Flying high again: Boating industry unveils top models for 2015

There’s a lot of new aluminum and glass hitting the boat market for 2015, and with the economy rebounding and gas prices in check, dealers are enjoying good times. Boats are selling and consumers are happy.

This year, many boat companies are revamping tried-and-true models. Instead of reinventing the wheel, they are keeping the things that worked in flagship models and reengineering less popular features.

Fish-N-Ski models are also a big focus as companies are trying to capture both markets in one slick, functional package that doesn’t skimp on angler-friendly features, while still keeping the skiers and tubers happy.

Lastly, boat “packages” on entry level and even high-performance bass rigs are more popular than ever. It seems as though manufacturers are wanting to make it easy for anglers to pull the trigger. But have no fear, tourney bass cowboys, a person always can swap electronics and other accoutrements if the package rig isn’t exactly custom enough for your style.

Crestliner

The Fish Hawk family just got bigger and better. Crestliner is excited to introduce to its flagship family the all-new 1950 Fish Hawk. It has innovative and time-tested features, layout, and power sure to appeal to customers who take fishing seriously. Despite all these benefits, plus a 17-degree deadrise, it’s one of the more affordable rigs of this size on the market. 

It offers two lockable rod storage compartments (up to 9-foot rods), bow and stern livewells, 50-gallon fuel tank, large convenient storage areas, and more. You can buy the 1950 in a side console, dual console, or walk-though windshield design. A Muskie Edition features a 57-inch livewell and, of course, all models come with Crestliner’s famous all-welded hull with no rivets to pop or slow you down.

Also new is the affordable 1700 Vision, which is well-equipped in either a Sport or Fish Package. It comes standard with a 20-gallon fuel tank and plenty of storage, including rods up to 9 feet, 6 inches long. Run the rigs with up to 90 horsepower, and they come with one of the best warranties in the business. Even though the Vision series has features that rival far more expensive rides, they come in a price any family can swing.

Regency

At 27 feet, 5 inches, the 254 LE3 offers luxury but also is a great choice for taking a full load of grandkids out to catch some crappies or jig for walleyes. It has three robotically-welded, powder-coated bronze 26-inch pontoon logs – with lifting strakes and splash guards that make your ride drier and quicker and a dramatic LED accent lighting to highlight the full-length of the pontoon exterior. 

It comes with plush soft-touch vinyl seating: wraparound port and starboard bow lounges, adjustable, reclining oversized captain's swivel helm seat, aft L-lounge and aft-facing stern lounge with underseat pop-up changing room. It has a 300 max horsepower rating for adrenaline junkies.

Lowe

Revamped and refreshed for 2015, the Lowe Deep-V fish boat lineup offers more for anglers than ever before. From the tournament-ready Fishing Machine Pro series boats to the best-value FM 160 models to the super-versatile Fish & Ski series, Lowe continues to demonstrate its commitment to innovation and quality. 

Diehard and tournament anglers will opt for the Fishing Machine Pro with its new bow, cockpit, and aft deck configurations that deliver easier maneuvering and maximized fish-fighting and storage space. The hull design on the 18- and 17-foot models has been streamlined for a sleeker appearance while maintaining superior handling, even in deep chop. The deep-V interiors also have been improved and helm consoles are now a matte black, marking increases in both style and durability. To keep tools, drinks, and other essentials right at hand, Lowe has added a selection of new Gunnel-track accessories.    

For those who enjoy their fishing with a side of high-octane fun, the Fish & Ski series has been similarly refreshed to maximize water-sports capability now feature a ski pylon for easier towing. A large in-floor storage compartment houses watersports gear and converts for fishing with a drop-in rod holder. 

Kingfisher

The latest fishing machine by KingFisher Multi-Species, the 2125 Accord Sport, was designed and built around one concept: versatility. KingFisher’s exclusive Pre-Flex technology provides a smooth and dry ride in this well-equipped vessel. The newly designed welded dash plate and console are not only tough as nails but also modern and sophisticated. Plenty of storage, including rod, tackle, and dry storage, can be found in the Accord, plus a rear-mounted re-circulating aerated livewell. 

