Allison Vulcan 189 Review

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Allison’s Vulcan 189 is a successful hybrid between a cuddy cab and a runabout. Whether it s a low profile cuddy or a big runabout with bunks under the foredeck is immaterial  it works! Previous model Vulcans have won quite a following among the offshore fishing set but just to prove a point, perhaps, neither of the models made available to us was destined for a life of slime and scales. Fishing, sure, but not the single-minded variety. The two-stroke powered boat, in particular, had been set up for family usage including some social water skiing.

The fourstroke, as you might expect with 25% less power, was destined for a more relaxed life. The Vulcan hull is typical Allison; that is a deep vee with the motor mounted on a full pod sitting above the hull s bottom line. The keel line has a slim plank, the chines are turned down and there are twin strakes along each side that fade out forward of the transom. At the bow, the offshore fisher heritage is evident from the big anchor well, divided bow rail, (one of the test boats hadn t optioned a bow rail) and ample hatch to access ground tackle from inside the boat.

A short bowsprit keeps the anchor away from the gelcoat. Much of the Vulcan s stylish looks can be attributed to the rake of the wraparound screen, which extends way aft. Offshore fishers might fit a grab bar around the frame; neither of the test boats had one. For my 170cm frame the screen s frame managed to site itself squarely across my line of vision while seated in the heavily padded bucket. Standing it wasn t a problem and the helm ergonomics which make the difference between comfort and pain on any run longer than a few minutes were OK either way.

With the foredeck s profile being low, the bunk space under it probably shouldn t be called a cabin. I doubt if adults would camp in there for more than a quick nap but the rug rats should be right at home. A CD stereo system in the 2-stroke powered boat had speakers in both the cab and the cockpit. There was quite a bit of storage, including shelves in the cabin, under the bunks, in the usual side pockets along the cockpit and in two (waterproof hatched) compartments, one under each bucket seat. Footrest boxes for both helm and passenger had hinged lids for even more storage.

The passenger seat swiveled 180 for the observer while skiing. Both test boats were fitted with canopies and these give enough protection to be considered essential equipment by most potential Vulcan owners. Padded cockpit sides and a lounge across the rear of the cockpit in both test boats were quite in keeping with their destinies, although more dedicated fishers would likely remove the lounge and leave it at home. Small lidded wells on the transom would serve to thaw the bait and keep drinks cool. The fuel filler was outboard, and again in keeping with their owner s intent, boarding platforms with an optional telescopic ladder on the port side filled the space each side of the motor pod.

With so many fellow fishos running Allisons it was interesting to see two boats set up to quite a different philosophy of boating life. And I have to say that the Vulcan 189 slotted into the role of family day boat/social ski boat every bit as well as the ones I m used to seeing bristling with tackle and bait. Including the generally higher asking price for four strokes