Captain's ReportOne Smooth CharacterTested By Capt. Bob SmithProCraft adds the 181 Combo to its lineup this year. It truly is a combination of a speedy bass, walleye or other sportfish and a zippy ski boat for having fun on the weekends. Both myself and Keith Burton, my testing partner on this trip, remarked at how much fun this model seemed to be to drive. Handling was smooth and easy around the docks and underway. Up front, our test boat had a nice trolling motor mounted over the port side that was easy to launch. The motor connector and switches for trim and lights were right in the peak and also easy to reach. If you feel like fishing you can move one of the passenger seats from the cockpit up to the front and mount it as a fishing chair. The bow platform is roomy enough to work fish and is plenty stable. Molded storage boxes in the bow keeps the gear ready for action thanks to the line organizers in the port and starboard lids. Cockpit FeaturesThe fold over walkthrough offers easy access around the boat and blocks the chilly air in the early spring and late fall. I found there to be excellent leg room both for the driver and the companion rider. The stereo is mounted over on the port side for your buddy to control, and is accompanied by a deep glove box for storage. The helm is comfortable with gauges arranged for clear view underway. The livewell control is located under the throttle and the aerator switch is under the gauges. Both the bucket seats swivel and slide for adjustment, although the driver’s seat can’t swivel very far without hitting the throttle. Moving AftThe back seat has a center fold down with two removable seats to either side for positioning fishing seats in the bow and stern. The aft deck is spacious and has the divided livewell mounted to port. When you want to ski, you install a ski rig that will be the envy of many around you. I had some trouble getting mine together, but our test boat was a prototype that still needed final adjustments made. The ski rig was very sturdy when locked in place and gets the tow line well above the outboard. When it comes time to take a dip the swim platform provides a good place to do it. It’s still large enough with the outboard dividing it. There’s also a covered swim ladder with two strong grab handles back here.SpecsThe ProCraft 181 Combo is 18’5” length overall with a 96” beam. She has approximately 10” of hull draft and weighs in at about 1,635lbs. dry weight. Her fuel capacity is 31 gallons and her standard engine package is a Mercury 115-hp ELPTO.I tested the ProCraft 181 on freshwater with a Mercury 115 Optimax outboard on the stern. She was carrying about 8 gallons of fuel on board and conditions were moderate with 10-15mph winds and frequent white caps. At 1000 rpm I felt a fair vibration from the engine through the hull that disappeared quickly as I moved on up through the throttle. At 3000 rpm she was moving around 8mph and burning 4.1gph and at 3500 rpms she was moving along at just under 22mph and burning 4.6gph. I found her top speed to be at 5500 rpm and around 45.5mph in the moderate chop and strong breeze. Sound readings were good with a reading of 64 dBa at idle and 90 dBa at top speed. If you want the best of both worlds with a trusted name, the ProCraft 181 Combo gives you this plus the capability to fish with the best, ski, or just enjoy a cruise. This model is sure to be a best seller for this company.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Pro Craft 181 Combo is 45.6 mph (73.4 kph), burning 10.0 gallons per hour (gph) or 37.85 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Pro Craft 181 Combo is 28.3 mph (45.5 kph), and the boat gets 5.10 miles per gallon (mpg) or 2.17 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 142 miles (228.53 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 115-hp Mercury OptiMax.
Standard and Optional Features
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!