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Rick

Your New Boat Ideas for 17'-18' FISHING Boats

34 posts in this topic

I thought it would be cool to come up with some ideas for 17' to 18' fishing boats. I've been looking at the 1750 and 1850 Crestliner Fishhawk series. I would like to make some suggestions to them and use your ideas to help persuade them.

I would like to see what you would look for in a 17'-18 foot boat.

I am not looking for tournament style boats. If you could please ask some of your friends and or co-workers what they look for and what is important to them in a 17'-18 foot fishing boat that would be interesting as well.

Can you please focus on the following questions:

1. What features can you do with out on the current Fish Hawks?

2. What features would you like to see added?

3. What features may or may not help you decide to purchase a particular boat model for fishing?

It will be fun to see what we can come up with smile.gif

Thanks All.

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More interior lights, I like to fish at night and this is always a proplem, larger gas tank,2 or 3 more 12v plugs,hydro steer would be nice on all modles. Other than that the rig is pretty tight.I don't know if I would take anything away from it.

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OH BOY! Here I go like a kid in a candy store!!! grin.gif

I've actually given quite a little consideration to this subject matter since next spring we will be in the market for purchasing a boat. Since I'm married with 2 young children, my thoughts/comments will be geared more towards a family fishing type boat with a full windshield. So here goes:

First, as I mentioned, I like the full windshield for protection. One thing I'd do with the dual console though is move it further forward, perhaps 6" - 8" more than what you see on the big 3 aluminum manufacturer's boats. 9 times out of 10 I'll be the only one fishing up there using the electric bow mount, so for just one person, all that bow deck you see on other boats just isn't necessary IMO. And for whatever reason, some manufacturers are getting away from the full bow control panel. I'd have a panel with battery indicator, tilt/trim for the main motor and then livewell/baitwell controls with timer and aerator/recirculation switches. Also, some manufacturers are going to bait buckets in the stern of the boat. For me, since I'd mainly use the bow mount trolling motor, it would be more beneficial to keep the baitwell up front, yet separate from the livewells. And probably have the baitwell stick up from the bow deck so you don't have to reach down so far to get bait. I'd maybe even have a separator in the baitwell so you can have leeches on one side and minnows on the other.

As for the consoles, I think the manufacturers have them set up pretty well except that I would leave a little more room on top of the driver's console for the larger sonar screens (7" - 10" screens). Cupholders at each console is good. I'd also have dry storage and a small ice chest (for 6 - 8 sodas) built into the port console. One thing I've always thought of is for the ice chest, perhaps it could be wired to the starting battery such that the chest keeps cool, like you see with some of the big carry-along coolers now days (instead of having to carry along and pack ice). Maybe some boat manufacturer already does this (?). I like how some manufacturers put a netting under the consoles for storing items....that's a plus.

One thing about moving the dual console further forward is that it would allow the passenger seats in the back to be moved further forward. These seats always seem to be too darn close to the stern deck and if someone wanted to sit in one of these seats and turn around to fish out the back, there isn't enough legroom. So I'd move the back seats 6" - 8" further forward along with the consoles. As for the stern deck, I think the manufacturers have them laid out pretty well with a livewell, battery storage, etc. Another thing I'd do is to try and design a cushion seat on both sides of the stern deck such that they tuck away under the stern deck, but then fold out and up onto the stern deck for someone to sit on and troll with a kicker motor. Only reason I'd put them on both sides is one never knows for certain which side a person wants a kicker mounted. That would take some thinking though. I know some (or many) manufacturers are putting seat bases in the stern deck, but then you've got to move a seat from somewhere to that seat base. Why not just have something that flips out and up onto the stern deck? I just want my rump to not ache so much after a long day of trolling with a kicker (okay, that didn't sound good). blush.gifshocked.gifgrin.gif

Recessed cup holders by the back seats and up front would be a plus (some boat models have these). Captains chairs available through some boat manufacturers are certainly nice for back support and arm support. Side storage on boats is nice. I like the wider walk-thru windshield they make now days as I'm a "wider" kind of guy. Fuel tank for 17' - 18' boats; for the 17'ers I'd make it 32gal and for the 18'ers I'd make it 40gal. And as for recommended horsepower range, for 17'ers I'd say from 90hp - 150hp and for 18'ers I'd say 115hp - 200hp. Reason for the 200hp max. rating is many 18'ers now days are rated up to 175hp, but there really isn't much difference between a 150 and 175, so I'd make it go up to 200hp (if we're talking 18'-6" boats). And for livewells, to me they seem small on some boats, but I'd prefer a 30gal at the bow and a 20gal at the stern.

