REVIEW: CRESTLINER 1650 SUPER HAWK

By: JOHN WILLIS, Photography by: JOHN WILLIS


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Looking for a versatile fishing boat or family runabout? The aluminium Crestliner 1650 Super Hawk could well be the answer.

Sometimes in your life, there occurs a moment that lives forever. I recently experienced a rather mystical occurrence myself, while launching the Crestliner 1650 Super Hawk tinnie – an American-made boat that my fishing buddy and I had scored one of Victoria’s remote treasures, Lake Fyans.

 

CRESTLINER BOATS

CRESTLINER 1650 SUPER HAWK BOAT

The Crestliner 1650 Super Hawk has more than one face. This innovative water-weapon is a highly-refined angling machine one minute, then an exciting sports bowrider the next. The 115hp Mercury four-stroke provides a real Jekyll and Hyde character. It’s a silent stalker, capable of long periods of slow trolling, but also able to thrill the pants off the family during a watersports session.

The Crestliner 1650 Super Hawk could be considered the ideal family runabout. It’s a moderately-priced package, easily towed by the average family six-cylinder vehicle, with a manageable weight combination of around 1250kg with fuel and a bit of gear. The packaging seems just right with 115hp four-stroke Mercury and Dunbier Centreline trailer that made launching and retrieving very easy, even in strong winds at a shallow ramp.

 

LAYOUT

Crestliner 1650 layout

The internal layout is simply superb, and very workable. From a fisherman’s perspective, I really enjoyed the functionality, whether trolling, casting or drowning bait. The interior is jam-packed full of enclosures, storage hatches, livebait tanks and rod storage with comfortable seating pedestals that can be moved to various positions. All platforms are carpeted and the deck has a hard-wearing synthetic nonskid surface.

The hinged rear lounge is simple, but clever – it provides comfortable seating for three adults in the upright position, but when it’s time to fish, folds easily to create an extended rear casting platform. Brilliant. It worked well for us as we slow-trolled our Tassie Devils, looking for one of the lake’s fishy residents.

One item missing from many American bowriders is a small anchor well, which the Super Hawk does contain. Up forward of the walkthrough, the floor itself folds over to enclose the bow area as a casting platform, and there are three large storage hatches underneath. As well, there are two detachable cushions that combine with upholstered backrests permanently mounted to the bulkhead to create extra seating.

 

HELM

CRESTLINER 1650 SUPER HAWK HELM

The helm and passenger seats are comfortable and enclosed from the elements, set before a well-rounded dash with tilt-adjustable steering wheel, a high-mounted set of engine gauges, waterproof switchpanel and a standard engine control box.  The passenger has a grab handle and large glovebox.

The one issue here is a lack of room for a large sounder or GPS. You could dash-mount something around the size of a Lowrance Elite 5 or similar, but that would be about it.

 

HANDLING AND RIDE

CRESTLINER 1650 SUPER HAWK UNDERWAY

We’ve said it before of Crestliner boats: that combination of wide beam and shallow vee should result in a hard ride. Wrong again. Everything I’ve learned about boats has been thrown out the window because the ride is superb. At Australia’s Greatest Boats 2014, the aluminium fishing boats outrode many fiberglass competitors, and the Crestliner 1650 Super Hawk continues a fine pedigree. It’s smooth, it’s quiet, it turns beautifully and predictably, it planes quickly and it loves choppy conditions.

For its construction, the "integrated tongue-and-groove hull" combines with an intricate underfloor matrix to give enormous strength and the ability to fit the interiors as they want without reliance on multiple bulkheads. It also provides a complex variable deadrise hull which works, with foam lining and a double-welded transom to give the softest, quietest ride I have ever experienced in an aluminium runabout of its size and style.

Crestliner boast four American Consumer Satisfaction Index awards in the past four years and backs its product with a limited lifetime warranty, plus three years bow to stern coverage. That warranty is transferable, where few others are.

 

ENGINE

CRESTLINER 1650 WITH 115hp MERCURY ENGINE

The 115hp Mercury outboard motor had its load of two big fellas up and going effortlessly, to a zesty top speed of around 75kmh at 6400rpm. She popped up onto the plane and wanted to just keep going. I’d be confident that if you were only after a small-waters fishing boat for a couple of people, an engine as small as a 70 to 90hp would be adequate. However, load in some gear, a few family and friends, hang a skier out the back and suddenly the 115hp comes into its own. Up and running, the big Merc just purrs effortlessly. We pushed the Super Hawk into some very tight turns to mimic waterskiing on a tight river, where she held on very well with no sign of cavitation

 

THE VERDICT

CRESTLINER 1650 SUPER HAWK REVIEW

So what’s left to say? I’ve been really impressed with every Crestliner I have driven and this latest is no exception. It is a terrific, convertible all-rounder that has wide appeal, no matter how you like to get wet. If there are any doubts then take one for a test drive – this mystical Super Hawk will speak for itself.

 

HIGHS

• Love the ride

• Internal functionality

• Paint

• Power selection

• Storage

 

LOWS

• Cops a little windage

 

CRESTLINER 1650 SUPER HAWK SPECIFICATIONS

PRICE AS TESTED

$43,980 (current stock)

 

OPTIONS FITTED

115hp Mercury, bimini/targa canopy, spare tyre and rim

 

STANDARD EQUIPMENT

Vinyl cockpit flooring, rear fold down seats, livebait tank, anchor well, hydraulic steering, carpeted platforms, seat located, bow seating cushions

 

GENERAL

TYPE Monohull 

MATERIAL Aluminium   

LENGTH 5.15m 

BEAM 2.2m

WEIGHT 1200kg (BMT)

DEADRISE 12°

 

CAPACITIES

PEOPLE 6

REC. HP 90

REC. MAX HP 115

FUEL 76lt

 

ENGINE

MAKE/MODEL Mercury 115hp four-stroke outboard

TYPE In-line four, 16 valve DOH outboard motor

DISPLACEMENT 1732cc

WEIGHT 181 kg

GEAR RATIO 2.33:1

PROPELLER 19in alloy

TRAILER Dunbier Centreline series

 

MANUFACTURED BY

Crestliner

1301 Crestview Drive, Little Falls, Minnesota, 56345

WEB crestliner.com

 

SUPPLIED BY

Avante Marine

345 Dorset Road, Boronia, VIC, 3155

PHONE 03 9760 2222

EMAIL info@avantemarine.com.au

WEB avantemarine.com.au

 

See the full version of this review in Trade-A-Boat #454, July 2014. Why not subscribe today?

Find Crestliner boats for sale.

 

 


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