The optional bowrail, which is part of the cruising package, I could do without. It's at just the right height to trip you up when you jump from the boat to the dock with a bow line. With the only boarding gate starboard aft, you'll have to hustle when docking shorthanded. The bowrail prevents you from going through the windshield, to the foredeck and onto the dock. The standard boat includes a pair of low stainless mid-foredeck grabrails, and they'll do just fine.
HOME ALONE. Headroom at the companionway entrance is 6'1" and 6' in the separately molded modular head with stand-up shower. The galley area is spacious and includes dual sinks and a Corian-like mottled gel-coat counter top. The forward berth is a generous 7'2" by 4'1" topped with 3'1" headroom.
The price you pay for that roominess is a back-crunching crawl space (2'2 1/2" headroom) to get into the mid-cabin berth. Those 2.5 kids will love it. If you have to shovel adults in there, they'll find a full 6'9" by 6'2" bunk.
The Crowne's machinery space is very roomy for this size range, and a plastic-shielded spark-proof engine room light is a quality touch. More pluses? Carefully loomed wiring with corrosion-protected ends, rubber chafe guards where wiring goes through bulkheads, double-clamped hoses and a separate compartment with swing-up door for the battery switch. Yeah, that switch and the dual batteries are an option, part of that cruising package, but pass them up at your peril.
The Crowne is generations away from the days of bullnoses and planked cruisers, but the workmanship and attention to detail that made those old Chrises memorable is a family trait - one worth introducing to your family.
Displacement (lbs., approx.)......4800
Fuel capacity (gal.)........86
Water capacity (gal.).........20
Base price (w/standard power).......$34,855
STANDARD POWER: single 215-hp Volvo Penta 5.7-liter V-8 gasoline stern drive.
OPTIONAL POWER: single gasoline and diesel stern drives from OMC/Volvo Penta to 300 hp.
TEST BOAT POWER: single 300-hp Volvo Penta 7.4-liter gasoline stern drive with 454 cid, 4.25" bore x 4.00" stroke swinging an F4 stainless-steel Duoprop set through a 1.78:1 reduction.
STANDARD EQUIPMENT: Analog engine instrumentation; two bilge pumps w/automatic float switches; AM/FM cassette stereo; tilt wheel; ss deck cleats; adjustable trim tabs; integrated swim platform w/ss ladder; pressurized water system; ice box; two-burner alcohol stove; 12v cockpit courtesy lights; electric horn; carbon monoxide monitoring unit; snap-in cabin carpet.