I know I could go on and on, but I've already said too much. tongue.gif One last thing though....more color choices!

And just to note, maybe some manufacturer has already thought of things like what I mentioned and I just haven't noticed it. But these are things I'd like to see adjusted or added to boats. smirk.gif

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I agree with the more interior lighting and power outlets. Seems these are never adequate in any boat design that I have seen. I would add that my preference would be that each light can be controlled locally rather than some centrally located switch. No use burning up battery life when not necessary plus, you would be less likely to have an issue with glare.

Bob

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Ah yes....MORE LIGHTS! Light the interior up like a Christmas tree! tongue.gif

Good one.

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I have an '04 18' Lund Fisherman and my biggest disapointment is rod storage. Well I was by my dealer today and they fixed that on the '06 by putting in an in floor rod locker in addition to the port rod locker - yeah !!!! They also added their sport track system on the inside gunnels which makes locating rod holders much more sensible. For a family boat more geared towards fishing it's a decent setup. If I were to make more significant changes I would move the console back 6" to give some more room in the deck. I would also consider getting rid of the moveable floor in the front and just make it a casting deck - you could stick in a lot more storage that way. I would also make the gunwales stiffer the whole length of the boat (not all areas are backed by plywood) and in the last 5' add some bracing so that downriggers would be better supported.

I would improve lighting by having rope lights installed under the console and in the port and starboard storage areas. I would also like some provision for a small map light (amber or red) on the dash. I would move the AM/FM antenna to the port side (need the starboard side free to install an 8' marine radio antenna) or place a diversity antenna in the glass. As for guages I would like to see the speedometer removed or downsized (I use the speedo on my GPS or fishfinder) and provisions made for another tachometer (for the kicker). I would also like to see battery condition indicators added on the lower panels. I would like to see them drop cable steering and only offer hydrolic. Anchor chockes need to be installed on the bow. Providing a bit more dash space would be nice so that larger electronics can be added. I would also like to see a factory provision for a ski/wakeboard/tubing tree in the back; maybe a couple of mounting studs and a quick release system.

For electronics I wish Lowrance would go the next step on their network and separate out the screen function from the processing function. For example, you would have a fishfinder model, a navigation module (GPS), autopilot module, and radar module. Then you choose your screens (say front, console, stern for trolling). You could configure your screens to pull up whatever information you want, say radar, GPS, and depth on the console, GPS/fish up front, fish finder/downrigger/autopilot on the stearn. This would be in addition to the guages and sensors they're now selling (fuel flow, water temp, livewell temp, etc).

Finally would someone please make a fuel injected kicker motor with a lower gear ratio and built in trim/tilt.

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Rick you need a boat like you need another hole in your head "just kidding everybody needs a boat". shocked.gif

I've always said if there were 2 guy's that would never need a boat it's Hanson and Rick, you guy's have carte blanche and could fish/hunt any species at any time with some of the best sportsman the upper Midwest has to offer...... grin.gif

Good luck in your Boat search and thanks for the great site..... grin.gif

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Yes, hanson and I have hunted and fished with you carte blanche Pier. Not sure why you want to brag about it though Pier wink.gif

Ok Pier, now back to the great boat ideas the other guys are coming up with. smile.gif

Thanks deepportage, steve, Basscatcher and Bob! cool.gif

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Rick,

First off, I kinda went off on a tangent thinking of ways I'd design a boat. smirk.gif But looking at the new '07 Fishhawks, one thing I notice is they have a larger extended stern deck. If I were to put a tiller kicker on the back, I'd be a little concerned about reaching the tiller handle. Telescoping handle may be necessary for a shorter guy with shorter arms like myself, but then I've never sat in one and don't know what it's like. Of course that all doesn't matter if you're not getting a kicker or you're getting it linked to the steering wheel at the console.

