Graham Lloyd | VOLUME 27, ISSUE 6

Family cruiser or hardcore fisher? Crestliner’s 1850 SST is a boat with multiple personalities.

In 65 years of producing boats for serious fishing as well as family fun, Crestliner has developed some neat ways to blend both – and this 1850 Sportfish SST is a prime example.

Adopting several innovative manufacturing techniques, Crestliner’s aluminium boats could be mistaken for fibreglass ones, such is the quality of their finish. The ‘SST’ stands for Space Saving Transom; the design adds extra length to the boat – it now measures 5.8m – and offers good freeboard at the stern. Pricing starts at around $59,000, with our test boat worth $63,000 with some extras.


Crestliner’s patented Conversion Bow sees the foredeck transform in seconds from a casting platform with storage and a livewell to a bowrider-style area. Under the foredeck there’s an anchor locker, while under the casting platform there’s provision for a trolling motor. A further bracket in the floor takes a seat for relaxed fishing.

It’s a similar affair at the stern, where another large carpeted casting platform converts to a sizeable lounge. There are two more mounts for removable seats here, too.

The cockpit interior has a practical vinyl finish, as does the sole. Between the skipper and passenger seats – which swivel and recline – is a sizeable underfloor and lockable storage compartment, suitable for bulky items. There’s a stylish glovebox before the passenger seat with a large, lockable compartment below. The area in general is nicely finished, with stereo speakers either side and good protection from the high, sturdy screen.

The skipper gets a tilt-adjustable wheel and a stylish dash console with analogue tacho and speedo, plus smaller gauges for volts, trim and fuel.


I found the helm incredibly comfy, with all the controls close to hand. This boat’s 150hp fourstroke Mercury proved ideal. It came on plane with some bowrise, even with the Mercury trimmed right in, but the hull quickly settled and I soon had an unrestricted view.

The steering system was beautifully weighted and responsive. The clean-bottomed hull has no strakes, but the ride is soft and controlled. Reverse-angled chines bite in for tighter turns and in general it delivers a wonderfully composed ride.

We were comfortably on plane and cruising blissfully at 32.7km/h at a lazy 3000rpm, and it remained quiet and vibration-free through to 5000rpm and 70.4km/h. Top speed was 80.8km/h at 5900rpm.

Crestliner’s 1850 Sportfish SST is a remarkable boat, with a broad range of appeal.

As well as all the clever features, especially those fishing/family conversions, the lifetime warranty is a big advantage – especially from a company with 65 years in the bank.

To read a detailed review of this boat, go to to view the bonus digital version of the magazine.

Overall length: 5.80m
Beam: 2.44m
Deadrise at transom: 17 degrees
Weight: 689kg (boat only, dry)
Capacity: 7 persons
Fuel capacity: 125lt
Power (maximum): Outboard to 175hp (131kW)
Power (as tested): Mercury 150 four-stroke (150hp/112kW)
Price (base): $59,000
Price (as tested): $63,000
3000 32.7
3500 45.7
4000 50.9
4500 60.9
5000 70.4
5500 77.6
5900 80.8
More information: Berowra Waters Wholesale, tel: 1800 802 444 or go to Boat provided by Avante Marine Silverwater, tel: 1300 282 683 or go to www.avantemarine.