Boat Review by: Mark Rotharmel
For those whose first love is fishing, the name Lebanon, Missouri should certainly ring a bell. It’s the aluminum fishing boat capital of North America.
It’s also the home of G3 Boats, a Yamaha Boat Company and builder of a striking new boat known as the Angler V18 SF. While strong on the versatility factor, I’d say its model name, “Angler”, pretty much gives away its principle purpose. Still, it has been designed to serve several masters because boating is, after all, to be enjoyed by people with varied interests.
Powered by Yamaha’s 175 SHO four-stroke outboard and measuring 18’2” long with a beam of 102”, The Angler is built tough to withstand decades of wear and tear, the kind fishing pros and growing families dole out. Beginning with a rigid superstructure, including heavy-duty gussets, braces and an all-aluminum transom, welded construction techniques are employed using .080-gauge marine aluminum; the end result being a smooth, rattle-free ride.
In this country, comfort means more than well-padded seats and nice-to-have amenities. Three-season protection from the elements is not only appreciated, but necessary, therefore the Angler’s oversized walk-through windshield is a blessing. It’s even elevated on a riser to ensure exceptional frame-free visibility.
What struck us immediately, other than the Angler’s smart graphics and dark colour scheme, was its sharp V-entry forward. This, combined with a concave spray rail running the full length of its hull, lets the boat cut cleanly through rough water, deflecting spray down and keeping its passengers dry.
Those who enjoy the sport of fishing will naturally gravitate to the interior functionality of this model. First, there are two casting platforms, one forward, another aft. Whether you choose to stand or sit, both decks feel solid and secure, bookending all of those must-have fishing features located from stem to stern.
At the stern you’ll find a starboard mounted swim platform and fold-down stainless-steel ladder. The aft casting deck has three built-in spaces with lids, two of which convert to seats with backrests. The third, or middle lid opens to reveal a sizeable livewell, one of two on this boat. Battery access is located here as well. Moving forward, there are built-in rod lockers on each side of the boat, and one very large one forward center. It’s here that rods can be slid straight in, rather than employing usual, often awkward, lift and bend technique. Notable are the toeholds under each side locker.
Jumping forward you’ll find five individual below-deck storage spaces, be they carpeted or plastic. Some are dry, others wet. Mounted on the bow is a Minn Kota trolling motor and foot pedal. There is also a bicycle seat mount located forward and centre, similar to another four, placed aft. A ski pole can also be mounted on the cockpit floor.
Speaking of the cockpit, there’s plenty for one to absorb here. Soft touch vinyl is used on the port and starboard consoles, with the companion passenger console offering lockable storage. Highlights of the Angler V’s dash include Faria gauges, toggle switches, circuit breakers, a premium stereo/speaker system and electronics.
Sitting in the driver’s ergonomic, high-backed open-sided bucket seat, I slowly pulled away from the dock, idling towards the open lake. After resetting my stopwatch, I trimmed in, pushed forward the throttle and accelerated to plane in a scant 2.6 seconds. We hit 20 mph in 3.5 seconds, 30 mph in 5 and 40 mph in just 7 seconds.
Cruising at 36 mph or 4000 rpm, the Angler should run all day on a limited fuel load. Note too that the hull remained on plane, bow down, running 17 mph at 2600 rpm.
While the boat hit its maximum speed of 54 mph turning 5700 rpm, it would accelerate from 0 to 50 mph in just 13 seconds. With strong bottom end, we focused on mid-range punch, again recording fast times: 20 to 35 mph in 3 seconds, 20 to 40 mph in 4 seconds and 30 to 50 in 11 seconds, proving Yamaha’s 175 coupled to this agile 18-footer was indeed a great match.
Handling was superb. The Angler V18 SF tracked straight, turned tight and ran level. Trimming the boat appropriately into the wind, anywhere from 0 to 2 degrees positive, resulted in a well-balanced, free running ride. When turning, I could rush up to a 180-degree corner, trim in, turn tight and, despite scrubbing off some speed, feel the hull set. From there, back down went the throttle, up went the trim, and soon we were seeing 50 + mph on the speedo.
The Angler V18 SF may look like an aluminum fishing machine – which it definitely is – but having driven it without showing much mercy, we know it will perform brilliantly as a family towboat.
|Dry weight:||2,885 lbs||1,308 kg|
|Fuel Capacity:||34 US gals||129 L|
|Base Engine / Drive:||Yamaha|