Editor’s Note: And now for something completely different… Some saltwater anglers despise personal watercraft, but when we polled our social-media audience, most said that they WOULD fish from a PWC. So, for those of you early adopters, we offer this review.
While it’s no 40-foot center console, Sea-Doo’s FishPro Trophy 170 can still satisfy hardcore inshore and offshore anglers. That is, if they’re willing to get up close and personal with their catch on a craft that’s little more than 12 feet long and 4 feet wide and weighs a scant 858 pounds.
Of course, that’s part of the appeal, as is the fact that this little-bitty battlewagon is simple to trailer and stow, will ring up a comparatively small fuel bill, and costs less than $18,000. To assess the new 170, we ran it and inspected its features during an early October test in central Florida.
The first Sea-Doo FishPro model featured a hull stable enough for stand-up casting, a GPS fish finder, and a 13 1/2-gallon cooler with multiple clip-on rod holders, topside cutting board and a pocket for tackle and tools. The Trophy version offers increased fishability.
Sea-Doo converted the cooler to a legitimate livewell, adding an in-hull pump aft, quick-connect hose system and an aerator. Disconnect the hose from the cooler to use it as a washdown, great for rinsing away blood and scales off the cooler-top EVA cutting board or removing gunk before it bakes to a crust. The Trophy’s 7-inch Garmin multifunction display features an easier-to-use touchscreen as well as a free download for detailed regional charts.
To address the added power draw of the new features, Trophy’s dual-battery system and beefed-up charging system ensure the juice doesn’t run out and leave you stranded. Sea-Doo placed a quick-draw, grapnel-style anchor within easy reach of the driver, and the company brought back its ultra-convenient front storage compartment (easily reached without getting up out of the saddle). An electronic pump clean-out system eliminates concerns about heading into skinny or weed-prone waters.
Arguably the cleverest addition to the Trophy, however, is a new swivel fishing chair. By moving the aft section of the two-part saddle and positioning it atop an easily installed pedestal, the craft now delivers a comfortable perch that elevates the angler for easier sightfishing. Drop any of the pieces overboard during assembly or disassembly, and they float.
As to the performance, the Trophy is — no surprise — a Sea-Doo, capable of carving a thrilling hairpin turn one minute and, with its naturally aspirated 170 hp Rotax four-stroke engine, running out to near 60 mph the next. At day’s end, stick it in your garage.
You can’t do that with a 40-footer.
|Base Price:||$17,799 (w/ Rotax 170)|
|LOA:||12 ft. 3 in.|
|Beam:||4 ft. 1 in.|
|Transom Deadrise:||23 deg.|
|Dry Weight:||858 lb.|
|Max HP:||170 hp|
- Engine: Rotax 1630 ACE 170
- Load: 155 lb.
- Top Speed: 55 mph @ 7,400 rpm
*Additional performance and fuel-consumption numbers were not available.
Sea-Doo – Valcourt, Quebec CA; 888-272-9222