The all-welded aluminum Tracker Pro 160 has a "Ready to Fish" package that is appealing to anglers looking for a more affordable option at $8,995, including 20-hp outboard and a trailer (plus freight and dealer prop). People looking for a boat this inexpensive may be concerned about he quality of the vessel, and here we can answer some questions. The grade and thickness of the aluminum used is the same as Tracker uses it its larger outboard boats. The aluminum substructure is substantial and its paint is powdercoated and baked on
- Rugged, all-welded, 1-piece aluminum hull
- 1-piece molded console with tinted windscreen
- 2 fold-down helm and buddy seats with storage
- Minn Kota 12V, 45-lb. thrust foot-controlled trolling motor
- Lowrance X-4 Pro fishfinder
- 9-gallon (34.07 L) aerated midship livewell
- Bow and aft casting decks with 2 fold-down fishing seats
- Port side rod holders with organizer for 4 rods
- Interstate cranking and trolling batteries
- Custom factory-matched trailer with 12" (30.48 cm) wheels
|Length Overall||16' 2'' / 4.93 m|
Currently no test numbers
1 x 25-hp Mercury FourStroke ELPT
1 x 20-hp Mercury FourStroke EL
1 x 20-hp Mercury FourStroke ELPT
1 x 25-hp Mercury ELPT 4-stroke
1 x 40-hp Mercury FourStroke ELPT
1 x 9.9-hp Mercury FourStroke BigFoot ELPT
|Deck Warranty Extended||Limited Lifetime|
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Mission of the Tracker Pro 160
Mindful of the fact that the recession has gone on for some six years, the folks at Tracker Marine put their heads together and asked themselves what it would take to get every able-bodied angler out on the water this season in a new boat.
The answer was to make a boat so affordable, so complete, that it was an offer any real boatless fisherman couldn't refuse. That boat is the new for 2013 Tracker Pro 160.
Who Should Buy This Boat?
Tracker targeted the Pro 160 to a very specific type of angler -- one who often fishes alone or with just one buddy. Since most anglers fish alone, or with just a friend or family member, building a boat with a loaded carrying capacity of 435 lbs. (197.7 kgs.) seemed like a win-win for everyone concerned. Win for the anglers who usually fish alone or with just one buddy or kids.
It is a second win for the angler because by building a boat for one or two buddies it could keep the size of the boat down and the size of the engine down as well. That saves both initial cost and operating expenses.
It's also a win for the casual angler who only wants to go fishing a few times a year and hates the thought of an expensive boat being under utilized. By making the boat so inexpensive even Scrooge wouldn't feel guilty blowing off a few weekends each summer.
Rigged and Ready
We found five major items of equipment on the standard features list that makes this boat "Rigged & Ready" to go fishing. All that is needed is a rod, some bait and a little gasoline. Follow us as we "check off" the important fishing equipment--
#1 Helm Console.
The Pro 160 has a one-piece helm console that houses the boat's steering wheel, basic gauges, switches, fishfinder and plug-ins. This is a feature usually not seen on aluminum fishing boats at this price-point.
#2. Trolling Motor.
For a fishing boat to be considered rigged and ready, it must have the basic necessities. For starters let's look for a trolling motor. Check! This boat comes with a Minn Kota 45-lb. thrust with foot-control trolling motor that connects to the prewired plug in the bow. What's more Tracker supplies a dedicated battery for it.
The unit is the Edge 45 which has a 45" shaft and 45-lbs of thrust. The prop used is the weedless Wedge 2. The composite bullet is impact resistant and the spine is marine-grade anodized aluminum. It has a 2-year factory warranty.
We need a livewell to keep the bait fresh, or keep the catch alive. Check! The boat has a 9-gal. (34.07 L) aerated livewell molded into the front of the console, and thankfully it includes rounded corners to protect the catch. Additionally, this livewell is all one-piece construction, so no loose parts can go flying off as we cruise to the fishing hole. When not fishing, it can be used for storage.
How about a fishfinder? Check! Tracker includes a Lowrance X-4 Pro fishfinder with a surface temperature display and a swivel mounting bracket making it viewable from the bow.
The 4-X Pro delivers superior target detail and the display can be read even in bright sunlight. It has both auto and manual operation and reads down to 1,000 ft. (304.8 m). It has a one-year factory warranty.