Livewell capacities look decent however the one issue I would have is with what looks like a 2-doored livewell in the stern. At least for me, sometimes when trying to get fish out of the livewell they swim back and forth which, with 2 doors, would make it even more difficult to chase down and grab onto a fish.

I've already mentioned my preference for more cockpit room and less bow space (lots of bow deck space on that boat). It appears to have good rod locker storage. And one other thing I'm not a big fan of is snap-in carpet, but that's just me. I'd rather have permanent carpeting and not snap-in carpeting. Looks a little tight/close quarters in the main cockpit, but again I'm thinking of my wife and 2 kids where room in the cockpit would be important to us. However, if I were looking to get a hardcore fishing rig where kids were not an issue, this would definitely be on my priority list.

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Couple thoughts:

I have a 17 ft Lund and I like it alot, for the most part. I'll admit to being an (Contact Us Please) here, but designing a boat where the rear center seat hinge can leave a nice scar in the top of the motor when trimming up is not the brightest design. Move it 1/2 inch and it's a non-issue. The 115 Yammy now sports a big decal across it's forehead!

Key features: Needs more rod storage space

Large glove box is nice

Overall use of space is good

Plastic vents on gas tank side, a little cheap

Overall, a nice ride

Could use a larger (length) livewell

Console is well configured

Bro in law has a Crestliner, his gripe is that when the rear deck is down, you can open the rod locker. Again, something not major but a hastle.

I've always said how nice it would be to get a rep from each manufacturer and build the perfect boat!

Chris

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Hey cjac,

that's what we're trying to do here - Build the perfect fishing boat.

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In that case you will have to put LUND on the side of it. grin.gif

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I'm a tiller guy now and probably always will be. However, I would have considered a Crestliner console model if they offered the console that is pushed back like some Lund Pro-V models. Rods over seven feet don't lay particularly well on the front deck with the current console models offered by Crestliner.

More interior lights and more cup holders would be a plus. Metal latches as opposed to plastic would be preferable as well. And, darnit! I want to know why my 1850 Fish Hawk tiller was not rated for a 115 hp motor! At least I could stay half way caught up to Matt Johnson with 25 more horses.

Being that I bought a '06 I really like the center rod box (has a side one as well), two massive livewells (should have got recirculating pumps), the viynl floor option, a decent sized dry storage compartment, and the 25" transom. I like my boat a lot, my family likes my boat, and just about everyone that has fished in it likes it. Even Deitz admitted it was a nice boat for a tin can tiller.

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This is a timely topic. All good ideas mentioned so far.But I think you have your work cut out too design the perfect boat because there are as many perfect boats as there are buyers. What I would like to see is that boat companies would be more flexible when ordering a boat and would do some customizing for each individual buyer !! For the most part right now you have to choose from there idea of the perfect boat.

Why can't lund offer all the fishing amenities that they offer in the Pro V IFS in other boats Like there Tyee Etc???

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To me storage is always the number one priority. Lights can always be added later at a minimal cost but upgrading the configuration of the boat is quite costly. Rod storage, DRY storage, and fish storage...my good buddy has a 1750 and overall the boat seems very fishable.

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What I was looking for was something that would work on smaller bodies of water as being not to big but maneuverable but also able to handle larger water. Like Devils Lake the Missouri River Reservoirs, Lake of The Woods, Lac Seul without having to take too much of a butt kicking. What I decided on was a 1775 Prov, which unfortunately isn’t made anymore so now I would be looking at a 1800 Prov. Mine has a 140 4 stoke that push the boat along pretty well. I like the Fisherman series of boats too especially the full windshield. But the in floor rod storage dual live wells/ bait wells and timers and the lower sides of the Prov where what were my main deciding factors plus the good deal I got on it. After getting it I have decided a dual console was nice to have not a must but it is really nice for the passenger. I will be adding mine on over this next weekend. It handles rougher water pretty good not as nice as a fiber boat but I still stay pretty dry. The drivers console has plenty of room for larger GPS/Sonar units. It has plenty of bow room, which was important to me as well. The seating lay out in it is also very good. The Prov’s have plenty of fuel storage especially with a 4 stroke. The wide gunnels are a must in any boat today for me for mounting rod holders down riggers if you choose. Which most of them have today. The Prov series for me gave me the best options for all types of fishing. I really like the bow controls for tilt and time and dual battery monitors. Dry storage could be better but in mine there isn’t that much more room for it. All and all it is a really sweet boat and I don’t know where I could be much happier not many complaints so far and with a Lund you get awesome quality.

