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Ohio Archer

Lowe FM 165 Pro WT for bass fishing

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Does anyone have, or has anyone taken a ride in, a Lowe Fishing Machine 165 Pro WT? I'm interested in this model to replace my bass boat but can't find much info on it online. Hardly any reviews and only a couple of videos. I fish northern reservoirs around SW Ohio and they are not "big water" by any stretch of the imagination. But they do get rough from all the boats that come out on the weekends. My 17' mostly-flat-bottom boat jars me pretty good and we usually take a bath each time out (which my wife just loves...not).

How does this boat ride? Dry, smooth?

How does it "fish" (mostly bass and some musky)?

Any problem getting three size 29 or 31 batteries in the battery compartment?

Thanks for any info.

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I guess no one runs this boat.  I did find out that I "may" be able to get 3 batteries in the back compartment as there is no room for two in the TM battery compartment due to the EPA-mandated fuel filter taking up half the space.  Lowe says they are looking at relocating the battery compartment but no one knows how long that will be...

Manufacturers need to figure out that most of us want a 24V system on these boats and not make us jump thru hoops to rig them up.

Looking at the Lund Impact 1675 as well.

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The Lund Fury XL is a nice rig and its the similar class as you're looking at and its currently been reduced in price (according to the Lund website).  The one problem with the Lund Fury XL single console is that it doesn't come with a swing away tongue on the trailer.  Also, the Crestliner Vision is a nice rig also in that class with a really nice in-floor rod storage locker.  I don't know if you have Lund or Crestliner dealers/service centers near you but just something to chew on.

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The biggest drawback in a lot of the WT models is the short front deck which equals horrible rod storage. Been there done that. If the layouts of these boats works for you, then more power to ya. I've heard good things about Lowe.

As far as the Lund, I'm a fan. I've said this before. My Lund really feels "safe". What I mean by that is the ride is solid, and I don't feel like it's going to get away from me. Handles rough stuff well and I like the feel of riding in the boat rather than on the boat.

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That is the main reason I'm looking at the V hulls...the ride and being drier than in a flat bass boat.  My wife has started going with me an she is uncomfortable moving around on the back deck.  There is maybe 1 1/2 -2" of gunnel and pretty flat bottom and we take a bath when there are a lot of other boats on the lakes around here. 

I've pretty much scratched the Lowes off the list as there is no room for a third battery in the boat size I want (much narrower as well).  The Lund will carry 3.  The closest dealer had a 1675 SS but not a Sport.  Looks to be a very nice boat.

Kinda looked at the Tracker V175 but there are too many horror stories about customer service from them.  And I don't want to pay for equipment (TM and electronics) that I'm only going to remove the first day I get it home.

I've wondered about the front deck space as my current boat is almost all deck.  But I would gladly give some up for a better and drier ride.  I fished up to Christmas Eve last year and the morning runs had tears freezing on my cheeks (or at least that is what it felt like).

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I used to run a proCraft 20 foot fish and ski. It had a deep vee and once you run a full windshield boat you get real comfortable that way.  If there is an Alumacraft dealer anywhere near you check them out as well. Lund is probably the Cadillac of these type boat though.

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21 hours ago, gimruis said:

The Lund Fury XL is a nice rig and its the similar class as you're looking at and its currently been reduced in price (according to the Lund website).  The one problem with the Lund Fury XL single console is that it doesn't come with a swing away tongue on the trailer.  Also, the Crestliner Vision is a nice rig also in that class with a really nice in-floor rod storage locker.  I don't know if you have Lund or Crestliner dealers/service centers near you but just something to chew on.

The Fury Is more similar to the Rebel than the Impact. Impact is more boat than both those models. It's more similar to the Crossover except the Crossover deck is smaller because it's set up for seating.

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Unless the Lowe changes their battery storage for 2017 (fuel filter where the second TM battery would go) I'll be scratching them from the list.  The 165 is too small anyway.  Saw one on the lake yesterday, rode passed me.  Smaller than what I have now.  The Lunds are very nice but pricey.  May give the Tracker a second look as they have changed things in the last couple years.  A friend has a Targa that rides very nicely.  Hull weight is higher with Tracker than the others (by a couple hundred pounds).  Fuel capacity will also be a consideration.  I don't need a tanker to fish out of but I also don't want to buy fuel from marinas if out on the river.  I remember having to do that running a coupe times around Okeechobee in my Champion. 

Appreciate all the input.  This is a long term plan...purchase Dec-Jan timeframe.

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No, but looked at it this morning.  Will look to see if Cabelas has one on the lot or a brochure to add to my collection.  Internet comments say they are built by Tracker but who's to know for sure with all the JM buying going on across the industry.  Have been some major complaints about quality but then again more people complain online than say good things.

I like the big front deck but the front livewell is small and apparently doesn't connect to the deck...leaves a gap that water comes out of on to the floor. I'd probably only use the front livewell for a cooler anyway.

Price point isn't too bad for this boat but I can't get an estimate online.  Need to send a summary of my build and be contacted.  I'd appreciate a ballpark answer before contacting anyone, though.

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1 hour ago, Ohio Archer said:

No, but looked at it this morning.  Will look to see if Cabelas has one on the lot or a brochure to add to my collection.  Internet comments say they are built by Tracker but who's to know for sure with all the JM buying going on across the industry.  Have been some major complaints about quality but then again more people complain online than say good things.

I like the big front deck but the front livewell is small and apparently doesn't connect to the deck...leaves a gap that water comes out of on to the floor. I'd probably only use the front livewell for a cooler anyway.

