When we met Alumacraft's representatives at the dock prior to putting the Dominator through its paces, there was as much talk about live-bait rigs and rod actions as there was about gull-wing hull design and propellers. Reason? The people who design and build Alumacrafts are die-hard fishermen, just like their customers, and it shows in their products.
Idling away from the landing, the Evinrude 130 purred along, pushing the Dominator at a scant 2.7 mph. If you fish, that's an important stat, because it's an ideal crawl speed — and whisper quiet — for many trolling applications.
With a push of the throttle, the boat popped to plane with hardly a hint of bow rise. Capping out at 44.5 mph, it didn't take long to reach a well-known "hot spot" to test the boat's fishing features, which are many. Along the way, the tall walk-through windshield kept us comfortable during a downright cold morning ride.
Alumacraft took some of the most-popular fishing nuances from its Tournament Series line and applied them to the Dominator, to give anglers professional treatment on an amateur's salary. The center-mount rod locker with tubes, handling sticks up to 7 feet long, is a prime example. Plus there's a 7.5-foot portside rod locker. Dual livewells and ample subsurface storage come standard too.
Alumacraft also outfitted the Dominator with two fold-down jump seats at the rear casting deck. Although compact, they're well cushioned and help keep the whole family happy and comfortable on the water.
Key Note: An economical boat to own, drive and tow. We tested it with a 130 hp motor, but a 100 would shave the price and still perform well.
• A center rod locker is something found on $60,000 bass boats. By extending into the cockpit, this one doubles as a nice footrest.
• The twin-plated hull, with two sheets of .080 aluminum, gave us a strong ride in harsh conditions.
• Wide gunwales really help when boarding, since they're wide enough to give good footing and carpeted to help resist slipping.
* Length Overall: 17'9"
* Beam: 7'10"
* Dry Weight (w/ motor): 1,887 lb.
* Seating/Weight Capacity: 5/1,245 lb.
* Fuel Capacity: 38 gal.
* Maximum HP: 150
* MSRP (as tested w/ Minn-Kota 70AP, Lowrance X-102): $26,295
* NMMA Certified: Yes
* Test Engine: Evinrude 130 E-Tec
* Test Prop: Evinrude Viper 19 pitch, stainless
* Test Load: People (330 lb.); Fuel (28 gal.)
* Top Speed: 44.7 mph @ 5,700 rpm
* Time to Plane: 3.6 sec.
* Time to 30 MPH: 8.5 sec.
* Minimum Planing Speed: 16 mph @ 2,750 rpm