Reviewed by Richard Crowder
Sylvan Lake near Wolcottville, Indiana can lay claim to being the namesake for this, one of the most popular and recognizable brands of aluminum fishing boats for almost six decades. But the Expedition Sport 1800 DC (Dual Console), the largest Sylvan for 2011, is not just a hard core fishing boat, but one that’s fun for the whole family, whatever their ideas of fun on the water entail. Yes that includes fishing in a big way, but also swimming, cruising, exploring, and watersports as well. This is one well rounded, versatile boat.
And it’s easy to trailer too, allowing you to hitch and go wherever and whenever you want to explore those out-of-the-way fishing holes or family getaway hideaways – even as far as Sylvan Lake, if you’re so inclined! Part of this ease of trailering derives from Sylvan’s relatively light weight but strong aluminum construction.
Sylvan does its aluminum construction differently than some other manufacturers. Its modified semi-vee “Gull Wing” hull with integrated spray rail provides not only a smooth ride but side spray is deflected down and away from passengers on board. To the .100” gauge thickness of the one-piece aluminum bottom is added five keels on the outside for better tracking, stability, and watersports use as well as protection, plus semi-circular “hat-shaped” internal transverse aluminum ribs every ten inches from the keel toward the chines. Between the inside hull bottom and the lifetime warranted XL specially treated plywood floors is injected urethane foam to not only eliminate water pockets and provide buoyancy, but also to increase structural rigidity, eliminate bottom flexing, and provide a much quieter ride.
One of the first things you’ll notice when you see the Expedition Sport 1800 is how roomy, wide and deep it is. In fact, it’s over two feet deep from the top of the gunnels to the cockpit floor making this model extremely suited for having small children on board. And the inside vertical faces of these gunnels have full-length padding for occupant protection. The wide top surfaces of these gunnels have extra reinforcement not only for using as steps to enter/exit the boat, but to facilitate the mounting of downriggers or accessories.
One of the best ways perhaps to judge the versatility of this boat is in its seating. Six mounting bases are provided throughout the boat to accommodate the two movable pedestal seats provided. Additional seats are optionally available. Cushions are provided for extra bow seating with padded backrests supplied. In the stern, a full-width upholstered bench seat neatly folds down to provide an enormous casting platform, or when upright, seating for three or four persons. Vinyl floor covering is standard; snap-in carpet optional.
Behind the high, Taylor Made Systems® Clean Curve® walk-thru curved, clear windshield is a modern-looking, well laid out dash helm complete with standard full outboard instrumentation, a tilting, sport steering wheel, lighted dc rocker switches with breakers, and standard AM/FM stereo with an auxiliary port for an MP3 player. A lockable glove box is provided within the passenger helm.
Storage compartments in the fore and aft platforms, floor, and under the gunnels fill every available space. Fishermen will love the 15-gallon aerated bow and 30-gallon aerated stern livewells along with the standard baitwell with bucket. In-floor 7.5-foot and portside 6-foot rod storage lockers are provided.
All canvas is optional for the Expedition Sport 1800 DC but a full complement is available according to your requirements. You might simply choose the All-Weather Package option which comes with a mooring cover, fisherman’s top, and snap-in carpet. The Power Package option provides a 45PD trolling motor with quick disconnect, a graph depth/fish finder, and the “power prep” which factory rigs your choice of motor and accessories. Choice of motor allows you to select models from Evinrude, Honda, Mercury, Suzuki, or Yamaha – up to a maximum 150 hp – extra long shaft. For extra family watersports fun, choose the ski tow pylon and swim platform as well.
With all of this versatility available, it’s easy to see why, with the Sylvan Expedition Sport 1800 DC, that you can have your proverbial cake on the water and eat it too!
|Length:||18' 7"||5.66 m|
|Draft:||2' 5"||74 cm|
|Dry weight:||1333 lbs||605 kg|
|Fuel Capacity:||32 US gals||121 l|
|Engine / Drive:||Any Outboard Brand|