes a chaise lounge facing aft. Move the seat back into a horizontal location and a large sun pad has been created.
The cockpit has a seating arrangement that takes full advantage of its high freeboard. The cockpit seating has storage compartments, room for a dedicated cooler, engine hatch and some interesting use of space.
Under the stern sun pad seating 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.
Upholstery and Carpets.
The marine-grade fabrics on the seats, dash and trim is Silvertex vinyl and is double stitched with durable UV resistant thread over multi density foams, which provide support at the seating areas and plush comfort at the seat backs and headrests.
The cockpit carpeting on this boat was the optional Sea Grass, woven mat. Notice how it is cut and bound to fit perfectly with the boat's contours. Stainless steel reinforced snaps will keep it in place and prevent tearing.
The mid deck box is shallow but long and wide and rock solid thanks to the thick hull design. The forward compartment between the consoles is much deeper and open to the mid deck box underneath.
Max U-Shaped Seating.
At the starboard side, stern quarter, a molded in step, with the Sea Grass Matt, leads up to the stern gate, which doubles as a jump seat at the stern. Under is a storage compartment. The transom gate is padded on the inside to form a back rest. With this in place, 8 adults can easily sit in the cockpit.
Another clear signal from the builder that this boat is intended for entertaining is the number of built-in coolers and places to stow a cooler. In the cockpit is a huge insulated cooler on the port side just behind the helm seat. On the opposite side of the cockpit is a dedicated place for a large Igloo cooler. In the forward cockpit there is another insulated, self-draining compartment under the center seat that can be a cooler.
Because some owners like to fill their cooler at home and bring all of the goodies aboard in one container, the 48-quart Igloo cooler will be popular. Other owners, however, like to bring beverages and ice aboard separately in smaller containers. With the 278 Bow Rider, owners can go either way, or both.
The captain’s seat is an all-new design with multi-tone fabrics, side contoured back supports with a soft cushion "head rest" that looks cool, but is more for looks than function. The bolster is in an accent color and raises up to allow the operator to see over the windshield header and still be able to lean on something, mostly sitting. The seat slides fore and aft and can be raised or lowered, which is an important feature.
The helm console
has a simple layout and design with a stitched vinyl, non-glare brow that is elegant-looking. The white faced analog gauges at the dash panel complement the rest of the dash. In the center of the instrument panel is room for an optional moving map display or depth sounder. At the lower left side of the dash is an AM/FM Premium Sound System controlling with recessed mounted speakers throughout the cockpit and a pair of booming speaker cans at the tower for the wakeboarders.
The designer wheel
is standard and has polished aluminum spokes and raised fasteners to give it a sporty look and feel. It comes standard with the tilt feature and power steering. Forward of the helm station inside the console is a large storage area and service access hatch. This is a good place for water toys or extra PFDs.
Another important feature of the 278 Bow Rider, is the port side compartment that can be used as a changing room or a head, a shower stall, or all three. It has a sink and a pull-out sprayer head that is plumbed to the boat's 12-gallon fresh water tank. A Porta-Potti with pump-out is optional as is a solid surface counter.
Windshield and Windscreen:
For those cool mornings, there is a fold away windscreen that securely latches into place. The windshield is held in the open position by a magnetic hold. When in the closed position, two latches will keep the windshield firmly in place and we noticed no rattling during our test.
At the Bow
The deep seated bow seating is rounded to create a roomy foot well so guests can sit all around and not bang knees. There is a back rest all around the sides and the front. Inclined chaise-style seat backs are in both consoles and have interior arm rests that swing into position. Storage is under both side seats and the compartment is carpeted inside. The forward compartment is a fiberglass integrated self-draining cooler.
A stainless steel mounting bracket is installed at the foot of the bow seating area and at the aft seating area to accommodate an optional pedestal table, which is stowed in the bow under the port side seat. For those planning a lot of entertaining, we can not recommend the table highly enough. In fact, we'd have two of them so the party -- or picnic -- can be happening both forward and aft at the same time.
The faux wood table
is made of a super-hard polyurethane and has a grain design that is hard to distinguish from the real thing. The material is impervious to water, including saltwater, and is UV resistant. Cruisers Yachts uses this material on its large, million-dollar yachts where owners like them because of their fine appearance and low maintenance characteristics.
The pedestal table can be installed at the aft seating or at the bow seating area.
Extreme Wakeboard Tower.
Cruisers installed a tower on the test boat to provide the towing height for expert wakeboarding fun. The arch can also be equipped with speakers, board racks and lights. The arch, along with the test boat's hull graphics added serious sizzle to the boat. She should turn heads anywhere she goes.
The speaker pods are mounted on the inboard side of the tower, underneath the top rail and hang low over the port and starboard seating areas. Watch your head when getting up off these seats and while moving around the cockpit.
Bow Boarding Ladder.
The forward bow compartment houses a standard 4-step stainless steel telescoping boarding ladder that deploys on the starboard side. This is a somewhat unusual feature on a boat this large -- but why not? We like it because it provides important utility when wanting to drop off a guest and the only place is a nearby beach. In fact the whole crew can go ashore and stay dry or only get their bare feet wet, depending on the depth.
Our test boat was powered by a Volvo Penta V8-320C, 320-hp with the DuoProp System. The boat is rated for up to 430-hp.
Standard Features We Like
Our report has been unable to cover all of the noteworthy standard features on this boat simply because there are so many. Following is a list of standards that we like that have not been mentioned in the review--
Options to Consider
Base boat (with specified engine) $88,840Manufacturer’s options on test boat $23,899Manufacturer’s suggested retail price $112,739
As has been apparent throughout this review, the construction schedules and most of the materials used in the 278 Bow Rider are the same as the ones used in the Cruiser Yachts’ express cruisers. Further, both this boat and the million dollar yachts are built in the same plant by the same shop floor personnel. It is for these reasons -- styling and performance aside -- that the Cruisers Sport Series has rightfully earned its reputation of being at the very top level of sportboats built anywhere today. Not only did the Cruisers Sport Series 278 Bow Rider provides an attitude adjustment with the graphics, accent colors and wakeboard tower, she was also a spirited performer during testing. Because of her bottom shape and displacement, she is as comfortable riding as any boat in class and can certainly be used in saltwater locations, as well as inland lakes and rivers.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Cruisers Sport Series 278 Bow Rider (2015-) is 46.2 mph (74.4 kph), burning 22.40 gallons per hour (gph) or 84.78 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Cruisers Sport Series 278 Bow Rider (2015-) is 33.5 mph (53.9 kph), and the boat gets 2.79 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.19 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 171 miles (275.2 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 320-hp Volvo Penta V8 320C.
Standard and Optional Features
Limited 10-years structural
||Limited 10-years structural|
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