Sizing Up the 2012 Market for Boats and Motors

Folks looking for a new fishing boat for 2012 will find that manufacturers are making watercraft more afforable than in years past. If you want to spend $60,000 for a bass boat you can do it, but you also can buy one with a ton of punch for under $30,000.

If a nice aluminum fishing boat is all that’s needed most companies are making sweet 16-footers with all the bells and whistles a weekend angler needs for under $14,000. What are you waiting for? 


Buying a boat has never been easier with several pre-package Competitors from Alumacraft. Several models fit nearly anyone’s budget and fishing style. All offer great storage for rods and ands gear as well as tournament-sized livewells. Minn-Kota trolling motors, Hummingbird graphs, and deluxe seats round out the value. Whether you want the 165 Tiller for small families or the giant 185 series for family AND friends, you’ll be right at home on small inland lakes or taking on Lake Erie rollers.


Perfect for family and friends, the Bass Buggy 18 Classic series offers plany of room and fishing features. A flip-flop seatback on the midship passenger seat allows you to sit forward or backward as you cruise and a rotomolded storage is under all the couches for snacks and gear. The practical, no-nonsense layout is perfect for families who simply want a basic, easy-to-maneuver, easy-to-own pontoon that still is fishing-friendly (a deep aerated livewell comes standard). The optional Fish Package adds a bow-mounted trolling motor with wireless remote and a fishfinder.


The Pro 17 Skiff CC may have been built for the ocean, but anglers on the Great Lakes and even small inland waters are taking notice. With the Advanced Inverted V (AIV) hull design, wide beam and foam-filled construction, it provides a smooth, dry ride and stable platform through rougher conditions. And, the Pro 17 Skiff CC will do it all while carrying larger loads with power from a smaller-horsepower engine.


Ranger has upgraded their popular Z500 series for 2012.Two models in particular, the Z520 and Z522, will feature a raised front casting deck, delivering the optimum height for flipping and pitching in bass-filled shallow waters. Without changing the highly acclaimed hull design, the increased height of the casting deck will in turn allow more space in the boats’ storage and rod lockers. Also on the front deck, anglers will find a recessed foot pedal standard.
In addition to so many standard features, Ranger is now offering a “Touring Package” that combines several of the most popular add-ons in one package. This includes a Hamby’s keel protector, deluxe traveling boat cover, water line stripe, Oxygenator, as well as a trailer parking brake and aluminum wheels from American Racing.


The Impact is built on the renowned Lund IPS hull platform and features a beam of 94 inches, length of 17 feet, 9 inches and a cockpit depth of 22¼ inches, offering a dry, safe and smooth ride. Available in a SS or Sport model, a large bow casting deck with an integrated, locking rod locker will hold 10 rods five 6-foot, 6-inch and five 7-footers and also has additional rod storage on the port and starboard sides that will accommodate rods up to 8 feet. Two livewells, a 40-inch on the aft and a 28-inch on the bow, allow fishermen easy access.
A convertible aft seating/casting platform is optional. When in the raised seating arrangement, it offers two additional seats with cup holders and when folded down, converts to an expanded rear-casting platform.

Bass Cat

The Puma FTD has a 20-foot, 4-inch hull with a 94-inch beam, providing rock solid stability that cuts the water. The deck layout provides storage all the way from the bow to the console with seven compartments, including a place for a net and measuring board. The modular console offers the ability to hold a Humminbird 1198, or Lowrance HDS10. Enjoy cool lighted handrails and pop up mooring cleats at your fingertips. A built-in LED bow navigational light is practical. The rig has a 300 hp capacity and a transferable lifetime hull warranty.


The Fish Hawk line from Crestliner is not the most popular series the manufacturer makes for nothing- they continue to improve it every year. Don’t let the modest price fool you, these rigs come packed with features.
A new E-Console is spacious and friendly for today’s large locators, and the new Blackbox stereo rocks. Plenty of dry storage is present, even in the smaller, 1650 model. Dual Rod Storage is luxurious and spacious decks are found in every model. Multiple livewells are standard and a spacious rear version handles huge fish. All models are welded with no rivets.


The new Angler V164 F from G3 Boats is 16 feet, 4 inches and has an 88-inch beam, a three-piece riveted hull with double riveted seams and a double plated bow for added strength and stability. It’s quick to plane with a 4.9 second hole shot and 36 mph top end with a Yamaha 70 horse, four-stroke motor. An extra high full wrap around windshield provides great protection from the elements by providing both driver and passenger with comfort rarely found in smaller boats.
Other standard features on the Angler V164 F include marine grade carpeting, a large 27-gallon livewell, five large storage boxes, courtesy lighting, a 19-gallon fuel tank, quality Yamaha controls and cables, fog resistant Faria gauges, and a precision fit powder-coated custom trailer.


If you’ve always wanted a bass boat but could never afford one Triton has the answer in the 2012 18 Explorer that comes in under $26,000. A Mercury 150 ProXS Optimax makes her fast and several standard Triton features make her finished. At 18 feet, 6 inches the boat fishes big with a tremendous amount of deck space, storage, and fishing-friendly features. Don’t let the price fool you, this rig is tournament-ready with recirculating livewells, quality seating, and no wood to rot..


The new 1687 Troller EXP has everything an angler needs and nothing they don’t for a great family fishing rig. Center rod storage is handy and an optional rear flip padded bench seat is great for kicking back. Fiberglass consoles are durable and stylish and a full canvas option is available. At 16 feet, 9 inches with an 85-inch beam, you can take on big water with confidence.


Already known to have some of the most reliable, technologically advanced four-strokes in the game, Suzuki is kicking up their 40-90 horsepower models another notch. A new “Trolling Mode” can control your outboard in 50 RPM increments for extremely precise trolling, eliminating the need for a kicker motor in most situations. It’s a troller’s dream come true. The feature comes standard in all 2012 models but an optional gauge will show the precise RPM if you really want to dial your speed in.


The V MAX SHO is a four-stroke outboard that out performs two strokes in many ways, while providing best-in-class acceleration. With impressive midrange punch, and a broader power curve, it also achieves higher speed over a measured distance than its predecessor. At the heart of the VMAX SHO is a four-stroke 4.2-liter V6 powerhead that provides the best power-to-weight ratio in its class. With considerably more displacement than its competitors, the 4.2-liter employs new materials and processes that help make it lighter, more efficient and powerful.


Mercury Marine’s new150 FourStroke is a 3.0-liter, four-cylinder in-line configuration creating superior power for single or twin applications – from the lightest flat skiffs to the largest saltwater offshore hulls. In fact, it has more displacement than any other 150-hp four-stroke engine, yet it delivers fuel efficiency at cruising speed that no other engine can beat.
The massive torque curve of the new 150 FourStroke ensures that even the heaviest boats will plane quickly. And if you’re looking for room to fish, this multi-use engine fits nicely under poling platforms on flats boats and in pontoon motor wells, and is easier to fish over and around than all competing engines of equal horsepower.


The new 115-130 horespower, 1.7-liter V4 engines were designed for maximum performance and are equipped with an all-new lost foam exhaust housing, a new exhaust valve and a newly designed upper motor cover. And like the entire Evinrude E-TEC outboard line-up, they provide maximum power and performance with fewer parts than a four-stroke.
Take all of these benefits plus a true 50 Amp alternator to run all of your gadgets, and you have the ideal motor suited for the transom of your pontoon, bay/blats or aluminum fishing boat.


Categories: Buyers Guide

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