Tracker Grizzly 1860 Review
Tracker’s line of Grizzly jon boats are solid boats priced reasonably to slightly premium for most boaters. The 1860 is a 19 foot boat (technically 18 feet but there are pods on the back that extend the length and are helpful in shallow waters) that offers a great option for those looking for a solid and sturdy aluminum boat that is well made but not too overburdened by extras.
What Is It
The Tracker Grizzly 1860 CC is a jon boat meant for fishing or hunting and actually comes in two versions. Unlike some other Tracker boats which may offer a side console version, the 1860 is strictly center console though it does have different engine options.
One of the larger jon boat models in Tracker’s line, only behind a couple of their 2072 models, it offers a lot of room to allow multiple people to comfortably fish without getting in each other’s way, or to bring the family out including smaller kids and not worry about them having no room and being underfoot.
With a few camo paint options the boat can also serve hunters well who want to head out for waterfowl. The Grizzly is a boat that works well for those who want a bare bones but still well made fishing boat that is reliable, sturdy and gets the job done.
There are limited features available for the Tracker Grizzly 1860 and the only options are color options plus a trailer. That said, here are some highlights that make the Grizzly one of the most popular jon boats on the water.
- 0.100 5052 marine alloy hull
- 9 gallon molded and aerated livewell that also features a cushioned seat and padded backrest
- A sport steering wheel with hydraulic steering
- 5 year bow-to-stern warranty that covers parts and labor for defects in materials and workmanship on electrical components, livewells and plumbing, stereo, gauges, switches, console(s), 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, plus the factory-installed trolling motor and the factory-installed fishfinder for three years.
- EPA compliant fuel system
- Vertical rod holders plus port and starboard side rod holders
- Space for pedestal seats bow and aft
- Lockable storage at the bow deck
- Trolling motor mount on bow edge
- Thicker aluminum floors allow for a more quiet ride overall
- 4 tie off cleats
- Nav lights
- Large front deck area for more comfort and space while fishing
- 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
- 19’2” long
- 7’ beam
- 16.75” interior depth
- 22” transom height
- 0.100 5052 marine alloy hull
- 7 person max capacity or 940 lbs
- Max total capacity of 1,500 lbs
- Dry weight 1020 lbs
- We’ve said this about Tracker products in the past and we have to list it here as well in terms of a big, big pro for the Tracker Grizzly 1860 and that’s the warranty. Tracker offers one of the best warranties in the business as you can see from everything listed above in the features, and that doesn’t even cover all of it. That warranty offers good peace of mind for those concerned about the overall price tag as well since the Grizzly is definitely on the higher end of the price spectrum for a jon boat of this size. But with the knowledge Tracker has your back, it seems less concerning.
- This boat is made from tough aluminum and fully welded with support and structural features to make this thing an effective little tank on the water. It’s still lightweight, but the build is very solid and from what we have seen with owners, it looks like this is a boat that will serve you for many years if you take care of it.
- Like the smaller models, the hull on the Tracker 1860 is built tough but it, and the bottom, do add some weight. That said, it’s also a lot sturdier on the water as a result. The stability is there and, even more noticeable, is the way this runs. It offers a smoother and quieter ride than you’re probably expecting.
- This model has also been used as a base for a sport model that allows for bow fishing, something a lot of related boats don’t really focus on.
- You have the option of going with the 60 hp or the 90 hp motor on this and, to be honest, you want the 90. You can get the job done with 60 and it’s possible you will barely notice an issue with it at all, but there are times when it may show itself off as being lackluster. Take your 1860 out on some rough water, even in a bay or on a lake, when you have four or more people on board and all your gear and you’ll feel like you’re dragging the anchor behind you sometimes. More gear will obviously make it worse. The power just isn’t there when you’re trying to raise the bow over the waves. That’s not to say it can’t handle rough water, but it takes a steady hand and patience. Boost it up to the 90 hp and you’re going to be a lot happier. That said, as we saw, it does come with a cost increase that most folks may not be ready to deal with.
- As with other Tracker boats, some owners have brought up issues with the welded seams. These are rare complaints but it’s an issue that has dogged the company for some time with a small handful of owners bringing it up.
- The 1860 is a pretty bare bones jon boat overall and that’s sort of what a jon boat is, at the end of the day. But for some people, justifying the price, which is strongly tied to workmanship and reliability, can be tough.
Straight from Tracker’s website the Grizzly 1860 costs $21,995. That’s an “inflation buster” deal where they have dropped the base price by $2,000. Of course you can also add on your upgrades and various changes as you see fit to alter that base price. For instance, you’re getting the 60 ELPT Four Stroke at that price. You can boost up to the 90 ELPT and the price goes up to $24,095.
