Princecraft 169 DLX

Open season.

If you're a freshwater fisherman who likes to target everything that swims, then you'll want to take a look at the Princecraft 169 DLX, an aluminum "multispecies" boat meant to compete with its fiberglass brethren. Wearing a two-tone, high-gloss finish, you could mistake it for fiberglass, but the 16'2"-by-7'4" 169 DLX is built from a high-grade 5052-H36 aluminum alloy. Its solid construction doesn't allow the hull to flex as much as a typical aluminum boat. On test day we ran through a nasty chop and, though we took some spray over the bow, we didn't hear the usual hull noise associated with aluminum hulls. In fact, the ride was surprisingly quiet, hitting only 85 dB-A at full throttle. Even with the slight spray, its deep cockpit makes open-water runs more pleasant than if you were on a typical bass boat.

TEST BOAT POWER: Single 90-hp Evinrude V-4 outboard with 105.4 cid, 3.60" bore x 2.59" stroke, swinging a 14" x 17" three-bladed aluminum prop through a 2.1:1 reduction.

It's set up to take on all comers with a 20-gallon recirculating livewell under the bow platform and a 10-gallon well aft. A Lowrance X-24 fishfinder/depthsounder comes standard. The port gunwale houses a lockable rodbox that can hold up to six 7' rods. The three collapsible fishing chairs can be set on any of six deck bases. There's a 12-volt panel on the bow platform for an optional trolling motor ($475 to $800). I'd like to see some nonslip on the gunwales for boarding and some extra standing room for fishing. The 169 DLX comes standard with a 70-hp Evinrude; the 90-hp rig we tested brings the total to $19,500 with a trailer.