Deep-V aluminum walk-through boat models are popular primarily among northern anglers who appreciate their added protection from the elements. Further, the forgiving nature of alloy below the waterline when the hull comes into contact with less-forgiving obstacles has long made aluminum the material of choice for these anglers. "Big water" designs usually feature higher freeboard and deeper V'd hulls for negotiating rough, open water. The Tracker’s 16 foot Pro Guide dual console model meets those parameters making this a three-season boat and even four seasons with the right conditions. And, she's affordable.
Tracker Pro Guide V-16 WT (2012-) Captain's Report
Captain's Report by Capt. Dan Armitage--
The added protection of two consoles connected with a high, wrap-around windshield makes Tracker’s WT models a popular design for anglers who face adverse fishing conditions.
The Pro Guide V-16 is built to accommodate anglers and their families who need to remain comfortable when boating in snotty weather and choppy, cold water conditions while employing a variety of fishing tactics. The boat also must be rugged, economical to operate, and affordable to buy.
Aluminum-hull boats ‘rock!’ when used as fishing platforms around obstacles consisting of granite, oak or limestone.
The Tracker Pro Guide’s all-welded hull is built using two layers of .100 marine-grade 5052 aluminum alloy. The double-plated hull is braced by a longitudinal stringer system that is also welded into position along the full length of the boat’s running surface and to the boat’s extruded aluminum, corner-braced, box-beam transom.
The Pro Guide’s deep-V aluminum hull features welded seams and pressed-in performance strakes. Note the simple rubber rub rail and large, one-piece nose cap.
A deep-V hull such as that found on the 16' (4.87 m) Tracker Pro Guide contributes to a boat’s more comfortable ride in a chop. The exaggerated V forward helps part waves for a smoother ride while at the same time offering a deeper, roomier cockpit.
The 16’s reverse-chine hull has 20 degrees of deadrise at the transom. That is deep for an aluminum boat in this size range.
Even the gunwales of the Pro Guide are heavy duty, constructed using a single piece of extruded aluminum to add to the boat’s rigidity and strength. Some anglers prefer the tops of the gunwales to be flat to facilitate mounting bases for accessories such as rod holder and downriggers.
Tracker’s Versatrack gunwale mounting system allows for securing accessories such as this tackle rack, as well as items including rod holders, cup holders, and downrigger brackets without drilling into the gunwale.
With an 88” (2.23 m) beam, the Pro Guide offers a cockpit that is both deep and broad for a 16 foot boat.
The cockpit sole of the Tracker are built of pressure-treated marine-grade plywood and carry a limited lifetime warranty. They support six bases for three standard, adjustable pedestal seats with all-composite frames for added resistance to the elements. The lids on all compartments are flush-mounted, made of reinforced aluminum and wrapped in carpet with a tight fit.
The Pro Guide’s bow dash is simple and straightforward with dedicated receptacles for the standard bow-mounted trolling motor, the bow navigation light and even a drink. The boat comes rigged with a Minn Kota 12V, 42-lb. thrust PowerDrive foot-control trolling motor powered by an Interstate deep-cycle battery.
The forward deck is recessed to allow the extended height of the gunwale to provide some protection from wind and water and to keep gear contained in rough conditions. We’d like to see a snap-in panel offered between the consoles to complement the center windshield panel in shielding the cockpit from wind and spray while the boat is underway. I question the absence of a bow cleat for safely tying off an anchor line while fishing or to secure the boat’s position in an emergency situation. But it is a simple matter for a dealer to add one.
The forward deck offers a three-tray tackle locker, two bulk storage lockers and the boat’s 40-inch-wide livewell/baitwell. None of the boat’s hatches, forward or aft, are lockable.
The combination bucketed baitwell/livewell has a volume of 23 gallons with separate lids for accessing the bait compartment or the “catch” well.
Anglers who rate fishing boats by the quality of their livewell systems will give high marks to the hybrid found on the Tracker Pro Guide. The tank is a one-piece, molded well with rounded corners to protect its occupants. The bait and the fish they catch are accommodated in water that is pumped, aerated, recirculated and drained with two 500 gph pumps with separate timers.
The Tracker comes with a Lowrance X50 fishfinder – and space atop the console for optional upgrades.
The helm console offers legroom limited by the compartment that extends forward from the aft fishing deck. The basic dash has a tachometer, speedometer and a fuel gauge with toggle switch controls for lights, pumps and accessories.
