WELLCRAFT 162 FISH­ER­MAN

Boating - - BOAT BUYERS GUIDE -

This is the big­gest lit­tle boat we’ve tested this year, and we thought it brought a great deal more fun to the water than we had thought avail­able at such a value price.

The 162 Fish­er­man would make an ideal en­try boat for new­bies or a cool ten­der for yachts­men. Its hull and deck are foam filled and wa­ter­tight, mean­ing there is no bilge to col­lect water that re­quires pump­ing out: Any water that comes aboard drains out the scup­pered deck. To en­sure that the in­tegrity of the foam floata­tion isn’t com­pro­mised by mois­ture, the cup hold­ers and rod hold­ers are molded into the deck in­stead of cut­ting large holes for hard­ware. Wellcraft then fash­ioned acrylic col­lars fas­tened with three sealed, stain­less-steel screws. It’s the sim­plic­ity of the de­sign and fea­tures that made it so at­trac­tive to our test team.

It seats five pas­sen­gers, two at the helm, one for­ward and two on the stern. Stern seats have flip-up backs that form a cast­ing plat­form when stowed. Un­der­neath is the 12-gal­lon fuel sup­ply in a por­ta­ble tank, eas­ily hauled to the gas sta­tion for eco­nom­i­cal re­fu­el­ing.

There is an op­tional cush­ion for the bow cast­ing plat­form. The helm seat is a flip-back-style that can face aft for fish­ing at an­chor. Un­der the cush­ion is a gen­er­ous cooler. The helm con­sole has space for a chart plot­ter/sonar combo unit, and our boat was bril­liantly equipped with an op­tional JBL Blue­tooth au­dio pod that bungeed to the dash be­hind the acrylic wind­shield. On ei­ther side of the helm sta­tion are a trio of rod hold­ers.

Our test boat had op­tional surf-mat coam­ing bol­sters that looked great and added style. Hull side col­ors are op­tional. Choose from two color op­tions be­sides white: phan­tom grey (a dark color) and a cool, liq­uid blue.

We liked the hy­draulic steer­ing, and the sim­ple de­sign still pro­vided USB phone ports, easy ac­cess to the bat­tery below the con­sole and full nav­i­ga­tion lights for night cruising or fish­ing.

It might be small in size but it is full of fea­tures—in­clud­ing a stan­dard rugged Ga­torHyde fin­ished cus­tom trailer with self-cen­ter­ing bunks.

Price: $29,385 (with Yamaha F60 LB and cus­tom trailer) SPECS: LOA: 16’4" BEAM: 7’0" DRAFT (MAX): 1’0" (with en­gine up) DRY WEIGHT: 1,700 lb. SEAT/WEIGHT CA­PAC­ITY: 5/1,500 lb. FUEL CA­PAC­ITY: 12 gal. HOW WE TESTED: EN­GINE: Yamaha 90 hp four-stroke DRIVE/PROP: Out­board/131/8" x 17" 3-blade alu­minum GEAR RA­TIO: 2.15:1 FUEL LOAD: 5 gal. CREW WEIGHT: 250 lb.

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