Caravelle 240 Crossover

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Caravelle's 240 Crossover smears the already blurry line between runabouts and deckboats. Its softened picklefork bow allows the forward cockpit to be roomy as a box without looking like one. The style provides a generous 5'-wide forward deck, complete with covered boarding ladder, and dramatically opens up the forward cockpit. Too many deckboats lose that space in their quest to look bowrider-cool. Throw down the standard filler cushion and you get a 5'10"-by-4'4" spot to stretch out and work on your tan. Heck, that's just shy of a queen-sized bed.

With room like that forward, Caravelle opted out of an aft sunpad for the 240 Crossover. Instead, a rear-, facing lounge has been integrated into the engine hatch lid. When not underway, this works with the wide, deep swim platform to create a "water activity center." There are cupholders at the ready, a cooler built into the platform at your feet, and yet another covered boarding ladder. A pumped-up sound system with standard rear-facing speakers keeps the mood jamming. Large stowage is within arm's reach to port, and you can stuff more gear in an in-floor compartment tucked under the starboard-side transom walkthrough. Add the optional stereo remote and you may never want to go back to the helm.

But I think you will. The 240 Crossover sports Caravelle's XPV hull, which features an extended running surface for quick planing and stable turns, a keelpad to produce lift and better top speeds, and a relatively deep entry to soften the blows and sharpen turns. You'll appreciate the 16-degree transom deadrise in the rough stuff. On a windswept Sarasota Bay, we pounded our way through high-speed performance numbers. A boat such as this, however, typically runs in tamer waters. In that regard, the 240 Crossover handled like a champ, carving tight corners without a hiccup, and with a 300-hp MerCruiser 350 MAG MPI Bravo One stern drive, it squeaked past 50 mph.

MSRP: Standard power - $48,893 Test power - $52,536 ****

Contact: 800.642.2628 www.caravelleboats.com