The 170 Super Sport from Boston Whaler is an uncomplicated, simple boat that can be used for most anything in protected water. She can be fished from, yet can have enough power to delight skiers and wakeboarders if equipped with the correct options. She is also a functional, light "utility" boat, ideal for knocking around the harbor or bay. She has an affordable price point and is easy to trailer. She is the right size for youngsters to handle by themselves and learn the basics of boating and watersports.
Boston Whaler is a brand with generations of avid brand enthusiasts. They will cite the attention to quality components and durability of the builder’s various models. Their rigs are known to last and hold their value over time. And, of course, all the Boston Whaler boats provide level floatation no matter what their size. It is the company that convinced the USCG many years ago to make level flotation mandatory for all powered boats 20' (6.09 m) and below built in the U.S. or built for the U.S. market.
In spite of her simplicity, the 170 Super Sport is surprisingly adaptable. The basic boat package is complete with a 60-hp (44.13 Kw) Mercury BigFoot 4-stroke engine, tachometer and a galvanized trailer with a swing tongue but no brakes. She has a standard stainless steel steering wheel, three 8" (.20 cm) stainless steel cleats, welded stainless steel side rails and stainless steel cup holders. Her other standard features include:
Versatile options are available for towing enhancement: a ski tow (available only with the optional 90-hp outboard. (66.9 Kw) engine); a tow arch with stainless steel prop (also compatible only with the 90-hp engine); the optional tow arch has an available suntop.
A standard large, side seat/console cooler with an optional padded top doubling as a footrest for the passenger port seating is removable to provide a level walkway forward to the bow.
Optional bucket sport seats with cushions swivels to the spotter position for watersports.
Optional fishing amenities including a carry-on livewell, a pedestal fishing seat and rail-mounted rod holder and a stern poling platform with rod holders.
Three optional colors are available: Desert Tan, Glacier Green, and Light Blue.
Boarding the 170 Super Sport at the stern, passengers will step into the cockpit via port and starboard transom boarding steps. Her transom height is 20’’ (.51 cm). A swim ladder is standard. The 170’s draft is only 9’’ (.23 cm), enabling anglers to move into skinny waters. Moving forward to the console, her freeboard is 24.5’’ (.62 cm).
The design of the fixed bench seat provides no option other than to step over it to move forward from the aft section. At the helm, we find a console equipped with the standard stainless steel steering wheel, a tachometer, side-mounted Mercury control, a safety switch, 12V power receptacle and drink holder. A recess holds a small standard waterproof Pelican case which is ideal for a wallet and cell phone. A control for the optional stereo radio is also located at the helm. Across to the port side, there is a side storage compartment with a mesh retaining net.
The boat comes standard with a conventional thwart. Seat options to place on the bench are many. In addition to the standard bench, the 170 may be outfitted with a simple bench pad, two sport bucket seats (the passenger seat swivels to face aft), or a bench seat with backrest. In addition, a helm seat with a hinged backrest is also available.The standard cooler compartment may be covered with an optional pad, and it serves as a footrest for the passenger console seat. It is also removable to permit movement to the bow without stepping over the cooler.
Forward, the bow feels very roomy in spite of the 170’s 6’ 10” (20.8 m) beam. There is adequate cockpit depth forward of the console, however, due to her relatively low gunwale height at the bow platform, for safety reasons the optional stainless steel bow rail is a recommend feature if this is to be a family fun boat. Stainless steel handrails port and starboard are standard.There is a standard bow locker storage compartment with hinged fiberglass cover and overboard drain. For comfort, an optional padded bow seat is available.
The 170 Super Sport has, of course, a cockpit drain plug and the basic rig is easy to clean and maintain because she is so uncomplicated. There is ample leg room for passengers enjoying cruising or watersports, and the bow platform as well as the spacious cockpit aft of the bench seating provides casting space for anglers.
The 170 Super Sport is built with Boston Whaler’s rigid construction and dependable handling, attributes this manufacturer is known for. And, Boston Whaler has long guaranteed their products’ flotation capabilities, trademarking the term, “The Unsinkable Legend”.
Boston Whaler has a unique foam-cored construction process; when the deck and hull sections are joined, expandable foam is injected into the entire length of the hull, not only to bolster floatation, but to add strength and serve as a bonding component as well. BoatTEST.com has made a video showing this process that we recommend viewing. http://www.boattest.com/boats/boat_video.aspx?SubID=2400&ID=2812
Of course, the USCG requires level flotation when swamped, for powered boats 20' (6.09 m) in length and smaller.
Engine Description and Options
We have not tested this boat so can make no comment on performance. The base package for the 170 Super Sport includes the 60-hp Mercury 4-stroke EFI engine. The manufacturer says that with this engine, two passengers and minimal gear on board, the 170 will plane in 4.8 seconds. Her speed from idle to 30 mph (48.3 kph) was measured at 14.0 seconds, according to the builder.
The optional 90-hp Mercury 4-stroke EFI outboard is a must, depending on certain optional ski tow accessories selected for the 170 Super Sport. According to the builder, with the 90-hp Mercury, test results take her to plane faster, measured at 4.0 seconds. Her speed from idle to 30 mph with the 90 is quicker, measured at 9.7 seconds.
The 170 Super Sport base package with 60-hp. Mercury engine factory installed with tachometer, and basic galvanized trailer is priced at $22,306 MSRP.This relatively low base price for a dependable 17’ (5.18 m) sport runabout is possible due to the simple, no frills equipment on the 170.
Pricing of Major Options
Accessories for the 170 Super Sport are focused primarily on watersport options, however, the optional windshield is priced at $249 MSRP. A black suntop with boot is listed as priced at $1,145. The suntop is incompatible with the optional tow arch.The optional stainless steel bow rail, also incompatible with the tow arch, is priced at $937. The 19 gal. (71.9 L) topside fuel tank option is $422. The poling platform (not compatible with the optional ski tow or tow arch) is priced at $1,567.Buyers may choose from 3 hull side gelcoat colors instead of the standard red graphics and striping at a cost of $941.As for popular available sport accessories, the tow arch comes with a stainless steel performance prop and is priced at $2,446 MSRP. It is available only with the 90-hp Mercury engine and incompatible with the ski tow, or bow rail. An attaching tow arch wakeboard rack is also an option. A black suntop is available for the tow arch, priced at $850. A special bow rail designed to fit with the tow arch is listed at $781. The alternative stern ski tow negates the poling platform option, and is priced at $801.
First, the 170 Super Sport is affordably priced. When we factor in Boston Whaler’s earned reputation for quality, the 170 is a strong, value-priced option for boaters seeking an open utility boat in her class. Loyal Boston Whaler fans will testify that they consider their boat an investment, holding value extremely well over time. While all builders say their boats hold value better than the competition, this size Boston Whaler really does.
Then, there is her compact footprint. With an LOA of 17’ (5.18 m), and the compact trailer with swing-away tongue, the 170 Super Sport is easy to store and will park in most residential garages. Her weight with the larger engine and trailer is roughly 2,400 lbs. (1,091 kg), putting her comfortably within range of most tow vehicles in the mid-size SUV/light pick-up class, and even some mid-sized crossover vehicles.
On board, her austere, Spartan approach means there are fewer snaps, clips, straps and gadgets to go wrong or require attention. The simple styling of transom, helm, cockpit, bow and available upholstery makes the 170 Super Sport easy to clean and maintain. Too much time readying the boat for a day on the water means less time on the water enjoying the boat.
Standard and Optional Features
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