2024 Crownline 280 CRX

The 280 CRX matches a smooth ride with comfortable overnighting capabilities.

Crownline is a premium runabout brand, and its models are built tough to take the knocks that big inland waters dish out, such as the Lake of the Ozarks. We ran the 280 CRX on the Caloosahatchee River near Cape ­Coral, Florida, and the solid hull easily mastered the tightly spaced chop. Its saltwater-friendly dual-outboard configuration accelerated nicely, ran swiftly and cornered well, all thanks to a high-performance hull with a 19-degree deadrise. Ours was equipped with joystick steering and a bow thruster, options that both take the sweaty-palm factor out of docking this large pocket cruiser. 

Crownline 280 CRX running
The 280 CRX runs swiftly and corners well. Courtesy Crownline Boats

Its helm seat is doublewide and ready for a skipper and a companion. The wheel is comfortably reachable from a sitting or standing position, and the bolster flips up to accommodate the latter. Mercury engine data was displayed through Garmin chart plotters that gave the design a yachty glass-cockpit look.

Crownline CRX 280 helm
Mercury engine data is displayed through Garmin chart plotters. Courtesy Crownline Boats

The radar arch is electrically raised and lowered, easing minds at low bridges, low dock roofs or compact dry-stack spaces. The 280’s beam is a trailerable 8 feet, 6 inches, and we suspect many owners will keep their boat at home and haul their weekend fun to the water.

Crownline’s exclusive portside boarding terrace and four-step ladder slide out at the touch of a button, assisted by a boarding handle nested in the platform floor. An exterior button and emergency fail-safe mechanical bypass make them deployable from the water.

Crownline CRX 280 cockpit seating
There’s plush seating throughout. Courtesy Crownline Boats

Steps to the bow on the sliding cabin door take you to the bow through the windshield door to sunbathe or ­access the anchor locker. The cabin’s cozy ­V-berth doubles as a dinette area with a cherry dining table. The galley features a microwave and a stove. A new large entry to the aft cabin accommodates the kids.

Crownline offers an electric reversible heater and AC unit, so keeping cool or warm is as easy as plugging into shore power.

A trailerable pocket cruiser offers wide vistas of boating adventure, and Crownline’s 280 CRX offers them to you in style. 

Crownline CRX 280 aft seating
The aft sunpad is a wonderful place to relax. Courtesy Crownline Boats

High Points

  • Spacious cuddy, V-berth and midship berth.
  • Private head compartment with a toilet, sink and pullout shower.
  • Electrically actuated boarding platform with a ladder deploys at the touch of a button.
Crownline CRX 280 performance data
Crownline CRX 280 Certified Test Results Boating Magazine

How We Tested

  • Engine: Dual Mercury 225 hp
  • Drive/Prop: Mercury 17″ Rev 4 stainless steel
  • Gear Ratio: 1.75:1 Fuel Load: 35 gal. Water on Board: 0 gal. Crew Weight: 450 lb.

Pricing and Specs

Price:$199,995 (base); $302,065 (as tested)
LOA w/Engines:30’9″
Draft:2’9″ (motor down); 1’7″ (motor up)
Dry Weight:8,700 lb. (with engine)
Seat/Weight Capacity:Yacht Certified
Fuel Capacity:105 gal.

Crownline Boats – West Frankfort, Illinois; crownline.com