Captain's ReportA Fine Combination-- VIP 186 CCF & Honda's 90-hp Four-Stroke EngineBy Capt. Bob SmithLake Lanier proved to be a great lake to test Honda’s new outboards and the VIP 186 CCF with the new Honda 90-hp engine on her stern were a great combination. This all composite construction boat makes a wonderful center console runabout that is fun whether you are using it as a tender or the kids are using it to cruise their favorite water hang-out. It is a versatile boat that covers fishing, skiing, and cruising fun.Bow Fishing FeaturesStarting at the bow, the VIP 186 CCF has an anchor pulpit, wrap-around rails and anchor locker to keep the anchor and line stowed. The foredeck is a very stable casting deck. Rather than split this space and create two compartments below deck, this one features a massive hatch to an equally large storage space below. If you find yourself out after dark or start out early in the mornings, the 186 has courtesy deck lights to cast safe light across the deck. One of the fishing features on this boat is the helm front bench seat that has an aerated livewell inside. On the side of the helm is the fuel filler cap.At the HelmMoving back to the helm, the seat is a convenient flip-flop back style that creates a good double wide bench seat for the driver when you are heading out, or for someone to relax and watch off the stern of the boat when you are at anchor. Beneath this seat, our boat had a cooler to bring along the beverages and snacks for the day on the water. On the dash, the driver has a fixed position rack-and-pinion stainless steel wheel, although you could opt for the Bay Star Hydraulic if you power with the larger engines, but I didn’t feel it was necessary with the smooth operating 90-hp Honda. A stainless steel grab rail encompassed the wrap-around windshield so you can safely stand next to the driver and have a solid hold while trolling. The dash top is large and has a dedicated spot for a compass built in. Since we had the Honda power, our test model featured the optional Honda digital gauge package. Rocker power control switches are grouped to the right of the wheel. The center console offers some room below the dash for storage as well as easy access to the wiring harness in the dash for adding in your favorite extras.Continuing to the SternThe 186 uses great aggressive grip surfaces on the horizontal features like the step-in so you have sure footing, even when the boat is damp from the early morning dew. A couple rod holders are towards the center so you can troll some lines over the cover below and tease the fish out and another fishing feature on board is the under-gunwale fishing rod racks on the sides. The rear seats are removable which make clean up a snap. Welded stern rails offer great hand holds. The battery is situated behind a cover in the center making it easy to check.SpecificationsThe VIP 186 CCF measures 18’9” length overall. She has a beam width of 94” and weighs approximately 1260 lbs without the engine. On the standard single axle trailer, she measures 22’8” and has a towing weight of 2800 lbs. This model has a fuel capacity of 46 gallons. VIP recommends engine packages from 90-hp to 115-hp with a maximum rated power of 130-hp.Test ResultsI tested the VIP 186 CCF on Lake Lanier in Georgia on an early fall day with two people on board. She handled quite smoothly and it seems the 90-hp Honda 4-stroke is well suited for this model. The back seat positions did get some spray, but otherwise, she was a smooth dry ride. The VIP 186 CCF is a great choice for center console fishing, skiing, and all-round fun.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the VIP Boats Bluewater 186CCF (2007-) is 35.6 mph (57.3 kph), burning 9.1 gallons per hour (gph) or 34.44 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the VIP Boats Bluewater 186CCF (2007-) is 11.5 mph (18.5 kph), and the boat gets 3.18 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.35 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 132 miles (212.43 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 90-hp Honda 4-Stroke.
Standard and Optional Features
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