The Ultimate Tracker Grizzly 1754 Review: Is It Worth The Hype?
Tracker Grizzly’s 1754 jon boat comes in two different versions. There’s the bare bones 1754 Tracker Grizzly jon boat which is literally just the hull and nothing else at all and then the 1754 Tracker Grizzly SC. The SC stands for “single console” and this is your complete boat package. Of course you can custom build either model but the SC comes with a console, obviously, as well as seating, the motor, and everything you need to put the boat in the water right away.
At 17 feet it’s not the biggest jon boat in the Tracker Grizzly family, but it’s not the smallest, either. It makes good use of the space it has to ensure you have room not just for you but for some friends and family, as well as decent storage and power.
Like other boats in the line up it comes with a great guarantee that we’ll get into more lately, and a really sturdy build. You’ll notice, dollar for dollar and foot for foot, there are competitors who may have a better price but whether it’s a better value is up for debate.
You’re looking at a reliable aluminum jon boat here with some solid specs, reliable performance, and decent features. Let’s get a little more in depth and see what this sturdy workhorse of a jon boat has to offer.
What Is it
You can build your Tracker Grizzly 1754 SC to order on the Tracker Boats website. While the plain version is, like I said, literally just a hull, we’re going to dive into the SC because it has the features you want already and we don’t need to waste time deciding if you want a seat or storage because of course you do. That said, if you’re serious about building from the ground up, the jon boat as is, not the SC version, starts at just under $6,000.
At 17 feet, the boat has room for 5 people according to official specs. But the max person weight is also listed at 144 lbs. Math that out and you’re looking at 144 lbs per person average. So keep that in mind. I know I don’t weigh 144 lbs so if me and four buddies get on board, we are breaking that rule right away.
If you have a small family or group of friends to head out on the water with, you won’t feel too cramped. If you have small kids in tow, maybe consider limiting it to just 3 people on board so you don’t feel like you’re too cramped with a little one running around. Just make sure everyone has a life jacket on and don’t expect a perfectly dry ride if you’re weighed down.
For pure fishing enjoyment, there’s good room for you, a couple friends, and a good amount of gear. The storage space is decent and, as with any jon boat, there’s always potential to modify and add more room to make the experience a little more to your liking. But that’s something to worry about down the road.
As with most Tracker boats, your options when it comes to what you can get with a 1754 beyond what the boat has standard are limited but there are some choices worth looking at.
Key Features of Tracker Boats
There aren’t a ton of options that come with a Tracker Grizzly 1754, which is kind of par for the course when it comes to the Tracker Grizzly line. In some ways that does make it easier though because you’re not spoiled for choice and you can get what you need pretty easily. It does have some exceptional features that come standard and make it a standout among jon boats, though.
Your biggest option is going to be choosing between motors. You have four options to choose from when you’re building yours on the site. The default choice is a Mercury 40 ELPT Four Stroke. You have three other options beyond that.
- For a bit of a downgrade that cuts costs you can choose the Mercury Fourstroke 9.9 EL. This option offers a price saving of about $3,600.
- You can upgrade, for $1,000, to the Mercury FourStroke 60 ELPT
- The most powerful motor available, at least from the manufacturer, is the 75 ELPT Fourstroke. This option will add $2,600 to the base price.
That aside, let’s look at the included features that will either make or break this as a fishing boat for most anglers.
- 9 gallon rotomolded and aerated live well integrated into the console
- A console sport steering wheel
- Tracker’s famous 5 year bow-to-stern factory warranty that covers parts and labor for defects in materials and workmanship on electrical components, livewells and plumbing, stereo, gauges, switches, console, windshield, steering wheel, fishing seats, carpet, vinyl, fuel system and gelcoat and more
- Limited lifetime warranty on hull, interior ribs, transom, exterior welds and decking
- 3 year warranty on powder coat adhesion to the aluminum
- EPA compliant fuel system
- Thick .190 aluminum flooring for reduced hull noise
- Large bow deck space
- Rod holders on the port side
- Pedestal seat locations bow and aft plus a moveable fishing chair.
- Lockable storage compartment at the bow deck
- VERSATRACK accessory-mounting channel in gunnels
- Trolling motor mounting surface
- 4 tie off cleats
- Nav lights
- 800 gph bilge pump
- Welded in foam filled interior walls for added structure and sound dampening.
- 1-piece extruded aluminum gunnels are heavy duty and offer exceptional strength
- Numerous hull and structural elements add to overall strength as well as stability ensuring a smooth ride in a tough vessel
- 17’1” long
- 6’6” beam
- 16.75” interior depth
- 21” transom height
- 0.100 5052 marine alloy hull
- 5 person capacity or 720 lbs
- Max total capacity of 1250 lbs
- Dry weight 885 lbs
- Average package weight 1760 lbs
- It’s nice to have some engine options and the trailer included is also a nice touch since most people won’t have a trailer already and they’re not making it an added expensive with this model, it’s included.
