Best boats: Aluminum

11 new fishing machines, from tiller boats to tournament rides to fish-and-family crossovers

For Canadians looking to dive into boat ownership, upgrade or simply window-shop, here’s a roundup of some of 2017’s best on-the-water rides. For even more options, check out our picks for 2017’s best new fibreglass boats.

9

RANGER: RT198P

With a wood-free, foam-filled, pad-bottom hull, this is the largest boat in Ranger’s RT series, promising performance and versatility at a value price. Selling points include wide, stable casting decks, a recessed foot pedal for the electric trolling motor, and a trailer built specifically for the hull design.

LENGTH: 19' 4"

BEAM: 92”

LAYOUT: Single or dual-console

MAX HORSEPOWER: 150

FUEL CAPACITY: 31gallons

SEATING CAPACITY: 4

LIVEWELL: Aft, 26 gallons

ROD STORAGE: 6’ 6” port locker; 8’ centre locker

LEARN MORE: (870) 453-2222; www.rangeraluminum.com

z

SMOKER CRAFT: Explorer 172

This feature-rich fish-and-family boat comes standard with vinyl floors and an in-floor locker that converts from ski to rod storage. And with flip-up rear jump seats and removable bow cushions, the Explorer 172 can easily switch from offering seating for six to providing plenty of casting space.

LENGTH: 17’ 3”

BEAM: 96”

LAYOUT: Walk-through windshield

MAX HORSEPOWER: 150

FUEL CAPACITY: 22 gallons

SEATING CAPACITY: 6

LIVEWELL: Bow, 15 gallons; aft, 22 gallons

ROD STORAGE: 8’ in-floor locker

LEARN MORE: (574) 831-2103; www.smokercraft.com

5

STARCRAFT: Titan 186

This stable, do-everything 18-footer is ready for big water and rough conditions. It futures full vinyl cockpit and casting platforms, two lockers for rod or skis and a fully loaded console with space for a nine-inch graph. Options include all-weather, trolling motor and sonar packages.

LENGTH: 18’ 6”

BEAM: 99”

LAYOUT: Walk-through windshield

MAX HORSEPOWER: 200

FUEL CAPACITY: 27 gallons

SEATING CAPACITY: 6

LIVEWELL: Bow, 18 gallons; aft, 25 gallons

ROD STORAGE: 8’ in-floor rod locker

LEARN MORE: 1-866-772-4538; www.starcraftmarine.com

1

TRACKER: Grizzly 1648 MVX SC

This 100 per cent aluminum all-welded jon boat comes packaged with a motor and trailer, ready for fishing, hunting and camp duties. Angler-friendly features include a Versatrack accessory mounting channel, aerated livewell, non-skid Sure Tread flooring and a spacious front deck.

LENGTH: 16’ 1”

BEAM: 72”

LAYOUT: Single-console

MAX HORSEPOWER: 50

FUEL CAPACITY: 6 gallons (portable) 

SEATING CAPACITY: 4

LIVEWELL: 9 gallons

ROD STORAGE: n/a

LEARN MORE: (417) 873-4555; www.trackerboats.com

6

ALUMACRAFT: Classic 165 Sport

Perfect for fishing solo or family outings, this nimble, easy-towing 16-footer has serious storage and amenities, such as dual locking rod compartments, a full console and the AlumaTrac accessory system. Options include carpet or vinyl floors and decks, a wide choice of engines and more.

LENGTH: 16’ 4”

BEAM: 82”

LAYOUT: Walk-through windshield

MAX HORSEPOWER: 90

FUEL CAPACITY: 17 gallons

SEATING CAPACITY: 5

LIVEWELL: Aft, 34 gallons

ROD STORAGE: 7’ port and starboard lockers

LEARN MORE: 1-877-314-7756; www.alumacraft.com

3

CRESTLINER: 2050 Commander Elite

With durable diamond plating welded to the bow for a fully sealed deck, and an optional heavy-duty full enclosure, this brawny deep-V is ready for big water and harsh weather. And there’s ample fishing space, thanks to a 30-inch-deep cockpit and space-saving transom design.

