Boat Review by: Richard Crowder
Tracker® Boats calls this “Our most multi-talented model. It's ready to fish, ski, cruiser and float the day away!” Although this boat is not a new model for 2014, Tracker has added some new features to it for 2014 to make it even more versatile and family-friendly.
The Targa V-18 Combo is one of ten models ranging from sixteen to nineteen feet in Tracker’s Multi-Species Deep-V series of boats. In all, for 2014, Tracker offers thirty-six models of aluminum panfish, multi-species, Jon, and utility fishing boats in four series from ten to twenty feet. The Tracker family of boats includes a total of seven brands of aluminum and fibreglass fishing, pleasure, sport, and pontoon boats.
The Targa V-18 Combo is an all-welded, two piece aluminum hull with a wide eight foot, six inch beam and features a relatively very deep twenty degree deadrise at the transom offering a potentially very soft and pleasant ride when the going gets rough. The gunnels are wide too at eleven inches with two non-skid step pads each at both the bow and stern to facilitate safer entry. The inner sides of the gunnels in the cockpit are equipped with Tracker’s Versatrack® accessory mounting channel.
These wide gunnels allow for a top-loading storage compartment on each side of the cockpit for rods up to eight feet long plus a lockable storage compartment beneath these on each inner cockpit side. An in-floor storage compartment between the driver and passenger seat is ideally suited for family watersports accessories such as a wakeboard, waterskis, etc.
More in-floor storage is found in both the bow and stern casting decks and storage netting is provided along both sides of the bow under the gunnels. Specific storage for batteries is found in the bow and stern and one starting and two trolling batteries are supplied as standard equipment.
Beneath the bow trolling motor mounting platform which comes standard with a Minn Kota® PowerDrive™ foot-controlled trolling motor is a flip-down panel revealing two built-in and slide-out tackle trays along with a trolling motor bow panel with a 24-volt trolling motor harness, receptacle for same, trim switch, and bow aerator switch.
Not one but two aerated livewells with timers are provided with the Targa V-18 Combo, a 19-gallon with removable bait bucket within the bow casting deck and an 11-gallon one within the stern casting deck. Five pedestal seat base locations are provided for the two movable fold-down swivelling fishing seats with locking seat pedestals. The driver gets a deluxe helm seat with slide adjustment. Cockpit flooring is vinyl. All other flooring is a new for 2014 cut-pile Midnight Star carpeting.
Most (but not all) of the above review has highlighted the fishability of the Targa V-18 Combo so now it’s time to highlight the family cruising and watersports aspects of this model. Like any family bowrider runabout, it has a driver and passenger console with a full wraparound curved windshield with an opening centre walk-through section. To aid in this “walk-thru,” Tracker has supplied a removable bow-floor insert section with designated storage for this insert once it is removed. The forward face of each console is fully padded to be used as a backrest to allow stretch-out lounging on the raised bow deck using the pair of bow cushions supplied.
A newly added feature of the Targa V-18 Combo for 2014 is the full-width hinged rear fishing deck which flips up to reveal two folding upholstered stern jump seats with a “tray” and drinkholders between them. Also back here is the standard removable ski tow pylon plus a starboard side stern swim platform with boarding ladder.
Both console tops are of molded fibreglass and the passenger console is very family friendly with a molded-in drinkholder, knick-knack tray and covered drink cooler compartment, plus a glove box housing the standard AM/FM Bluetooth®-capable stereo with MP3 and USB ports. The driver’s console features a standard GPS-driven speedometer with direction indicator, tachometer, voltmeter, fuel gauge, water pressure, and trim gauge behind a padded sport tilting wheel with standard hydraulic steering. A Lowrance® Mark-5x fishfinder with surface temperature indicator is also standard.
Also new for 2014 is Tracker’s Diamond Coat™ finish available in Black Cherry or Metallic Light Charcoal which is an oven-cured powder coating with a baked on clearcoat. Other notable standard equipment on the Targa V-18 Combo includes a color-coordinated, powder coated steel drive-on trailer with swing-away tongue and Galvashield II protection and a transom kicker motor mounting plate. Your choice of power includes Mercury® FourStroke or OptiMax® of 115 or 150 horsepower with estimated top speed to vary from 33 to 48 mph depending on your choice.
Notable available options, among others, include a convertible top with or without full enclosure.
|Length:||19' 1"||5.82 m|
|Beam:||8' 6"||2.59 m|
|Dry weight:||1,778 lbs||807 kg|
|Fuel Capacity:||40 US gals||151 L|
|Base Engine / Drive:||Mercury Outboard|