Boat Review by: Richard Crowder
Rinker, one of the oldest American names in boating and part of the Nautic Global Group of Elkhart, Indiana, offers twenty-three models of bowriders, cuddy cabins, MTX Sport Boats, and express cruisers from over eighteen to almost thirty-eight feet length overall. The 260 EC express cruiser is not a new model for 2014 and is the smallest of the five express cruisers.
But the 260 EC is not exactly a small boat. In fact with its 8-foot, six-inch beam and twenty-seven foot, nine-inch overall length, it is one of the largest trailerable cruisers on the market. And Rinker has loaded this boat with lots of big cruiser amenities to make you feel right at home.
Right as you step in onto the large integrated non-skid surfaced swim platform you notice the recessed, four-step stainless steel telescoping swim ladder and two convenient flip-up mooring cleats at the outer edge of this platform which allow you to cross tie the stern to dock cleats so that the mooring lines don’t interfere with boarding the boat from the side.
At the transom, you’ll find a hot and cold transom shower, pressurized water inlet, shore power attachment and a transom trunk storage compartment. But perhaps you will want to forego this compartment and choose the neat flip-down double-wide, aft-facing transom seat.
A port side transom door leads to the cockpit. Behind this door inside the cockpit is the convenient battery switch and major breaker panel location which is readily accessible when you need it most - when entering or leaving the boat.
A three-wide transom bench seat can be optionally converted to a sunpad lounger, and when mated to the starboard side corner seat located behind the helm and fitted with the filler cushions for the standard drop-down stowable cockpit table, makes one huge cockpit sunning or relaxing lounge.
On the port side is a refreshment centre with solid surface, sink with faucet, built-in removable trash container and portable cooler which may be replaced with an optional cockpit refrigerator. Ahead of this is a two or three seater port side lounge with storage beneath. Snap-in cockpit carpet is standard and may be optionally upgraded.
The helm is fitted with an extra wide fore and aft adjustable seat with pop-up forward bolster and a molded-in footrest. Standard at the helm, along with the normal sterndrive instrumentation and a five-position tilt steering wheel is a digital depth gauge, trim tab controls with LED indicators, a VHF radio with antenna, and even a radar-compatible Raymarine C-95 chartplotter.
A large and handy molded indentation on the top surface of the port side console has a clear hinged lid that would be excellent to store boating necessities such as sunglasses, sunscreen and more especially, charts. A curved, sliding cabin door leads to the cabin below or take the molded-in steps beside the helm up and through the centre opening windshield section to the foredeck.
In Rinker tradition, the cabin features a whopping 6-foot, four-inch headroom and with the light Brazilwood cabinetry, and light fabrics and countertop, along with the overhead screened hatch and two opening and screened hull side portlights, offers a most spacious feeling. Both the huge convertible V-berth and large mid-cabin berth feature custom memory foam mattresses, the mid-cabin mattress complete with a zipper-fitted designer fabric cover. The standard entertainment unit is a Sirius satellite-ready Sony BT3100 with CD player and Bluetooth.
The fibreglass-lined head compartment offers a sink with retractable shower wand cum faucet, a full length mirror on the door, storage, and a porcelain toilet with holding tank. This may be upgraded with a TECMA Easy-Flush toilet. The port side galley includes a deep sink with cover, storage cabinetry, stainless steel refrigerator, and a single burner combination alcohol-electric stove with cover. Single sterndrive power for your 260 EC is available from MerCruiser or Volvo from 260 to 300 horsepower.
Notable available options include cabin air conditioning/heating, various canvas options with or without the optional arch which itself may be optionally hinged to allow its lowering, a foredeck sunpad, anchor windlass, automatic fire extinguishing system, 5 KW generator, remote spotlight, flatscreen TV/DVD players in the cabin, sound system and electronics upgrades, transom grill, various flooring upgrades, several hull colour choices, and a Preferred Option Group Package which includes a teak cockpit table, pillow package, mooring package, LED swim light, Auto Glide trim tabs, and Rinker branded clothing.
The 260 EC may indeed be Rinker’s smallest express cruiser but it certainly is loaded with features.
|Length:||27' 9"||8.46 m|
|Beam:||8' 6"||2.59 m|
|Dry weight:||7,085 lbs||3,217 kg|
|Draft:||3' 2"||97 cm|
|Fuel Capacity:||73 US gals||277 L|
|Base Engine / Drive:||MerCruiser or Volvo Sterndrive|
|Engine HP:||Max 300|