Boat Test: 2009 McKee Craft Marathon 172 CC

Boat Tested2009 McKee Craft Marathon 172 CC
Price As Tested$31,610
Category Bay Boat
Manufacturer McKee Craft
Length17ft 2in / 5.23 m
Beam70ft / 21.34 m
Weight1,250 Lbs
Fuel Capacity36 Gals

Look in the dictionary under sturdy and you may just find a picture of a McKee Craft. This line of “unsinkable” foul-weather boats offers safety and reliability to boating families who love to fish.

Let’s be straight. TheMcKee CraftMarathon 172CC will not impress due to head turning style or blistering speeds. Where it excels head and shoulders is in its unwavering, stable ride in any conditions thrown at it.

In fact, the company says their boats will not only float, but also remain upright in calm water even when the vessel is cut in half. The one-piece deck and hull is constructed using pressure foam filling, allowing McKee Craft to build a boat without stringers and spars.

On-the-water, with three on board and a full tank of gas, the 172CC turned in respectable acceleration times and planing speeds equipped with a 90-hp Mercury outboard. But that is not what this boat is built for. With lots of boat traffic and quite a bit of chop, the test ride was extremely stable with the boat planted firmly in the water. If only Mother Nature had unleashed some fury, we would have really seen what the 172CC can do.

This centre console has a fairly typical layout, but what’s hidden beneath the expected really impresses. The console has a large storage compartment with lockable access door, as well as four tackle drawers and vertical rod holders.There is a 52-quart cooler under the companion swingback helm seat and a 44- quart storage box under the cushioned seat forward of the helm.

And if that just isn’t enough storage, the front snag-free casting deck hides a full-beam 158-quart insulated fish/storage box, and the transom jumpseats lift to reveal two built-in 44-quart aerated livewells.

Other fishing features include gunwale boards with four stainless steel rod holders, and a self-bailing deck and salt water washdown system.The five-inch lift tunnel on the hull will also allow you to access shallow fishing grounds.

The stable and secure ride, solid fit-and-finish, and overall functionality will not only be a good fit for families who love to fish, but also for extended season and island cottagers.

TheMcKee CraftMarathon 172CC may not be a boat to turn heads, but it also won’t turn over when the going gets rough.

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