April 2003 Issue

 
   


New Boat News
Twin Vee 17 Fisherman
By John Page Williams

Over the past few years, Twin Vee's larger power catamarans have gathered well deserved attention as rugged, capable, efficient performers with modest price tags. Almost lost in the shuffle, though, is the company's 17 Fisherman, a little boat that's an overachiever. At 16 feet 10 inches long and a bare weight of 545 pounds (without engine), it will float in less than 10 inches of water and tow easily behind 4- and 6-cylinder vehicles.

Economy doesn't stop there. Our test boat (furnished by Twin Vee Boats of Maryland in Annapolis) carried a Mercury 60 stroke EFI outboard swinging a deeply cupped Trophy 10.625-inch-by-13-inch four-blade stainless propeller. This Merc is strong and outrageously efficient, while light enough (248 pounds) to balance well on the 17 Fisherman. In our test, running at all speeds with several people aboard (total weight: 600 pounds), we burned only 1.6 gallons of fuel. Throughout, the Trophy held solid water with no ventilation, a critical point for single-engine cat. The 17 Fisherman planed at only 8.2 knots (3000 rpm), reached peak efficiency at 16.1 knots (4000 rpm, 6.4 nautical miles per gallon), and topped out at 25.2 knots (5500 rpm). The dealer reports a top speed with one person of 28.7 knots. Test day was calm, but cutting over wakes confirmed the sharp hulls' ability to slice through seas easily.

This 17 Fisherman had a 12-gallon plastic fuel tank under the console, a bolted-on bow deck with storage under, and a cooler helm seat with a reversible back. Another option worth considering is twin cockpit side rails ($229). Otherwise it's made to order for customizing with aftermarket equipment like rod racks and livewells. List price as tested is $14,706, with trailer.

- J.P.W.

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