The new Crestliner Retriever Jon series of aluminum utility boats includes fives models the company says have been designed to be both rugged and affordable. The boats range in length from 15 to 20 feet, and use the same hulls as models in the Crestliner Retriever line. Those boats are designed for hunting or hunting/fishing duty; these new Jon models are skewed more toward outright utility. Cockpit space is maximized, with no side storage box and a much smaller forward casting deck.
What’s left is a wide-open space between the aft bench seat and the forward deck that can be used for hauling cargo, work supplies, gear or what-have-you. Crestliner depicts the largest model in the series, the 20-foot Retriever Jon 2070, loaded with an ATV and three steel drums. Ready to run up the Yukon River to a base camp, perhaps?
On each model, the main cockpit is covered with an aluminum floor, creating a wide, flat sole. Each of these boats features all-aluminum construction with welded seams. The keel and robust side ribs are extruded aluminum. The bottom is formed with four strakes to enhance directional stability. These boats have a mod-vee style bow shape, but almost flat bottoms, with just 3.5 degrees of deadrise, which should ensure minimal draft. Extruded aluminum Crestliner Lock Track gunwales are shaped to accept a number of accessories. The base version of each boat has a single pedestal seat base in the aft deck, but no seat. You and a partner sit on the aft bench and run a tiller-steer motor. There is one storage compartment below the forward deck. Each model comes in Olive Drab paint, packaged with a Mercury outboard and a trailer.
Pricing starts at $7,788 for the 15-foot one-inch 1546 Retriever Jon with a 20-horsepower Mercury FourStroke outboard and a painted Karavan trailer. Crestliner did not provide additional pricing. Each boat can be ordered with a dealer-installed side console for remote controls and steering, placed so that the driver is still seated on the aft bench. Other options include a Fishing Package with two pedestal seats and a second base in the bow, a battery tray, navigation lights, a trolling motor harness and bilge pump. You can order these boats with a camo finish in one of several Mossy Oak or Real Tree patterns, and with Crest-Liner spray-on coating for the interior.