Boat Review by: Rick Layzell
Many boat companies will take an existing model and make it a little bigger or a little smaller to create a new model. Rarely has this ever been done as well as the brand new for 2019 Princecraft Hudson 170 DLX WS. It is clear that her big brother, the Hudson 190 is where the vision for this new boat began and while she shares a number of features the 170 DLX WS is one of the most perfectly crafted 17’ fishing machines I have ever tested.
Beginning at the dock she has a rugged and yet appealing look to her as the paint booth at Princecraft continues to over deliver with high gloss exterior urethane paints that gracefully pull the hull bottom up into the deck and spill over perfectly in to the boats interior. The new blue colour for 2019 mated perfectly with the new grey interior package.
The Hudson 170 is all about fishing – she may be capable to be tasked for other on water activities but make no mistake, this boat was bred to fish. Once you quickly fold down the two rear jump seats the aft raised casting platform is well laid out boasting a gigantic 44” wide, 77L electric filled, aerated live-well in addition to one of the six standard seat bases, battery storage and a deep self-draining splashwell. Moving to the bow casting platform we find another seat base, multiple storage compartments for gear, a trolling motor deep cycle battery compartment, a pre wired trolling motor plug with 60 AMP protection and a trolling motor pad. The centre walk thru features an enormous rod locker for up to 10 of your favourite 7’ rods, all securely held in their own tubes with multiple venting grates for moisture management.
The cockpit is dressed with an amply sized black anodized walk thru curved tempered glass windshield with centre door. Our fall test day was a chilly 9 degrees Celsius and at 6’1” tall, I certainly appreciated the height of the windshield. The helm itself is nicely laid out, gauges and rocker switches are all visible at any running speed and the storage under both consoles was generously sized. To my surprise I found a drawer under the sporty steering wheel – the lined drawer itself is very well built on rugged sliders and I’d be comfortable leaving my valuables in there in any weather conditions.
The Hudson 170 interior also features the PrinceTrak System which readily allows you to set your onboard fishing attachments in whatever position is best suited for your day. The system runs full interior length on both port and starboard sides of the boat. Our test boat also had the optional adjustable downrigger supports – lovingly finished in the same blue as the exterior of the 170 and a bicycle seat with an adjustable post.
Princecraft upped the ante on the transom and the standard 90 HP was swapped out for a Mercury 150 PRO – XS. To say I was anxious to rip this fishing machine through her paces would only be an epic understatement. We eased away from the dock with two guys and camera gear on board, 3/8 of a tank of fuel and as I stated earlier it was a brisk 9 degrees Celsius.
Foregoing the usual gentle start ups and cruising speed tests I had to go right to hole shot and wow the Hudson 170 sure didn’t disappoint. That Mercury 150 XS punched us up and on plane in as little as 3.13 seconds, after multiple tests (yes I was playing a little), running through a variety of flat and lumpy water conditions, we equated a mathematical average of 3.44 seconds. Keeping in mind that our load was light and you will have more gear than we did we moved the Hudson 170 through a variety of cruising speeds, all yielding excellent results. We found 26.1 & 30.1 MPH at 3,200 & 3,450 RPM respectively to be perfect in our situation. Needless to say I also had to wind this girl out and see where top end would take us….once again she didn’t disappoint. Through multiple runs with zero wind, my GPS consistently showed top speed of 53.4 MPH @ 5,900 RPM.
The next fun factor moments with this package was running the video footage. As I blew past the photo boat on multiple occasions I had plenty of opportunity to carve the boat, port or starboard at a wide variety of speeds and in an array of water and wave conditions. The reverse chine design was in a word flawless as the hull stood tall and turned on a dime every time.
They say that everything has its perfect mate. To me the perfect mate for Princecraft’s new Hudson 170 DLX WS fishing machine is the Mercury PRO-XS. This potent combination is not only sexy, she’s rugged and she runs like a dream. I can only imagine how well she’d make your fishing dreams come true.
|Dry weight:||1,430 lbs||649 kg|
|Fuel Capacity:||25 US gals||95 L|
|Base Engine / Drive:||Mercury|