Powering across the lake at 25 mph confirmed that the ride of Alumacraft’s Classic 165 CS is the quality I liked best. Sure, it comes with a Yamaha F50, a roller trailer and an extra seat for less than 15 grand, plus lots of other standards. But take this boat out and you’ll see why the ride impresses.
The Classic 165 CS provides comfort underway by combining a symphony of hull shapes with robust build features. Its stem is steeply raked, allowing the boat to more gradually lift to wakes and chop than boats with more vertical bows. Aft, the Classic 165 CS carries its V-shape all the way to the transom. Its nearly full-length keel improves tracking, inhibiting the tendency to run a skewed course in crosswinds. Reversed spray rails deflect water back into the lake.
Structurally, the Classic 165 CS features double-plating in the bow, providing durability for the part of the boat that hits stuff most — this so-called 2XB feature also contributes to ride quality. I found this especially evident in turns, where the doubling prevents the hull from losing its shape momentarily, allowing for crisply carved crescents, rather than skittering and jostling, during course changes. That long keel also aids in shape-keeping.
I was comfortable behind the console with its acrylic windscreen and, when I inspected the wiring within, was impressed with the manner in which it was run. There are six seat sockets aboard the Classic 165 CS, including raised locations at the transom and bow. Hatches are aluminum: These didn’t deflect like plastic hatches — even when I stomped on ’em. Lockable stowage for 10 rods and a livewell big enough for a 50-inch northern pike complete the package.
•Great package price: Under $15K with motor, trailer and accessories.
•Seam tape and extra-large ¼-inch-diameter rivets ensure hull integrity and allow for easy down-the-road repair.
•Hatch latches are metal, not plastic, and lockable.
•Alumacraft protects all rigging tubes and raceways against chafing.
Length Overall: 16’5”
Dry Weight: 895 lb.
Seating/Weight Capacity: 5/1,285 lb.
Fuel Capacity: 20 gal.
Max HP: 75
MSRP (w/ Yamaha F50, Shoreland’r roller trailer): $14,595
NMMA Certified: Yes
Test Engine: Yamaha F50
Test Prop: 3.25” x 15” aluminum, 3-blade
Test Load: People (350 lb.), Fuel (20 gal.)
Top Speed: 29.5 mph @ 5,600 rpm
Time to Plane: 3.8 sec.