The fact is, the FinCraft 19 CC is still a center console, so there’s only so much you can do, but it’s how you do it that matters. For example, take the gently curving sheer line. It not only adds tremendously to the boat's good looks, but also gives a bit more safety with raised bulwarks, and helps it stand out from many of the rest of the 50 brands of center consoles that often look as if they came out of the same mold. Add a stainless bowrail and you’re not only keeping the fishing buddies inside, but the kids as well. What I liked about the rail’s installation was that both sides terminated in a curve back just before the bow, making it far easier to set and retrieve the anchor. This left the bow clear for ground tackle or adding ease to line handling. This concept was started in Europe and is picking up steam in the States now.
The deck was raised at the bow to use as a casting platform which makes it fun for bonefishing or inshore fishing of any kind. Below the deck is a large storage compartment with a fairly heavy lid that is rubber-gasketed all the way around. The self-draining feature allows this storage to double as a fishbox. Ahead of the console was a cooler that had the simple addition of a cushion on top to turn it into a seat. The center console itself had storage space that was accessed via a hatch on the starboard side. While the compartment was roomy enough, the dual batteries are smack in the middle of the deck making the entire compartment all but useless. The good news is, that when testing boats, the principals in the construction and design departments are right alongside me, and when I pointed this oversight out, heads were nodding, so perhaps a simple fix of moving the battery mounting tray is in the offering.
Here we have a study in simplicity, and when things are simple, they’re easier. There are only three gauges: tach, speedo, and fuel. That’s it. Each one is surrounded by a sticker that adds a bit of shading to the perimeter and gives the illusion of depth. While hardly functional, these eye tricks really do add to the overall looks of the panel. I’d like to see the gauges moved over to the side of the helm, though, as that would free up the valuable real estate in front of the captain for a nav package. There is a small space off to the right of the panel for a small display, but why not open up the large space for a larger display? Obviously, putting the three gauges out of symmetry around the wheel is a bit unusual, but how important are those three readings? Only the fuel gauge is critical and you certainly don't need to be looking at that every five minutes. The helm seat is a cushion on top of another storage compartment that is self draining, which allows for the addition of the optional aerator, creating a livewell. The seatback flips fore and aft to allow you to face in either direction.
Both stern quarter seats are removable, and a glance underneath showed stainless steel pins that hold them in place...and I expected plastic. Small hatches are cut into the aft bulkhead to allow for access to hoses and wire runs. Padded bolsters not only make leaning against the bulwarks more comfortable, but they also serve as backrests for the aft seats.
It’s the Little Touches
Small things like the stainless pins in the removable seats are evident everywhere. The swim ladder is a three-step, but it’s mounted low enough so that it acts like a four-step unit. It’s also angled out when deployed so your feet can find the bottom step easier. Rocker switches are lighted and circuit breakers are right next to each one, so no need for carrying spare fuses in your toolbox. LED courtesy lights illuminate the decks; if you are like me and enjoy being on the water after dusk, this is a great feature.
The FinCraft 19 CC was a surprisingly nice handling boat. I say surprisingly, because you come to the test with a pre-conceived notion of how the boat will handle based on how much it sells for. Not always a good barometer, but it is human nature.The FinCraft 19 CC was a nice handling boat. What does that mean? Well, it had a nice solid feel that left me feeling confident that I could take this boat offshore in moderate conditions, as well as lay back on the sound or bay for some inshore fishing. Her handling was very stable as well. There was no feeling that the 19 CC was trying to fall off the step and she seemed to be secure in her ride and performance, almost as if she could express confidence in her abilities. We tested on a protected section of the Mississippi River so waves of any significance were not to be found. However, wake jumping can be a tip-off depending on how you approach it at different angles. Approaching at right angles to the wake had us riding right across with no plowing into the wave in front when coming down a wave from behind. This is important as a following sea will not have an adverse affect on the directional stability of the 19 CC. Likewise, when running beam to the wakes, there was no indication of the bow getting re-directed when coming down one wave and encountering the next. This is also where most boats will throw a large amount of spray, which inevitably gets blown into my face; not so with the 19 CC. Both I and the console windscreen stayed dry as a bone. Coming around to face the action bow on, we drove through the waves, rather than pounding into, and launching over them. Very comfortable, and you can start to see the pattern where I use the term “stable”.
