Boat Review by: Jon Blaicher
When we talk about the versatility of a boat, we often refer to its ability to fish and act as a recreational tow boat for family watersports. If the “versatility” you are looking for is a mix of fishing, hunting and work boat, a Pro Angler might not be the best choice. For those looking for a more rugged work boat that will still handle most fishing excursions, Smoker Craft has several Pro Sportsman models that definitely fit the bill.
The Pro Sportsman 1872 DC takes it up a notch with serious .160” gauge hull and .125” gauge side plating. That’s the kind of hull material designed to take a serious beating, especially when fully welded like the Pro Sportsman hulls. The Pro DC also features a tall commercial style heavy duty walk-through windshield that measures 54” in height from the deck. When combined with an optional high fishing top that buttons onto the windshield frame, protection from the elements is excellent. This was very apparent on our late October test day where temps hovered around 7° C or 45° F. With full enclosure this boat would be ready to go right up until the lake freezes over.
Fishing features include a raised casting platform at the bow, with a large storage compartment and a huge fish box below, which is easily big enough for large salmon or fair sized musky. There is a lockable storage compartment below the raised trolling motor plane at the bow, ideal for motor controls and possibly a small anchor. Made from diamond plate aluminum, all hatch lids on the 1872 DC are non-skid and extremely durable. Integrated rod storage can be found along both gunwales in the cockpit with room for up to eight rods, four on each side. Tow kicks run along each side at deck level, for added leverage in bigger water. At the transom we find a big cutting board on the port side with lockable storage below, a small aluminum sink and tray in the center for cleaning tools with the included washdown hose. The washdown pump switch that activates a high-quality Johnson pump is located near the transom, within easy reach of the coiled hose. Since the deck is vinyl and most interior surfaces are painted, cleanups should be fast and easy, with no carpet to attract water and dirt. Smoker Craft’s Integrated Gunnel Track System (IGTS) wraps around both sides, all the way forward to the bow. But with double tracks as opposed to the single track found on most Angler models, it should provide a more secure hold on heavier accessories like down riggers and large rod holders.
The helm and passenger consoles put function first, with storage behind the windshield and below the console. The helm on this model features a speedometer, tach, 12-volt charging accessory outlet, and lit rocker switches, all within easy reach. The passenger side features a large lockable glove box. A flat spot along the top of both consoles provides a secure mounting location for the electronics of your choice. Angled footrests on both sides have hinged lids for even more storage below your feet. If that weren’t enough, all four swivel seats sit atop large boxes on hinged lids to provide even more storage below for tackle, lifejackets, hunting gear, and more. Since each seat swivels and locks every 45 degrees, you can position them in almost any direction to suit your needs.
Max power for the 1872 DC is 140 HP. Our test boat was equipped with the popular Yamaha F115. This light weight 1.8 litre 4-cylinder outboard is well known for its quiet and reliable operation. With a light load, it has enough power to get the 1872 DC on plane in less than 5 seconds and should be enough power for most applications. Our best speed of the day with the big windshield was 39.5 mph.
The hull feels exceptionally solid, which is to be expected with .160” plating. However, like the Osprey and Phantom, the Sportsman Pro models utilize Smoker Craft’s torsion beam construction with machined formed ribs for strength and shock absorption. Foam is injected (not poured) between the floor and hull, helping fill air pockets. The result is a more rigid feeling hull that produces a surprisingly quiet and soft ride that is better than expected with only 14 degrees of deadrise. The 99-inch beam lends a feeling of stability while turning, where it leans over softly and holds all but the most aggressive lines. Steering effort however, is a bit on the heavy side. If you need to wind your way through narrow channels or dodge little islands like we do on Southern Georgian Bay, I might consider adding an aftermarket power steering option from the likes of Sea Star or Panther. Visibility through the glass windshield is outstanding, although I’d consider adding a wiper if I needed to use the boat every day in all conditions. Wind protection is outstanding, and perhaps the most valuable feature for commercial use. It was by far the warmest of three boats tested that day!
If you are looking for a boat with a commercial grade welded hull and proper wind protection that can extend the season until the snow flies, one that will support a proper fishing excursion while doubling as a supply transport vessel to the cabin or cottage, you owe it to yourself to check out the Pro Sportsman 1872 DC from Smoker Craft.
|Dry weight:||1,726 lbs||783 kg|
|Fuel Capacity:||33 US gal||125 L|
|Base Engine / Drive:||Yamaha|
|Engine HP:||Max 140|