Boat Test: 2005 Seaswirl Seaswirl 170 FS

Boat Tested2005 Seaswirl Seaswirl 170 FS
Price As TestedNot Available
Category Fish and Ski
Manufacturer Seaswirl
Length17ft 4in / 5.28 m
Las Vegas in September is sunny, hot, and exciting - sunny and hot for the obvious reasons and exciting because of the launch of Genmar's fleet for 2005. Based in Minneapolis, boatbuilding giant Genmar has 16 boat brands and more than 250 different models. Quite a fleet. In addition to the slew of boats on display at the Las Vegas Convention Centre, many new boats were on the water at nearby Lake Mead. I was there for boating, not gambling.

In the Seaswirl lineup, I decided to check out the new 170 FS (Fish/Ski). Equipped with plenty of features and amenities, it's a sure bet for a wide range of family boating activities.

If you are up-to-date on the latest construction processes then you have heard and read about Genmar's VEC fibreglass moulding system - a computer controlled, automated closed mould system that ensures precision in the material portions as well as the bonding and thickness of the hull and deck. According to the company, the result is a stronger, lighter, seamless boat.

Seaswirl, with its new 170 FS, takes VEC to an entirely new level with a Unitized hull and deck. This is a patented technology that lays up the hull, stringers, subfloor and foam simultaneously, eliminating the need for secondary bonding. The claimed benefits are greater strength, less flex, a quieter ride, and the potential elimination of water intrusion below the floor.

The bow section of the 170 FS is quite versatile. For cruising, U-shaped cushions offer passengers a comfortable ride.When it's time for fishing, a filler plate and swivel seat transform this area into a functional casting deck. The recessed tackle drawers are a nice touch. To stow larger items, there is plenty of storage under the forward seats. Our test boat was also fitted with a Minn-Kota 65PD trolling motor at the bow.

In the cockpit of our test boat, a set of slider/swivel bucket seats was up front for the operator and companion. Aft, a unique bench seat runs the full width of the cockpit, but follows the contour of the protruding engine well. It is a design that I find both attractive and functional, particularly on a boat this size.The outboard jump seats can be easily removed for access to the transom, and the three-step telescopic boarding ladder. The centre cushion serves as a cover for a compartment that can accommodate three batteries.

Standard items such as handholds, beverage holders, and a ski locker are found in and around the cockpit, along with coaming-mounted rod-holders port and starboard.

The helm was nicely finished and hosted a set of Faria gauges with gold bezel accents.The helm also sported a tilt steering wheel and a Clarion sound system with Sirius satellite reception (ready for use in Canada once the service gets regulatory approval).

Our test boat was rigged with a 90 hp Evinrude E-TEC outboard. Loaded with a half a tank of fuel, I set out solo on the calm waters of Lake Mead for a few test runs. With the throttle pushed to the stop, the 170 FS jumped onto plane in a very quick 2.6 seconds.Once up and running,I found a comfortable cruising speed of 20.9 mph at 3,000 rpm.While no racehorse, the 170 FS had a respectable top speed of 33.1 mph at 5,000 rpm.

So if you want to go fishing, water skiing, or day-cruising - or maybe all three on the same day - don't gamble when it comes to built-in equipment. The 170 FS is a functional multi-use boat that will give you plenty of entertainment on the water, no matter what activity you choose.
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