- Big shout out to the Tracker Grizzly warranty, what they call the Tracker promise. It’s really one of the best in the industry and this thing covers almost everything on the boat. Not 100% of everything, but much more than most warranties do and that’s worth some consideration. If you’re nervous about such a big investment, the warranty coverage should make you feel better about sinking the cash into it. Basically, this is the best factory warranty out there.
- The welds and the thickness of the aluminum make this a tough, high quality boat. You don’t want to ride it down rapids but it can handle dings and scrapes better than similar boats of poorer quality.
- The handling on a Tracker Grizzly is very good and if you get a bow mounted trolling motor you might be surprised by how quiet and maneuverable it is.
- The boat is roomy but not extensively so. If you like to fish with a few friends, you may want to consider looking at one of the larger Grizzly jon boats like the 2072. That’s definitely better suited to group fishing and can handle four or five adults doing their thing without everyone getting in each other’s way.
- We’ll get into this more further down but the four engine options are kind of suspect. Two of them probably won’t have the amount of power you want or need so offering them is a bit of a misdirection. Plus, if you do go for that weakest option I bet you are not going to be happy with how it performs unless you’re taking only the most bare bones trips onto the water with no weight on board.
- The console can be cramped if you’re looking to add on a fishfinder and other gadgets. This is even a problem on larger Tracker models but definitely here as well. The result is that smaller accessories may be your best bet and you don’t get everything you want out of the experience.
- The seats are not the best on this boat but they’re also not super easy to replace either so you’ll need to find a way to deal with that. Either take the time to replace the,, assuming you find them uncomfortable, or work on some kind of cushioning to make them more tolerable.
- Storage is okay but not the best. You may want to look into some modifications to get more room if you like to bring a lot of gear. watch that gear weight, though.
We covered a bit about the four motor options above and how they affect the overall price. But, to be clear, here’s what you’re looking at.
- The bare bones, basic Tracker Grizzly 1754 with no engine, no seat, nothing but a hull, is $5,995.
- The SC version with the 9.9 EL Fourstroke is $15,395
- The 40 ELPT FourStroke is the default model and it costs $18,995
- The 60 ELPT is $19,995
- The 75 ELPT model will set you back $21,595
These prices are all before any other features are chosen. The jump in power is definitely worth considering, if not to the 75 then at least to the 60.
Your next option is a standard option you’ll find on every model in the Tracker Grizzly line and that’s the color. You can opt for a couple of paint jobs here but there’s not a huge variation, not that anyone needs a rainbow colored jon boat.
The standard no-cost choice is the Forrest Green paint. You have two upgrades if you’re interested and they both come with a $500 price tag. That’s Grassland Camo and Woodland Camo patterns. If you’re out duck hunting and are looking to do a duck blind jon boat, these could be decent options for you but otherwise the standard Forrest Green is pretty typical of what most jon boats look like.
Now, typically when you order a boat from Tracker Grizzly it gives you the option of choosing a trailer or not. There’s nothing over the top fancy here, it’s basically do you want a trailer, yes or no. For most boats the trailer is around $1,500 to $1,700. There is a custom matched trailer included with the Tracker Grizzly 1754, but it’s not an option. You don’t get to not have it, at least that’s how it looks right now. So if you already have a trailer, it looks like you might be stuck with another one.
Most boaters will want the trailer, of course, but it’s a little odd that the option has been taken away to just not have it. Or, maybe it’s a glitch and the option is meant to be there. You might have to contact the company if you’re looking to order and it’s not working out the way you want.
Are These Jon Boats Worth It?
Generally, the biggest complaints I’ve seen about the Tracker Grizzly lineup of aluminum boats is that the boats are too expensive compared to similar boats from other manufacturers. But you need to remember that they are fully aluminum, welded boats as well. That’s what you’re paying for here mostly, plus to some degree just the name Tracker Grizzly which has a reputation at this point. But make no mistake, you can definitely find a cheaper 17 foot jon boat, it’s just a matter of whether that boat will meet your standards or not.
The Tracker Grizzly 1754 is tough. You can’t deny that. The aluminum hull can take a beat better than other boats of the same size because the aluminum used here is sturdier. It’s thicker and stronger. It’s not bulletproof, but it can hold its own.
If you want a sturdy boat that can handle a lot and will last longer than some flimsier boats that cost less, then the Tracker Grizzly 1754 is a good jon boat. I think it’s worth the price they charge and, if it’s in your budget, it’s worth considering.
