This is the biggest little boat we’ve tested this year, and we thought it brought a great deal more fun to the water than we had thought available at such a value price.
The 162 Fisherman would make an ideal entry boat for newbies or a cool tender for yachtsmen. Its hull and deck are foam filled and watertight, meaning there is no bilge to collect water that requires pumping out: Any water that comes aboard drains out the scuppered deck. To ensure that the integrity of the foam floatation isn’t compromised by moisture, the cup holders and rod holders are molded into the deck instead of cutting large holes for hardware. Wellcraft then fashioned acrylic collars fastened with three sealed, stainless-steel screws. It’s the simplicity of the design and features that made it so attractive to our test team.
It seats five passengers, two at the helm, one forward and two on the stern. Stern seats have flip-up backs that form a casting platform when stowed. Underneath is the 12-gallon fuel supply in a portable tank, easily hauled to the gas station for economical refueling.
There is an optional cushion for the bow casting platform. The helm seat is a flip-back-style that can face aft for fishing at anchor. Under the cushion is a generous cooler. The helm console has space for a chart plotter/sonar combo unit, and our boat was brilliantly equipped with an optional JBL Bluetooth audio pod that bungeed to the dash behind the acrylic windshield. On either side of the helm station are a trio of rod holders.
Our test boat had optional surf-mat coaming bolsters that looked great and added style. Hull side colors are optional. Choose from two color options besides white: phantom grey (a dark color) and a cool, liquid blue.
We liked the hydraulic steering, and the simple design still provided USB phone ports, easy access to the battery below the console and full navigation lights for night cruising or fishing.
It might be small in size but it is full of features—including a standard rugged GatorHyde finished custom trailer with self-centering bunks.