Boat Review by: Richard Crowder
Pioneer Boats of South Carolina offers three series comprising a total of eight models, all center console boats, from seventeen to twenty-two feet. The Islander series of three models, of which this 180 is the smallest, is the series of Pioneer’s center consoles most focused on flexibility of use between family cruising and exploring and watersports and yet retaining the essentials for fishing enthusiasts as well.
Pioneer builds all of its boats using one hundred percent composite materials, including the transom, with absolutely no wood, even for coring or backing plate supports. Then up to ninety percent of the vacant space between the hull and deck is pressure injected with dense, closed cell foam to result in all of its boats claimed to being unsinkable.
The 180 Islander has a molded non-skid inner liner, self-bailing cockpit, standard pull-up mooring cleats, with stainless steel flush deck hinges and thru-hull fittings. All cupholders and the four drained gunnel rod holders are stainless steel.
Almost exactly centered within the cockpit is a usefully high and molded center console outfitted with a most practical high and tinted windscreen with curved outer edges for increased protection from the elements. This windscreen is supported by a surrounding one-inch stainless steel support bar with added grab rails on both sides. Its overall height promotes stand-up driving at the helm, a feature not often found on an eighteen footer.
Facing this console is a comfortable two person bench seat cum 72-quart cooler as its seat base complete with a reversible backrest to facilitate aft-facing seating at the helm when anchored, relaxing, or fishing. The upper face of the dash will accommodate your choice of analog or digital engine and other such instrumentation while below it is a large flat expanse of dash ideal for single or twin navigation and/or fish-finder screens.
A 12/24 volt power outlet is provided on the dash and on the starboard side of the console is a four-tube vertical rod holder. The stainless steel destroyer-type steering wheel is fitted standard with Bay Star hydraulic steering. Storage is provided within this console.
A full-width four person upholstered stern bench seat is provided reasonable protection from the wind by the center console while a single seat with backrest is provided on the forward face of the center console. Another large snap-on cushion comes standard for bow seating on top of the bow platform with integrated and insulated fish-box cum storage compartment within. This can also double as a bow casting deck. The entire bow area features wrap-around padded side bolstering.
A foredeck anchor locker provides dedicated storage for your ground tackle. A Max-Air™ aerated livewell with a unique 12-gallon sea chest located within the stern bench seat is standard equipment. LED courtesy lighting is also standard. Power for the 180 Islander is your choice of a 115 to 140 horsepower outboard from Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda, or Mercury.
A most comprehensive list of available factory options allows you to outfit your 180 Islander according to your boating lifestyle preferences. A white hull is standard or you may choose from six other choices of hullside colours. Raw water washdown, dual batteries with switch, and trim tabs are great general additions as is an onboard battery charger.
For added watersports and cruising enjoyment, choose a removable ski tow pylon and swim platform with telescoping stainless steel boarding ladder. A stereo with four speakers is available or go for the upgraded Polk Premium sound system. A spreader light and underwater blue LED lighting is also available.
For greater fishing enjoyment, choose a tackle center and/or a pair of horizontal under-gunnel rod racks on each or both sides of the boat. You may also want the casting chair kit, a radio box, a 12/24 volt trolling motor plug, or cargo netting.
Whatever your boating lifestyle priorities, they will be enhanced with the addition of a bimini top or the T-top. You may want to exchange the standard helm seat with a leaning post with or without a backrest or even a Captain’s chair. A full or split bow rail adds passenger safety to the bow area. For added weather protection while running, choose the console spray shield and gull wings (side curtains) and to protect your boat when not in use, select the Sunbrella boat cover. Custom canvas colours are available.
As you can readily see, the Pioneer 180 Islander offers flexible enjoyment for family fun on the water and can be equipped to complement that enjoyment.
|Dry weight:||1,100 lbs||499 kg|
|Draft:||Boat 11"||Boat 28|
|Fuel Capacity:||36 US gals||136 L|
|Base Engine / Drive:||Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda, Mercury Outboard|