We just completed our purchase of a Hewescraft 180 Pro V boat (2021 model). It’s been about a 3-month process; most of that time spent researching the different types of boats that could work for us followed by looking for a boat slip followed by finding the boat we wanted.
We found our boat at a dealership a few hours away (includes taking a ferry) so that took up a few days to go check it out, order it and then two weeks later to go and pick it up. Once picked up, we spent half a day getting it secured at our marina boat slip.
It’s all done. We’ve already enjoyed a day of boating on the water. I couldn’t be happier with our decision to buy the Hewescraft 180 Pro V.
After all that, here’s
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1. When the smoke cleared, the final cost was 46% higher than the sticker price
Get all the boat cost details here.
This was the first boat we bought other than a kayak. When we started our search I had it in my head we’d need to spend $30K. Once I realized the best boat for our needs was an aluminum hard-top fishing boat, the budget jumped to $75K. Once we ordered all the additional features the price came just shy of $100K. Then there’s the marina cost, insurance, etc.
At the end of the day our boat cost us much more than we expected. I suspect it’ll cost more going forward than I expect.
Regrets? None whatsoever. I’m glad we invested in what is the perfect boat for our needs instead of compromising. Actually, we compromised a bit… we could have opted for a 21′ Hewescraft with a 185 hp motor. More space. More power. More money.
2. It’s an aluminum hull boat
I’m surprised aluminum hulls aren’t more popular. I like how they’re so durable; a real workhorse. While it can dent, it can take some rough treatment which is good given we’ll be docking it often at our cabin and marina and elsewhere.
3. Lifetime warranty on the boat (not the motor)
Because it’s an aluminum hull that’s well made, Hewescraft offers a lifetime warranty. I hope to never have to use it but I know folks with a similar boat who have had it for 15+ years and it continues to perform just fine.
4. The built-in gas tank holds 48 gallons
No jerry cans. It comes with a built-in 48-gallon tank. That’s a lot of gas which I really like since we’ll be using this boat a lot and need to travel pretty far on the water each time we take it out.
5. It’s 20′ long including the transom; 18′ not including the transom
It’s not a big boat. In fact, at the marina next to 26′ plus boats, it looks small. I liken it to a large skiff with a cabin on it. It looks big on the trailer but in the water it’s not so big which suits us just fine. It still accommodates more than enough people and offers plenty of cargo room (deck space).
6. Option to add an extended 25.5″ transom (we opted for this)
We added the extended transom for a swimming platform. We had a folding swimming ladder attached to it so that it’s easy to get in and out of the water.
7. Spacious cabin seats up to 6 people comfortably
I love how it has two side opposing bench seats plus two front, swivel seats. The bench seats are well cushioned. Each bench can seat two adults comfortably or three kids.
8. The two benches convert into a bed
The two benches can convert into a bed with the back cushions and a couple of bars. I doubt we’ll use it but it’s nice having the option.
9. Tall people can stand upright in the cabin
I’m 6′ 3″ tall and can stand fully upright. I love that about this boat. You can see the cabin sits pretty tall on the boat. These cabin aluminum hull boats are designed for boating indoors away from the elements.
10. It’s more than just a fishing boat
Okay, it’s great for fishing but it can serve as more. For us, it’s a commuter boat to our boat-access cabin. Yes, we’ll fish with it but its main function is to take us to and from our boat access cabin. It’ll also serve as a cruising/pleasure craft as we explore the waters around us (so much water and islands to explore).
11. Tons of deck space
I love the large rear, open deck space. We’ll be hauling all kinds of things up to our cabin so that space will come in handy for tubs and whatever else we haul up. It’s also handing for fishing or hanging out… could place a couple of camping chairs on the space to relax.
12. Hardtop or softtop option
The Hewescraft 180 Pro V offers a hard or soft-top option. We opted for the hard top with a rear drop curtain. I discuss all these variations in my hard vs soft vs hybrid vs semi top boats here.
13. Has a swimming platform (aka extended transom)
If you only fish, a swimming platform is meaningless. For us, it’ll be more pleasure craft than anything else so having a swimming platform off the rear is a huge bonus. We added a folding ladder to attach to it for easy exit out of the water.
14. Front door for quick bow access
This is super handy when approaching a dock or beach bow-first… you can quickly jump out and tie it up.
15. Plenty of storage – including live bait storage option
There are locking storage compartments all over this boat including a live bait option (we didn’t set the live bait feature up). The compartments don’t come with a lock; you need to buy small padlocks if you want to lock them. Check out several of the compartments:
16. Came with an EZ Loader trailer
I’m not familiar with trailers so I can’t talk about what makes an EZ loader easy but I can say launching this boat wasn’t all that difficult. That said, we now have our boat docked at a marina so I doubt we’ll use the trailer much… ever.
17. Kicker draws gas from the main tank and has its own throttle in the cabin
We ponied up for a 9.9 hp kicker motor for safety reasons in case the main motor dies. It was a big unexpected cost but I like having it. Of course, it doesn’t insure against running out of gas which I suspect it entirely possible on a boat. Anyway, the kicker is connected to the main 48 gallon gas tank. In terms of operating the kicker, it has it’s own throttle below the main throttle and is connected to the steering wheel. Very easy.
18. Pumps water out of the bilge automatically with the automated bilge pump
This is a great feature. Even if the battery is turned off, the bilge will work and pump water out once it reaches a certain level. My only concern is that we get a lot of rain and over time the batter could drain so I’ll need to get a slope-back cover custom made to reduce how much rain water goes into the bilge.