Boat Test: 2011 Polar Kraft 179 SE

Boat Tested2011 Polar Kraft 179 SE
Price As Tested$21,500 CAD
Category Multi Species Fish
Manufacturer Polar Kraft
Length17ft 9in / 5.41 m
Beam8ft / 2.44 m
Drive TypeOutboard
Engine MakeEvinrude
Fuel Capacity27

By: Mike Milne

Practically every fishing boat manufacturer has a 17-foot “price-point” boat, motor and trailer package. It’s not that 17 is a magic number for fish. It’s just 17 footers can usually be powered by 50- to 100-hp outboards and fit easily into a garage. Because any boat, motor and engine combination is critical and reduced cost does not always ensure increased performance, only a few “price point” boats stand out from the crowd. The new Polar Kraft 179 SE is one of them.

For starters, the aluminum modified-V “V-Launch pad” hull is easily driven. The test boat engine - a direct-injection, two-stroke 90-hp Evinrude E-TEC - is light, powerful and well-suited to the boat. With a quarter tank of fuel and two men on board, the 179 SE tops out at 38.4 mph. It cruises easily at 24.8 mph at 3500 and 19.4mph at 3000 rpm. It’s still on plane at about 16 mph and 2500 rpm. Most impressively, the boat accelerates to 20mph in less than five seconds and reaches 30mph in just over seven seconds.

The Evinrude E-TEC outboard also boasts miserly fuel consumption, maintenance free operation for three years or 300 hours, and winterization that takes less than just minutes at the controls.

When fishing, the boat may be slowed by a full livewell, fuel tank and gear lockers. But the hull is a great compromise between handling, stability and performance. Steering has no feedback and the hull lightens up and rides high when the engine is trimmed out at full throttle. The helm is well laid out and comfortable, with good visibility.

Fishing boats need more than top performance and the 179 SE has all the must haves: Minn Kota trolling motor, Lowrance X-50 fish finder, high walk-through windshield, stand-up convertible top, three swivelling fold-down seats, four seat sockets in the cockpit and one each on the fore and aft casting platforms, a 25-gallon aft livewell with divider and baitwell, high topsides, two 12-volt power outlets, plenty of storage, and easy-clean vinyl floors. Polar Kraft adds an attractive white paint job and graphics, locking coaming rod storage locker and a trailer. 

Inevitably, anglers will add equipment that suits their personal fishing style. But the Polar Kraft 179 SE is a great multi-species platform that has more going for it than a reasonable price tag.

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