Crestliner 1870 Backwater Center Console

For anglers who prefer to spend more hours fishing and less time maintaining their boats, the Backwater is a good fit.

Sometimes the simple things in life bring the richest rewards. Case in point: the new Crestliner 1870 Backwater. For anglers, it's one of the most straightforward fishing boats we've tested. Outfitted with a 75 Mercury outboard, the Backwater also has a straightforward price tag of less than $15,000.

With a hull weight (1,175 pounds) that's less than comparable-size glass bay boats, the hole shot, planing ease and speed we experienced was quite impressive — it outran our ski-boat-turned-photo-boat out of the hole. When the wind picked up on our test lake, the lightweight Backwater's aggressive V at the stem parted the waves and delivered a solid ride.

The mod-V hull drafts very little water, making it extremely stealthy and able, whether stalking bass in shallow freshwater bays or cruising the saltwater flats for bonefish. And the boat's all-welded aluminum hull uses alloys specifically designed to withstand brackish and saltwater environments.

To make the Backwater more fishing-friendly than last year's similar model, Crestliner moved the aerated livewell to the stern, which allows room for two big storage compartments at the bow. They also added twin storage bays on either side of the livewell and moved the fuel fill to the rear (to minimize line snags on the gas cap).

For anglers who prefer to spend more hours fishing and less time maintaining their boats, the Backwater is a good fit. Hose off the floor and the hull, and it's done for the day.

Crestliner 1870 Backwater Center Console
Crestliner 1870 Backwater Center Console Certified Test ResultsBoating Magazine

Key Note: It's best to drive standing up because of the wide space between the seat and wheel.

Standout Features
• Rivet-free bow platform is one big sheet of aluminum … solid underfoot without any "oil-canning."
• Wood-free construction means there's not a darned thing in this boat that can rot or warp, and it's all finished in baked Armor-Guard paint.
• Versatile console includes a passenger seat with storage underneath and six stand-up rod tubes.

Vital Stats
* Length Overall: 18'
* Beam: 7'6½"
* Dry Weight: 1,175 lb.
* Seating/Weight Capacity: 5/1,290 lb.
* Fuel Capacity: Portable (optional 12 gal. tank)
* Maximum HP: 90
* MSRP (as tested): $14,660
* NMMA Certified: Yes

Test Drive
* Test Engine: Mercury OptiMax 75
* Test Prop: 17 Pitch, aluminum
* Test Load: People (305 lb.); Fuel (12 gal.)
* Top Speed: 39.1 mph @ 5,500 rpm
* Time to Plane: 3.0 sec.
* Time to 30 MPH: 6.7 sec.
* Minimum Planing Speed: 15.8 mph @ 3,050 rpm @ 81 db