The new Crownline E1 XS is another volley fired in the outboard runabout revolution. This 21-foot-4-inch broad-bow sport boat anchors the five-model Crownline Cross Sport EX line of outboard-powered models. Changes in the way engine maker General Motors does business with boatbuilders is one reason outboards are hot. Demand by boaters is another.
Are outboard runabout sales booming? Crownline says its E4 XS and E6 XS are its best sellers. When the outboard-powered E1 XS was revealed, dealers told Crownline to just drop the similar sterndrive-powered Eclipse E1. To add to the momentum, Crownline is offering the E1 XS packaged with a Mercury 150 FourStroke, a tandem-axle trailer and some nice extras for just $44,995.
Crownline created the E1 XS by modifying the transom of the Eclipse E1 so that it would accommodate outboard power. From the transom forward there’s actually little difference in layout. Because it incorporates the sun lounge and rear-seat base, the E1 XS even retains what had been the sterndrive motor box, now converted into a nifty stowage compartment with a smooth liner. A pop-off panel in the back of this compartment provides access to aft rigging and to the mounts for dual batteries. The seat backrest pivots through three positions to create a lounge or a forward- or aft-facing seat. The transom platform features a step surface forward of the motor well and the wide, four-step boarding ladder and rinsing shower. The E1 XS is also equipped with a ski pylon. A nifty tower is a $7,700 option but also a must for those seeking to enjoy wakeboarding at a higher level. A six-speaker audio system, Bimini top and canvas covers, LED cockpit and exterior accent lighting, a depth finder and docking lights are also standard equipment.
The E1 XS features the Crownline F.A.S.T. Tab running surface with drag-reducing vented chines and finlike tabs to keep those vents from producing handling quirks. The ride and tracking through lake chop were outstanding. We were really impressed with the fit and finish Crownline has lavished on this boat, and the choices of colors and materials, level of equipment, and tight-and-tidy construction belie this boat’s price.
Comparable Model: Sea Ray SPX 210 OB