We've always had a penchant for items that offer two-in-one functionality. For instance, we love those jackets that are one color when you wear them one way and a completely different color when you turn them inside out. We're also enamored of the cell phones that can be converted to personal data assistants or portable video game systems whenever desired. Hence, it was only logical that we would have a fondness for the new Polar 1900 Center Console, because the boat is packed with features that deliver two uses from one package.
In last month's issue, we put forth the notion that the placement of a mere rod holder or two on a boat no longer impresses anglers. They want to be wooed by manufacturers that can deliver a real fishing boat — one that offers a multitude of angling amenities. The Polar 1900 Center Console is exactly that.
Godfrey Marine has been building bay boats — which are shallow-draft boats — for a number of years in Alabama, but the new 1900 is the company's first offshore fishing boat with a deep-V hull. The Polar line is renowned for successfully mixing classic lines with contemporary features and functions, and that in turn has made Polar one of the fastest-growing boat builders in the country; however, the 1900 Center Console takes Polar's revolutionary ways one step further.
We tested the Polar 1900 Center Console on South Bend, Indiana's St. Joseph River. We had three adults and a full tank of fuel (72 gallons) on board.
Our test boat was equipped with a single 130 hp Yamaha Two Stroke Series outboard with a 17-inch Yamaha prop. As we slowly took the boat up to speed, we noticed that the throttle was a bit sticky. We would have preferred a smoother feel, but it wasn't a major detriment.
The deep-V hull helped the 1900 fight the river currents, which resulted in good cornering even at wide-open throttle in the narrow river. The ride was dry, with no shuddering of the hull.
After we were assured of the boat's maneuverability, we went for speed. We slowed the boat to a virtual standstill and then threw the throttle forward to see where it took us.
The 1900 was able to hit plane in 5.5 seconds, even though it has to get to 3,650 rpm and 20.5 mph to do so. We then took the boat back up to wide-open throttle, where the boat hit a top speed of 40.5 mph. Cruising speed was around TK mph.
The cornering was the most impressive part of the ride, and although we only had three adults on board, the 1900 has a capacity of six people (or 820 pounds).
Cool as Ice
It doesn't hurt that the 1900 is a handsome boat in the first place. The fit and finish on our test boat was a solid 8 or 9, and the special graphics package with the solid blue hull was a real standout. (A light blue or yellow hull is also available.)
Our favorite feature on the boat, though, would have to be the two-in-one cooler and captain's seat. This swing seat includes a removable cooler that holds an incredible 90 quarts — the largest we can ever remember seeing on a boat.
The flipping backrest allows you to face either forward or backward when sitting. Moreover, it makes it easy to flip the backrest out of the way when you're maneuvering around the boat.
If you prefer, you can have twin swiveling bucket seats or a leaning post instead, but all three options include the 90-quart cooler. The leaning post is particularly nice, because it has a built-in tackle station with lockable trays.
The leaning post also adds four more rod holders, but that's probably a non-factor when you consider that the boat already has six rod holders built into the center console and six more built into the deck. A generous amount of gunwale-mounted rod storage completes the package.
For more two-in-one functionality, one needs look no further than the two circular rear seats. The seat cushions flip up, revealing a standard recirculating baitwell on the port side and storage on the starboard side.
The boat's bustled transom provides more cockpit space, and the optional splash board that separates the engine area from the cockpit can be removed at your leisure. A midsize hatch located fore of the engine offers access to the bilge.
The two-in-one theme continues with the boat's center console, which is home to both the helm and a forward-facing bench that is elevated off deck to allow for a toe kick area and recessed indirect lighting. The indirect lighting helps prevent the loss of night vision.
The center console's helm station includes a speedometer, a tachometer, trim and fuel gauges, a raw-water washdown, a drink holder, lockable storage and the aforementioned six rod holders. Coaming pads run along the sides of the boat, and up at the bow, you'll find an anchor locker with a fiberglass lid and an insulated fishbox with an overboard drain.
The ride, fit and finish, and styling of the Polar 1900 all garnered a Pacino-esque "Hoo-hah!" from us during our test, and anglers who step on board will likely feel the same way. The folks at Godfrey Marine are definitely thinking outside the fishbox — without leaving it behind.
Polar 1900 Center Console Specifications
|Fuel capacity||72 gallons|
|Maximum power||150 hp|
|Base price (without engine)||$12,405|
|Base price (with F115 Yamaha Four Stroke)||$22,493|
|Model||130-hp Yamaha Two Stroke Series outboard|
|Maximum engine speed||5,000-6,000 rpm|
|Top speed||40.5 mph at 6,000 rpm|
|Cruising speed||30.1 mph at 4,500 rpm|
|Estimated miles per gallon at 30.1-mph cruising speed||3|
|Estimated gallons per hour at 30.1-mph cruising speed||10|
|Estimated range at 30.1-mph cruising speed||216 miles|
Engine Packages Available
Any engine between 115 and 150 hp, with a 25-inch shaft.
Control panel w/lighted rocker switches, labeled circuit breaker panel inside console door, swing-back seat with removable 90-quart cooler, speedometer, tachometer, trim and fuel gauges, insulated fishbox with overboard drain, livewell/baitwell, port and starboard side rod racks.
Premium package ($1,103; includes 12 stainless steel rod holders, stainless rubrail insert, pull-up cleats, removable swim ladder, colored hull side, stainless deck hardware, stainless instrument bezels).
For More Information
4500 Middlebury Street
Elkhart, IN 46516