Boat Review by: Richard Crowder
The 186 RUSH is one of the smallest of fourteen models of all-welded aluminum boats from eighteen to twenty-eight feet in three series offered by this Washington State builder. Two of the three series comprising over half of the models are outboard powered whereas only six models, the “JET” series, are actually jet powered. The 186 RUSH is outboard powered.
Thunder Jet claims that today it, “...is one of the most advanced heavy gauge aluminum boat builders in North America.” This is perhaps backed up with its use of .100” 5052 aluminum alloy in the hull sides, and even heavier .160” 5086 aluminum alloy in both the hull bottom and the transom. In addition, the one-piece hull side and one-piece hull bottom are double welded with two full length hull stiffeners, full length box stringers, performance lifting strakes, and keel guard plus more, including its, “...industry exclusive Tri-structure reverse chine and a delta keel bottom...”.
Thunder Jet calls its 186 RUSH a “Serious Sport Boat” and indeed it looks well designed and well suited for the most serious and the most rugged of water-oriented duties and tasks. The all-welded very high and protective five-piece windshield with side wings is placed unusually well forward in the boat leaving much more room than normal in the cockpit. This of course leaves more move-around room in the cockpit and more utility room for carrying all manner of goods and equipment.
The standard seating arrangement also facilitates the maximization of cockpit room with the driver’s and front passenger “TJ” seats on pedestals being high back and very well padded with swivel and slide capabilities. To save cockpit room, a pair of seats are positioned immediately behind these two front seats without any front legroom whatsoever as they each face inward to the centre aisle between them. The balance of the cockpit is totally open back to the transom splash well fitted with a kicker mount.
A diamond plate step with storage within leads up and through the centre opening windshield section to the foreshortened foredeck which itself offers a diamond plated floor with an in-floor storage compartment. This bow area is self-draining. Grab rails are welded high up on the windshield frame. Passenger grab rails are also welded in place. Four pieces of the windshield are quarter inch safety glass while the opening centre walk-thru section is fitted with shatter-proof lexan.
The welded dash of the 186 RUSH is plain and straightforward with a flat surface for basic engine analog instrumentation, fuel gauge, and DC switches on a panel to the right of the sport steering wheel with aluminum spokes. Your choice of GPS navigation or fishfinding screens could be mounted atop the dash. An open glove box is provided along with two full length welded side storage trays along the cockpit. Two cupholders are provided as well as a 12-volt power point.
Of course an electric horn, LED navigation lighting, courtesy lighting, and an automatic bilge pump are provided as is a handy built-in wiring conduit under the bow section to facilitate the later addition of a bow trolling motor, etc. A pantographic self-parking driver’s side windshield wiper is standard. Vinyl flooring is standard throughout the cockpit while sound dampening marine carpet covers the cockpit side walls. Six hull colours are available and your choice of colour will be coordinated on the windshield frame and boat interior.
An EZ Loader galvanized single axle bunk trailer with disc brakes and tongue jack is included. Basic power is a Mercury 90 horsepower EFI 4 Stroke with power trim but you can choose more power up to the rated maximum of 150 horsepower. The only available factory options are a high convertible top and/or a wakeboard tower equipped with rod holders.
The Thunder Jet 186 RUSH certainly appears to be a no-nonsense, built to last forever, get the job done, full speed ahead, take on any task and have some fun doing it all-round type of boat.
|Fuel Capacity:||29 US gals||110 L|
|Base Engine / Drive:||Mercury Outboard|