Review: Crestliner 1850 Fish Hawk WT


We water test and rate the Crestliner 1850 Fish Hawk WT, a contender in the aluminium fishing boats category at the 2014 Australia’s Greatest Boats awards.

We tested the Crestliner 1850 Fish Hawk WT (Walk Through) in a torrid, spine-thumping session that would have hammered lesser boats – what a great ride!

CRESTLINER 1850 FISH HAWK WT

 

CRESTLINER 1850 FISH HAWK WT REVIEW

CRESTLINER 1850 FISH HAWK WT WINNERThe 2.5mm plate-alloy hull has a flat 12˚ deadrise. That formula traditionally spells stability but not ride comfort, right? Wrong! The Crestliner has it all. The solid transom and foam-filled underfloor construction defies all we’ve ever learnt about hull design. It shouldn’t work but it does – and well.

The Fish Hawk WT has an American fishing tournament theme but transforms into a terrific family fisher/ski bowrider thanks to a simple flip-over rear lounge which converts to a casting platform.

This boat will appeal to inland and estuary fishos with some limited offshore ability. The seating and extra-high windscreen work beautifully, while the 150hp Mercury will put a smile on everyone’s dial.

It’s got big storage, big livetanks, a big cockpit, a big bow platform and big performance.

This is surely one hell of a boat, a true force to be reckoned with.

 

CRESTLINER 1850 FISH HAWK WT RATING

Fishing suitability

9.4

Innovation

9.2

Design and layout

9

Quality of finish

9.2

Handling and ride

9.2

Stability at rest

8.6

Ergonomics

8.8

Standard equipment

9

Value for money

8.2

X-Factor

9

TOTAL SCORE

89.6

 

UNDERSTANDING THE RATING SYSTEM 

BOAT AT RAMP Boat judges  
Meet the judging panel

The rating criteria
explained
 

 

THE JUDGES’ NOTEPAD

Angelo Sangiorgio: We were astounded by the Crestliner 1850’s ability in poor conditions. By its specifications it shouldn’t work, but it does — in fact it works incredibly well. We had it out of the water a couple of times and were amazed by the cushioned landings. It’s almost like it grows wings and flies over the mess. The solid transom complements the 3lt 150hp Mercury. We took it right up to a rapid 83kmh with no difficulty at all.

John Ford: I can’t wipe the smile off my face after driving the Crestliner 1850.It goes like the clappers and the new 150hp Merc just howls. It’s not made for ocean running but it just creamed the chop on the seaway. To be honest it just doesn’t feel like an aluminium boat. The fishing set-up is exceptional with three livebait wells, huge storage up in the bow, convertible rear lounge/casting platform and much more. This is a terrific tournament boat for estuaries and sweetwater but it also handles a bust out to sea and then converts to a family fish / ski boat — it does it all.

Kevin Smith: The Crestliner 1850 Fish Hawk WT is totally different to anything else we’ve seen in this country. Its smaller sister nearly took out AGB out last year and now here’s another upstart! I love these boats: they’re incredibly capable yet they’re probably the quietest aluminium boats I’ve ever experienced. It gets full marks for stability and all the casting decks, storage and livebait tanks make it a fantastic lure fishing boat (that’s my game). Still, it’s a pretty good bait fishing outfit and could easily be set up for some serious high-tech trolling techniques. Best of all it’s fun to drive. It turns without cavitation even through massive turns at high speed. It loves some trim down and pops out of the water like there’s no tomorrow, and it gets to top speed in no time.

Matt Jones: I heard the specifications and I thought: "Here we go." But we went! It lifted and just kept going and going and going! It tracks beautifully and from a fishing point of view how many boats have three bait wells and a convertible bow casting seat? I believe Crestliner is looking at improving the dash for bigger-screen electronics and perhaps lifting the throttle height for bigger blokes, but that’s getting really critical. I love the ‘Darth Vader’ look of the 150 Merc and I also love its gutsy performance. This package has really opened my eyes.

CRESTLINER 1850 FISH HAWK BOAT LAUNCHING

 

CRESTLINER 1850 FISH HAWK WT SPECIFICATIONS

LOA: 5.5m

BEAM: 2.42m

WEIGHT: 568kg

MAX. HORSEPOWER: 150

BASE PRICE: $57,990

PRICE AS TESTED: $59,990

 

MORE ON AUSTRALIA'S GREATEST BOATS 2014

Fibreglass fishing boats

Fibreglass
fishing boats 

 

Aluminium fishing boats

Aluminium
fishing boats 

 

Family boats

Family boats

 


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