Boat Review by: Richard Crowder
Lowe’s recently refreshed FM 1800 WT is part of its deep-V all-welded construction Fishing Machine (FM) series that comprises ten models of Tiller (T), Side Console (SC), and Walk-Thru (WT) configurations from sixteen to nineteen feet.
In all, Lowe offers seven series of aluminum fishing boats over eighty models from ten to twenty-two feet, one deck boat, and another four series of pontoon boats totalling thirty-three models from sixteen to twenty-seven feet.
The very high three-piece tinted windshield with centre walk-thru section and rounded corner glass of the FM 1800 WT offers great weather protection for cockpit passengers wanting to extend our Canadian fishing seasons from early spring to late fall. Being a dual console full windshield design, it can also be great for family-friendly cruising.
Two high back well padded fold-down driver and passenger seats may be mounted in any of the six supplied seat bases; four in the cockpit and one each on the bow and stern casting decks. The driver’s seat comes standard with a slider. A standard pair of stern fold-down jump seats flanking a pair of cupholders and a small item container is hinge-mounted to a base that itself folds forward to the cockpit floor to form part of the stern casting platform.
Within this platform is the aforementioned pedestal seat base, a 21-gallon aerated livewell with bait pail, and a small storage compartment with lid. In addition to a pedestal seat base, the bow casting deck houses a second aerated livewell, this one being 14-gallons, plus a large in-deck storage compartment. Another large locking storage compartment is in the floor of the cockpit between the driver and passenger seats.
Within the centre step up to the bow deck is a locking rod storage compartment with tubes for up to ten rods of variable lengths. More rods may be stored in compartments along both sides of the cockpit and loose storage is available beneath both driver and passenger consoles. Marine-grade 16-ounce gray carpet is standard flooring throughout the FM 1800 WT.
Both driver and passenger black molded consoles are modern looking and practical. Ahead of the driver is a molded-in pod for the standard two large chrome-rimmed gauges for speedometer and tachometer and two similar but smaller gauges for trim and fuel. Angled to the right is a row of DC tip-lit toggle switches and in the angle between and above is a flat surface on which to mount your choice of GPS/fishfinder screens.
Immediately below the row of toggle switches is a handy cubby suitable for a cellphone, etc. and is fitted with both a USB and a 12-volt outlet. The passenger console mirrors the driver’s in its angled shape and is fitted with a decent size lockable glove box with another molded-in cubby to its left.
A large selection of available options will let you personalize your FM 1800 WT to your exact liking. A wide variety of single solid or metallic colour choices are available along with several more two-tone choices. Mercury® outboard power in 90, 115, and 150 horsepower are recommended. Tilt hydraulic steering is required for the 150 horsepower. Hydraulic or Panther Power Steering and tilt are available for the 90 and 115 horsepower choices. You may also want the Deluxe Chrome steering wheel. A bow trim switch is also available.
A ratchet mooring cover is an important addition, and the stand-up bimini top provides comfort on those extremely hot or rainy days. One or both of your standard fishing seats may be upgraded to Deluxe Centric pedestal seats. Vinyl or Deluxe vinyl flooring may be upgraded for the cockpit or the entire boat. A rear bench seat conversion is available, as is a set of bow cushions and bow rails.
Several useful Suremount accessories are available. Choose a Lowrance Hook2 4X or 5X GPS/fishfinder for the dash and a Minn Kota PD70 or a MotorGuide® Xi3 trolling motor at the bow. Add recirculation to the stern livewell, a 2 or 3-bank battery charger, Jensen JMS3 stereo with a pair of speakers, add an extra pair of speakers, and the stern swim platform with telescoping boarding ladder. A painted black bunk or galvanized swing-tongue trailer is available along with some available trailer options.
Lowe says its FM 1800 WT “can be geared up for your style of fishing” and it certainly can be.
|Dry weight:||1,718 lbs (Boat Only)||779 kg (Boat Only)|
|Fuel Capacity:||26 US gals||98 L|
|Base Engine / Drive:||Mercury Outboard|