Sea Hunt has been manufacturing strong, well-built boats in Columbia, South Carolina, since 1995.
Courtesy of a the strong Aussie dollar, family boating enthusiasts and keen anglers can now enjoy these nicely finished, feature-rich craft.
The Sea Hunt Triton 177 as tested is an ideal craft for bay and estuary work and a run offshore in the right conditions would also be on the cards.
Layout is practical in typical US fashion.
The anchor lies secure in its own locker up forward, while directly aft is an insulated storage area under a gas-strut supported lid with a large cushion. The low bow rail provides a handhold for people seated there, with drink holders conveniently nearby.
The cushion can be left at home to allow one to stand on the non-skid hatch cover. A casting chair is available as an option.
The centre console is well equipped with features to please the most fastidious owner. In front is a well-upholstered seat with a 40L insulated storage area below.
A strong stainless grab rail extends around the high, tinted windscreen and down the console sides to for a firm handhold.
A large, five-spoke stainless steel wheel is to port, with all gauges and switches on the instrument panel easily identified and quite user-friendly. There’s a storage area in the console accessible from the port side.
Skipper and mate have sliding pedestal seats (with stylish Sea Hunt logos) and the ignition switch and binnacle throttle/gear lever are within easy reach to the right. Two drink holders plus a grab handle are further to starboard. While no sounder was provided on the test craft a rather impressive mock-up indicated where a sounder might be flush-mounted on the console.
Aft quarter seats sit either side of the 55L aerated livewell in front of the engine well. The comfy seat backs neatly fold flush to create a level casting platform.
Other cockpit features include a non-skid floor, side rod racks with protection for rod tips, gunwale rod holders, a high-pressure deck wash, and pop-up cleats aft.
The cockpit depth of 650mm ensures plenty of safety for those aboard while an external side height of 850mm assists in keeping those aboard dry.
A swim platform with boarding ladder to port provide ease of access whether afloat or on the trailer.
The 115hp Suzuki four-stroke made the Triton 177 was a lively little beast.
The Triton 177’s hull features a 16° deadrise aft with the renowned Carolina flare up forward doing an excellent job of deflecting water well away.
A big waterline chine extends aft and turns down to allow extra grip at rest and sure tracking in turns.
With two aboard and 120L of fuel in the tank, the Triton 177 planed at 9.7 knots (18.1kmh) at 3000 rpm. The hand-held GPS recorded 21.3 knots (39.6kmh) at 4000 rpm, 28.2 knots (52.3kmh) at 5000rpm and a brisk 34.2 knots (63.5kmh) at 6000rpm.
The maximum 135hp would see some fast speeds indeed.
The hull planed easily with no bow lift and minimal fuss.
Midrange performance from the Suzuki was quite strong, the engine responding willingly throughout the rev range, with only the highest revs pushing some noise around the helm area.
With more than 20 boats in their catalogue, Sea Hunt have certainly worked out how to put together a sweet riding hull. In sheltered waters it was obvious nothing was going to upset that gentle, very controlled, ride. Impact from swells, wakes and wash from passing craft were hardly felt, even at speed.
For a craft with such sleek, low, lines the ride was also very dry, which says plenty about the hull design. Naturally, with wind and waves on a quarter things might be different but this presents as a dry hull.
The Triton 177 also produced minimal wash and was quiet, too, in the best fibreglass tradition.
Handling was brilliant. Fast turns, donuts and figure-eights, the Triton 177 took them all in its stride and no water came aboard. With the Suzuki 115 on the transom, this is a very well-balanced rig indeed.
I see wide uses for this craft. Bay and estuary work would be its forte but given its ride quality and inherent dryness, offshore work on the right day would be no problem.
Stability is outstanding. The dry weight of 750kg, aided by the 2.40m beam, means the Triton 177 won’t lean much even if two occupants are on one side.
With a self-draining floor, a decent livewell, reasonable interior depth plus a near full-height transom, this rig is suited to a lot of fishing situations.
The insulated storage up forward for the catch and seating for up to five means a neat overall package. The top-shelf finish, quality fittings and overall presentation mean it looks good and it works.
All hulls come with a 10-year warranty. Supplied on a Dunbier Super Roller trailer – which made easy work of launch and retrieval – the Triton as reviewed sells for around $50,500.
Call Neken Marine at Mona Vale for this and other fine Sea Hunt boats on 02 9979 9649 or visit www.neken.com.au.
SEA HUNT TRITON 177
Max/min power 90-135hp
|Test engine||115hp Suzuki|
|LOA on trailer||6.30m|
|Height on trailer||1.90m|
|Towing||Family six or bigger|