Boat Review by: Richard Crowder
The 162 Fisherman is the smallest of Wellcraft’s eleven outboard powered Center Console Fisherman and Bay Boats ranging up to forty feet. While it may indeed be the smallest, think of it more as a smaller version of Wellcraft’s larger center console boats with many of the same amenities, just on a smaller scale.
With that in mind, the 162 Fisherman offers not only great fishing features, but when outfitted with the right options becomes a family-friendly day boat great for watersports and family outings.
In true center console tradition, the console itself is provided with a double-wide leaning post cum bench seat to allow both stand-up and seated driving. The seat back pivots to provide an aft-facing position for two, and the seat cushion is hinged to provide cockpit access to a large built-in cooler within the seat base.
A portside mounted stainless steel steering wheel faces the straightforward and functional dash console. Immediately ahead of the steering wheel is the DC switch panel with illuminated toggles, plus a weather protected DC outlet and USB charge port. To the right of the switch panel is the ignition panel and the binnacle-mount engine throttle control.
Above the switch panel is sufficient room for standard or available engine instrumentation gauges such as speedometer, tachometer, trim, etc. The top right quadrant of the dash is reserved for your choice of navigation and/or fishing screens. Wellcraft offers the Garmin® 741xs GPS plotter with depth sounder as an option. A handy cellphone retainer bracket is provided at the bottom right side of the dash.
The flat top of the console has three molded-in indentations to conveniently accommodate wallets, sunglasses, keys, etc. The larger centre indentation is exactly the right size to suit the optionally available JBL® Flip 4 Bluetooth portable speaker. Retained in position with a bungee-like removable cord, the Flip 4 is said to be completely waterproof and can to be submerged in up to a metre of water for 30 minutes!
A quickly removable high and practical plexi windscreen provides good wind protection while underway, and three vertical rod holders are found on each side of the console. The forward face of the console is fitted with a single seat and below its removable seat cushion is a decent sized storage compartment. This compartment may be optionally fitted with an aerated bait bucket and/or the optional dual battery switch.
A molded-in proportionally large bow platform doubles as a casting platform, or as a lounging seat that may be fitted with an optional cushion. Beneath the hinged top of the platform is a two-part storage compartment, the front of which is dedicated for anchor storage, complete with an anchor tie-off. To each side of this platform are molded-in drink holders. Mounted on each side at the bow is a molded-in gunnel rod holder complete with clever hook keeper. A pair of these is also found in the stern cockpit.
The stern casting platform is divided into three sections. The centre section holds the 45 litre (12 US gallon) portable gas tank beneath a hinged lid. The two outer sections are flip-up padded stern jump seats. Beneath each of these seats is open storage with bungee-like straps across the front to keep stored items in place. The skid-resistant fiberglass inner liner of the 162 Fisherman is of course self-draining.
Behind each of the stern jump seats is a molded-in transom swim step providing ready access to the motor, to the water for recreational activities, or to aid in landing the big one. A three-step stainless steel telescoping swim ladder is standard on the starboard side swim step. A sturdy ski tow pylon is optionally available to enhance your watersports activities. Wellcraft offers a choice of Mercury or Yamaha outboard power in 60, 75, or 90 or 70 or 90 horsepower, respectively.
Additional standard equipment with the 162 Fisherman includes a Wellcraft® custom-matched single axle trailer with swing-away tongue. Notable available options include trailer upgrades, a bimini top, and console and seat cover. Diamond pattern cushioned Marine Mat is available for bow and stern coaming bolsters as well as for the helm footrest. Wellcraft White is the standard hull colour to which you may add hullside enhancement of Liquid Blue or Phantom Grey.
In reference to its 162 Fisherman, Wellcraft says that “great things often come in small packages” and once aboard, it would be hard to argue otherwise.
|Dry weight:||1,700 lbs||771 kg|
|Fuel Capacity:||12 US gals||45 L|
|Base Engine / Drive:||Mercury, Yamaha Outboard|