I was a bit skeptical about purchasing this Smokercraft. I don’t want to sound like a boat snob, but in my limited exposure to boats bigger than 12 feet, I was pretty spoiled to own a practically new 2004 Princecraft SuperPro 186 Platinum with a 150 hp Mercury Optimax as my first big outboard.
The boat was nice on the water. It handled the rough water, even at speed. It was a great cruiser and fisher. Princecraft is also has that reputation behind it as one of the best boat manufacturers in that segment. It’s regarded highly with Lunds, Alumacraft and Crestliners. They’re Canadian made, and resale is apparently high on them too, but I wouldn’t know about that 😉
So that was my benchmark. That and the Lund I test drove in August.
The thing I noticed was the bow of the Smokercraft didn’t have as sharp, narrow and deep entry like the Princecraft. It flares out a bit more. That gives me the impression that it’s going to hit the waves a bit harder in the larger waves. The Princecraft was a deep v and it looks like it would cut through the waves rather than smack into them.
The Princecraft has a double plated hull, where the Smokercraft has a single plated thick hull.
After a few months with this Smokercraft on pretty rough waters to glass, I have the following comparisons with the Princecraft I had before:
The E-Tec is quieter and smoother than the Optimax. Both are 150 hp 2-stroke direct-injected outboards.
The Smokercraft seems to smack waves where the Princecraft seems to cut through them.
On light chop, the Smokercraft was smoother and quieter than the Princecraft.
The E-Tec with the heavier smokercraft seemed to have more guts than the lighter Princecraft with the Optimax. This is likely because of the prop. The E-Tec has a stainless.
My top speed alone/with 1 passenger in the Princecraft was 47/45 mph. In the Smokercraft it’s 50/48 mph. Again, could be prop related.
The Smokercraft has a much more fishing friendly interior.
The Princecraft is a nicer looking boat.
I’m happy I made this choice. It’s clean, practically new, and has great fishing features. I’ll see if my rough water observation changes as I put more time in this boat for 2011.Print This Post