SEA ARK 1860 VPLD
With an uncarpeted corrugated aluminum floor and bare aluminum storage boxes, this was the most basic boat in our test. There's no wood in the boat, not even in the transom, and the all-welded, .100-gauge hull should last several lifetimes. The boat has more vee than most, 15 degrees at the transom, giving a better rough-water ride than you'd expect from aluminum boats. Performance at Dale Hollow was good, with tight cornering, almost instant hole shots (2.5 seconds!) and a 42.4 mph top speed-all you could ask from the 75 Merc outboard. The price for the package seemed fairly high considering the standard equipment, though a good portion of that cost is in the power-trim Merc. The boat without the motor costs $4,715. Contact: SeaArk Boats (Dept. OL, P.O. Box 503, Monticello, AR 71657; 870-367-5317; www.seaark.com).