Throw in a removable bow rod storage compartment that quickly converts into a comfortable bow rider and you’re set for guests. Plenty of room and seating for six, you’re ready for an entire day on the water with family and friends. 

Prefer a tiller model? The KingFisher 2025 Flex Tiller is a good bet and accepts up to 225 horsepower motors. For gear-heads, the center rod locker holds up to 11 rods and there’s plenty of storage for an arsenal of lure boxes. A pre-flex hull is standard for safe and dry rides without compromising speed.  

Alumacraft

The Tournament Pro Series is back after requests from fishermen and boaters alike. The T-PRO has 185 and 195 model choices that come in CS and Sport profiles. This deep V has a fantastic layout that offers something for everyone. New colors introduced in 2015 and true DRY Storage are just the start to this new model. The Twin Plated 2XB hull gives you Double Plating from front to back to keep you and passengers safe. The amount of storage for both rods and gear is excellent. Built tough, the T-Pro Series handles the demands of tournament anglers while pampering weekend warriors.

Also new is the Trophy Series that can handle an entire family and all their gear (even all the kids’ snacks and drinks). Repositionable seating, oversized rod lockers, and dual-aerated-livewells with lights and timers are standard awesome features. Seating for five, plus two rear jump seats, a convertible bow lounge, loads of storage and optional ski tow bar can complete this family-friendly package.

Nitro

The new Nitro ZV 18 is a multi-species boat, and a slightly downsized version of their ZV 21 that many of the world’s leading walleye anglers run. The aggressive, hand-laid deep V hull slices through the chop on big lakes with a smooth agility, and the 8-foot, 4-inch beam and massive yet nimble 18-foot, 11-inch length, provides the stability for four anglers to move around the deck in comfort. 

The interior sports features that will please the pike, muskie, or walleye angler, including a huge 26-gallon livewell and a 5.5-gallon bow baitwell. A patent-pending integrated port net holder keeps your all-important net close at hand, and ample storage throughout the boat holds lots of gear.

Adjustable helm and passenger seats, a bike seat with pedestal and a fold-down molded fishing seat with pedestal are comfortable and stylish. 

The ZV-18 comes standard with a Mercury 150HP XL FourStroke outboard and will support up to a 200-hp.

Lund

The 1850 Impact XS is engineered at 18 feet, 7 inches in length with an ultra-broad 94-inch beam, and combines hardcore fishing elements with plenty of features to please the entire family.

Taking center stage on this versatile rig is a spacious, functional fishing bow. The large casting deck conceals a massive 10-rod center locker that’s easy to access. Below the bow is a 27-inch livewell and two massive in-deck storage compartments. It comfortably seats six passengers with bases for four standard swivel seats, plus two newly integrated aft jump seats. Use side storage compartments for water skis, additional rods or whatever else you may need to store. A four-step boarding ladder is handy.

For tiller fans, the updated Lund Pro Guide is sure to please. From comfort to the user-friendly fishability, lengthened hulls, and broader beams, these have everything a tiller angler could want.

The boats offer premium rod storage, enhanced Pro Command Consoles and greater max horsepower ratings (up to 200). The 1875 Pro Guide, for example, features a giant center rod locker that safeguards up to 10 rods – up to 8 feet in length – in two separate well-spaced rows. An additional Pro Series Side Locker at the driver’s fingertips has a double-hinged door for easy access, and stows three more rods of up to 9 feet long, and an additional two rods of up to 8 feet, 6 inches. The 1775 and 2075 Pro Guide also offer expanded rod storage, each capable of comfortably housing at least 15 rod and reel combos. 

Triton

Triton has introduced seven completely new TrX bass boat models that feature the enhanced storage, superior fishability, and awesome performance of their Classic-winning boat, yet are competitively priced.

Triton’s new TrX models of tournament bass boats come fully equipped with a very comprehensive list of standard features including an innovative center tackle/rod storage module on the 21 TrX and 20 TrX. 

