Boat Review by: Richard Crowder
With well over one hundred years of boat building history, Starcraft Marine in 2018 offers literally dozens of models of both fibreglass and aluminum boats. Starcraft builds fibreglass runabouts, deck boats, surf boats, and crossovers and aluminum pontoon boats, fishing boats, utility and Jon boats.
Starcraft’s fishing boat category itself consists of fourteen models from sixteen to twenty-one feet in six series. The Renegade 178 DC is a new model for 2018 in the one year old Renegade series which currently offers four models of side console and dual console boats with a fifth model, the Renegade 188 DC to be introduced in summer 2018. The entire Renegade series features new colours and hullside graphics for 2018.
At almost eighteen feet length overall on a seven foot, eight inch beam, and with a relatively deep twenty-seven inches of interior depth, the Renegade 178 Dual Console is rated for a maximum 150 horsepower in the engine brand of your choice, be that Evinrude, Honda, Mercury, Suzuki, or Yamaha. It is capacity rated for seven persons.
The Renegade 178 DC rides on Starcraft’s riveted aluminum Power-Trac Hull® with a one-piece hull bottom which, along with its exclusive Torsion Beam Construction (TBC) stringer system, has a relatively and comparatively deeper vee design than most other aluminum fishing boats of this size resulting in a potentially smoother ride when the going gets rough.
Three movable Pro Style, wood-free, contoured, folding fishing seats with pedestals are supplied standard and can be accommodated in any of the six in-floor seat bases supplied; four in the cockpit plus one each in the bow and stern casting platforms. Additional identical seats are optionally available as is a sectional, full width, flip-down bench seat which installs neatly on the aft casting platform and when these seats are flipped down, virtually doubles the size and utility of this platform. The driver’s seat comes standard with a slider adjustment. Power pedestals are optional.
The high, three-piece curved windshield mounted on the molded fibreglass driver and passenger consoles and with centre opening walk-through section provides super weather protection. The driver’s console has been redesigned for this year too to be more automotive in look with its protective eyebrow, centre-mounted, fog-free standard speedometer, tachometer, fuel, and volt gauges with chrome bezels.
To the right of these is an ideal location for the optional flush-mounted Lowrance GPS/fish finder. Above this is a flat surface to, instead of or in addition to, surface mount the optional Humminbird Piranha Max4 sonar. Also standard within this dash is the Jensen MS3A stereo with Bluetooth compatibility plus MP3 port. A trim gauge and digital depth sounder are optional. The passenger console features glove box storage.
New this year is the standard equipment eVA Soft Touch Traction Mat inside the cockpit and top deck with easy clean vinyl elsewhere. The bow casting deck features a 15 (US) gallon Pro Capacity aerated livewell with timer on the port side and an in-floor storage compartment on the starboard side. The bow trolling motor mounting pad is pre-wired standard with a trolling motor plug. Centred in the cockpit floor is a lockable rod storage compartment with a second virtually identical one centred within the bow casting deck.
More storage is found along both inside cockpit sides below the gunwale which itself features Starcraft’s Integrated Gunnel Track System (IGTS) for mounting all manner of fishing tools and accessories. Within the aft casting platform is a second and larger 30 (US) gallon Pro Capacity aerated livewell with timer. Within the starboard side of this platform is another storage compartment.
You have your choice of three colour combinations of twice baked urethane paint for the hull of your Renegade 178 DC: Matte Black with your choice of Blue, Red, or White. Notable additional available factory optional equipment includes snap-in carpet, a three-step boarding ladder, ski tow pylon, on-board battery charger, bow cushions, a 12/24-volt trolling motor, and a Power Package Upgrade.
You may also choose from several canvas choices including a snap-on cover, mooring cover, trailerable ratchet cover, bow cover, walk-through curtains, fisherman’s top with or without side curtains, aft curtains, drop curtain, and full enclosure. In addition you can choose the unique and exclusive Yarblow Ventilation System which blows pressurized air in the bilge and dry storage areas of your boat to “eliminate mold and mildew” resulting from “humidity and normal precipitation.”
Starcraft calls its Renegade 178 DC, “the ultimate in fishing boat value” and it would be hard to disagree.
|Dry weight:||1,176 Boat Only lbs||533 Boat Only kg|
|Fuel Capacity:||26 US gals||98 L|
|Base Engine / Drive:||Evinrude, Honda, Mercury, Suzuki, Yamaha Outboard|