Captain's ReportCrestliner 1750 Fish HawkBy Gary P. JoyceCrestliner’s 2006 1750 Fish Hawk is a bass boat-style craft that has – excluding a bunch of very nice design touches – two things going for it: It’s definitely a bass boat and although it falls into that category it isn’t going to cost you an arm and leg. Crestliner has been in the boat building business for 60 years, and the marque has been synonymous with innovation in the aluminum boat market. The 1750 Sport Angler features a welded hull via Crestliner’s UniWeld system (a computer controlled method), this provides a solid no-flex hull and it comes with a lifetime warranty on the welds for the original owner and three years on virtually everything else. Crestliner is certainly putting their money where their, er, ad campaign is. The bottom and transom is .125 gauge aluminum and the sides are .090.The BuildBecause the 1750 is welded, it lacks those Frankenstein-esque bolts all over the place – which for those of you who transit rough dirt (or potholed city) roads does away with a chance of the hull fastening loosening up. Adding toughness from the inside out, the 1750’s stringer system is interlocking and then welded to the hull and every hull plate features a tongue-in-channel method of connecting before welding. The 1750 features a 12-degree variable deadrise designs, which provides a smoother, stabler and drier ride than constant degree deadrise hulls (The difference: a variable tapers from sharp entry forward to softer aft, whereas a constant deadrise remains the same the length of the hull.) In the case of the 1750 this translates to predictable handling, no squirrelly I’m-gonna-blow-over feeling and, powered by a Mercury 115 OptiMax, fast planning capabilites. Other unique features (to all the larger Crestliners as well as the 1750) include a welded-on integrated keel and integral reverse chines; the latter knock spray down and are part of the hull design rather than an after-thought add-on. The chine is an extruded piece as well. The gunwales are also extruded sections welded on, rather than simple welded on plate. The gunwale extrusions have allowed Crestliner to come up with a new cover fastening system for the 2006 1750 that does away with those ubiquitous soft spots of all covers – the snaps. The 1750’s gunwales have a thin slot running completely around the boat that the J-shaped cover edge fits into. (Those of you with whitewater kayaking experience can best relate this to a J-shaped rand connecting your spray skirt to the kayak.) Some hidden benefits of all this design work and strength is the way the boat looks: because there is so little flex, the baked-on Armor Guard paint won’t flex and thus the paint doesn’t crack, chip or peel as on riveted boats. The clean hull also provides clean water for fishfinders to work better, as well as cleaner water for more effective propulsion. Other features you’ll find on the 1750 include their Concept DX seating, an ergonomically designed seat that is said to provide 33 percent better weight/compression than most other seats; they are also 100 percent waterproof. Crestliner sprays under the aluminum lids with a coating that effects durability as well as noise transmission (in some of their smaller craft the entire boat is sprayed with this substance called Crest-Liner). Great, but What about Fishing?The 1750 we tested had a single helm pod complete with fighter-style nacelle windshield, a very well laid out instrument panel with a big Smart Craft gauge and a tachometer, centered, the temperature, voltmeter and tilt gauge in a separate pod to the right, rocker arm switches with circuit breakers and a tilt, padded steering wheel. An optional Lowrance X-51 fishfinder is located to the right of the Smart Craft/tach and falls readily to eye. Below the two main gauges are two carbon fiber looking panels that look like a good place to install an aftermarket AM-FM-CD radio and/or a VHF or CB, your choice. There’s also room for mounting one under the engine gauge pod. Technically speaking the second pod of instruments is redundant because the Smart Craft gauge can provide all that info (and more) plus the tach info as well, but a back up system won’t kill you.Optional Fishing PackageOur 1750 had the Contender fishing package, worth opting for. The forward cockpit featured a Minn Kota Power Drive trolling motor, a box for all the accoutrements required for foot-pedal operation of it, a twin tackle box locker in the nose, a good flat surface for casting and a center-mounted hole for a Concept seat. There’s lined (but not waterproof) storage in the floor (a fold down net is located in the starboard locker) as well as a locking livewell and net fronted storage under the forward gunwales. In the middle of the deck, next to the helm is a very well executed locking, vented rod holder; it will hold four seven foot rods, or five five footers. The rod holder openings are oval so as not to mess up rod guides, another nice touch, as is the piston-assisted lid. A twin battery box for the MinnKota is located beneath the rod holder.Aft DeckThe aft deck replicated the fishability of the forward deck. There is twin door access to the livewell (there is a bait bag under one door) and the deck has a plug-in for one seat; there is also room for seats to be installed next to the helm (one) and behind the helm (two). We’d say three seats – total –will do it for most.There is more rod storage under the port gunwale. A lock box (this probably won’t be used for rod storage since it’s a relatively cavernous open locker) with hook-and-loop rod holders atop the box. The opposite side carries your fire extinguisher and has netting for aerated storage. With the exception of the tackle box locker in the nose all the hinges are visible piano hinges, again, another nice touch.If It’s Common Sense…Do you really need a 400 horsepower tournament boat? Sure you want one, especially with the matching truck, trailer and outfit, but let’s be serious. The 115 horse 1750 we tested ran 0 to 30 in 9.1 seconds and hit 40.7 mph at top end. That’s fast enough to get you anywhere you want to fish and back before time is up – or your better half throws dinner in the dog bowl. And what you save in gas money, you can spend on that $400 baitcaster you’ve been itching for – or a pretty darn good dinner for the aforementioned food tosser. If you want a fast, nimble, solid, well-thought-out fishing machine with a lot of nice touches you won’t find on more expensive boats, have a look at the Crestliner 1750 Fish Hawk. Besides, a colorful suit and a matching boat/trailer/truck combo won’t make you a better fisherman.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Crestliner Fish Hawk 1750 SC (2006-) is 40.7 mph (65.5 kph), burning 9.5 gallons per hour (gph) or 35.96 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Crestliner Fish Hawk 1750 SC (2006-) is 22.0 mph (35.4 kph), and the boat gets 6.75 miles per gallon (mpg) or 2.87 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 146 miles (234.96 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 115-hp Mercury Optimax.
Standard and Optional Features
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