Captain's ReportFish Hawk 1850 Muskie Edition Is An Excellent Platform For Multi-Species Fishingby Captain Bob Smith
I recently had the pleasure of spending a cool rainy day on Gull Lake near Brainerd, Minnesota testing Crestliner aluminum boats. The cool was a welcome change from the Florida weather and the clouds had enough holes for me to really put the new Muskie Edition to the test for you.Crestliner has produced the proven Fish Hawk Series for six years. It has become their bread and butter fish boat line and is hugely successful according to Jim Antolik, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Crestliner. They released the eighteen-foot version in this line in 2002 for the first time. According to Jim, it really took off. Honoring the eighteen footers success and the muskie niche market with a special edition seemed only fitting. Don’t be distracted by the name as this boat is an excellent platform for multi species fishing, not just muskie fishing!Crestliner led aluminum boat innovations by developing the welded hull design in 1964. This design not only helps maintain the Muskie’s watertight hull by not using rivets, but also enhances the looks of its Baked Armor-Guard paint and custom graphics. They are so convinced of this design feature, they have changed the warranty from “20 plus 3” to warranting the hull for Life plus 3 years for equipment added. Check out their website for precise details of this warranty. The Extruded Gunnel System protects the sides with a rubber bumper guard with embedded rope accent.The 1850 Muskie Edition measured up nicely. Weighing only 1300 lbs, it trailers with ease behind most family vehicles designed for towing. With an overall length of 18’ 3” and beam of 95.5”, she should fit in your garage or carport. The 1850 is rated to run anything from a 70 to a 150 hp outboard off it sturdy transom.Maneuvering the Muskie from the forward fishing platform using the optional Minn Kota trolling motor was easy, even when working around multiple obstructions of a pier and shallow waters. The battery box for the trolling motor is wisely placed centerline for balance and up front where it is close to the motor. The 12/24 volt connection and main motor trim switch panel is mounted in the peak and easy to use. Crestliner is really thought about night fishing when they designed their boats. They have added a “task light” to the back of the bow navigation light pole. The waterproof button is on top and the light is a flashlight type bulb on the back. It doesn’t ruin your night vision or interfere with the running lights. The spacious casting platform covers the boat from amidships to the bow. There are ample storage compartments for gear and supplies. When you boat the big one, you can keep it fresh in the muskie size 55” 27 gallon livewell. The Muskie Edition comes standard with both livewells served by a recirculating system.The aero-flo helm sports a quick connect windscreen that is easy to remove when you want it out of the way. The steering was smooth and used a “no feedback” system for hassle free operation. The Pro Form II fishing chairs and Butt chair could be moved to any one of the six positions in the deck. Amber courtesy lights make it safe to move around at night and save your night vision. Rod Savers are also located in the cockpit with lockable storage under the port gunnel. Safety grab handles are mounted around the cockpit for security while underway.In the stern area is a second large casting platform with main battery storage. You also have the other aerated livewell with bait bucket here.My boat ran the often-choppy waters at Gull Lake with ease. I found the best cruise to be around 3500 rpm, or 24.8 mph. At cruise you will expect to burn about 3.6 gph or get 6.89 mpg. Your range is 192 miles and the noise levels were only at 84 dbA. Top speed was 39.5 mph at 5000 rpm. Here you can expect to burn about 8.4 gph or get 4.7 mpg and a range of 131 miles. I found the got up on plane in 3.6 seconds. She quickly moved up to 30 mph in 6.8 seconds using the 140 hp Suzuki 4-stroke outboard strapped to her stern. Considering you will be trolling for the big ones most of the time, you should easily get a full days fishing out of this beauty before returning to the pumps.The Muskie Edition really is set up well for multi species fishing and fits a family budget nicely. Take a closer look at our details here on this website or at your nearest Crestliner dealer!By Capt. Bob SmithTest Captain
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Crestliner FishHawk 1850 DC is 39.5 mph (63.6 kph), burning 8.4 gallons per hour (gph) or 31.79 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Crestliner FishHawk 1850 DC is 24.8 mph (39.9 kph), and the boat gets 6.89 miles per gallon (mpg) or 2.93 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 192 miles (308.99 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 140-hp Suzuki four-stroke outboard.
Standard and Optional Features
|Battery Charger/Converter||Optional Max Pro|
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|