1998 Crestliner 1750 Fish Hawk Build- Enough HP?


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New member
Feb 2, 2023
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Frederick, MD
Good Afternoon All,

I am working on a 1998 crestliner 1750 Fish Hawk and have replaced all of the plywood with aluminum. I am contemplating removing the console and using a 45hp johnson commercial tiller outboard to open the floor plan up. The boat is listed at 1100lbs, but I think after swapping out the plywood for aluminum, it's sitting closer to 950 dry. The boat currently has a remote 90hp Evinrude SPL. I have never run the boat in it's current configuration. I am not overly concerned with speed, as most of my fishing and crabbing happens within a few miles of the ramp. Would the 45hp be severely underpowered? It is my understanding that they are geared lower than a standard 50hp, and can handle a heavier load. I will post pictures later this evening. Thanks ahead of time for anyone with any insight!
Offhand, it seems like allot for a 17.5' boat with a load with a 45hp. I'd want to make sure it could plane out with a little reserve with your "normal" load. If you don't need it to plane out, then it should be fine.

You could always try your tiller with a "normal" load to see how it performs before removing consle or controls.
It's easy to say you don't care about speed, but when your fishing the back bays and you are 11 miles from the launch and your fishing buddy slips and takes a gaff through the spleen and is bleeding out on your deck or something stupid like that, having a boat that barely gets on plane is a real liability. Or if a funnel cloud appears and you want to get out of dodge quick. I don't care about speed either, 99% of my time on the boat I'm moving at 1.8mph, but life isn't always that easy and being able to scoot in an emergency is important to me. For this reason I would never purchase a boat that doesn't have at least 80% of max rated horsepower. But this is something you need to evaluate on your own. At a minimum you need to be able to get the boat on plane. Put a few extra people in the boat and it would probably stuggle.
The #s I see for a 1750 fish hawk is 150hp max. That's for a newer model with a console. If yours is rated similar I'd suspect it to be pretty slow with a 45 it may not even get you on plane. If that's acceptable for you and what your plans are for the boat then by all means enjoy.
Thanks to all for your input. I'll keep everyone updated on which route I take. I am tempted to try to convert the 90hp evinrude that is currently on the boat to a tiller set-up, but not sure how feasible/safe that is.

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