Crestliner 1800 Super Hawk

The 1800 Super Hawk is a robust, multiuse boat that can help extend the season.

We Say: Crestliner's 1800 Super Hawk is a fish-and-ski, rendered in welded tongue-and-groove plate, rather than butted panels, with an extruded gunwale that locks its sides and side decks together, stiffening the boat.

I’m 6 feet tall, and while seated at the helm, the top of my head was below the windshield, which protected me, and the entire aft cockpit, from wind blast. A Taylor Clear Curve model, the ’shield has no mullions to spoil the view. Forward, I flipped the seats and saw how the conversion bow morphs from a wide-open casting platform to a bowrider-like lounge, just like that.

Opening a hatch, I discovered the 1800 is pre-wired for a trolling motor and that a dedicated battery platform is in place for it. While I didn’t like the livewell’s square sides — rounded wells keep fish healthier — the convenience of having a livewell in the bow (21 gallons) as well as the stern (22 gallons) is awesome. Under another hatch I found lockable stowage for a quiver of rods. An aft bench seat converts to a casting platform with one tug. The seat couples with four cockpit pedestal sockets, providing ample and flexible seating for guests or anglers.

With a 150 hp Mercury Optimax outboard, the 1800 planed in three seconds and carved confident turns thanks to the V of its 17-degree transom deadrise. Top speed kisses 50 mph.

Who'd Want One: Those seeking a robust, multiuse boat that can also help extend the season.

Another Choice: Tracker's Targa V-18 Combo, another split-windshield switch-hitter, retails for $28,120 with a 150 Mercury Optimax and trailer.

Bottom Line: $29,529 (with 150 Mercury Optimax and trailer)