Captain's ReportA Rugged, Coastal FishboatBy Capt. Bob SmithLake Wawasee in Indiana was a perfect place to test the 162 Tracer as it offered lots of coves, shallows, and open running for testing. This boat has been a popular in the West Coast of the U.S. and it is ready to charge into the East Coast market.ConstructionThe 162 is a rugged utility/coastal boat with an entry-level price that should meet just about everyone’s budget. It is a versatile performer and is comfortable in the coastal waters as well as the rivers and lakes. This boat has a .100 gauge hull bottom which is unusual for a 16-footer in this class. There is no wood in this model instead, they use a proprietary composite material. You don’t have to worry about the seams on this boat, they are warranted for life.Starting Up FrontThe 162’s simple utilitarian design has a handy storage cubby in the bow where you can either put a mushroom anchor or store the foot control for the trolling motor. Sturdy stainless steel rails surround the bow and another large storage box is in the sole for more gear, such as tackle boxes and life jackets. The easy care deck makes clean-up simple when you get back to shore.Helm LayoutSmoker Craft raised the windshield on this model to improve protection from the elements and allow for a greater amount of leg room at the helm. You wouldn’t believe the amount of leg room there is for a boat this size! The helm is simple with a fixed position wheel and fuel gauge and there is plenty of space to add a fishfinder and a GPS. Beneath the easy fold-down seats is room for storing life jackets and tackle. The 162 has its tank mounted down the center, below the composite flooring. This helps to stabilize the boat and the composite floor insures a lifetime of worry-free deck. CockpitThe open cockpit has plenty of room for fishing. Everything is well-arranged with rod racks conveniently on the side and excellent toe-kick space. The lips of the boxes all have a raised and protected edge to keep tackle from rolling off onto the floor. At the stern, the battery is placed low on the starboard side, the fuel fill top center and the stern light clips on the back edge.Honda-PoweredOur test boat was powered with a Honda BF40 four-stroke outboard engine. This engine is known for delivering maximum power, performance, and economy. The offset crankshaft design puts the power head over the transom pivot point and the Autostart Enrichment delivers better fuel mixture for quick starts. The 3-3 lightweight carburetor design gives you smooth, sewing machine quiet operation.Perfomance ResultsWe tested in good conditions on an inland lake. The 162 Tracer handled well with some wheel torque at top end. She cruises at 18.6mph at 4000 rpm and she can go 137 miles on a full tank of fuel. Equipped with a 40-hp Honda four-stroke this Tracer achieved a top end speed of 28.5 mph at 5800 rpm.SpecificationsThe 162 Tracer is 16’0” length overall with a beam width of 76”. She has a 60-hp maximum rating with a maximum weight load of 1200 lbs. She carries 18 gallons of fuel in her center mounted tank and weighs 700 lbs dry without engine.If you want a no-nonsense boat that is just as comfortable on a craggy river, open lake or coastal cruising for fish, the 162 Tracer from Smoker Craft certainly offers a lot.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Smoker Craft 162 Tracer (2007-) is 28.5 mph (45.9 kph), burning 4.5 gallons per hour (gph) or 17.03 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Smoker Craft 162 Tracer (2007-) is 18.6 mph (29.9 kph), and the boat gets 8.45 miles per gallon (mpg) or 3.59 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 137 miles (220.48 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 40-hp Honda 4-stroke (outboard).
Standard and Optional Features