Immediately noticeable is the ample seating all around. Crownline dubs the forward U-shaped bow area as the “hot tub,” with padded seats, filler cushion and backrests that convert those seats to lounges. Casual for face-to-face seating and comfortable enough to stretch out. Recessed nooks contain cup holders and speakers with plenty of storage under the seats.
Aft, there’s more seating found in a bench behind the helm chair that stows a cooler, and a large L-shaped settee along the port side that reaches across the aft. It’s innovative in function in that the aft seating section converts from a forward-facing bench to an aft-facing, doublewide lounger thanks to a quick flip of the backrest. Pop the backrest into the third position and it lies flat, creating a large sun pad.
The E6 XS is a spinoff from the Crownline Eclipse E6 but with an impressive change: the inboard engine is replaced with a Mercury 250 Pro Verado Four Stroke outboard. Benefits include easier access to the engine and the ability to swap out engines with. Additionally the old engine location can be used as a great storage spot for fenders, lines, coolers or canvas panels, and not just discarded real estate.
With an impressive power plant and seating for everyone, crank it up, sit down and hold on. We ran the E6 XS (provided by Mike DeFrancesco, sales manager of Yacht Works in Tavernier and also Sister Bay, Wisconsin) through the well-marked channels and back bays around Tavernier, Florida. Running through the speed checks, our test ride topped out at 50.8 miles per hour! Handling was easy, and the turns cut well in the 2-foot wind chop.
Multiple strakes along the hull right from the bow peak assist with lift. When running, the point of hull contact with the water moves aft, with the hard chines assisting with stability. The combination keeps the spray down, resulting in a dry, steady ride. Even at slow speed, the forward hull design keeps the boat up and over the water, not plowing and burying the bow.
Other features include a private head compartment hidden beneath the port side helm, complete with a light, sink, cabinet, porthole and electric-flush head. A nice touch in answering nature’s call while, well, enjoying nature.
Across is the starboard helm station. Nestled in a polished, dark oak Torino wood dash are chrome-beveled analog/digital gauges, as are the rocker switches, key and 12-volt plug. Matching is the wooden tilt steering wheel with sporty aluminum spokes. An elbow-resting pad on the right side helps to reduce fatigue in the throttle arm. Twin, swiveling barrel helm seats keep captain and navigator in comfort despite the conditions.
A raked-back, walk-thru windshield wraps around the helm area for a sleek look and protection from the elements. Crank up the tunes on the Fusion AM/FM/iPod stereo with four speakers. In-floor storage down the center is sufficiently sized for gear, skis or other toys.
Make it your own with the optional gelcoat colors and/or exterior graphics. Customize the dash with wood, moonrock vinyl or black vinyl wrapping. Opt for colored upholstery or interior flooring choices like Berber carpet or Driftwood matting. Replace the starboard side bench seat with a cockpit galley with sink, faucet, fridge and countertop. Top it out with a black or silver aluminum wakeboard tower or arch package. Need more power? Go with a 300-horsepower Mercury or Yamaha outboard.
No matter if cruising the river with guests or enjoying water sports with the family, the Crownline E6 XS will satisfy all of the above and then some. Impressive!
Author: Capt. Tom Serio is a contributor to HeartLand Boating
Crownline E6 SX
Length overall: 26’3”
Draft (drive up): 1’9”
Dry weight: 5,000 pounds
Fuel capacity: 55 gallons
Water capacity: 15 gallons
Base price: $81,023