Captain's ReportCrestliner 1850 SportfishBy Gary P. JoyceCrestliner 1850 Sportfish is a scaled down and less expensive version of its 2150 and 1950 models. It features Crestliner’s UniWeld hull that provides a solid no-flex hull; it comes with lifetime warranty on the welds for the original owner and three years on virtually everything else. Hull ConstructionAdding toughness from the inside out, the stringer system is interlocking and then welded to the hull and any hull plate features a tongue-in-channel method of connecting before welding. Crestliner's hulls are variable deadrise designs, which provide a smoother, more stable 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.) Other unique features include an integrated keel welded on and integral reverse chines; the latter knock spray down and are part of the hull design rather than an after-thought add-on. Some of the chine sections are extruded as well. The gunwales are also extruded sections welded on, rather than simple welded on plate. The gunwale extrusions have also allowed Crestliner to come up with a new cover system for 2006 on several models that does away with those ubiquitous soft spots of all covers – the snaps. The 1850’s gunwales have a thin slot running completely around the boat that the J-shaped cover edge fits into; the Sport Fish models are available with a downrigger plate that fits in this channel at any spot on the gunwale. 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 doesn’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 Crestliners in general include their Concept DX seating, an ergonomically designed seat that is said to provide 33 percent better weight/compression than most other seats and they are also 100 percent waterproof. Crestliner sprays under the aluminum lids with a pickup-bed-like coating they call Crest-Liner that effects durability as well as noise.A Multi-Sport CraftCrestliner has come up with a patented Conversion Bow system that brings a smile to your face when you first see and use it. Essentially it’s a trick way of changing the bow cockpit configuration from a passenger hanging out area to a full-width casting platform. It requires flipping (literally) a couple of seat pads and presto, you’ve got a casting platform. Putting it back to padded seating and backrest cockpit complete with cup holders and grab rails, requires less time than it took to read this.Fishing FeaturesFor angling, there’s a Minn Kota 12/24 volt trolling motor that features a composite shaft, a Weed Wedge prop and corded MicroTouch foot operation. The set up slides out and into action via an ergonomic grip/lock release, but our boat was a little recalcitrant. We also noted that the set up seemed to vibrate somewhat when we were riding through the chop. We experienced this doing near 50 mph at top end. The helm was functional and well arranged. A lot of manufacturers – of big boats and small – could pick up some ideas on helm design from Crestliner. You have an unobstructed view of all your instruments, and if you opt for a Smart Gauge package that was part of our test model’s 150-horsepower Mercury Verado. Essentially you have a completely redundant system because the Smart Gauge will tell you everything from speed, revs and gas consumption, to tilt, temperature and charge. So if one fails you always have the other. A note on the Verado and its throttle: simply the best thing on the market. The 150 wasn’t as quiet – surprisingly –as a 200 horse model we tested, but with the Verado, “quiet” is moot. There is nothing like a fly-by-wire throttle, and eventually every manufacturer will be offering it, but if you want tomorrow yesterday, get a Verado today.Aft Casting DeckThe aft casting deck has seat slots (you get four Concept DX seats and seven places to put them) on port and starboard sides, a dual-door aerated livewell, a dry storage box and a battery box. The engine is mounted almost flush to the aft deck … no big motor well, etc.PerformanceAs far as performance is concerned, as noted we hit 49.9 mph with a full 39 gallon load of gas (at six pounds a gallon, that’s 234 pounds) with two testers aboard, so figuring in the gas, you can call it three heavyweights, give or take 10 or so pounds! The Verado comes on like gangbusters and pumped the 1850 to plane in 3.1 seconds and 30 mph in 5.1. Nonetheless the boat handled predictably – an oft overused word, but true nonetheless.If you’re looking for a family boat that will serve you well for serious before-everyone-wakes-up fishing excursions, that can still haul tubes, boards, and the relatives around, order the tow bar option, and then hook up the trailer because the 1850 is ready to go to work.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Crestliner Sportfish 1850 (2006-) is 49.9 mph (80.3 kph), burning 19.5 gallons per hour (gph) or 73.81 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Crestliner Sportfish 1850 (2006-) is 25.0 mph (40.2 kph), and the boat gets 5.74 miles per gallon (mpg) or 2.44 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 124 miles (199.56 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 150-hp Mercury Verado.
Standard and Optional Features
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
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