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Aluminum boat quality manufacturer?

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I just replaced (1 year ago) my 28 year old Sea Nymph. One other consideration besides the obvious "no need for wood in a boat anymore" is how do you fish? I troll 80% of the time, and panfish the rest. Usually two people, if not one.


A 17 ft walk through windshild style is going to really limit the cockpit area, especially if it's set up with the flip up seats to a small deck in the stern. If you look at J.D.'s 96 Starcraft pictures above, his stern setup allow you to lean right back against the front of the splashwell, giving you a secure fishing area as Rolmops suggested. That's also how those old Sea Nymph's were laid out too. I think manufacturers went away from that style to make their boats more family friendly. I'm fortunate an have another boat for those needs. 


So I was hell bent on a west coast style boat. First, I wanted to go to an 8ft beam for stability and planability. Second, I wanted a walk through design so I could add canvas. I fish along the Canadian border from early April to late December when I can. Third, I wanted a layout where the windshield and consoles are positioned closer to the front. That minimizes the front deck size, but maximizes the cockpit floor area where I usually am. Problem was I couldn't find a used one here in NY. I did look at a 20' Thunderjet with an extended transom, all decked out for Lake O, but was just a lot more boat than I needed.


Finally found a 2016 Crestliner Commander 1850, had to go a long way to get it, but it fits the criteria I wanted. Bottom line its a very personal decision based on your needs and desires. Good luck, you've found a great forum with lots of helpful fishermen.




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2 hours ago, Prof T said:

If you look at J.D.'s 96 Starcraft pictures above, his stern setup allow you to lean right back against the front of the splashwell, giving you a secure fishing area as Rolmops suggested.


Prof T, When I first got my boat, it had the lower casting platform in the back like the picture below



As I started to spend more time on the big lake, I ripped out everything but the splash well and rebuilt the stern to full gunnel height. The snap curtains on the corners each hold a battery, and the storage compartments go all the way to the floor.  The picture also shows my "lazy old man minnow bucket holder" so I don't have to bend down all the time to get bait.. LOL   (fishing buddy shown for scale..)




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I have a 2019 Starcraft 196 Fishmaster and it is a DEEP and wide boat that runs good with a Yamaha 150.  I will be selling it this Spring only because I charter and am changing to a more standard charter boat--Thompson 240.  If I did not charter there is no way I would part with the Starcraft but I really don't need 3 boats (one 16' for waterfowl).

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3 minutes ago, stephanadams said:

 In terms of national brands which means I am not talking about regional brands from the west coast and pacific north west, I start with Crestliner and Lund and then work my way from there.

I think I settled on a 1650 fish hawk, the lay out and 25” transom I believe will cover my needs and a dealer with good reviews is 4-5hrs away which works here in Colorado.

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If you want to consider Starcraft come and see me at Krenzer marine. We have some left over 2022's we're highly motivated to move. In that 16-18' range we carry the Storm and Delta models. The nice thing about the Starcraft is their rich history for starters. They are also 1 piece hulls unlike a lot of their competition. They also utilize as thick or thicker hulls than their competition.  They also have a very good warranty on hull and components.

Edited by Yankee Troller
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9 hours ago, Yankee Troller said:

If you want to consider Starcraft come and see me at Krenzer marine. We have some left over 2022's we're highly motivated to move. In that 16-18' range we carry the Storm and Delta models. The nice thing about the Starcraft is their rich history for starters. They are also 1 piece hulls unlike a lot of their competition. They also utilize as thick or thicker hulls than their competition.  They also have a very good warranty on hull and components.

Thank you, I am a bit too far, but appreciate it 

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I have a 2020 starweld fusion pro 16.5 DC 70/6 Yamaha.  For the guys that remember the labor day storm of 2021, I know HB2 does because he saw us out there before the storm as it was approaching us. The best thing I can say about this boat is it can handle 45-50 mph gusts and waves sailing over the windshield and landing on the rear deck and running out the back splash shield. The wind gust was such that it blew my big ranger net with 80" handle right out the boat. My first mate said afterwards you Navy guys really know your stuff when it come to boat handling. I laughed at him and then told him I was a boiler technician on an aircraft carrier (61).


Over the winter that year I noticed bumps appearing on the deck while boat was in dry dock. I took pictures and sent to dealer. Dealer said boat needs to go back to factory for repair. The factory said (get this) the rivets that hold the deck to the hull are corroding away and the corrosion is pushing up the through the rivet this causing the bumps. Factory said it's only cosmetic and has nothing to do with the safe operation of the boat. They said time to correct 8 weeks and if I wanted to I could wait until boating season was over so I don't miss out on the upcoming season. After my last trip to the lake in September I took the boat in to the dealer. Before it went I was studying the bumps and the deck as to how they might repair it. Hmm main deck needs to be removed and then I said to myself this boat will never be the same when it comes back. 

Just before Thanksgiving this year dealer called and said boat was done and I can pick it up. I get to dealer, uncover boat for ride home and on the surface everything looked ok. I pull out on the road and as I'm going I look in mirror and the driver side wheel on trailer is wobbling, hmm how can this be I torqued the lug nuts down after greasing the bearings and new seal for the 600 mile round trip to the lake. I pull over and walk back to find two lug nuts are on backwards. Around the block I go and show dealer what was wrong. they bent the axle at the factory. They apologized and said they would take care of it for me. So I dropped the boat and went home discusted and pisses off.  Second week of this January dealer called and said come get your boat. Again uncover boat for ride home, hooked up and left. Wheel has a slight wobble and I can live with that for now. I had to strip the boat of all it's gear before it went to factory which is laying on my garage floor and in the way of putting boat in garage. I throw all the gear in boat and park it and I turned the light out in the garage and tomorrow I'll organize everything since it was now supper time.


