Boat Test: 2008 Tracker Boats Targa 185 Sport

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Boat Tested2008 Tracker Boats Targa 185 Sport
Price As Tested$29,675
Category Fish and Ski
Manufacturer Tracker Boats
Length18ft 6in / 5.64 m
Beam8ft / 2.44 m
Weight1,901 Lbs
Fuel Capacity151 L
There’s an old joke that anglers love aluminum boats because they’re made of a material that also holds their favourite beverage.
Truth is, aluminum’s light, durable and easy to move. An aluminum boat will weigh at least 20 per cent less than an equivalent fibreglass one. Lower boat weight means a smaller engine is needed to push it, so the combination of a direct-injection two-stroke outboard and an aluminum boat found on the test boat is ideal.
The all-welded Tracker Targa 185 Sport is built for angling plus all-round family boating. In terms of boat construction, the features that make aluminum boats ideal for fishing also make them great family boats. Weighing in at under 2,000 pounds, complete with its 150 Mercury OptiMax outboard, the Tracker Targa 185 Sport test boat can be easily towed to any launch ramp
without a heavy duty vehicle. Out on the water, the low weight means a high powerto- weight ratio. That translates into great acceleration: 0 to 30 mph in just over four seconds and 0 to 40 mph in 6.16 seconds. The boat has tight handling and an excellent turn of speed.
Top speed for the test boat is 49.2 mph at 5300 rpm, with a 21” pitch aluminum prop. The boat cruises effortlessly at 25.6 mph at 3000 rpm and 32 mph at 3500 rpm. Despite a 19-degree modified-V hull, the Targa’s hull has reverse chines that help it stay on plane right down to 2500 rpm. A small swim platform and boarding ladder will help get riders and skiers back onboard.
The Targa’s bound to be great for fishing at any speed, in pretty well any kind of waves and weather, with a tall walk-through windscreen and Bimini top. Four swivelling seats mount on four sockets in the cockpit or one
of the ones on the fore and aft casting decks. If you’ve got the whole gang along for the ride, there are two flip-up jump seats folded into in the aft casting platform.
The foredeck is fishing central with a nine-rod locker amidships, livewell with bait bucket to port under the casting deck and a 55-lb thrust Minn Kota trolling motor mounted on the gunwale to port. There’s a drained storage locker forward, another in the cockpit floor and more storage space in
coaming lockers.
The bow-mounted trolling motor is a dead giveaway, of course, but other than that the Targa looks nothing like a utilitarian fishing machine, with its smooth all-welded hull, silver-grey and black paint job, and attractive
graphics.
It’s sure to catch fish, but it can also let the kids catch big air.
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