Other standard TrX features include advanced ergonomic consoles with room to flush-mount 12-inch electronics, enhanced bow panels capable of flush-mounting 12-inch electronics, MotorGuide trolling motor, premium Lowrance electronics; state of the art livewell system with tournament aeration, recirculation and pumpout; jack plate; Hot Foot throttle; steering wheel trim; remote oil fill; Sea Star hydraulic steering; huge built-in ice chest with sandwich tray; onboard battery charger; adjustable driver and passenger seats; custom drive-on trailer with spare, and chip-resistant Gatorhyde coating, and much more.

Triton has taken the guesswork out and provided seven fully loaded rigs in complete packages.

Skeeter

With completely brand new designs, the legendary ZX225 and ZX250 are back, and are loaded with the perfect combination of features anglers want the most, at a price that keeps more dollars in their pockets.
Both models are loaded with standard features like an 8-foot Pro Series 2 Power Pole, premium locators, trolling motors, and built-in chargers. A Hamby’s keel protector is factory-installed for hull protection. The cockpit command center finds an all-new custom ZX console with redesigned seats, tilt steering and plenty of legroom. Both models are available in a single or dual console configuration. Performance-styled upholstery delivers good support and a comfortable ride. 

Skeeter’s unique “dry dock” ventilation system is controlled by a convenient switch next to the driver’s seat, which – when turned on – allows boxes and compartments to have pressurized air circulation to help keep equipment dry, fresh, and mildew-resistant.

MirroCraft

Active families have been craving fishing boats that transform into ski boats for years but often there’s a compromise in both to get one package. Not anymore. Meet the Dual Impact quick-change artists of the MirroCraft lineup. With additional beam widths (93 inches and 97 inches), these two models easily convert in minutes from full-featured fishing boats to high performance ski boats. 

Whatever type of water activity you choose, the Dual Impact series gives you the ability to choose between fishing, water skiing or cruising whenever the mood strikes you. Swivel bucket seating, an aluminum ski pylon, and all-new dual consoles with full windshields add up to great ski boats. Pedestal seating, aerated livewells, and rod storage are features the avid angler will appreciate.

The models are 17 feet, 3 inches and 18 feet, 4 inches in length and handle up to 150 and 200 horsepower motors respectively.  

Manitou

The Oasis Angler can please anyone from the cocktail sipper looking for a joyride to the angler seeking a limit.

For comfort, new furniture is sleek and contoured and a new helm is luxurious and car-like. Ample cup holders and storage are helpful for all. Anglers will appreciate strategically mounted angler-chairs that making casting easy, and obstruction free. To keep rods organized, vertical or horizontal rod holders keep them out of the way, but accessible.

It’s available in 20- and 22-foot models in a variety of floor plans.

Ranger

The new VS1680 is 16 feet, 8 inches long and rated for a maximum 90 horsepower, and available in single or dual console configurations. It’s perfect for smaller tow-vehicles and is one of Ranger’s most affordable boats to date. 

The new Ranger aluminum VS1680 is a feature-laden boat complete with a solid, all-welded and foam-filled aluminum hull constructed without the use of any wood components. Multispecies anglers will appreciate the oversized front deck and 24-gallon fuel capacity combined in a highly maneuverable package. 

Built with inside depths of 23.5 inches for added peace of mind while running in big water or trolling through choppy conditions, the VS1680 features a custom-designed fiberglass console to accommodate walk-through windshields, a full complement of gauges and space for flush mounting large-screened electronics, and custom-fitted marine upholstery throughout the vessel. It also has adjustable driver and front passenger seats, as well as a trio of matching fishing seats, which can be utilized in a variety of configurations within the cockpit or on the front and back casting decks. 

It features Ranger’s proprietary Rawhide floor covering and available snap-in carpet throughout the cockpit area. Loaded with a variety of dry, secure storage options throughout the vessel, the boat has a center rod storage area under the front deck capable of storing 8-foot rods, and more rod storage in the portside gunnel.

 
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