Boat Review by: Rick Layzell
If you’re list of priorities looks anything like this;
Then you must take a peek at the Starcraft Superfisherman 186. Built on a boat building foundation that started back in 1903, the Starcraft family of fishing machines offer endless options to suit any needs. And any brand (there aren’t many) that have been building boats for well over 100 years have got to be doing something right!
Before you take to the water Starcraft backs everything they build with their ‘Lifetime Plus 6 Warranty’. As an owner that means limited lifetime warranty on hull & structure; 6-year warranty on all components, carpet, upholstery & electronics; all parts & labour AND it’s transferrable to the second owner.
Starcrafts’ manufacturing process commitments also check all the right boxes;
All the above add up to delivering a ton of comfort to your purchase commitment.
The Superfisherman 186 is a shining example of Starcrafts years of engineering and sends a strong voice on how well the brand listens to consumer needs. This package delivers an early morning bass fishing machine, an awesome afternoon family tube/swim/play partner, an evening cruise champion and a late day slam dunk on the local walleye population.
The versatility of this design shines up in the convertible bow section where a durable center insert can readily be added to create a wide and sturdy platform. You’ll appreciate the 68 L (18 US gallon) Fresh Catch livewell, multiple storage options, preconfigured trolling motor hookup and the wide gunnel. Quickly remove the center insert, add in the optional bow cushions and you’ve got yourself a great seating area for friends and family.
The helm is dressed in black and sits neatly behind a tall sturdy windshield designed for early spring and late fall moments. Starcrafts’ Superfisherman 186 console supports easy to ready gauges, readily available toggle switches, Jensen sound system access and our test boat was equipped with the optional and wickedly comfortable upgraded helm seat with a high back and a power pedestal – it was worth it in our rough water testing!
Our chilly September test day had me smiling when I saw the optional Fisherman’s top and full enclosure canvas package also installed. The sloped to stern rear section of the canvas left ample room for all on board to be warmly out of any inclement weather.
There’s a durable vinyl cockpit floor and lockable in floor storage for up to 6 rods nicely compliments the additional lockable storage on the port side. The wide gunnel and well positioned coaming pads would afford even the fussiest angler the ability to add their choice of systems for accessories – rod holders, down riggers etc.
Folding down the two stern flip up seats opens up a wide and safe rear casting deck with a seat base and a 106 L (28 US gallon) Fresh Catch aerated livewell. Our test boat was also equipped with an optional stainless steel 3 step telescoping reboarding ladder – something I simply wouldn’t be without.
Our test day positioned us in Central Ontario on the southern part of Georgian Bay – a body of water well known for offering up beautiful conditions which in the blink of any eye quickly shift to ‘keep your head’ up waters. Our day was one of those. While we were dockside doing all the prep work, interior reviews, beauty shots and more the water appeared calm and cooperative. By the time we headed out we found ourselves in some gusty winds and on lumpy water that delivered up to 2’ of rolling chop. Some would say not supreme conditions for testing an 18’ 7” boat, I say it was awesome!
I attacked the water with the Superfisherman pointed directly into the waves in both following and facing seas, purposely side slapped the hull on multiple moments and generally put her through some arduous paces. Happy to report that the Four Stroke 200 Suzuki quietly and quickly delivered blistering 4 second hole shots and a myriad of cruising speed options. Running solo with a near full tank of fuel and appropriate safety gear I liked 21 MP @ 3,000 RPM and 24 MPH @ 3,200 RPM. Every owner knows that load, crew and conditions will change your own results.
With some Friday cottage country on water cruisers traffic building I pushed the Superfisherman to a top speed of 47 MPH at which time I backed out of the throttle. There was no concern with the hull but sometimes we all must do the responsible thing. Do I think the package could find 50? Heck ya – but top speed trials need to be done in the right conditions – and keep in mind I had all that full canvas up while I was running too. All in all she’s impressive to drive.
Starcrafts’ Superfisherman 186 delivers on priority check boxes for many of today's anglers and boating families. If you’re shopping / dreaming or even thinking about a boat in this category, go see your local Starcraft dealer and take a closer look for yourself.
You’ll be glad you did.
|Dry weight:||1,333 lbs||605 kg|
|Fuel Capacity:||30 US gals||114 L|
|Base Engine / Drive:||Suzuki|