Fishing Features First
When it comes to fishing, you don’t want to be like the guy that brings a knife to a gunfight. The Triton VT 17 might look like a knife – but as Crocodile Dundee once said, “Now here’s a real knife!” She comes to you pre-rigged with a wiring harness for the 12volt 42" Motorguide FW 46FB trolling motor. A foot controller rests in a dedicated recessed space at the bow just ahead of the pedestal seat. This is unique to Triton aluminum boats – no other aluminum brands have a recessed foot well. An upgrade to a Motorguide FW71FB45 is available (add $247) but it also requires an upgraded harness (add $69).The foredeck also houses a lockable rod storage compartment that is long enough to contain rods up to 7’ (2.13 m) in length. It is also carpeted to protect your equipment from damage. Three-across seating and a starboard side helm console take up the center section of the VT 17. At the helm you’ll find instrumentation for a voltmeter, tachometer, speedometer, and a fuel gauge in addition to a 12 v power outlet for charging your cell or MP3, or perhaps powering your portable GPS. The helm also is home to the standard Lowrance X-50D depth finder. The stern casting platform houses two rear tackle organizers plus an upgraded 30 gallon (113.6L) aerated livewell that includes a timer and pump strainers.
All engines offered are Mercury, but there is not a standard engine model dedicated to the boat which is rated up to a 75-hp motor; most popular packages range 40 ELPTO to 75 ELPTO Opti. You can trade down, but more than likely, trade-ups will be considered. You can move up to a 50-hp ELPT (add $7,051), a 60-hp ELPT (add $7,586), a 75-hp ELPT (add $9,502), or a 75-hp ELPT Optimax (add $9,058).
Performance and Handling
Driving the VT 17 is very straightforward, as in drive it straight and forward. It’s made for hauling to the fishing spot, staying as long as you can, and then getting you back for the weigh in at a reasonable speed. In other words, it’s made for getting from here to there comfortably and economically with the chosen power. Hard turns, heavy handed performance maneuvers, and cranking and banking are not in the design parameters of the VT 17 and attempting them would be problematic. It’s just not that type of boat. Back way off the throttle and let the speed bleed down before turning and things will work out much better. Jumping across our chase boat’s wake showed no problems with handling and we stayed on the water firmly and comfortably. With our Merc 75 Optimax, our top speed was 40.4 MPH. Not professional tournament speeds, but respectable nonetheless. Since this is the type of boat that you’ll use to get to a distant hole before the next guy, you’ll probably be keeping it at top speed the whole time. Therefore, range at top speed is 130 miles burning 6.2 gph. If you do decide to take it easy and stretch your gasoline, then you have two cruise choices. Best speed and best economy. At 3500 RPMs you’ll get a speed of 23.2 mph while burning 2.7 gph. At 4000 RPMs you’ll enjoy a 28.5 mph speed and fuel burn is 3.4 gph. In either case, your range is separated by only 4 miles, so you need to decide if you want to save gas, or time, at cruise.
A trailer is included in the standard package. Well beyond your basic, it features a swing-away tongue for easy storage and a spare tire holder. Loading guides will assist you with lining up the boat at the ramp. Options available for the trailer include a Chrome Wheel Upgrade (add $63), a choice of spare tires (basic silver add $132, chrome add $181, or galvanized add $146). You can galvanize the entire trailer if you’re into salt water (add $299) and finally, surge brakes are available if you live in a state that requires them or if your travels take you to hilly terrain (add $694). Triton seems to have come up with a winning package in the VT 17, and it’s priced right. While the advertised price is only $14,370 (which includes a $1000 rebate to the dealer) with the trailer and 50-hp Mercury ELPTO. A closer look shows that price does not include batteries, an aluminum propeller, dealer prep (add $495), or destination fees. Still, even after adding those items in, the Triton VT 17 is low price, and you get a lot of boat for the money.
Test Result Highlights
- Top speed for the Triton Aluminum Boats VT 17 (2010-) is 40.4 mph (65 kph), burning 6.2 gallons per hour (gph) or 23.47 liters per hour (lph).
- Best cruise for the Triton Aluminum Boats VT 17 (2010-) is 23.2 mph (37.3 kph), and the boat gets 8.59 miles per gallon (mpg) or 3.65 kilometers per liter (kpl), giving the boat a cruising range of 170 miles (273.59 kilometers).
- Tested power is 1 x 75-hp Mercury Optimax.
- Time to plane for the Triton Aluminum Boats VT 17 (2010-) is 2.4 sec. seconds.
- Time from 0 to 30 of the Triton Aluminum Boats VT 17 (2010-) is 8.3 sec seconds.
Standard and Optional Features
|Outlet: 12-Volt Acc||Standard|