In addition, this base model is the forest green version. You do have a couple of paint options at your disposal. Both Woodland Camo and Grassland Camo can be selected as upgrades for a price increase of $500. You can also take on a trailer for $595.
That means, while a base model is $21,995 you can easily make some changes and turn that into $25,190.
Compared to some similar sized jon boats that may seem a little steep but this is a fully welded and high quality boat and it’s not too outlandish in terms of pricing, either. It’s also worth remembering that these are popular boats so you can find some good deals on used ones as well.
What You Need to Know About Tracker Jon Boats
The Tracker Grizzly is a fully welded boat so you may be able to find similar boats that are cheaper but they’re riveted and not welded. That full aluminum welded hull is where a lot of your money is going on this boat and, at this length, the price difference between this and a different style of construction and material really becomes noticeable. You can find similar jon boats for quite a bit less money in terms of size and features, but in my opinion few of them offer the solid base you’re getting here.
What People Are Saying About the Tracker Grizzly 1860 Center Console
Tracker is one of the biggest names in jon boats and they have been around for years. That means they’re kind of like a car manufacturer in terms of brand loyalty. You know how some people are Ford guys no matter what? And others will only drive a Chevy or a Ram? Same here. Some people are committed to Tracker no matter what. Others hate them no matter what. So it can be hard to find a lot of unbiased opinions out there.
All of that aside, there are some features which get a lot of people talking so let’s run through them.
In my opinion, the Tracker Grizzly warranty is almost second to none but I have to admit I have never needed to follow up on it. On paper, it looks great but in practice I hear a lot of different things from owners. Some Tracker owners are totally on board and have mentioned that the Tracker team are super friendly, easy to work with and if they had a warranty issue it was dealt with quickly and easily. Great,right?
Other owners have not had the same experience and, based on my research, there’s no real way to predict why it works one way for some and not others. Some owners have mentioned serious communication breakdown between themselves and Tracker. Repairs being denied, super slow communications and some sneaky interpretation of the wording in the warranty has been reported by a few owners.
One thing to keep in mind here is that, when we talk about bad warranty experiences, we’re talking about a serious minority. Most owners have not reported this but the fact that some have is at least something you should be aware of. It seems a bit like that thing in customer service where they say someone who has a bad experience will probably tell as many people as they can find while most people who have a good experience won’t tell anyone at all.
Aside from the issue with the motor not always being able to give you what you want in rougher conditions when it’s weighted, there are not a lot of complaints I’ve seen about the construction or performance here.
The welds are typically solid on the 1860, though a handful of owners have mentioned various issues with welds breaking. Most people seem to agree that this boat is put together really well. There’s lots of space and lots of storage on board as well, which is appreciated by most.
In terms of overall design, some have noted that the gunnels are actually kind of short, all things considered. For 99% of boaters this will never be an issue but if the reason you went for such a large boat was because you wanted to take the family out on the water, then this may become an issue. If you have kids on board, and especially if you hit a little chop, you’d probably be hoping for some taller sides on the boat just for the sake of safety.
This is a sticking point for a lot of people interested in a Tracker Grizzly but who haven’t decided yet. Remember, what you’re paying for here is the hull. This is solid aluminum and it is built to be tough and sturdy. You can get similar jon boats that are still aluminum but from a lesser material like 0.070 and they’ll definitely be cheaper. But you do need to be aware that such a boat doesn’t hold up as well as a Tracker will.
I’ve seen it mentioned before that, for the same price, you could literally buy two lesser boats and if one wears out you swap your engine and start again with the new boat. Is that true? Arguably, yes. But the same point I made about the Grizzly 1648 stands up here. Is it better to spend money on two lesser boats or one solid boat? Maybe that depends on the person and how you plan to use the boat. But for my money, sometimes it’s worth it to pay more for something well made.
Do We Recommend It?
Tracker Grizzly boats have really earned their reputation over the years and there’s a reason these are consistently among the best selling jon boats on the market. If you value a solid and sturdy boat then I definitely recommend this for any angler who needs a boat of this size.
While the price can be intimidating when compared to other jon boats of the same length, as long as you’re comparing not just length but value for the dollar, I think Tracker has proved their value by what they put into the boat’s construction. These boats handle well, they can last a long time, and they have great space, great storage, and reliable performance.
The Tracker Grizzly 1860 is not without its flaws, and you may want to keep in mind that the engine could probably use a boost and other owners have had warranty issues, but pound for pound, I think this is a solid jon boat worth the investment.
Categories: Jon Boats