We don’t hear the term “fish and ski” as often these days, but testing proved Princecraft’s Sport 172 has the attributes that moniker implies. Constructed with 5052-H36 marine-grade aluminum, it weighs in at an easy-to-tow 1,377 pounds (and comes standard with a single-axle trailer). But features like double plating at the chines and on the keel near the bow make it tough enough to handle the rock-bound waters of the Canadian Shield — or your local sandbar.
Although the boat is rated to carry a 125 hp engine, we discovered in our trials that a 90 hp Mercury outboard delivers plenty of power. With this engine and two people aboard, we accelerated fast enough that the Sport 172 achieved plane in 3.95 seconds and attained a top speed just shy of 40 mph, trimmed out and flying. Expect fuel economy to hover around 6 mpg.
The Sport 172’s new-for-2019 aft bench really wowed us. The seat flips over to create a massive fishing platform on the aft end of the boat. Flip it back to form a wide bench with individual seats and backrests for three passengers. And if needed, you can remove the seat from the boat completely — it’s easy to do.
Also notable, there are six sockets into which the movable pedestal seats may be placed. Swap these around to suit your needs. We’d also suggest ordering the optional bowrider cushion. Fitting the forward casting platform like a glove, it combines with the aft bench and the optional ski pylon to ensure your family’s happiness when in runabout mode. The optional Techno Package adds a Jensen stereo, swim step and battery switch for even more fun on the water.
But do you want to fish? The twin 17-gallon livewells will come in handy. So will the large lockable rod-stowage locker, the bow trolling-motor mount and its harness. The tall windshield protects your crew regardless of what mode you’re in — and adding the optional canvas covering turns this boat into a true three-season machine.
Seeking a lightweight, easy-to-trailer boat that serves as a fishing boat on Saturday and a capable family runabout on Sunday? Princecraft’s Sport 172 may fill the bill for you. Test-ride one and see.
- Removable rear bench seat with stowage underneath adds versatility.
- Choose from among six seat positions for the movable pedestal seats.
- Livewells in the bow and stern hold 17 gallons each.
Price: $27,911 (base)
How We Tested
Engine: Mercury FourStroke 90 hp
Drive/Prop: Outboard/13 1/2″ x 15″ 4-blade aluminum
Gear Ratio: 2.07:1
Fuel Load: 18 gal.
Crew Weight: 500 lb.
Princecraft Boats – Princeville, Quebec, Canada; 800-395-8858; princecraft.com