Heavy handed maneuvers are another matter entirely. If you try to drive the 19 CC like a skiboat, you’ll be met with a fair amount of propeller ventilation. There’s definitely a point in a hard-over turn where the engine starts to over-rev, and it’s like crossing a line. Get back on the good side of the line and the prop grabs water again and goes back to normal. And you can actually dance back and forth across this line. It’s not particularly good for the engine, so I don’t recommend it, but knowing the performance limitations of the boat will go a long way towards enjoying your boat. Now to be clear, my testing hard-over turns were well past where you’d normally be operating. This isn’t a ski boat, it’s a family fishing and utility boat. For that purpose it handles well. It’s just my job to find where that “very well” ends, so there you have it.
You don’t have to get aggressive with the trim at all. Once on plane, roughly 6 pulses of the “up” trim will move the spray from the midships area back to the aft quarters and the expected acceleration comes right after. Before you do any hard maneuvers, drop the trim back down first and away you go, with the knowledge from above that you can only crank so hard at speed.
Before we get off the subject of handling, I have to say that this was a new boat with nearly zero time on it. Therefore, the steering was very tight. I love a boat with a steering knob for cranking and banking, but in this case, the knob was useless as the steering was tight and not broken in. You have the choice of waiting it out, or skipping ahead to the hydraulic steering option. With a 115 on our test boat, I think I seriously would have considered it. Also, the emergency cut-off lanyard kill switch is mounted to the port side of, and just below, the helm. This is an inconvenient place because when you attach the lanyard to yourself (as I always do), it lays alongside the wheel, and each and every turn of the wheel would grab the lanyard and tangle it up, which meant stopping and untangling. An easy fix is to mount the kill switch over to the other side, under the engine control, and by clipping it to your right side, it’s out of range of the steering wheel’s grip.
So how can FinCraft build this boat out of fiberglass while keeping the price comparable to aluminum and low-priced center consoles? The answer is with VEC Technology. VEC stands for Virtual Engineered Composites, and it basically replaces the time honored method of having a team of guys laying layer after layer of fiberglass in the mold and then wetting it out with resin to get rid of the air bubbles and try to maximize the ratio of glass to resin. Each hull is manufactured to exacting specifications, all of which are monitored by a computer, and each part comes out perfectly, or nearly so. The VEC technology build allows FinCraft to back the boat with a limited lifetime warranty that’s transferable to a second owner. That certainly should help resale value.
Comparing with the Competition
The FinCraft 19 CC has a 7'10" (2.41 m) beam which places her right in the middle of the six other price-point center consoles we compared her with. With a displacement of 1,820 lb. she ranked the 3rd heaviest of the seven boats, something that speaks well of the VEC construction (she is not lacking in material) and her relatively high freeboard. For example, there is 29-1/2" of cockpit depth in the FinCraft. Perhaps most telling of all is the fact that the FinCraft has the deepest V at the transom with a 21-degree deadrise. That means she should be a bit more comfortable in chop when racing out to fishing grounds.
As you can see from the comparisons above the FinCraft 19 CC is a strong contender in the low-price point CC category. While this brand is only a few years old, the people who designed and built this boat have decades of experience in building fishing boats. My suggestion is to put the FinCraft 19 CC on your short list and be sure to see it for yourself.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the FinCraft 19 CC (2010-) is 41.2 mph (66.3 kph), burning 10.8 gallons per hour (gph) or 40.88 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the FinCraft 19 CC (2010-) is 23.8 mph (38.3 kph), and the boat gets 6.42 miles per gallon (mpg) or 2.73 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 202 miles (325.09 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 115-hp Mercury 4-stroke EFI.
Standard and Optional Features
Lifetime Limited Warranty
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