Reviewed by Richard Crowder
Triumph Boats of Little Falls, Minnesota was one of the first production boat manufacturers to utilize the Roplene® system of construction and thus the resulting adoption of the phrase, the “World’s Toughest Boats®.”
To emphasize this point, it is definitely worth going to Triumph’s website, selecting the “Beyond Tough” tab, looking at the “Tough Tests” section, and taking a peek at some of the video tests conducted on finished Triumph hulls and complete boats. You may get a kick, as I did, out of the “Bubba Test” tongue-in-cheek video of launching a Triumph for a test drive. This video along with the others in this section of the website is sure intended to drive home the point of just how tough a Triumph boat is built.
The Roplene system of construction not only produces a “tough” boat, but because this process is so much less labour intensive than the hand-laid fibreglass process of most other boats, the result is a less expensive boat. A quick explanation of the Roplene system will help explain this.
The Roplene system begins with specially formulated low-density polyethylene compound powder which is poured into a high-temperature mold, placed in a large convection oven where the mold is rotated horizontally and vertically to melt the powder consistently throughout the mold to form the boat. Even though the polyethylene is naturally buoyant, the transom, sidewalls, and interior cavities of the finished hull are injected with high-density foam to exceed required flotation requirements. Triumph claims its molded polymer hulls are five times more impact resistant than fibreglass.
For the 2013 model year, Triumph Boats offers thirteen models of bay, skiff, side, dual, and centre console models from 17 to 21 feet. The 170 CC (Centre Console) and 170 DC (Dual Console) models, subject of this review, are reasonably representative of a good portion of the Triumph lineup. They both ride on identical hulls of 16’10” LOA, 6’5” beam, 6” draft (boat only not including outboard motor), a relatively shallow 13° deadrise hull, 19” cockpit depth, and carrying capacity of 1,340 pounds or six persons. Only the weight varies slightly between the two models, the Centre Console being seventy pounds heavier at 1,100. They both are rated for up to 75 horsepower.
Fore and aft, the two boats are almost identical in every respect. Only amidships are the two vastly different and thus directed at different markets. Let’s review the fore and aft similarities first. They both come with two standard bow fish boxes with lockers which may be optioned with additional cushions and/or a bow fishing seat. A 25-gallon aerated baitwell fed with an 800-gph pump and high speed pickup is standard as are two gunwale rod holders, two transom seats with cushions, stainless steel side rails, console storage, basic outboard instrumentation, plus a custom single axle galvanized trailer.
Helm seating in the centre console is placed much higher than the dual console with a resulting bridge clearance requirement of 51” vs. only 38” for the much lower dual console. Both have standard acrylic windscreens – single on the CC, two on the DC. Standard helm seating on the CC is provided by a 72-qt. flip-flop cooler seat or select the optional flip-flop seat with removable 54-qt. cooler. The helm seats at both consoles of the DC are adjustable Pompanette® “ladder back” style. Both boats come with standard forward-facing seating with cushions ahead of the console(s) – double-wide on the CC, a single in front of each console on the DC. Both boats come with stainless steel side rails or choose the optional high bow rail.
Additional options to consider for either boat include a bimini top, swim platform with 3-step stainless steel ladder, aft seat backrests, AM/FM stereo with two speakers and MP3/iPod port adapter, trolling motor panel with tilt switch and 12VDC plug, a fishing package, and motor pre-rigging for most outboard choices. Choices include Evinrude, Mercury, Suzuki, or Yamaha up to 75hp.
Enjoy your good times in your Triumph and even though the boat will probably survive, I don’t recommend launching it “the Bubba way.”
|Length:||16' 10"||5.13 m|
|Beam:||6' 6"||1.96 m|
|Dry weight:||1,100 lbs||499 kg|
|Fuel Capacity:||21 US gals||80 l|
|Engine / Drive:||Outboard, 75hp Max|