Consensus on Sylvan boats

  • mojo
    Posts: 444

    I have limited knowledge of boat designs and features. I’ve been around smaller aluminum boats and pre-2000 Alumacraft & Crestliner boats as well as pontoon boats for most of my life, but I don’t recall ever even riding in a Sylvan.
    From the prices compared to Lund etc, I expect they have some shortcomings, but I have no idea. Give me any insight you have on them. My family needs something in the 18 foot range that can be used for skiing as well as fishing 3 or maybe even 4 people occasionally. For reference, I want to stay less than 20 years old (mostly to get a 4 stroke motor), but I need to keep the cost under $15k.
    I’m relatively familiar with outboard manufacturers, so primarily looking for info on the boats themselves.

    Any feedback is appreciated.

    NW Iowa
    Posts: 602

    I have a 1900 pro select, it is a great boat. I have owned all kinds of boats, Lund tyee, crestliners, a warrior tiller (best one I ever owned), been in several others, I will say my sylvan is great a boat and handles the water well, however it does not seem as “sturdy” as a Tyee. It seems like it is noisier going thru the water. The ride quality feels equal to me, cornering on plane seemed better in the lund, and the lund tracked better with the bow mount and/ or the kicker motor. None of the the things the lund did better would I say the Sylvan is bad at. Just the lund was better. I wanted to go back to a tyee when I bough the sylvan, but could not find one I liked, and wound up driving 300 miles to look at a tyee with a bad transom (at a dealer), after being told it was solid. After I looked at the Lund, I pulled into the gas station and looked at FB marketplace in the area I was in and the Sylvan was for sale and was on the way home. When I got there, the boat was clean, and the only box it did not check was 4 stroke main motor, however it was priced about 8 thousand less then any of the tyee or fishermans I had already looked at, and the fall bite was going to be firing up soon, so I bought it and figured it did not handle or function properly for me, I could sell it after I found the right Lund. I quit looking and have been happy with the boat for 3 years now. I fish mainly on the river in South dakota, winnie, leech and a some local lakes here in Iowa. My 2 sons (smallest one is 6’1″ 200# freshman) and I can fish from it comfortably, I pull a lot of crankbaits here in Iowa, and with 4 in the boat, it is starting to get a bit a cowded, but I normally just sit up in the bow and run the minnkota to steer and let the neighbor and my sons reel in and net the fish. If I try to stay in the cockpit there is not enough room around the seats and the bodies to fight fish and get them netted.

    Posts: 444

    Appreciate the feedback jbg1219, sounds like you were meant to find that boat.

    Isle, MN
    Posts: 20954

    I bought my brothers 1991 Northwood 170 Pro Tourney with a 115 merc on it. I loved it… sold it when I moved to Maui the first time… doah

    It was a solid boat, handled big water and was yet right sized for small water.

    1. Boat.jpg

    St. Paul, MN
    Posts: 192

    I have been in my Dad’s 1997 Super Select 17′ for years since 1998, he sold it in 2019. It is a typical aluminum boat. It seems to be a lighter hull than Lund and Crestliner (easily blown in wind, easy handling at the launch). I bought a 1995 Sylvan Pro 16′ with a 90 evinrude last summer and my three boys have been enjoying it with me. I don’t really see the difference with the other brands but if you’re looking at 2000-2010 Sylvan, just make sure pumps and hoses are in good condition, check rivets for possible leaks and check wood floors for soft spots. Overall, Sylvan boats can take a beating and performs well in all water activities. The 4 stroke is a plus too!

    River Falls, WI
    Posts: 1306

    Cousin has a very old one that has been re-done inside and out twice in it’s lifespan. most recently it developed a 12″ long crack at the keel; easy fix if you know a skilled aluminum welder. Keep in mind that hull is probably 40 years old if I had to guess, and highly used. It is a 16 footer with a 60 hp johnson and it moves quick. nice fishing rig considering its age. I wouldn’t hesitate to pick one up; welded boats have shortcomings just like everything else.

    spring valley mn
    Posts: 702

    I have a 16 ft Sylvan walleye Wacker tiller, it is a 96 everything is in great condition and well built in my opinion. No leakes all wiring and hoses are still original. Rides great and has been to the middle of mille lacs in pretty good season I repowered with a 60 hp Suzuki 4 stroke and have no plans to ever sell it is deep and wide

    Posts: 870

    I have a 1996 Pro Select. Solid boat and great ride. I may have replaced a bilge pump, but that’s pretty much it. Good luck

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