Crownline 270 SS Bowrider

Brawn, meet beauty.

by Lynda Wheatley
My mother has a theory about quality in cars. The sticker price, the promotion, the bluster and bombast of the salesperson preaching the vehicle’s virtues — she says any buyer worth their salt will ignore the noise and focus instead on the telltale sign of quality: the doors. If they shut with the decisive whoomp of a refrigerator door, that weighty, near-soundless seal of resounding finality, a person could bet the manufacturer took care in all aspects of the car, from engine to ignition.


  • LOA: 27'3"
  • Beam: 8'6"
  • Draft:
  • Weight:
  • Fuel Capacity: 55 gals
  • Water Capacity:
  • Power: 430 hp
  • Price: Contact dealer

But as I step past the chrome-trimmed walk-thru gate and down into the gleaming interior of Crownline’s new model bowrider, the 270 SS, it occurs to me that Mom’s theory — so far fail-safe for more than 20 years of car purchases — isn’t particularly helpful in the world of boats.

Do I look to the distinctive double-hull band gelcoat design on this 27-foot, 3-inch beauty? The patented F.A.S.T. Tab hull that not only looks sexy but also minimizes drag and launches the boat to plane in a blink? Or do I meditate a minute on the maximum horsepower — a hair-a’flying 430 — this ride brings to the water?

No, I won’t. I’ll be honest with you. Those features, all wonderful and fine, aren’t what captivate me about the Crownline 270 SS. While I appreciate the model’s undeniably sleek, sparkly body and the power that goes with it, what I truly love about this boat is the countless thoughtful touches that elevate it from a simply gorgeous boat to an amazing boating experience.

Fact is, the 270 SS does double duty. It’s first and foremost designed for fast action: waterskiing, wakeboarding, tubing and firing out from dock to Dad’s “they’re biting right now!” fishing spot of the hour. But the boat offers much more than mere muscle, delivering features galore to those who want nothing more than to tool around the water all day in max-relax mode.

Storage, galore

Few things frustrate me as much as tripping over tangled piles of gear every time you move fore and aft. Which is why I’m close to squealing when I see the amount of storage on this Crownline. Uber deep storage areas with easy-to-clean, spray-in liners are standard beneath the entire J-shaped stern seating. Another massive amount of storage space awaits under the bow seating, plus an easily accessible locker for your anchor and lines.

If, by chance, all that space doesn’t suffice for your family’s water toy collection, you’ll also find a super-sized ski locker. Besides being generously spacious, the locker sports a clever built-in drawer that neatly and easily hides away the boat’s optional cockpit table. None of the aforementioned storage spaces need to share space with your cooler; a 25-gallon cooler is easily accessible under the hinged seat for two, set behind the captain’s bucket seat.

The out of sight, out of mind zen extends to the head, which is so well hidden in plain sight of the co-captain’s chair that I didn’t realize it was even there. Once opened, a quick swivel of the dash revealed a short but well-appointed hideaway for all essential business, thanks to its attractive cabinetry, sink, screened portlight window, toilet and a hand-held shower with excellent pressurized water system.

Seating for all

As a studied and certified master relaxer (read: lazy), I’m pretty picky about lounge-ability on boats. I sometimes find that sport boats — in their zeal for speed, strength and sexiness — come up short on comfort. Not the 270 SS. In addition to the as-expected cushy bucket seats with flip-up bolsters for captain and co-captain, this boat treats passengers’ backs and bottoms right. Incidentally, thanks to a 102-inch beam and smart design, this 27-footer can comfortably fit up to 12 backs and bottoms.

The aforementioned J-wrap cockpit seating features ergonomic seat backs. The plump bow seats feature a kind of hot tub seating in which the cushion curves to the shape of the sprawled-out body above. And my personal favorite, the transom’s electric sun lounge seat, which, with the touch of a button, angles the back up or down and ensures you’ve always got the best, most comfortable view of your skier, the sun, or (my preference) the inside of your eyelids.

Fancy factor

Finally, the fancy factor — those tiny touches of luxury and convenience that, sure, you can do without but are nice to have. The 270 SS delivers. Stainless steel trim and accents in spades, a moonrock steering wheel with polished spokes, a touchscreen Raymarine MFD with engine data display, sundeck shocks, lid shocks, a booming Jensen Marine stereo with six speakers throughout, a bonus 36-quart cooler and more are all standard.

What isn’t standard? A highly recommended cockpit galley. It would replace the additional seating behind the captain’s chair but bring to the party a stainless steel sink and faucet, solid surface counter and finished storage space or cockpit fridge — in my estimation, a worthwhile trade.

While I can’t rightly judge a boat based on Mom’s theory, I can safely say that, behind the wheel, the 270 SS feels and rides like quality should: quick to plane, stable in its turns and smooth as my most nervous passenger, Mom, would require.
That being said, my own bluster and bombast aside, the 270 SS is likely to meet the expectations of any crew with multiple needs. Sleek, with enough power for skis and boards, and enough luxury for living large with the party crew or lounging with a novel and bobber, this bowrider, I’d say, lacks nothing except maybe a door.

But truth be told, even if it had one, I’d get in and shut it happily behind me — no matter how it sounded.



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