Some freshwater fishing boats are aggressive hunting machines while others are simply transportation to the fish, and at a glance you can tell which one the Crestliner 1850 Raptor SC is. It looks aggressive and it acts that way, too, with a 17-degree deadrise hull that’s all-welded, up to 200 horses on the transom, and an arsenal of fishing features that will have those bass quaking in fear.
Like other Crestliners, the aluminum hull is manufactured from four interlocking tongue-and-groove pieces that are welded together. They’re backed by an extruded aluminum keel running the length of the boat, and meet at the stern at a double-welded transom. This construction allows for some very hefty powerplants—not all 18’ aluminum boats can handle 200 HP—as well as a variable-degree deadrise. While the transom has 17 degrees, the forefoot of the boat slices open waves with 35 degrees of deadrise.
Max out the power, and you’ll be breaking speeds of 50 MPH. Some might call it overkill in a boat of this nature; 150 horses more than does the trick, with a cruise of around 40 MPH and a top-end in the upper 40’s. Besides, the smaller powerplant will also help you keep cost down. And that’s going to be a big deal to a lot of anglers interested in the 1850 Raptor SC, because this is an eminently affordable boat. You can get one fairly well equipped in the mid 30’s, and shave even more off the price if you don’t load the boat with options. One word to the wise: you won’t regret paying the up-charge to get hydraulic steering; 150 or 200 horses is a lot to control with cables.
One of the things that keeps cost in check is the SC (side console) design, as opposed to the boat’s sister model, the Raptor Walk-Through, which adds a full-sized windshield and a passenger’s side console. True, that means you’ll be a lot more exposed to the weather on the SC, so if you like to go out even when there’s a driving downpour or 30 knots of wind, this design probably shouldn’t be your first choice. But that fact aside, there’s no shortage of goodies on this boat. Items like a built-in five-tray tacklebox, a locking and lighted rodbox, a pull-out fish ruler, and a 30 qt. removable cooler are all standard features.
The livewells this boat carries are a strong point, one which will be quite attractive to live bait anglers and those who need to keep fish alive until the weigh-ins. There’s a 12 gallon insulated livewell in the bowdeck, a 17 gallon insulated well in the stern, a 1.5 gallon baitwell in the forepeak, and all of them are aerated with a timer.
You can also add a number of gadgets to this rig with the SureMount gunwale mounting system. We’ve seen similar systems on aluminum boats before, but rarely with a list of options this long: tackle bags, tool holders, cutting stations, fender holders, drink holders, downrigger mounts, and even universal accessory mounts you can use for things like cell phones.
While serious bassers will opt for a bass boat and big-water multi-species anglers will likely search for a boat with more depth, the Crestliner 1850 Raptor SC provides an excellent middle-ground. If you want to hit the river for walleye one day then visit the lake for bass the next—and you don’t want to pay an exorbitant amount to do it—check this one out.
Other Choices: The Lund 1875 Crossover runs in similar waters, as does the Princecraft Xperience 188.
For more information, visit Crestliner.
See 1850 Raptor SC listings.
|Fuel capacity||40 gal.|