An appealing choice for anglers who want it all.
Die-hard anglers who are out there from ice-out to freeze-up demand boats that are rugged, easy to maintain, and built using proven technologies. At the same time, they also want all the latest creature comforts and electronic amenities. Fortunately, these two goals are not necessarily mutually exclusive, as evidenced by an all-new line of tiller-controlled fishing boats from Smoker Craft.
The company’s new Adventurer series consists of two-models – a 16-foot and an 18-foot – both are high-end fishing boats with tough builds, every imaginable modern convenience and the unmatched control of tiller steering. Tiller control doesn’t just free up floor space that would otherwise be occupied by a console for more interior room, it gives anglers a level of precision boat control that simply isn’t possible to match with a steering wheel. It also allows these anglers to control the boat with one hand and keep the other one on the rod at all times, enabling them to feel sensitive bites that might go unnoticed were the rod simply left in a holder.
Built on the same hull that Smoker Craft uses for its popular 16 Pro Angler XL and Pro Mag models, the Adventurer 160 is a much, much bigger boat than its length and beam might first suggest. Thanks to its enormous raised casting deck in the bow, the boat offers an astounding volume of storage space for a 16-foot boat, ensuring serious anglers can find a place for everything. The casting deck is built to a height that allows greatly improved visibility when casting, yet is still low enough to allow anglers to easily hand-land hooked fish. Its surface is covered in a durable vinyl rather than carpet, since it wears like iron and dries much faster. There’s an elevated bow pad right up front for mounting an electric motor, and a bow panel with the companion electrical connection.
The big bow deck also conceals a huge centre rod storage compartment that keeps valuable tackle safely protected. Below the storage racks for eight rods, the compartment also features a separate battery storage area for deep-cycle cells.
The vinyl flooring treatment continues in the main cockpit, which is edged with additional storage compartments for more rods and gear. An in-floor storage compartment stows still more gear.
A large deck area in the stern port corner provides the ideal place to install aftermarket electronics, where they can be easily monitored by the driver (an optional command console is available as a worthwhile upgrade). The wide raised platform across the stern not only serves as a second elevated casting deck, it neatly conceals a 95L aerated and recirculating SureCatch live well, complete with a removable bait bucket. Push-button courtesy lights provide added convenience and safety when fishing early or late in the day, while twin pedestal-mount swivel fishing seats feature an ergonomic design for all-day comfort.
Rated to handle outboards to 70 horse-power, Smoker Craft’s 160 Adventurer tiller offers surprising performance for a serious fishing boat in this size range. Best of all, with its relatively compact dimensions and easily-towable weight, the Adventurer will stow in a standard garage and launch easily from even the rough, unimproved launch ramps so often found on those remote back lakes where the big fish live.
With its thoughtful design and high build quality, this is one boat that every angler will want to take a serious look at.
By Craig Ritchie