Rod holders? Check! The Pro 160 accommodates four rods up to 7' (2.13 m) in dedicated, port side holders. There are also storage bins, both in-deck and under the seats.
With small boats, storage usually suffers, but not so in the Pro 160. Notice the pinchless hinge-type fold-down seats.
#6. Pedestal Casting Seats.
A "must have" piece of fishing equipment. Check! There are two pedestal seats, with screw-in bases both fore and aft on the casting decks. These screw-in bases are solid and are of a type used in some of the most expensive bass boats.
Of course a deal is not a deal if it has to sit in the yard. This Pro 160 comes with a trailer with 12" wheels. It's color-matched with powder-coated steel tubing and Galvashield corrosion protection. The bunks are carpeted, nylon tie-down straps are included, and the lights are submersible.
Brakes are the only add-on that might be a necessary option because some local laws may require them. The trailer also comes with a folding-tongue jack and outboard motor support which makes storage in the garage so much easier.
Standard power is a Mercury 20 EL 4-Stroke with electric start. It is a two-cylinder in-line single overhead cam (SOHC), carbureted engine with a total of 351 cc of displacement. SOHC engines are known for their low-end torque and that is precisely what this rig needs. More good news: the engine weighs only about 115-lbs. (52 kgs.), one of the lightest in class.
Other features of the Mercury 20 EL include a "fuel primer fast idle system" which is better than an auto-chock with today's fuel. It has a low-oil pressure warning system and a back-up rope start in case of a dead battery. It has six trim positions which maximizes hull performance and permits shallow water operation.
The engine comes with a Mercury 3-year warranty which covers the engine, rigging components and controls. It also has a concurrent 3-year anti-corrosion warranty. Extended factory backed warranty coverage up to seven years can be purchased.
We have not tested the new Pro 160 so we can give no verifiable performance data. Tracker tells us that with this engine they are reaching top speeds between 22-24 mph with a light load aboard. With a heavy load top speed its more like 18 or 19 mph. For those who want to upgrade the engine, options include a Mercury 20 ELPT 4-stroke, a Mercury 25 ELPT 4-stroke or a Mercury 40 ELPT 4-stroke. All have 20" (51 cm) shafts.
The deadrise of the boat is just 6-degrees at the transom. This is a low deadrise angle and helps the boat get on plane fast, have a higher top speed, and be more fuel efficient at cruise than it would otherwise. Perhaps most importantly -- because the boat's max beam is 4' (1.21 m) at the bottom -- the low deadrise angle gives the boat added stability.
The most important aspect, of course, of the Pro 160 is the hull itself. The bottom is made from one large piece of 0.090 thick 5052 marine aluminum alloy sheeting which is cut, bent, burnished and welded. It has "pressed-in" strakes and chines which give the hull lift and stiffness without added weight. Longitudinal stringers are welded inside to the bottom for more strength and stiffness.
Tracker uses "box-beams" that support the gunwales and the all-aluminum transom. A heavy, extruded single piece of aluminum is placed on the gunwale for extra strength and rigidity. All storage lids are made of aluminum covered in carpet and flush-mounted. The seat frames are made from composite material.
The deck and cockpit sole of the 160 are made of pressure-treated marine-grade plywood which carries a "limited lifetime warranty" according to the builder. The plywood is covered with marine-grade, cut-pile carpeting throughout.
Between the bottom of the boat and the deck is injected, expanded foam flotation that also stiffens the hull and serves as sound insulation. Because the boat is under 20' it is required by the USCG to float level if swamped. This is an extremely important consideration for a small boat with a 15" (37.8 cc) cockpit depth and a freeboard at the transom of 21" (53.1 cc).
A glance at the bird's eye images of the boat's deck will instantly indicate where the flotation is in the boat -- anywhere the deck is raised and there is no storage. Essentially, it is in the ends, the stern to support the engine and the crew, and the bow to support the crew and the structure of the boat.
The following items are part of the Tracker Warranty --
It should be remembered that boats are typically sold for one reason or another after five or 10 years if not before, so while the boat always depreciates, a portion of the money comes back to the buyer at resale. The difference between the boat's cost and the resale price is simply the "rent" paid for the joy of using the boat fishing with family and friends over the years.
Life is short.