Price point isn't too bad for this boat but I can't get an estimate online.  Need to send a summary of my build and be contacted.  I'd appreciate a ballpark answer before contacting anyone, though.

I want to say mid to upper 20's. I went thru one at a boat show when they were first introduced. This was prior to the takeover. I would take the made by tracker comments with a grain of salt. It's a big boat for being only a 17 footer. Nice wide beam. There is not too much talk about them on the walleye forums. Lund and Alumacraft tend to dominate those forums when it comes to aluminum boats. I'll throw another one at you. Crestliner Fishhawk. Has decent rod storage. I'm not sure of the battery configuration. Crestliner has base pricing on their website. Mirrocraft makes a decent hull, I owned one for 9 years. Storage sucked, but things may have changed since 2004.  Smokercraft is another quality hull. Used to be a bit of a wet ride, but they are now owned by StarCraft Marine who makes a top of the line boat

As far as the battery configuration, In a perfect world, if the 3 batteries are together, everybody's happy. That doesn't mean they can't be separated as long as the jumper(s) are big enough, running the wire is feasible, and most importantly, you have room for it.

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We have a Ranger dealer not far from the house but the last time i was in there they didn't have a deep V model on the floor (just the $100K models).  Ive got a Crestliner catalog on the way.  I've been looking at the Fishhawk as well as the Lund and Lowe.  Stopped by the local BPS just to take a look at the V-175 but they only had a Combo (fish and ski model).  Not too bad with a lot of extras (couple of which I don't need).  I did find out that the Lowe FM 1710 has enough space under the center deck for two 31-series batteries and a 3 bank charger (dealer has been really good at returning my emails), and I can get only the extras I want.  That is a plus. Slightly more than the Tracker but less than the Lund. I'm planning on running a Merc 115 but the Lowe is rated at 150 (the others are 125 or 135 in the 17' versions).  The Command Thrust lower unit may make the 115 a more fitting motor but I'll need to talk to someone about that.

I'm finding that looking at boats right now is kinda difficult as many places don't have any in the showroom (deep V models...but tons of bass boats).  Everyone is gearing up for the '17 lineup.  But this is a long range (Dec-Jan) plan.  Not something I'm going to just jump into without some research (did the same thing before I bought my Champion in '87).  I plan on not buying another boat after this one, and it needs to suit both my fishing addiction (bass and now musky) and my wife's desire to cruise around without getting beat to death, drowned or both.

 

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Things may have gotten accelerated a bit with deals popping up due to the '17s coming out. Taking a trip tomorrow to go look at a Lowe FM 1710.  The price is good for all that has on it but the color (red) is not what I wanted.  But my wife likes the color in the pictures so...off on a bike trip we go.  Leaving the truck home to resist the temptation to hook it up and bring it home immediately.  If we buy it I'll go back next week and pick it up.  Has a couple things I don't want (TM and Lowrance depthfinder) but I can swap them out.  Has everything I did want plus a couple of extra things I thought about but didn't include to keep the cost down.

I know as soon as my wife sees the boat and gets to sit in it she will want to hook it to the bike (yes, the bike has a trailer hitch) and let it push us home.  But this way it gives me some time (a day or two, maybe) to think about it.  Already preapproved on a loan and have a nice down payment even without selling my current boat (which will be up for sale after I reinstall the older foot controlled TM and remove my HB wiring and transducer). 

Come on, Saturday...

 

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UPDATE:  Well, seems we will have a new addition to the family.  Boat was very nice although very dirty.  Looks to have been there a while.  Lotsa room and storage. Much bigger. surprisingly so, than the 165 sitting right next to it. First time I've been able to see both side by side.  Price was excellent and then added a military discount (thank you Lowe).  Only thing it doesn't have is brakes (none of their smaller trailers had them, only the large pontoons and heavyglass boats) but I can install a kit later. Won't be ready until the 28th.  Needs to be cleaned and rigging finished (batteries, clean out the livewells and carpet, prop the motor, etc).  Then I go back to do a on the water test and acceptance inspection.  Gonna be a long 2 weeks.

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Bought the boat.  Rides really nice, especially compared to my flat bottom bass boat.  Hopefully, I can get the rest of my electronics installed today (Mother Nature interrupted and soaked me yesterday) and I can get it out on the water. 

image_zpshtvmwd5c.jpeg

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Congrats on the New Sweet Rig ~ !

A-Jay

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Thanks.  Spent some of Saturday and most of yesterday out on the water. Rides so much better, smother, dryer, than my other boat.

Edit:

Also, it fishes very well.  I was a bit worried that I might not like how it "fished" compared to my low bass boat.  Higher gunnel, windshield (only hit it once), sitting higher off the water.  But I'm extremely pleased with it.  The front deck has about the same area as my other boat.  Same with the back deck with the addition of the fold down conversion deck.  Wife likes the swim platform and the deck.  A BIG plus!

The windshield protects us well, almost too well on hot days.  But I can keep it open for additional cross flow.  The front livewell doubles as a large cooler (one less thing underfoot).  My friend who has a 19' Targa was very impressed with the space and handling in the rougher water (ski boats, cabin cruisers, jet skis, speed boats and, oh yeah, the park rangers). 

I believe I made a great choice.

Edited by Ohio Archer
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Very nice boat!  I looked at the same model and just loved the layout and price.  However, I'll be picking up my 2017 1610 FS instead because my three young teenage girls will be doing some water sking this year for the first time.  Love the FM too but gotta go with something a bit more versatile to still enjoy both fishing and sking.  Both of these two Lowe deep Vs are pretty amazing and glad to see the directions this brand is headed.

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