Boat Test: 2006 Edgewater EdgeWater 170 CC

Boat Tested2006 Edgewater EdgeWater 170 CC
Price As TestedNot Available
Category Center Console
Manufacturer Edgewater
Length16ft 10in / 5.13 m
If I were a gambler, I'd bet on EdgeWater's 170CC to boost the company's small boat market share in 2006.

Powered by a 115 horsepower Mercury four-stroke outboard, this hot little number makes sense for those who need an all-purpose, 17 to 18-foot runabout. Let me add from experience that center-console boats like the 170CC are capable of serving many needs well. By launching models like this, the Floridabased builder is growing faster than lake weeds in July. Canadians are embracing these new wood-free, well-constructed powerboats and while they may be premium priced, you get what you pay for.

The 170CC measures 16'10" long, is a healthy 7'3" wide and weighs 1700 lbs. Folks, this is no skinny lightweight. It is meant to tackle less than comfortable water and come out smiling. Unlike many utilitystyle boats, the EdgeWater incorporates features found in larger, sportier models - those often reserved for models where "size matters".

Before we talk features, EdgeWater's unsinkable Permagrid construction simply has to be a good reason to look closer.With 100% level floatation solid composite transom, honeycomb composite Nidacore floor and Whaleboard-backed dash, this boat will be around for a long, long, time. In reality, the 170CC is a compact version of the builder's larger offshore fishing models. Same classic lines, same basic interior layout. Sibling rivalry might find it trying to keep up, and it probably could in general lake conditions.

Those that have a low-maintenance, hose-down boat know how handy they are to clean. The 170CC even has an optional raw water washdown system but in most parts of Canada where salt isn't a problem, a bucket works pretty well. As you probably guessed, non-skid fibreglass is used throughout and stainless steel rails envelop the cockpit forward of the console. EdgeWater's trademark monotone white is the colour de jour, inside and out.For those who prefer some contrast, optional hull colours are available. White works well since it doesn't fade and can be scrubbed without leaving noticeable swirl marks or streaks.

Where people sit, a pad has been placed, and with the exception of the operator's seat (with its own removable backrest) they all snap in and out quickly. Fishermen usually want them removed, while watersports enthusiasts prefer a bit more comfort. On the subject of seats, their placement has been thoughtfully engineered. Even the seat/cooler forward secures into place with a stainless latch. Aft quarter seats with cushions add two more places for passengers in a space generally wasted on boats this size. Popular options include a recirculating aerated baitwell and a ski pylon. Take full advantage of the console's size - there's abundant space inside to store your gear. Furthermore, safety equipment can be stowed in the large bow compartment underneath the casting platform.

Standing up or sitting down, the 170CC is a pleasure to drive. The helm is straightforward and simple, with few instruments to glance at. Accelerating to plane, the bow stays low and lays down flat in 3 seconds. Trimming the engine out helps lift the variable deadrise hull nicely up on top of the water, and before you know it, the speedometer is reading 45 mph.

Holding the minimum planing speed at 16 mph was relatively easy, but the boat runs most efficiently at 25 to 30 mph, or 3500 to 4000 rpm. Mercury's 115 fourstroke is a good power match for the EdgeWater, with enough punch to pull skiers and maintain a constant speed.

With the engine trimmed in, the hull stays stuck to the water and feels heavy to steer, so tapping the motor out a few degrees offers relief. Bay Star's outboard hydraulic steering system is a good one though, enabling us to weave around our testing area with ease.

Overall the ride is smooth, dry and predictable. Cushioned and quiet, this 6- person 17-footer is a must see for those looking for a smaller all-purpose, runabout. If you want a boat for the long-haul, this one works.
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