Next day I put a step ladder up to get in boat. Because everything is just thrown in and I can't move. So I take the foot controller and stow it in the hole in the bow. In doing so I found a mystery wire that wasn't there before it went to the factory. It also had corroded connections on the end (so much for waterproof connectors). I go to the driver's seat and test horn and bow light and both work.

One of the things I liked with this boat is a helix5 mounted in the dash.  When I had my 14' grunion I had a helix5 so now I have two. I use one for navigation and the other for fishing, I mounted it in the cup holder. I ran the suction cup transducer wiring along with all the other controls up inside the gunwale and brought it out from under the dash and up on the surface of the dash to the back of the unit.and neatly tucked out of the way for easy removal.

While sitting there I looked at my auxiliary helix5 and I said WTF! did they do. The factory pinched the transducer wire   between the dash and the gunwale and made it non removable and is now hardwired. This is unacceptable, so I take some pics and email them to the dealer and go back to organizing the gear on the boat. Then I see a bunch of discrepancies with the front casting deck and compartments. I call dealer and said boat is coming back and explained to him the issues. That was on a Saturday, I said can't be there until Monday and he said ok. On Sunday I took wide painter tape and at each location put down on the tape the issue and what needs to be done with a marker so there would be no mistake of what was needed to be done. Monday comes boat goes back and dealer thanks me for identifying and pointing out the issues with the boat for them.


Two weeks pass and I get a call from dealer boat is done. I drive up, uncover boat for transport and spot the transducer wire still pinched between the dash and gunwale. I get dealer and show him that they didn't do what they were supposed to do to transducer wire. What the factory did was to made a slight opening where the wire passed through and made so I could slide the wire in and out of the hole but the hole is not big enough to to pass the plug on the end and to do that I would have had an unsightly hole where there should be none. Dealer saw saw it and was speechless. After the look he made was boat isn't going back to factory and then I was speechless and left pissed off and every right to be.  To remove transducer wire I must either disassemble the boat or cut the wire which is an added cost to me. I left the wiring so that it was removable in the event I wanted to take it off or upgrade to a helix7 which my plan was to get one so it can talk to the terrova I want purchase. I was spot on again because boat is not the same boat as it was when it left for the original repair. Throughout the process of them having the boat here are the discrepancies that the factory had caused 

1. bow cleat was loose with one bolt missing a nut.

2. found plug of unknown origin in front of bow (factory replace faulty wire for horn and light but didn't pull out old wiring)

3. front deck was loose on both sides where its fitted to hull somehow. Gaps were present due to poor deck alignment upon putting boat back together. The screws that hold the deck down were all on a slight angle and we're not seated properly and created trip hazards.

4. Forward port compartment deck screws were missing to fasten the panel to the deck which the panel was loose. In addition they didn't stress relief the speaker wiring and from where it was located it stripped the insulation off the wires leaving a gap of exposed wires to ground out on the metal framing for the compartment during transport.

5. Forward starboard compartment missing screws to fasten the panel to the deck.

6. in dash helix5 alert TRANSDUCER NOT CONNECTED. while I'm looking under dash at the spaghetti factory under there I noticed they hard wired my auxiliary heix5 power supply wire to the boats electrical system. So much for being removable.

7. Auxiliary helix5 wiring pinched between dah and gunwale thus making it not removable.

8. fire extinguisher was not remounted and was laying loose in the livewell.

9. Bent axle on boat trailer. The dealer told me that the factory wouldn't cover the axle so he said the dealer ate this one and I thanked him.

I said if the factory would have used the correct fasteners when they built the boat we would not be having this conversation and he agreed. I have a StarCraft camper and I asked if they build the boats and the campers in the same factory because both have unacceptable workmanship in their operations. When I was on the USS Ranger I was very experienced bilge diver. So while I study the  my boats bilge and all the crap that's under there out of site is something to see. Piss poor workmanship period! If i was a boss of the company I would fire the people that worked on my boat. In this case the customer did nothing to cause the rivets to fail nor did the dealer. It was the factory using sub par materials to make a boat. The rivets we're rotting away in the first year that I had the boat. Then to repair their *uck ups they created all these other issue that are listed above. 

I had a 14' smokercraft with a 9.9 in the early 90's and StarCraft and starweld are made in the smokercraft factory. ( Smoker owns them and makes them in same facility.  Knowing this and the issues I have had, I would not even entertain buying any of these products because the workmanship and quality are not there. Sure everything on the surface looks great but once you get below deck everything looks like a mess.

If your looking for a sound boat for rough water this is the one.if your looking for quality and workmanship this is NOT the boat for you!

I have pictures I wanted to post to show the discrepancies but I don't know how to do that with just an Android. I tried two days ago when I wrote this post only to loose the post after trying to upload them. Today I said jest do the post over again. Since I'm prepping for a colonoscopy tomorrow I figured I have plenty of time to rewrite the post while I sit on the white elephant.





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On 3/16/2023 at 9:38 PM, BRsnow said:

thanks, fished forever on a 15 footer and use a kayak now, so I don’t need to go that big. Plus I wan it to fit in the garage.

Thanks for saying that!


I fish out of a 14' on Lake Ontario. It's in the garage right now. Beside the kayak. Falling out seems to be operator error. (;-)


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