The Crowne SL 250’s most distinguishing characteristic continues to be its not-very-pontoonlike exterior. Looking for that familiar aluminum, party-barge fencing? It’s nowhere to be found, replaced by curvaceous fiberglass seating modules that shape both the bow and stern, which gives the boat a seamless exterior. True, there’s a little bit of painted aluminum amidships, but it’s such a great match that you’ll hardly notice. The seamless appeal extends to the optional powered sport arch with acrylic sunshades and a retractable Bimini, and even to the color-matched Mercury Verado available for power. Toss in one more option — polished aluminum pontoons — and the Crowne is equally at home at the family reunion or taken to dinner at the yacht club. Step through the stainless-steel bow gate and the favorable impression continues. The SL’s floor plan features familiar parallel lounges forward. Stretch out in comfort atop the clothlike vinyl or gather your crew around the teak pedestal table. There’s room for everyone’s gear in the fiberglass seat bases below; gutters with drains keep things dry. Move aft and a generous L-shaped lounge awaits. Directly behind it, an additional lounge faces the swim platform. Kick back with a cold drink at the sandbar while watching the kids swim, or reach down, tap a switch, and convert nearly the entire area into one big 4-foot-square sun bed. Stereo controls, a 12-volt jack and a music-player input are within arm’s reach.
Underway, the ride is equally impressive. Credit Harris’ Performance III package, a combination of twin 25-inch pontoons that flank a third 25-inch center tube, which is dropped 1 inch lower in the water. With the addition of lifting strakes, the package gives the Crowne impressive agility with the inside-lean handling characteristics of a V-hull. Equipped with a Mercury Verado 300 outboard, the Crowne planed in 3.4 seconds, reached 30 mph in 7, and topped out at 47 mph.
*Standards include an upholstered fence interior, stainless-steel safety railing, Bimini top and wood-grain table.
*Helm has a stainless-steel tilt wheel, high-back reclining seat, and optional Glass Dash that features 6-inch and 12-inch touch-screen displays.
*Constructed with 16-inch on-center cross members and full-length pontoon brackets.
How We Tested
Engine: Mercury Verado 300
Drive/Prop: Outboard/Mercury Enertia 15″ x 15″ 3-blade stainless steel
Gear Ratio: 1.75:1
Fuel Load: 25 gal.
Crew Weight: 220 lb.
$93,035 (with test power)
Harris Fort Wayne, Indiana; 260-432-4555; harrisboats.com