Boat Review by: Rick Layzell
Typically, factory photo shoots feature top of the line models decked out with all the new options for the upcoming model year. When Princecraft let us know that we would be testing the Resorter 160 BT, I was filled with excitement. A full featured and cost-effective model that was attainable for many boating families and capable of satisfying the desires of plenty of anglers – sign me up!
The first thing you’ll notice about the Resorter is that there are no shortcuts. She is crafted with the same 5052-H36 marine grade aluminum alloy as other models from the Canadian manufacturer. Her exterior urethane paint with gloss finish, just like the rest of the lineup and her reverse chine hull design and aluminum clad transom, are also shared by the Princecraft lineup.
Our test boat was outfitted with Mercury’s 40 ELHPT, a Lowrance Hook2 4x with RAM mount, and a trailer cover. Shortest option list ever – loved it!
The Resorter 160BT is all about fishing whether you’re back trolling for salmon or walleye or taking the kids for their first perch, the standard features will take care of your needs.
You’ll find 4 seat bases in total along with a pair of folding seats with (thank you) no pinch hinges. New for 2022 is a full flat floor from bow to stern with marine grade vinyl covering the pressure treated wood floor. A 7’ rod storage compartment will accommodate your gear and a large storage is neatly tucked into the bow section, as is additional anchor storage. I was pleasantly surprised to see a generously sized livewell on board – a 34” 49L/13 US gallon tank complete with an anti-spill cover and overflow protection.
The Resorters transom incorporates a full-width self-draining splashwell, which I admittedly tested and found it performed perfectly. Stainless steel bow and stern eyes, electric bilge pump, navigation lights, 3 cup holders, battery tray, emergency reboarding ladder and a transducer mounting plate round out the list of standard features. There’s a lot of boat here in an easy to use 16’ package!
In January 2020, Mercury introduced an all-new tiller handle for their 40 -115 HP engines. The innovations here are clearly steeped in a ‘listen to the customer’ commitment. Improvements from past tiller models include a more ergonomic, comfortable, and responsive handle for an improved on-water experience. An owner can readily switch the shift handle to either side and even reverse the throttle grip rotation. Mercury Troll Control is standard which allows operators to adjust trolling speeds in 10 RPM increments, and there are built in engine warning systems to protect your investment.
Admittedly it had been several years since I last ran a tiller and my dock departure, with half a dozen of my closest friends standing nearby, showed I had some relearning to do. I am happy to report that there was no damage but humbly admit it wasn’t pretty! And so, like any good operator, I insisted on taking time to reacquaint myself and within 5 minutes or so the Resorter was delivering great results … and the blushing on my face had stopped.
Our on-water testing focusses on putting every boat through her paces – hole shots are evaluated, cruising speeds are calculated, top speeds are tested, and we see how the hull responds in a variety of turns.
Knowing that the Resorter is targeted for families and angling friends we were less focused on hole shot – this model is offered with your choice of 20 – 40 HP and it goes without saying that with 40 HP on the transom, she delivered very quick hole shots. Cruising was comfortable at 18 or 20 MPH and a very respectful top speed of 32 MPH was found with ease. Admittedly I didn’t love the ‘end of the handle’ position of the tiller trim switch, but I am confident that with time any operator would get comfortable with this.
What mattered most to me was how she performed when I took her off step and eased into reverse – as if I was back trolling. With small chop on the water I found the splashwell did its job perfectly, although at slow reverse speeds there was virtually zero water coming in. Easing into a slow forward trolling speed and activating the tiller handle Troll Control was a breeze and something any angler can quickly use to their advantage.
As we captured our running footage and my tiller confidence increased, I found the Resorter tracked nimbly through a variety of water conditions. A hard push to port or starboard gave us incredibly tight turns with little splash. Thanks to the reverse chine and she never fell off step unless I backed off the throttle.
The Resorter 160BT is a fun, capable, and well-equipped package. I would expect we will see these pop up at fishing camps, family cottages and in driveways of those seeking to fish on different waterways. Wherever you find it, the Princecraft Resorter will be sure to have lots of smiling faces nearby.
|Dry weight:||540 lbs||245 kg|
|Fuel Capacity:||6 US gal||22 L|
|Base Engine / Drive:||Mercury|