Whether you rise before the break of dawn to lure a pair of circling mallards into the decoys, or to lure a musky onto the end of your fishing line, you need a boat—and if you like to do both of these things, you need a boat like the PolarKraft Sportsman 1754 SE. It may be small and it may be a simple design, but for an outdoorsman this boat is about as versatile as they come.
First let’s state the obvious: the boat comes in a Mossy Oak or Shadow Grass camo pattern, so it blends in well when used as a hunting boat. But that’s not the only perk it offers you shotgun-slinging sportsmen. It also has a locking gun box running along the port side. And if you need more room for decoys, you can pull out the pedestal fishing seats and leave them in the garage.
Anglers will like the aerated livewell with a 750 GPH pump, the 45 pound-thrust Edge electric trolling motor, and the locking rodbox. The boat also comes with a Lowrance Elite 3X color fishfinder, but this is a pretty basic unit—serious anglers will probably opt for an upgrade or take the “no fishfinder” option, and put on a nicer unit themselves.
However you spend your time aboard, you’ll like the way the boat’s constructed. The hull is all-welded 0.10” aluminum, and many competitors build boats of this size in 0.09” or even 0.08” thick aluminum. The transom is extruded tubular aluminum, and the console is also crafted of aluminum. How will this hold up over the long haul? Hey—I haven’t beaten up a 1754 SE for years on end, so I can’t make any promises. But I do have its smaller cousin, the MV1448 LW, sitting in my driveway right now. I’ve owned it for close to a decade, and have put it through everything from running hard-aground at full throttle to dragging it through a marsh. Since it’s sustained zero damage through years of use and abuse, I feel quite comfortable saying that these boats are thoroughly rugged.
Other pieces-parts used in the 1754 SE are, on the whole, plenty beefy. Switches at the helm are lighted rockers with breakers built into the panel; compartment hatches are all aluminum; and rigging is protected inside a plastic tube. Cleats are composite, which isn’t my favorite, but truth be told this is a small, light boat so using composite instead of stainless-steel is probably just fine.
Depending on what options you like, the 1754 SE can be as jazzed-up a bit, too. While you might not expect it on a boat this diminutive, factory-installed goodies like anti-feedback steering, a two-bank onboard battery charger, and Tundra Coating with various color packages are all available. Adding goodies like these can take the price of the boat beyond the $20,000 mark, but even with a 70 horse four-stroke outboard and the included single-axle trailer, it won’t get very far north of this figure. Go with a smaller engine and a simpler package, and it’ll cost significantly less. Either way, the Sportsman 1754 SE fits the bill for you fisher-hunters. And with one of these boats sitting in your driveway, one thing is for sure: you’ll be rising before dawn a whole lot more often.
Other Choices: Some similarl boats of interest will be the Crestliner 1860 Retriever, the Lowe Sportsman 16, or possibly the simpler, less expensive models in the Lowe Frontier Series. Those interested purely in fishing will want to look at boats like the Tracker Pro Guide V 16 SC and the Smoker Craft 171 Pro Angler XL.
For more information, visit PolarKraft.
See current PolarKraft Sportsman 1754 SE listings.
Editor’s note: We used this boat’s smaller sibling, the Polar Kraft 1554 SE, as a trailer boat for some of the videos in our Ram towing series. You can get a good look at this model in Tips and Tricks for Launching and Retrieving a Trailer Boat, and in Trailering, Launching, and Retrieving a Boat on Sand and Mud. Learn more about the plusses and minuses of owning aluminum boats in general by reading Aluminum Fishing Boats: Light, Economical, and Seaworthy.