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Storage is definitely important as mentioned previously. If you've got 3 or 4 guys headed out for a full day of fishing, they each have their own rods, own tackle boxes, life jackets, lunch boxes, maybe rain gear and maybe dressed warm for a cool morning with shorts and/or t-shirt underneath for warmer afternoons which we all know can happen in spring and fall. So where should all this go? Like setterguy said, DRY storage! I've seen many people that store their anchors, boat bumpers, etc. up front in dry storage compartment(s), but in my opinion, it wouldn't be much to put an in-floor "dry storage" compartment in the cockpit of the boat and use it for the anchors and such. That way the other gear that is more important to keep dry can go up front. I don't know if it's possible to make a completely watertight in-floor storage compartment, but if it can stay relatively dry, I think the other gear could be stored there.

One other thing I believe the Tyees might also have is a wash-down system. I think it would be nice to have that on a boat. If you get blood from a fish, slimy pike, or spill some coffee or other drink, you could quickly wash it out of the carpet and minimize the amount of staining that could occur.

And this may be a small, maybe even rediculous idea, but I always bring my cell phone with me, however I don't like to wear a belt clip or anything like that. Perhaps a plastic cell phone sleeve or pocket mounted on or near the starboard console would be a nice little addition. smirk.gif

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Storage storage and more storage.

I don't know how to explain this, but I'll give it my best shot. I've been thinking of a way to put a built in tackle box in my boat. Something like the top chest of a roll out tool box that has pull out drawers.

I have a mid 80's 16' Crestliner and the tackleboxes are just more stuff to trip over. If I could put put them in some type of side storage, and have them be permanent it would be minty cool.

Also, when I flip the switch to turn the interior lights on I want it lit up like the Griswald house on the Christmas Vacation movie.

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Storage, rod lockers. I added more front deck space to my boat after the kids got older. I made a removable platform that added another 18 inches to my front deck. When I fished with kids I would take that out so they would have more room. Would be nice to see that in a manufactured boat. Can never have enough room for storage and rods. LED lightning around the inside of the boat would be interesting.

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Rick, as you saw I've been through many boats. All I can say is do not get a dual console or full windshield if you want a fishing boat. I really like the Crestliners, in fact I have a 1750 that I modified into a tiller boat.

Having the whole deck to move around is the best thing you can have when you want to fish.

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I agree the 2nd counsel will take up room but if your the guy who his wife wants to be out with you a lot you better half at least a 2nd windshield and better yet a full.

In 20' boats the dual or full isnt a big deal but in a 17' I wouldnt do it and in a 18' I would only do a low profile dual.

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In addition to trim, livewell controls, etc. I would suggest a kill switch for the main motor up there. I have a tiller right now and power load it 99% of the time, I have to walk up to the front of the boat, hook up my winch strap, walk back to the back of the boat, kill the motor, walk back to the front of the boat and get out. It would be nice to be able to kill it from the front of the boat. Although I guess I could just put a boat buddy on the tralier and accomplish the same thing. Just a thought.

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For me I like to keep it simple. A tiller boat with steering assist would be great. Throw a Evenrude e-tec or a merc optimax on back. Wave wackers and a high powered transom electic or a small 4 stroke kicker. Throw on a 60" shaft high power bow mount with detachable mount and a ram support to keep it from getting beat up as you pound across the lake. As far as lights are concerned I'm from most folks use too many school of thought. They ruin your night vision and make it even more hazordous. This coming from a guy who fishes more after dark than when the sun's up. Most of the newer big tiller boats have too big of a casting platform due to the need to get battery storage further back for easier planing. It really limits spaced for trolling and making runs. For an eye fisherman a small to medium casting platform would be just fine. Two large livewells with light with openings that allow enough room to actually get fish back out again. Vinyl floor with snap in carpet. Really makes cleaning a snap. At least 3 large dry storage compartments. A large lockable electronics locker. Two lockable rod locker that'll store up to 9' rods and lots of them. Marcum flashers front and back. Large gps mapping with a Navionics/Lake master chip. Large lcd graph with temp. Marine radio. Gauges and switches where you can see them when fishing and reach them. Low profile downrigger mounts with of course riggers. Good rod holders mounted in several spots.