LENGTH: 20’ 8”

BEAM: 94”

LAYOUT: Walk-through windshield

MAX HORSEPOWER: 200

FUEL CAPACITY: 40 gallons

SEATING CAPACITY: 8

LIVEWELL: Bow, 22 gallons

ROD STORAGE: 7’ 6” in-floor locker; 9’ 6” port and starboard racks

LEARN MORE: 1-866-301-8544; www.crestliner.com

10

G3: Sportsman 19

This G3 features an all-welded aluminum hull painted in high-gloss urethane with custom graphics. Standard are two Garmin Striker GPS fishfinders, a Minn Kota 24-volt trolling motor and a three-bank battery charger. Also included is a Trail Guard trailer with locking detachable tongue.

LENGTH: 19' 10"

BEAM: 92”

LAYOUT: Single-console

MAX HORSEPOWER: 150

FUEL CAPACITY: 21 gallons

SEATING CAPACITY: 4

LIVEWELL: Aft, 33 gallons

ROD STORAGE: 6’ 6” port locker

LEARN MORE: 1-800-588-9787; www.g3boats.com

7

LEGEND: F19

Legend calls the F19 “a fishing machine with family flair.” That’s thanks to the tournament-size livewells, spacious casting decks, 50/50 convertible aft seating, Command Vu console with backlit gauges, built-in radio, fishfinder and USB port, and passenger-side cooler box.

LENGTH: 18’ 6”

BEAM: 94”

LAYOUT: Walk-through windshield

MAX HORSEPOWER: 150

FUEL CAPACITY: 35 gallons

SEATING CAPACITY: 8

LIVEWELL: Bow, 30 gallons; aft, 12 gallons

ROD STORAGE: 7’ port and starboard boxes

LEARN MORE: 1-800-461-4050; www.legendboats.com

8

LOWE: FM 1610

The FM stands for “Fishing Machine,” and this open-layout tiller boat lives up to its name with two fishing decks, a large livewell and a command console with gauges, toggle switches and USB and 12-volt power outlets. And it has enough Mercury horsepower to quickly get you on the fish.

LENGTH: 16’ 10”

BEAM: 95”

LAYOUT: Tiller

MAX HORSEPOWER: 75

FUEL CAPACITY: 26 gallons

SEATING CAPACITY: 6

LIVEWELL: Aft, 19 gallons

ROD STORAGE: 7’ centre locker

LEARN MORE: 1-800-641-4372; www.loweboats.com

2

LUND: 1775 Renegade

With its modified-V hull, the 1775 Renegade is perfect for hunting shallow-water bass. Features include plentiful gear storage, large fishing platforms and a flush-mount console graph. And as with all Lunds, there’s a lifetime warranty on the riveted seams, aluminum floor and transom.

LENGTH: 17’ 9”

BEAM: 95”

LAYOUT: Single-console

MAX HORSEPOWER: 90

FUEL CAPACITY: 22 gallons

SEATING CAPACITY: 4

LIVEWELL: Aft, 22 gallons

ROD STORAGE: 8’ bow locker; 7’ 6” port rack

LEARN MORE: (204) 326-4431; www.lundboats.ca

11

PRINCECRAFT: Xperience 195

This big 19-foot fishing machine features large bow and aft raised casting platforms, plenty of built-in storage compartments throughout and fishing amenities such side-panel storage with Plano cases, two aerated livewells, an insulated fish box and a fish-cleaning station.

LENGTH: 19’

BEAM: 98”

LAYOUT: Walk-through windshield

MAX HORSEPOWER: 175

FUEL CAPACITY: 37 gallons

SEATING CAPACITY: 8

LIVEWELL: Bow 20 gallons; aft 23 gallons

ROD STORAGE: 9’ in-floor locker

LEARN MORE: 1-800-395-8858; www.princecraft.com