Manufacturers unveiled a number of new fishing boats, along with those that were redesigned and upgraded, for 2008. There’s no way we could test them all, but here’s a selection we think deserves a hard look when you’re kicking tires at the local boat show. Unless otherwise indicated, prices shown here reflect standard equipment, trailer and the outboard option listed, but don’t include tax, freight or dealer prep fees.
Alumacraft Fisherman 145 CS
Alumacraft introduced a new multi-species boat that offers affordability to first-time boat buyers, or to those looking for a smaller rig, with numerous features, that’s inexpensive to operate and tow. Measuring 14 feet, 10 inches, the boat holds two anglers nicely, with a capacity of four, and it is rated for outboards up to 35 horsepower.
The Fisherman 145 CS features generous deck space flanked by multiple storage compartments, a 32-inch livewell/bait system and a 6-foot rod locker. Moreover, it’s a rugged fishing boat that can easily allow you to sneak into those smaller hotspots bigger boats can’t reach.
Suggested retail: $8,195, with a Yamaha 25 two-stroke and Humminbird Sonar; Alumacraft; (507) 931-1056.
Bass Cat Puma FTD
Bass Cat’s brand new Puma FTD offers all the amenities a serious bass fisherman needs. At 20 feet, 4 inches, with a 94-inch beam, the FTD is rated for outboards up to 300 horsepower. This rock-solid fiberglass boat rips through the water with ease, but maintains Bass Cat’s well known comfort and soft ride.
Stay organized with lockable storage boxes, two large rod lockers, tackle organizers and 11 additional compartments throughout the boat. The FTD also features duel aerated/recirc livewells. With two bucket seats in the cockpit and two adjustable folding seats, the FTD seats four comfortably.
Suggested retail: $51,499, with a Mercury 225 OptiMax; Bass Cat; (870) 481-5135.
Crestliner Raptor 1850 CE
Crestliner is known for designing quality fishing boats loaded with all the essentials seasoned anglers need. Its latest are the Raptor 1850 CE (casting edition) and the Raptor 1850 TE (trolling edition). At 18 feet, 7 3/4 inches, with a 96-inch beam, the Raptor 1850 CE is rated for outboards up to 175 horsepower.
It features an enormous casting deck over an 8-foot center rod locker and several storage compartments, including two for organizing tackle trays. Crestliner also incorporated a 24-gallon livewell near the casting deck and a 29-gallon livewell in the rear. With capacity for seven passengers, it’s a good choice for fun family fishing trips and serious excursions with a couple of fishing partners.
Suggested retail: (1850 CE): $27,788, with a Mercury 115 four-stroke; Crestliner; (320) 632-6686.
G3 Angler V162F
G3s multi-species rig, the Angler V162F, is built to handle tough conditions while keeping you comfortable and dry. Constructed on a three-piece .100-guage riveted hull and a double plated bow, the V162F is rated for a 90-horsepower outboard. Developed with your budget in mind, the lightweight V162F comes standard with a gas sipping mid-range engine.
At 16 feet, 5 inches in length, the V162F features two folding fishing seats, a wrap-around windshield, fog resistant gauges, rod storage, two 15-gallon livewells and five lockable storage compartments for your tackle and equipment.
Suggested Retail: $19,695, with a Yamaha 50 two-stroke; G3 Boats; (800) 588-9787.
Lund Pro-V 2075
At its dealer conference last fall Lund showed off its latest aluminum Pro-V, the 2075. At 20 feet, 9 inches, the boat is three inches longer and a couple of inches deeper than the 2025. The big news, however, centers on the interior’s unique and innovative storage systems.
The innovative design features spacious drawers along the sidewalls and under the front deck, as well as a locking electronics compartment on the tiller-control model that slides into the sidewall to allow for legroom, and handy stow-and-go compartments that are integrated into the decks for short-term storage of rods, boat bumpers and other gear. The boat deserves a hard look from big-water multi-species anglers.
Suggested Retail: Unavailable; Lund Boats; (218) 385-22235.
MirroCraft 1685 Troller EXP
MirroCraft’s Troller series has a new addition, the 1685 Troller EXP, which the company says offers outstanding performance, along with superior handling and a comfortable, dry ride.
At 16 feet, 9 inches with an 85-inch beam, the 1685 Troller offers ample floor space for anglers who need room to move in the stern, and it is rated for outboards up to 90 horsepower. This all aluminum boat comes complete with center rod storage and a 20-gallon aerated livewell, with a removable bait pail.
