What we think: In Minnesota, where Alumacraft boats are manufactured, there's a large national park with hundreds of lakes on which motors exceeding 25 horsepower are banned. It was for anglers who want to access these lakes, first-time buyers and anglers anywhere who prefer smaller lakes and rivers that Alumacraft built the 160CS.
Our side-console test boat was equipped with a 25-horsepower Yamaha two-stroke that reached 23 mph while burning minimal fuel. Too slow? Then opt for engines up to 40 horsepower, the maximum for which the boat is rated.
Alumacraft equips the 160CS with standard features that discerning anglers will appreciate, such as a seven-foot rod box in the floor that holds four rods and reels, a 36-inch livewell, 12-volt trolling motor hookup, two storage bins in the bow, two pedestal-mounted seats and a Lowrance x50 fish finder.
We give high marks for the no-feedback steering system and the cleats that are mounted on the inside of the gunwale, where they're out of the way and less prone to snagging fishing line. The cleats are anchored with regular rivets, which are stronger than the pop rivets found on other boats.
New for 2008, the Fisherman 160CS fits nicely between Alumacraft's Lunker and Yukon series of boats. It's an easy boat to maintain and tow — all it takes is a small truck or even a sedan to transport. And the nine-gallon fuel tank is a portable system, so you don't need the boat to fill up. Simplicity is what it's all about.
Who should buy it: Anglers who want to access waters on which engines larger than 25 horsepower are banned, first-time buyers on a budget and anglers who primarily fish smaller lakes and rivers where a bigger hull and more horsepower aren't needed.
Vital Stats * Length Overall: 16'3" * Beam: 73" * Dry Weight: 622 lb.. * Seating/Weight Capacity: 5/700 lb. * Fuel Capacity: 9 gal. (portable) * Max HP: 40 * MSRP: (w/ Yamaha 25 hp two-stroke and trailer): $8,395 * NMMA certified: Yes
25 hp Yamaha two-stroke $8,395
40 hp Yamaha four-stroke $10,500
Also Consider …
Lunker 165 CS
Max HP: 50
Packaged with a 50 hp Yamaha two-stroke, it comes with Lowrance x50 and trailer for $10,395.
Max HP: 35
One of Alumacraft's most affordable boats ($4,499 for boat only) comes with six-foot rod storage, vinyl flooring and livewell.
Test Drive * Test Engine: Yamaha 25 hp two-stroke * Test Prop: 9.875 x 11.25 * Test Load: People (180 lb.); Fuel (3 gal.) * Top Speed: 23 mph * Time to Plane: 7 sec. * Time to 20 mph: 11 sec. * Min. Planing Speed: 13 mph