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This week's Feature Blog

The Freedom to Hunt & Fish

By Mark Romanack

The Freedom 160 and 180 are utility boats produced in both the SmokerCraft and Starcraft line up of products. These open floor plan boats were designed to provide both a suitable fishing and hunting platform. In other words, the “Freedom” to both hunt and fish from the same boat!

Both the 160 and 180 models are available in either a tiller or side console version. The 160 is just short of 17 feet in length, features a beam of 89 inches and a maximum outboard horsepower rating of 90. The 180 version is just shy of 19 feet in length, features an 89 inch beam and is rated for a 115 horsepower outboard.

The Freedom is available in two color options including Camel, a dead grass color and gloss black with a glossy gray interior. However, it’s the open floor plan that attracts most boating enthusiasts to the Freedom. Both the 160 and 180 models feature a flat floor that stretches from the bow to the transom. Along the port side of the boat there is a box that runs three quarters of the length of the boat. This box contains a small dry storage space, an aerated live well and foam floatation.

On the starboard side of the boat a storage box runs from the transom to just in front of the console. This larger storage compartment is suitable for storing fishing rods, guns and a host of other essentials.

Near the bow of the boat an in-floor storage compartment is designed to house electric motor batteries. On the nose of the boat a small compartment is perfect for housing a battery charger and other small items.

The rear of the boat features a generous splash well. Below the splash well a small compartment houses the cranking battery, battery cut off switch, bilge pump, live well pump and accessory wiring.

The fuel tank in the Freedom is 17 gallons for the 160 and 18 gallons for the 180 and is mounted under the floor. The tank fill is located on the port side of the boat directly across from the console.

The console features a bubble style windshield and is big enough to accommodate large screen sonar/GPS units. Under the console there is a shelf ideal for mounting a VHF radio.

The Freedom is an ideal fishing boat for the angler who spends most of their time fishing inland waters, but this boat is seaworthy enough to tackle the Great Lakes on those nice days. The wide open floor plan makes the Freedom an excellent boat for casting, jigging and trolling applications.

Duck hunters covet the Freedom as a tender boat for layout diver duck hunting applications. The Freedom will also readily accept a host of after market boat blinds, making it ideal for hunting puddle ducks and also geese.

Big game hunters flock to the Freedom because this boat is wide enough to haul an impressive amount of gear and hunters to those remote hunting spots only accessible by water. The Freedom 180 is even big enough to haul an ATV to that secret hunting spot!

In short, the Freedom is a lot of boat for not a lot of money. Outdoorsmen who are looking for a boat that is spacious enough for hunting and seaworthy enough for serious fishing, will find the Freedom stands alone.


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