Tracker Review – Peter Kaye 2017

It was love at first sight when we crossed paths at the Brisbane Boat Show. A good friend of mine introduced us, the next four hours were spent pawing over her and finding out as much as I could about this beauty. The Tracker Pro Guide V-175 SC had everything I wanted in a boat and more! The only question was, how did she ride?

Our first date was down the Gold Coast with Tim Stessl from Fishing and Leisure Boats. Powering out the seaway at 60kph getting air off the back of the swell and landing smoothly and gracefully was enough for me. The shake of a hand and this fiery red was mine. Since then, I’ve spent around 90hrs on the water with her in all sorts of conditions. Enough of the romantic mumbo jumbo, let’s get down to the nitty gritty.

The Pro Guide V-175 SC is a 5.2m deep V boat made from high tensile American Alcoa aluminium and powered by a Mercury 115hp 4 stroke. They are rated for a maximum of 135hp. Top speed unloaded gets you touching 80kph, loaded will still get you over 70kph.

Trackers are manufactured in America each year by the thousands, well 40,000 to be precise. Mass production has many benefits and you can see this in the Tracker, the biggest benefit comes with nearly 40 years of design and development.

The continuous refinement results in an awesome boat with a surprisingly low price tag. $49,000 with a 90hp or $51,500 with the 115hp Mercury 4 Stroke Drive Away with 12 months of Qld rego.

There are almost no mods or extras on these boats, they pretty much come with all the extras built in. The reason there are no modifications available is because everything from the decks, live wells, rod lockers etc all play a part in the structural integrity of these boats. Everything on these Tracker’s is there for a reason, and it all works and flows beautifully.

The ride is testament to 40 years of development, they eat up the rough stuff better than most aluminium boats in the class, also giving a lot of glass boats a run for their money. They are quick to reach the plane and deliver a very quiet ride. The 115hp Mercury is very responsive and makes them very enjoyable to drive.

The awesome ride is a result of the boats construction. Full longitudinal stringer and an integrated sub-frame is the key element to the ride, along with the 35 degree dead rise at the bow and 20 degree at the stern.

The decks, lockers and generous storage are an integral component tying the whole boat together.

Finally expanding foam fills the voids for noise dampening, level floatation and extra rigidity. These features and construction process allows Tracker to give the boats a “Life Time Structural Warranty”, the only aluminium manufacturer to offer this and it is a true testament to how strong these hulls are.

On many occasions in sloppy conditions, I’ve just pushed the throttle down a little more and instantly the ride becomes smooth and dry. Passengers experiencing this have had horrified looks on their faces at first, quickly turning to laughter and disbelief as the ride softens with the increase in speed. Without exception, every passenger I have taken out has been impressed with the ride quality.

The heavy duty custom extruded gunnels and the massive beam on this boat mean you have a very generous fishing platform. I could quite confidently say the Tracker would have significantly more floor area than any 5.2m boat in its class.

Having 4 blokes fishing lures would normally be chaotic on a 5.2m open boat, but not so on the Tracker. Stability at rest whilst fishing is fantastic, even with 4 medium/large men fishing on one side it stays remarkably level.

Having clocked up at least 20hrs with 4 guys fishing on the Tracker, I can honestly say there was ample room for both casting and gear storage. Whilst fishing with 4 is possible 2-3 fishermen is ideal with generous amounts of room to move.

Fighting fish in the calm can be done from the front and rear casting decks, and if the ocean does get a bit messy, you can quite simply step down to the deeper main floor and fight fish from a braced position if you are a little unsteady on your feet.

Most of the boat is lavishly carpeted except for the recessed main floor. The main floor is cleverly covered in a vinyl material, mainly suited to heavy foot traffic and landing of big messy fish. The reason being the vinyl is a lot easier to clean blood and guts off vinyl than the carpeted areas.

The extruded gunnels have a “Versatrack” system built in to the entire port and starboard sides of the boat. This system allows the mounting of many accessories to the gunnels without drilling holes. Anything from rod holders, rod storage, tool caddy, cutting board, tackle storage, camera mounts etc can be mounted easily. Various mounted items can be adjusted around the boat to suit your fishing needs for the day.

Integrated smartphone holder, cup holder, lights, bow mounted tilt and trim, are a few of the cleverly placed standard inclusions which are testament to Tracker’s constant evolution of their boats. Even after 90hrs on this boat, I am still being pleasantly surprised by little things on this boat.

The few extras available for the Tracker include Versatrack accessories and a very well designed travel cover.

The boat comes standard with base model Minn Kota and base model Lowrance sounder.

The Tracker is ideal for bait or lure fishing with your mates, and is luxurious enough that the missus will feel spoilt in it. Offshore or shallow water, tournament or recreational fishing, it is a diverse boat for all occasions. I could rave on about this boat for ages but I suggest you have a look for yourself, more importantly take a test drive and experience the ride.

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