Boat Test: 2018 Pioneer 202 Islander

Boat Tested2018 Pioneer 202 Islander
Price As TestedNot Available
Category Center Console
Manufacturer Pioneer
Length19ft 10in / 6.05 m
Beam8ft 2in / 2.49 m
Max HP175
Drive TypeOutboard
Engine MakeYamaha Outboards
Fuel Capacity55
By Jon Blaicher
Pioneer developed the Islander series to provide more comfort and versatility for families who multitask with their boats, but with fourteen standard rod holders, padded coaming bolsters, stainless toe rails and an insulated fishing box, the 202 Islander remains a very capable fishing rig.

The Islander trades jump seats for full-width transom seating to enhance the passenger experience and in the best place to sit when conditions get rough. The standard helm bench is replaced with a double-wide helm seat with individual flip up bolsters. Wrap around coaming bolsters double as a back rest in the bow. For cottage boating, this Pioneer Islander had the full bow rail, T-top, ski tow and dual swim platforms added.

Our test 202 was powered by the ultra-quiet Yamaha F150 and took just over four seconds to get on plane. Top speed was a very reasonable 48 miles per hour. Handling was predictable, if not a little sedate and to turn quickly I made frequent use of the handy brodie knob on the steering wheel. Big reverse chines help keep the boat flat and dry, but it was the ride quality that impressed me most. Pioneer incorporates a full-length stringer system between the deck and hull and voids are filled with foam to add permanent buoyancy. The secondary benefit is a hull that is quiet and very solid feeling.

Also impressive were the tiny details below the surface. Under every hatch is a fully finished compartment. You won’t find any paint or raw fibreglass. The anchor hatch uses double pin hinges to reduce wear over the long term. The coaming rod holders are integrated in to the deck for strength. The transom cutout where the engine mounts is not capped. Instead, Pioneer glasses it in for added strength and reapplies gelcoat to match the hull. It’s those kinds of details that make a lasting impression.

Yamaha F150, 150 hp, 2675cc inline four-cylinder, four-valve, DOHC, multi-point EFI
Length: 19 ft 10 in / 6.05 mBeam: 8 ft 2 in / 2.49 mWeight: 1,900 lb / 862 kg (approx.)Fuel Capacity: 55 gal / 208 L 
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