Smoker Craft built the 206 Viper as a boat that would run well with an engine as small as a 150 hp. The idea was to eliminate the need to spend the extra bucks for the 200 to 250 hp engine just to have a boat that could perform on a sloppy day. This saves you on not only the initial outlay for a larger engine, but it will save you in the long run on fuel costs. The 206 has some great fishing boat features like rear jump seats rather than a ski boat bench, and bow rod storage that make it an attractive package.
From The Foredeck
looking at the foredeck there are five lockers in the bow as well as a pedestal chair. The bow panel has a battery monitor, light switch and trolling motor socket all within easy reach. Two compartments house the batteries for a 12/24v trolling motor (it is already rigged, just add your motor choice). Our test boat was equipped with a Minn Kota trolling motor, and I was impressed with the cable. It had dry connectors that are designed to keep water out, and connector caps to cover them when it is all disconnected. Dry lockers give the angler space to keep their favorite lures ready, along with some life jackets and other necessary gear. There are clever and handy tray liners that lift out revealing a fishbox below. The center step locker stows your rods and all of these lockers have locks to keep your gear secure. Just in front of the helm is a small tackle locker for your lures. Below the rod step locker is a smaller step locker which looks like it can double as a small cooler, at least that is what I would be using it for. The bow area measured about 88 ½” by 70”.
In The Cockpit
The cockpit was very fishing friendly. The interior freeboard was generous enough to allow you to lean into the gunwales without flipping overboard when working a fish. The cockpit itself is very spacious, and even with people in all the seats, you still have knee room. The sole locker is designed to handle skis, boards, paddles and other bulky gear, should you decide to open up the utility of the boat. Open rod storage is wisely placed under the starboard gunwale, taking advantage of this otherwise unused space.
In The Driver’s Seat
The helm seat had one adjustment rarely seen on this size or style of boat, height adjustment. I am sure many people will find this makes driving much easier and safer. The steering had Sea Star Hydraulic assist. The driver is in control of the tunes onboard, and an MP3 jack is standard. Instruments were located high in the dash panel for excellent visibility. The only issue I had was that my long, big legs and feet needed a bit more space, so I propped my left foot up on the center step going to the bow and let my right foot have the space under the dash. You may find it has plenty of room for you. The windshield is more than large enough to deflect any chilly or damp air.
The stern converts rather easily from relaxing to fish mode. The seat backs flip down when not in use leaving you with a sizeable aft casting deck to work from. The cranking battery is stowed in the starboard compartment. In the center and port compartments, there is a large fishbox/livewell with a bait bucket.
Sylvan’s Viper 206 has a LOA of 20’6” (6.25 m) with a beam of 8’ (2.44 m). She tips the scales at 1960 lbs. (889 kgs) dry without engine and carries 50 gallons (189.3L) of fuel. This model is rated for up to 225 hp outboards, and 6 people, or a total of 2050 lbs. (930 kgs)
I found this boat ran better the more people I had onboard. With two passengers, it performed adequately, but with three, it performed even more smoothly. Interior freeboard is more like a walleye boat, yet the ride is more like a sportboat. I clocked her top speed at 42.5 mph, while at a more reasonable cruising speed of 26.8 mph she was turning at 3500 rpm for a full tank range of 160 miles. She popped up on plane in 5.2 seconds, and made 30 mph in 12 seconds with a Suzuki 150 four stroke on her stern.If you enjoy fishing a lot but want to have the option to tool around with the family, this boat is a great choice. She is designed well for the colder northern climates, yet will still serve you well in the south or any place in between.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Sylvan Viper 206 (2009-) is 42.5 mph (68.4 kph), burning 14.1 gallons per hour (gph) or 53.37 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Sylvan Viper 206 (2009-) is 26.8 mph (43.1 kph), and the boat gets 3.55 miles per gallon (mpg) or 1.51 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 160 miles (257.5 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 150-hp Suzuki.
Standard and Optional Features
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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