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Watercraft Article: 2005 Aluminum Bass Boat Roundup

TackleTour's 2005 Aluminum Bass Boat roundup

Date: 4/12/05
Watercraft: Freshwater
Manufacturer Various
Reviewer: Zander

Introduction: Why would you buy an aluminum bass boat instead of a glass rig? Actually there are plenty of good reasons. Aluminum bass boats are durable, lightweight, maintain their value, and above all… are often surprisingly affordable. TackleTour narrows down the field with our picks for the top five aluminum bass boat manufacturers of 2005 in our aluminum bass boat roundup.


The Fisher Prohawk 170 boasts a wide 87" beam with extended casting deck and full size locking rod lockers

Fisher boats is yet another brand within the Tracker Marine Group. While best known for their Deep V models the company has made recent advancements into the bassin world with expanded Mod V offerings. Currently the company builds boats ranging in size from 16 to 18 feet in length. The 1600 Fisher may be small in overall length but the layout delivers a surprising amount of fishable area thanks to well designed expanded decks. For those anglers seeking more refinement in an aluminum boat the company has created the ProHawk series. The Prohawk comes in both 12 and 18 foot sizes and features a wider beam for more storage, a longitudal stringer system, and a 17 degree dead-rise to conquer heavy chop. With a Mercury ELPTO 125 this boat can hit 46mph on the water. To make owning one of these boats even easier the company is offering special 2005 promotion with zero down and a 99 dollar payment plan for the first 12 months of ownership.


The G3 HP180 is designed to offer an excellent blend of "fishability and durability"

G3 Boats:
Every G3 boat comes powered with a “Yammie,” and that’s no surprise considering G3 is a Yamaha owned company. G3’s flagship HP (High Performance) lineup of aluminum boats features all welded construction and a precision pad hull for improved maneuverability and stability. The HP200 is rated for a 200HP Yamaha outboard, comes standard with Hot Foot throttle control and steering column pro trim levers. For those who don’t require as much raw power G3’s Eagle series provides a respectable combination of features and value. Each boat is built on a Mod-V hull and can be equipped with the latest Minn Kota motors and Garmin fish finders. G3 Eagles are available in lengths from 16’ through 18’ feet, and come standard with a powder coated trailer with EZ hubs making this one extremely lightweight rig to tow over extended distances. For 2005 the company adds value to the total package with the "G3 Advantage Warranty" which is an extended warranty on all external seams for the "duration of ownership" for the original owner. In addition a full five year bow to stern warranty is transferable once within 5 years of the date of first purchase.


The Tracker Avalanche DC is arguably the most advanced mod v aluminum boat available this year, it is definitely one of the most radically styled

When most people think aluminum bass boats the name Tracker often is the first brand that comes to mind. These popular boats are a common sight on waterways nationwide, and represent the ultimate value in bass boats. All Tracker boats have a "National Value Price" which makes pricing the boat and all desired options simple and straightforward. These boats sell in such high volumes that many dealers will actually have these boats pre-rigged and ready to sell right off the lot. Tracker boats come in both mod-V and deep-V styles. The Pro-Team boats are the most popular and come in sizes ranging from 16 to 18 feet. The ProTeam 185 is the top of the line Tracker boat and features a .100 5052 Marine Alloy hull, Motorguide/Tracker trolling motor, and a Mercury 60 ELPTO outboard. This boat fully configured only costs 12,995! For 2005 Tracker continues to promote its bold line of "Avalanche" boats. These streamlined watercrafts are often mistaken for glass bass rigs due to their streamline formed design. The all welded hull features upgraded .125 5052 marine alloy, and the boat is made extremely stable with formed aluminum gunnels, a modified v pad hull design, and a full length longitudal stringer system. This boat comes with all the works in terms of electronics and convenience features, and can be powered with anything from a 115 ELPTO to a beefy Mercury 175 Optimax. Rigged and ready to run these sleek rigs can be had for just over 20,000 dollars.

Looking for a big aluminum boat? Triton's massive 19 foot 197 Magnum is both big and strong. Built with .125 gauge aluminum and capable of handling a 200hp powerplant this fishing machine can outrun many glass rigs


Triton: Triton builds a complete line of all welded tournament boats, and many anglers consider the full size Magnum boats among the finest available. All Triton aluminum boats are built to the same high standards as their glass boats, in fact their build methodology is very similar. Like the company's glass boats each and every Triton aluminum rig stresses details that you don't normally see, like advanced handmade stringer systems and decks that are welded onto the hull, not bolted in like the competition. While the vast majority of aluminum bass boats make use of .100 gauge aluminum, the premium Triton 197 Magnum features an extra thick .125 gauge hull for improved permanence and impact resistance. This full sized boat is 19 feet 4 inches long and sports a titanic 90.5 inch beam. The 197 follows Triton's tradition of 100% wood free construction, features all welded construction, a longitude stringer system, and is capable of handling any engine up to 200hp. The only real downside to the Triton aluminum boats is that on average they do cost more than the competition, and a full sized aluminum Triton can quite easily sneak up into the glass bass boat neighborhood.


The War Eagle Tomahawk is a fully featured bass boat with some unique innovations including "cool mist" air conditioning!

War Eagle: Meet the official aluminum boat company of "Ducks Unlimited." Three Ward family generations have been involved in boat building, but it wasn’t until 1992 that the very first War Eagle boat, as we now know it, was produced. Since then the company has grown tremendously and their current product offering includes hunting boats, pontoons, and Tomahawk bass boats. The Tomahawk 962 is a full sized 18 foot boat and is rated for up to 150hp, includes twin top loading rod lockers, a built in jack plate, hydraulic steering, and War Eagle’s “Air Ride” pad hull with a reverse chine for increased lift and improved handling. The Tomahawk comes with all the creature comforts including an insulated ice chest, dry storage boxes, easy access rod lockers, an insulated divided livewell, fully carpeted decks, and air conditioning. What’s that? Yup, air conditioning! The Tomahawk features a unique “Cool Mist” air conditioning system as standard equipment to help combat the severe temperature common on summer bass excursions. A generously equipped Tomahawk 962 retails for just under 17,000 dollars.


Conclusion: Many bass anglers already appreciate the durability, practicality, and affordability of aluminum boats. Yet there are many anglers have shied away from these economical rigs in the past over concerns about leaks between riveted panels, rough ride quality, and lackluster styling. While these certainly were valid issues to be apprehensive about in the past, the current crop of aluminum bass boats do an absolutely superb job of addressing, and in some cases totally eliminating these tribulations completely. Advances in thicker gauge aluminum and all welded construction add up to superior durability and leakage resistance. New longitudal stringer systems and faster running hulls have brought ride quality within range of many glass rigs. While the features and innovations found in aluminum rigs has certainly stepped up, the price of most of these boats has remained relatively low in comparison to the overall product value. For 2005 these five aluminum bass boat companies narrowed the performance gap between glass and aluminum watercraft, and some companies including Fisher Boats is offering programs that make it easier than ever for first time watercraft buyers to get behind the helm of a full sized tournament ready rig. With so many quality aluminum bass boat choices on the market, anglers that normally would have only considered a glass boat may seriously think twice about whether glass or aluminum would better address their needs. I know I certainly have.










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