Boat Review by: Richard Crowder
Hewescraft claims to be the number one selling heavy-gauge aluminum boat in the Pacific Northwest yet is relatively unknown in Eastern Canada. And that’s a shame, this sixty year old boat builder out of Colville, Washington, presently guided by second generation, Bill and Dave Hewes, offer fishing models well suited to Canada’s eastern inland, Great Lakes, and coastal waters.
Hewescraft offers three series; Protected Waters, Medium Ocean, and Large Ocean, comprising nine models varying from sixteen to twenty-nine feet. All Hewescraft boats are of welded aluminum construction ranging from a bottom thickness of .16 inch on the smallest sixteen footer up to .25 inch on the twenty-nine foot Adventure model.
The Sportsman models come in three lengths; sixteen, eighteen, and twenty feet and are the smallest dual console full windshield models. All Sportsman models are virtually identical in every respect including standard equipment and available options, save for the extra two feet in hull length.
All three have a seven foot two inch (86 inch) beam. Maximum horsepower rating increases from 90 to 150. The 180 SM, being the middle size, is rated for a maximum 115 horsepower with your choice of a Yamaha, Honda, Mercury, Evinrude, or Suzuki outboard. Pre-rigging with a side control and analog tachometer is standard as is a 20-inch transom for both main and kicker motors. You may optionally pre-rig with motor specific multi-function gauges, or for a long shaft main motor, or for a 27-inch shaft main jet engine with delta pad.
As with all Hewescraft models, the Sportsman 180 appears rugged and practical in all respects, It’s purposefully built to handle the demands of fishing and utility for which it is intended. Standard seating for driver and passenger are swivel high back buckets with horseshoe suspension mounted on a dry box. Seat slides are optionally available.
You can select swivel and slide high back buckets with bellows suspension on a side storage box. You may also add a pair of jump seats mounted on short (twenty-one inch) or long (thirty-seven inch) storage boxes; or add one or more high-back pedestal seats ora casting chair with adjustable pedestal. A pair of motor well seat cushions are also available.
Standard canvas is a two-bow sport top in black or gray. This can be upgraded with a zipper flap with side/fish curtains and top boot, or with a deluxe three-bow top with or without top windows and to which you may add a stern curtain. Five eight-inch welded cleats are standard, as is a bow deck with battery storage and a 27-gallon fishbox with diamond plated flooring. The opening center section of the sturdy windshield frame provides access from the cockpit to the bow area.
The instrument panel and both driver and passenger consoles are functional and practical yet purposefully appealing. A stainless steel steering wheel with rubber grips operates the Quick-connect steering system. A fuel gauge is standard while a knockout is provided for one additional gauge. Rocker style DC switches are close along with a power point outlet. A cupholder and storage shelf is provided on each console. A lockable glovebox and grab handles are provided on the passenger console.
The interior of the Sportsman is painted light gray. Hull side graphics and striping in several colours are standard, as are port and starboard rod grippers, port and starboard storage trays, and a port and starboard transducer bracket. Anodes are optionally available for this bracket.
Notable optional equipment includes interior carpet, an anchor guard and/or roller, a bow livewell upgrade of the in-floor fishbox, pre-wiring for a bow-mounted trolling motor, 5-inch aluminum bow rails, 27 or 40-inch aluminum stern rails, Baystar hydraulic steering, a Fusion MS-RA7ONSX stereo with USB port and 6-inch speakers, LED courtesy lighting, port and/or starboard windshield wipers, additional grab handles, downrigger brackets, 6-station rod holders, and a washdown system.
You may also choose half or full hullside paint in a choice of colours, windshield side windows, port or starboard swim platform with ladder, and a transom ski pylon. One available option unique for a boat of this size is a fixed or folding “fish tower” which comes with six rod holders, a net holder, and a radar pad. To this you can also add an LED flood light.
The Hewescraft Sportsman 180 certainly appears designed and built to get you there and back over many years of fishing enjoyment.
|Dry weight:||1,200 lbs (Boat Only)||544 kg (Boat Only)|
|Fuel Capacity:||35 US gals||132 L|
|Base Engine / Drive:||Yamaha, Honda, Mercury, Evinrude, Suzuki Outboard|
|Engine HP:||Max 115|