Crestliner, Otsego, Minnesota, unveiled the latest addition to its multi-species lineup this week at the Toronto International Boat Show at the Direct Energy Centre. The 1600 Vision is a 16-foot, four-inch deep-V aluminum fishing boat featuring a unique modular design that allows the consumer and dealer to more easily customize the boat at the dealership.
For instance, customers can decide between a fish or sport package on the sales floor and then the Vision can then be outfitted immediately rather than waiting for factory installation. Those dealer-installed options also include a port console – turning a side console into a dual console; a center locking rod storage for nine-foot rods with tubes; or a bow storage drawer.
"We are thrilled to introduce the Vision because it is going to revolutionize the consumer experience,' says Crestliner President, Cecil Cohn. "Straight from the factory, the Vision offers everything a customer needs, like safety, power, performance and durability. But now, on the sales floor, they can build their dreamboat into what they want, whether that's a hardcore fishing vessel or a powerful watersports craft. It's a well-equipped, 16-foot entry-level model but it will cross over to appealing to used boat buyers seeking a vessel that comes with a lifetime warranty. It provides dealers the opportunity to bring the boat into their dealerships in the standard configuration or they can order the packages loose to be shipped in the boat and have whatever Vision the consumer wants to buy.'
The Fish Package option includes a two-bank battery charger, additional seat pedestal, aft jump seats and a MotorGuide trolling motor. The Sport package includes a swim platform and ladder, removable ski pylon, aft jump seats, and a Jensen stereo with speakers.
Cohn says the boat was designed with consumers entering the market for the first time. Rather than overwhelm them with a large number of options they may not be familiar with, the 1600 Vision has a shorter list of options, which Cohn says has the added benefit of making the boat easier to stock for dealers as well as to keep the cost of production lower.
"This idea for the vision initially came from Canada,' says Tom McNair of Brunswick – US Marine and Outboard Boats. "So we decided to launch the boat in Canada. Our Canadian dealers led the charge for requesting a simple boat that the consumer could identify with right away.'
Cohn says Canada is one of Crestliner's "two pockets of tremendous strength – the upper Mid-West and Eastern Canada. The provinces of Ontario, Quebec and east are a huge piece of Crestliner's total volume.'
Crestliner Product Manager, Christine Bush, described the company's approach to building the Vision. "Crestliner takes four pieces of aluminum to form our hull to create a variable-degree deadrise, which means we have a sharper entry in the bow than we do at the stern of the boat. That gives us a greater angle at the boat is hitting waves, providing a smoother ride. We also have reverse chines built into this boat, something normally found on a higher-end product.'
Bush went on to describe how Crestliner paid special attention to strengthening Vision's keel. The company uses a thick tongue in groove extrusion to join the boat's bottom sheets to the keel. She says using this method to form the keel better reduces flex in the boat compared to a butt weld or overlapping style keel.
Besides easy to install upgrades, the Vision features a completely redesigned hull sporting a variable-degree deadrise. Extended reverse chines act as stabilizers for a quicker time-to-plane and smoother ride, while work-hardened sidewalls and a double-welded transom strengthen the infrastructure.
On deck, the Vision's open cockpit allows for multiple seating arrangements with room for up to five passengers. The boat features an exterior J-Hook, which accepts a canvas without the use of visible snaps. Inside the gunnels is Crestliner's SureMount accessory track (launched for model year 2014) allowing the addition of brackets for accessories such as rod holders and cup holders.
Inside, the boat features a removable 12-gallon fuel tank equipped with an on-tank fuel gauge. The Vision comes with two standard deluxe seats that can be moved to the bow or stern decks for fishing. Two courtesy lights are found in the boat, one in the cockpit near the stern and a second in the bow. A switch on the dash can control both lights or simply press the lights themselves to turn them on or off.
"At Crestliner, our vision wasn't just to build a simple, durable, powerful and affordable boat,' added Cohn. "We wanted something that could adapt right away to our customers' needs. That's why our original vision was aptly named the Vision – and with its unbelievable capability to customize, it is designed to fulfill your vision.'
The 1600 Vision became available for order shortly after its unveiling.
Length: 16' 4'
Dry Weight (boat only): 935 lbs.
Passenger Capacity: 5
Max Power: 60hp
Fuel Capacity: 12 gal. US (portable)
MSRP: $14,095 (w/50hp engine) or $14,395 (w/60hp engine)