When the Avalanche settled down at our test-site dock, it wasthe subject of much intrigue. A host of people tapped the hull andpeered into the hatches, trying to find any sign of fiberglass.Look at the pictures. You can see why we found it hard to believethat the only glass on the entire boat is in the helm station.Everything else is brawny .125-gauge aluminum, all of itstretch-formed and welded. So, you get the dashing appearance of afiberglass bass boat and the durability and light weight of analuminum hull.
Tracker has gone to great lengths to make the Avalanche standout among aluminum or fiberglass boats. Take the five-step paintingprocess. Each Avalanche gets an acid bath to eliminate impurities.Then it’s etched and given a vinyl undercoat before the paintis baked on -- the same process car companies use. A clear-coat isadded to that.
The interior is different, too, with high gunwales in thecockpit. The depth provides a secure ride at 60 mph, but itdoesn’t impose on casting. That’s because the 96-inchbeam (as opposed to the typical 89-inch beam) allows monstrous bowand stern casting platforms -- among the biggest in the 18-footclass. It also allows for a divided livewell aft. The livewellrecirculates with a switch on the dash, and the water isautomatically replaced every three to four minutes.
Conveniences like a dash-mounted Humminbird fish finder, a67-pound-thrust Motorguide trolling motor and removable tackletrays are all standard. The dash isn’t skimpy either, with avoltmeter and water-pressure gauge in addition to fullinstrumentation.
It’s a thrill to pop onto pad and pass other boaters inthis red rocket. We had the Avalanche trimmed and the throttlemaxed at 5,600 rpm. It was windy and the lake was moderately rough,so 63 mph was legit with 150 horses. The number we still find hardto believe is 20,645 -- dollars, that is. That’s the packageprice, and it includes a matching trailer with disk surge brakesand chrome wheels.
Final Take: Adrenaline rush from first glance
We Also Like …
1. Two deep rod lockers flank the bow, with rod straps on deckfor security on the fly.
2. Cooler built into the bow step drains to the bilge.
3. Rub rails are exceptionally thick and sturdy to preventdings.
4. Glove box is built into the bow platform in front of thepassenger seat.
5. Rod straps aft on the port side.
6. Stainless-steel grab handle for passenger will get used.
Length Overall: 18’2”
Dry Weight: 1,370 lb. (w/out motor)
Seating/Weight Capacity: 5/995 lb.
Fuel Capacity: 41 gal.
Max HP: 175
MSRP (test boat): $20,645 (not including freight andrigging)
Test Engine: Mercury 150 XR6
Test Prop: 14.675 x 23 ventilated, stainless steel
Test Load: Fuel (11 gal.); People (190 lb.)
Top Speed: 63.0 MPH @ 5,600 RPM
Time to Plane: 2.0 sec.
Time to 30 MPH: 5.9 sec.
Minimum Planing Speed: 22.0 MPH @ 2,400 RPM
Noise at Idle: 59 db
Noise at 30 MPH: 80 db
Cruise Stats: 86 db; 46.1 MPH @ 4,200 RPM