2022 Princecraft Sport 182

Boat Reviews

Boat Review by: Rick Layzell


Let’s think about what SUVs have done to the automotive market. These multi-purpose, friends and family machines are designed to support our ever-changing desires to do more, to see more, and to explore more. Like an SUV, the Sport Series from Princecraft presents a versatile combination that blends the need for fishing with family friendly amenities. The 2022 introduction of the Sport 182 is a glowing example of Princecraft’s commitment to listening to the voice of the customer.

She’s available in your choice of black, anthracite grey or blue, and the modest options list is a testament to just how complete this new model comes when she rolls off the factory floor. Our test machine was dressed in factory Anthracite Grey and optioned with the following: the Techno package including a 160-watt Jensen sound system and a battery charger, tilt steering and sliding helm seat, Minn Kota 70PD trolling motor, bow filler cushions, removable ski pylon, Humminbird Piranha MAX 4, trailer cover, Sun Top canvas package, and the Mercury 115 EXLPT Pro-XS. The standard inclusion of a galvanized trailer is a nice touch that simplifies the purchasing process.

First impression – wow is this ever a BIG 18’ boat! Nestled dockside, the 182 presents an impressive footprint. Her beam is generous and benefits from an engineering commitment to deliver more cockpit space by shaping her to be wider at both the bow and stern. There’s a significant buyer benefit here from the additional interior space.

Let’s start with family benefits:

• Anti-skid vinyl cockpit floor – never underestimate the importance of simplicity when it comes to cleaning the boat. So the kids can spill a pop or your catch leaves some fish guts behind its no biggie thanks to the easy clean flooring.

• Ice chest in the bow – very handy

• Rear seating with three fold down seats – wickedly comfortable too

• Seat bases (4) strategically placed in the interior

• Folding seats (2) with no pinch hinges

• Telescopic reboarding ladder

• 5 grab handles and 5 cup holders

• 3 battery trays, interior lighting, and electric bilge pump

• Factory installed snap fasteners for add on or replacement canvas

On to fishing features:

• In the bow section – deep cycle battery storage, electric filled & aerated 30” 64L/17 US gal livewell

• Cockpit – multiple rod holder straps, 7’ rod storage, in-floor lockable rod holder for 6 rods, trolling motor plug with 60 amp protection

• Aft raised casting platform – battery storage, electric filled & aerated 44” 77L/20 US gal livewell, rear seats fold down to create massive casting deck

This is a dual console model equipped with Princecraft’s generously tall (longer season is your benefit here) black anodized walk-through tempered glass windshield. You’ll find great comfort in the quality and sturdiness of this design and the wind protection is fantastic. Both the helm and passenger seats are comfortable and both stations feature expandable cargo netting storage underneath as well as a passenger mounted glove box. The helm incorporates the upgraded sound system, a deluxe dash with switches and lights and 4 gauges – tachometer, speedometer, trim, and fuel.

That’s a long list of standard benefits and it goes without saying that I was itching to get out on the water. Our test day was calm with 23 C degree temperatures and limited boat traffic. The built in 140 L (37 US gal) fuel tank was near full when our expert camera man and I set off to put the Sport 182 through her paces.

Mercury’s 115 Pro XS has quickly earned a sterling reputation among anglers and families. The Pro XS is available as a 115hp or a 150hp and the Sport 182 will accommodate either, the 115 will be less weight on the transom but both are designed for a combination of power, acceleration, durability, and fuel efficiency. Admittedly I wasn’t very long off the dock when the 115 began delivering some ear to ear smiles.

She launched the 680 KG (1,500 lb) Sport 182 extremely well. Consistent hole shots yielded an average time of 3.62 seconds. As we searched out her most capable cruising speeds, I quickly learned that this hull and engine combination likes trim. At 20 MPH we were turning 3,200 RPM and using ¼ trim, at 32 MPH we were at 4,800 RPM and nearly ½ trim. Both of these results are absolutely fine and, as always, I encourage owners to safely take the time to learn how your combination is most effective on the water. Where the combination of hull and engine really shone for us was in top end. The top end we found was 46 MPH at 6,300 RPM with ¾ trim. That’s a little tall on the RPM as the engine is rated for 6,000 but not tall enough to cause any harm. We always gauge our speeds using a GPS connected app – for me I found 46 MPH with a 115 to be exceptional.

Tracking was simply superb and benefits from both the double reverse chine hull design and the wider bow and stern. As we played with the Sport 182 she held very true in steep hard turns to either port or starboard. Once trimmed correctly she was fully out of the water leaving limited drag or splash and the sound of the 115 was sweet music to my ears.

NOTE – If you are attempting any of our test maneuvers do so only in a safe environment, away from other boaters, and always wear your PFD.

If you’ve got a growing family, if you desire to fish but also want to take the kids tubing, if the small tinny isn’t cutting it anymore, or if you drive an SUV – then go look at the Princecraft Sport 182. She’s long on standard features and she will deliver years of smiles and happiness. Not to mention she’s an absolute blast to drive.

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Length: 18'5" 5.6 m
Beam: 98" 2.5 m
Dry weight: 1,500 lbs 680 kg
Draft: 33" 0.8 m
Fuel Capacity: 37 US gal 140 L
Base Engine / Drive: Mercury
Engine HP: 115 Pro XS
Fuel Type: Gas
Deadrise: 17
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