The passenger console is equally tight-but-bearable with regard to legroom underneath and features a glove box dominated by the mounting panel for an aftermarket (neither are offered as options) VHF radio or stereo system.
Rod lockers that flank both sides of the cockpit create the limited legroom under each console. Note the reinforced lid, full-length piano hinge and carpeted interior, features found in both port and starboard rod lockers.
A storage locker on the starboard side of the raised rear deck has a raised lip to deflect water that breaches the reinforced lid.
Trolling, whether with downriggers, planer boards, flat lining or even back-trolling, is a popular tactic for taking fish from northern waters. That’s why many of the most popular fishing boats – such as Tracker’s Pro Guide models, offer so much space aft of the consoles to make room for rigging, angling, fighting and landing fish.
Note the transom cut-out to accommodate the primary outboard is not as deep as on some boats in order to keep water from coming aboard when back trolling. Also note that both the skipper and companion are looking through the windshield and not at the windshield frame.
Although rated to handle up to 90-hp, Tracker offers the 1,210-lb. (550 kg.) Pro Guide WT hull with a 50 ELPT four-stroke Mercury outboard as its standard configuration. With this engine a Tracker spokesman told me that the boat will reach a top speed of between 26 to 28 mph. We have not tested the boat with this configuration, so we can not vouch for that speed range. But we did test it with the optional 60-hp Mercury four-stroke engine and on test day we reached an average top speed of 30.1 mph. At the other end of the speed spectrum, a 25-hp four-stroke Mercury is also an option.
Check out how much deck space is dedicated aft of the forward-situated dual console.
At the aluminum boat’s relatively light weight and with the reverse-chine hull, I think the boat should perform well with the standard 50 horses if reasonably loaded. The issue is that the walleye, muskie, pike, and salmon anglers who will be interested in the model often take along a lot of extra gear to employ the varied techniques that are popular for tempting those gamefish. Boats loaded with bottom bouncers, downrigger balls, lead core rigs, drift socks, planer boards and huskie-sized fishing partners might require horsepower on the upper end of the scale to gain the desired performance.
Please note that while the boat is rated for 5 persons, it's maximum people weight capacity is 620 lbs. (218.8 kgs). That makes the boat ideal for most couples with kids, but more likely to be limited to two or three fishing buddies.
Tracker offers quality trailers for the money with their boats, with standard features like swing-away tongues, retractable safety cables, EZ Lube hubs and even an outboard motor support.
The MSRP of the Tracker Pro Guide V-16 WT with 60-hp ELPT Mercury four-stroke and a single axle trailer is $17,595 plus freight, prep and taxes.
If you agree with the angling masses that aluminum is the way to go when boating on rock-and-obstruction-ridden fishing waters, and you want a fishing-friendly model that will protect you from the elements and is reasonably priced to purchase, tow and operate, the Tracker Pro Guide V-16 WT may be the way to go.
Tracker Pro Guide V-16 WT (2012-) Test Result Highlights
Top speed for the Tracker Pro Guide V-16 WT (2012-) is 30.1 mph (48.4 kph), burning 4.5 gallons per hour (gph) or 17.03 liters per hour (lph).
Best cruise for the Tracker Pro Guide V-16 WT (2012-) is 18.7 mph (30.1 kph), and the boat gets 7.63 miles per gallon (mpg) or 3.24 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 103 miles (165.76 kilometers).
Tested power is 1 x 60-hp Mercury EFI.
Time to plane for the Tracker Pro Guide V-16 WT (2012-) is 4.5 sec. seconds.
Time from 0 to 30 of the Tracker Pro Guide V-16 WT (2012-) is 8.1 sec (0-20) seconds.
For complete test results including fuel consumption, range and sound levels go to our Test Results section.
Standard and Optional Equipment
Tracker Pro Guide V-16 WT (2012-) Standard and Optional Equipment
Outlet: 12-Volt Acc
= Standard = Optional
Tracker Pro Guide V-16 WT (2012-) Warranty
Tracker Pro Guide V-16 WT (2012-) Warranty Information
Warranties change from time to time. While BoatTEST.com has tried to ensure the most up-to-date warranty offered by each builder, it does not guarantee the accuracies of the information presented below. Please check with the boat builder or your local dealer before you buy any boat.