Now would I get glass or aluminum? Good question. right now I'm still on the fence on that one.

You know where I can find one cheap? laugh.gif

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1) Get rid of center rod storage or modify it so you don't need to remove rods to get at one that is buried on the bottom.

2) Make the rod storage over 7' long and put it on both sides of the boat. That area isn't just for rods but can be used for tackle, rain gear, warmer cloths, etc.

3) Make a storage area on the floor of the boat for lifejackets.

4) For the locking storage doors, go to a nicer stainless knob instead of the plastic.

5) Let the consumer decide what kind of outboard motor they want on their boat. It is a huge investment and having to get a Mercury isn't fair to the buyer. mad.gif

Too many other mods to list. Maybe I could just design my own boat and start building! grin.gif

Good luck,

Corey Bechtold

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Quote:

1) Get rid of center rod storage or modify it so you don't need to remove rods to get at one that is buried on the bottom.

2) Make the rod storage over 7' long and put it on
both
sides of the boat. That area isn't just for rods but can be used for tackle, rain gear, warmer cloths, etc.

3) Make a storage area on the floor of the boat for lifejackets.

4) For the locking storage doors, go to a nicer stainless knob instead of the plastic.

5) Let the consumer decide what kind of outboard motor they want on their boat. It is a huge investment and having to get a Mercury isn't fair to the buyer.
mad.gif

Too many other mods to list. Maybe I could just design my own boat and start building!
grin.gif

Good luck,

Corey Bechtold


I'll second all of that and add for the port console make that one a quick disconnect so you can yank it out of there.

Move both consoles BACK, and create a very large casting deck. This is a fishing boat, make it so you can fish off the deck with two people. Make it so you can lay several 7'+ rods on the deck ala bass boat style, only with a nice deep vee.

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      750 this week only Im losing money on this but would rather have someone be able to use it than for it to just sit around. After this week I am going to winterize it and it will no longer be for sale.
    • MattL
      How is she on the sit command?  That is the basis of everything.  She needs to learn to sit still and wait until the next command.  I don't even teach my dogs "stay" because it isn't necessary if they are solid on "sit".  Every dog has the ability to be steady, it is up to you to teach them.  A lab that isn't steady in the boat is not only annoying, it is potentially dangerous with loaded guns and the potential to capsize a boat in open water.  If she knows sit but just needs some reinforcement, it may just take a couple trips where you don't even bring the gun along and let others shoot while you handle the dog.  If she's real bad, I would recommend going back to the basics. It will be tougher with an older dog versus a puppy but is definitely worth it. Check out the retriever training DVDS by Bill Hillman. They are spendy but definitely worth it.
    • easyrider25
      Looking for advice on keeping the dog focused and quiet in the duck boat.  Was out today and we shot enough ducks to keep her busy, however my dog is such a hyper hypo that it's a  little annoying.  Either whining or jumping back and forth from the front and back of the boat.  Do I just need to establish the expectation and keep on her till she finally gets it or is this how some dogs are in the boat? This is her 4th year duck hunting and she has continued to improve each season.  Overall I am happy with her work, especially with the limited amount of hunting I do.  We were out today for 3 hours, shot 8 birds and she did great on the retrieving end and is pretty much focused on the skies, but if something is not constantly dropping from them I feel like I have a screaming baby on my hands.  It's not really that bad, just very annoying.   I would just like her to sit in her spot, stare at the skies and wait for my command.  Is this to much to ask?
    • MattL
      She's up to 38 pounds at a few days short of 5 months and does not stop going 100 mph. She got exposed to a lot of feathers this weekend at duck camp. She retrieved dead ducks and geese in the yard after our hunts. The goose was a bit big so I chopped a wing off and worked with that after she picked it up and barely made it back a short distance to me. 
    • delcecchi
      Maybe that is how they can stay in business