What You Need to Know
The Tracker Grizzly 1754 is aluminum and features a fully welded hull. No worries about unreliable rivets, wood or fiberglass parts that aren’t up to some abuse. You can find similar boats that are cheaper but they’re probably riveted and not welded and that’s a key point. That full aluminum welded hull is where a lot of your money is going on this boat. If you want a boat you can use for a number of seasons in a row without needed to repair or replace it, this is a good choice.
What People Are Saying
There are a few owners of Tracker Grizzly 1754s who have shared their feelings online about the boat, and there’s a lot of similar feedback across the board. Most owners really love the boat but admit that there are some features or tweaks that would have made it better. This is especially true for owners who have had the boat for a year or two.
The good news is that most owners are happy with the boat and still get a lot of use out of it. It’s reliable and, season over season, they stand up well. The general consensus is that you want to upgrade your engine from the lowest possible option. The basic engine is not usually up to the task. In fact, you should probably push the envelope a little. The 60 ELPT is probably your best bet.
If you stick with the 50, the speed can slow considerably with a few people on board. Honestly, if you had 5 people on board like it suggests you can, this thing would crawl with just the 50.
Don’t expect your 1754 to handle chop and big waves like a speed boat. It’s a flat bottom, after all, so you can’t cut waves. Take it slow and steady in the rough stuff and you should be fine because it’s still really steady.
Another thing worth mentioning is the seats, right from the factory, are not great. The experience is not comfortable so you’ll probably want to upgrade them or, if that’s too much work, at least get some more comfortable cushions so it’s less agonizing over the long haul.
These small concerns aside, the boat performs well otherwise. The storage and livewells are decent and there is room for you to customize and modify things as you like. You have rod storage, live wells and there is room for gear and other stuff that isn’t bad for a 17 foot boat.
Like we’ve mentioned in some other reviews of the sister boats, Tracker has a sketchy history with welds and some people,especially owners of the 16 foot models, have had a real beef with bad welds in the past. I have seen less complaints about the welds on this model, but know that some others have had those issues and give them a look over when you can.
The warranty, which I talked up, is one of the best selling points for tracker Grizzly boats. You can see, it’s hands down better than what almost any other company offers. But, om paper and in practice are not always the same. Most people have only good things to say but, in the interests of fairness, I’ll point out that some people have had problems with that warranty being fulfilled. It’s not a common complaint but I have seen some people talking about how the warranty process is not user friendly at all. That includes things like the company being slow to respond or not responding at all, repairs being denied and learning that not every single thing on the boat is as covered as they thought it was.
Again, I want to point out that this is rare. Literally just a few complaints so there are probably many others who had no issue at all but it’s something to keep in the back of your mind.
I mentioned above that other owners have pointed out that a power boost is a good idea and I have to get on board with that as well. Of the four engine options available, I would only consider the 60 and the 75. The 50 may work for you if you are boating alone, and can probably get you to 25 or 30 mph or so out on the water. But if you load that boat down with gear and a couple of friends, I guarantee you’ll be dropping to well under 20 mph really quick, possibly below 15. If you don’t mind the slow ride then that’s alright, but the power boost is probably worth it.
This is a hot topic in boating forums when no boaters are debating between models of boats. They’ll weigh the pros and cons of a Tracker Grizzly 1754 against another model and inevitably price is a con for this boat. Like we said already, these boats are definitely more expensive than some of the competition.
But, when you look for a higher quality jon boat, the price isn’t too ridiculous compared to others that offer similar construction. You get what you pay for, as they say. It’s still a hard expense for some to handle and if it’s outside your budget or you really don’t need a boat that’s built like this because you’re just a casual angler then you might find the investment isn’t worth it to you.
You also have options for boats made of cheaper materials at this size as well. It speaks to the same point above and what you want out of your boat. Some people will think the price is a non-starter and others don’t mind for the quality that they’re getting.
Do We Recommend It?
Track Grizzly has one of the best reputations in the jon boat game or as a utility boat and for good reason. These are consistently among the best selling models of jon boats across the board because you’re getting a quality, stable aluminum jon boat. They are well made and they work. You can’t ask for more than that, as everything else is just gravy without it.
If you want a ton of bells and whistles it may not be the boat for you but one of the great features of a jon boat is that it’s so easy to modify so you can get all those extras. And, best of all, it’s customized at that point as well.
Be careful of engine power and how much weight you have on board. I really don’t agree with the specs provided by the manufacturer and I think they were being pretty liberal with how much power you need and how much weight the boat can handle, but those are small concerns overall. You can boost the engine, which they give you the option to do, and honestly I don’t think many people are trying to fit 5 full-grown men who weigh upwards of 200 lbs a piece on a 17 foot jon boat anyway.
At the end of the day, I think this is one of the better 17 foot jon boats you’ll find on the market. For the money, and for how this boat will hold up over time, I think it’s a good investment and definitely recommend this is a quality, versatile aluminum fishing boat.
Categories: Jon Boats