Boat Test #1623
By Brad Roberts

Rinker Boats’ is the oldest American boat brand in continuous production, and their website has an appropriate tagline: ‘Pioneering Innovative & Intuitive Watercraft for Sensible Boaters Since 1945’.  I couldn’t agree more. Every aspect of every Rinker boat I’ve ever tested has made perfect sense to me. (I can’t say the same for some other boats that made me question the design thought-process (or lack thereof) that went into the item in question.)

Their all-new 290 Express Cruiser is a great example.  At 31’ 10” and boasting a nine-foot beam she pushes the limits of trailerable (but she is at just 7,640 lbs!) and yet is yacht-certified (something you would expect to find only in larger sizes and high price points.)  The hardtop is an inspired option, over the cockpit that features a double-wide helm bench that swivels, an aft-facing sunlounger to port, and an l-shaped bench located aft and to port opposite the entertainment centre and grill. Step through the transom onto the integrated swim platform featuring an aft-facing bench and Softstep bamboo deck covering. The access to the foredeck and the sunpad is along the centreline (where it’s safe) and this preserves the full-beam space below in the cabin that is access through the sliding door to port of the helm.

Down below, there is sleeping accommodations for up to 5 on the convertible v-berth, and oversized bed in the aft cabin. With 6’5” of headroom, a separate head, and well-equipped galley featuring fridge, freezer and hardwood cabinets, it feels open and spacious with room for everything.

Upgrade your 290EX, powered by a Mercury or Volvo inboard-outboard gasoline engine with up to 380hp, with heat and A/C, a cockpit electric grill, or a bow thruster depending on the kind of cruising you want to do. 

All Rinker boats come with a non-pro-rated 5-year limited warranty and a limited lifetime structural hull warranty that is transferable to the second owner within 5 years.


Specifications

Length: 31’ 10” / 9.55 m
Beam: 9’ 0” / 2.7 m
Draft (Drive Down): 36” / .90 m
Deadrise: 18°
Dry Weight: 7,640 lbs / 3,472 kgs
Fuel Capacity: 89 gal / 338 L
Fresh Water Capacity: 33 gals / 125 L
Sleeping Accommodations: 4-5

MSRP: $160,139 CDN with a MCM 6.2 BravoIII

For more information:  www.rinkerboats.com

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Brad Roberts
Brad grew up at the family cottage on Lake Simcoe using both powerboats and sailboats. A veteran journalist with large national daily newspapers, outdoor interest magazines, and syndicated television shows, Brad has entertained and educated readers for over 25 years with his unique family-inclusive perspective. His favorite pastime is teaching others to use their boats to access the freedom and beauty of a Life Afloat. Brad, his wife, and their three daughters have traveled and boated all over North America and the Caribbean, but choose to keep their "floating home" on the fresh waters of Central Ontario.