Suggested Retail: $12,995, with a Mercury 50 two-stroke; MirroCraft Boats; (920) 855-2168.
Polar Kraft Outlander 2010cc
Polar Kraft’s Outlander series was designed to withstand harsh weather and big water, and its brand-new 2010cc is no exception.
The 20-foot, 11 1/2- inch center console has an extra-wide 93-inch beam and is designed to handle outboards of up to 115 horsepower. The 2010cc also features a 46-inch, 23-gallon divided livewell/baitwell combo, plus a 7 1/12-foot lockable rod/gun compartment. Its spacious fore deck includes a pedestal seat base, and the layout offers plenty of walk-around room.
Suggested retail: $21,900, with Yamaha 50 two-stroke; Polar Kraft Boats; (574)-522-8381.
SeaArk Stealth 172
SeaArk recently introduced a pair of new bass rigs, the Stealth 172 and Stealth 186, adding to its line of all-welded heavy-gauge aluminum boats. The 172 measures 17 feet 2 inches, has a 77-inch beam and is rated for outboards up to 100 horsepower.
Both models feature a rugged 15-degree hull built for chasing bass on rivers, lakes and bays. They offer an array of fishing and convenience features, including bow and stern aerated livewells, a lockable rod box and two large rear deck storage compartments, full deluxe instrumentation, bilge pump, bow tilt/trim switch and nav and courtesy lights.
Suggested retail: (172): $16,479, boat only; SeaArk Boats; (870) 367-5317.
Skeeter beefs up its line-up of quality fiberglass fishing boats, aiming to please both recreational multi-species anglers and fishing guides with the new WX2000T. Crafted around its unique sponson design for stability, and measuring 20 feet, 1 inch, with a 99-inch beam, the WX2000T is rated for outboards up to 150 horsepower.
It features duel locking rod boxes, four adjustable captain’s chairs, 14-quart aerated bow storage/baitwell, 6-gallon starboard baitwell, port livewell and a spacious casting deck. Crafted with walleye fishing in mind, the WX2000T has the stability and maneuverability to allow anglers to backtroll a tight breakline, and stay dry while doing it.
Suggested retail: $38,950, with a Yamaha F115 four-stroke; Skeeter Boats; (903) 984-0541.
The new 385XF is a solid deep-v, measuring 18 ½ feet, with a massive 99-inch beam, that will appeal to competitive and purely recreational anglers alike. Rated for 200 horsepower, the boat offers the muscle and responsiveness needed to take on rough waters, as well as the space and flexibility for comfortable, efficient fishing.
The all-fiberglass boat features an oversize aerated livewell, 8-foot rod locker, abundant storage, as well as a 70-pound Minn Kota Maxxum bow-mount trolling motor and Humminbird 323 sonar unit as standard equipment. With this line-up of features Stratos will please all anglers with their tournament-ready 385XF.
Suggested retail: $37,595, with a Mercury 200 OptiMax; Stratos Boats; (877) 9STRATOS.
Tracker Pro 16
Anglers looking for an affordable and reliable fishing boat need to check out Tracker’s new Pro 16. The Pro 16 offers anglers the tools to chase their favorite species without denting their wallets. It features fore and aft casting decks, standard Lowrance X51 sonar, a 12-volt MotorGuide 46-pound bow-mount trolling motor, aerated livewell and a portside rod organizer.
Perfect for two anglers to fish small to mid-size waters, the 16-foot, 1-inch all-welded one-piece hull is rated for 30 horsepower and offers bucket seating with underseat storage, two fishing chairs and marine-grade carpeting.
Suggested Retail: $8,995, with a Mercury 25 four-stroke; Tracker Marine; (417) 873-5900.
Triton expanded its bass boat line-up, bringing tournament anglers more storage, stability and power with the new 21X3. At 21 feet, 7 inches in length, with a 95-inch beam, the boat is rated for 300 horsepower. Its impressive dimensions offer plenty of room for extraordinary storage capacity and superior creature comforts and soft, plus a comfortable, dry ride.
It features front and rear lockable storage boxes, a huge 42 1/2 gallon livewell, 21-gallon baitwell, MotorGuide TR82 Tour Series trolling motor, Lowrance X-135 sonar, three-bank battery charger and an organized 12-tube center rod box. Really the list of fishing, convenience and safety features is too long to repeat here, but the boat is fully rigged and tournament ready.
Suggested Retail: $52,804, with a Mercury 250 OptiMax Pro XS; Triton Boats; (888) 8TRITON.