Sometimes, the best way to create a successful new product is to combine two things that are already good — like ice cream and apple pie.
Or in the case of G3 boats, the straightforward, fuel-efficient hull from one of its Gator Tough Jon boats and the deck and features found on its Eagle line of dual-console fishing machines. The resulting combination is the Eagle 176, at a very reasonable price.
In addition to being light and extremely tough, the full-welded bottom of the 176 takes very little power to get up and running. To help center the load and promote early planing, the fuel tank and other key components were moved toward the middle of the boat. This allows the 176 to deliver reasonable performance on an engine as small as 25 hp — though we think the 50 hp Yamaha on our test boat would be the better choice.
With the 50-horse engine, the boat cruised right along in the mid 20s, and topped out at 33 mph. The wide bow also proved to be extremely stable at rest, allowing our testers to move around when casting.
Make a list of all the amenities you'd want onboard a true fishing boat, and you'll find them on the 176. The company offers this model fully equipped at a very reasonable package price. Factor in the low cost of operation and maintenance, and the ease with which it can be towed, and it adds up to a versatile, noncompromise fishing package that won't strain the budget.
Key Note: The combination of an efficient aluminum hull and fore and aft fishing deck makes for a stable, economical fishing machine.
• In-deck cargo capacity includes several lift-out bins, two livewells and lockable rod and tackle storage.
• Removable fishing chairs can be positioned on the stern or in any of three forward deck positions.
• Sold as a full-featured package that includes fish-finding electronics, a trolling motor and a powder-coated trailer.
* Length Overall: 17'7"
* Beam: 6'8"
* Dry Weight: 1,000 lb.
* Seating/Weight Capacity: 4/1,000 lb.
* Fuel Capacity: 12 gal.
* Maximum HP: 60
* MSRP (test boat w/Yamaha 50): $15,795
* NMMA Certified: Yes
* Test Engine: Yamaha 50
* Test Prop: 10.675 x 12, aluminum
* Test Load: People (400 lb.); Fuel (10 gal.)
* Top Speed: 33 mph @ 6,000 rpm
* Time to Plane: 4.5 sec.
* Time to 30 MPH 11.4 sec.