MIAMI (MCT) - Here's a boat you probably didn't get to see in your travels among the numerous sites at the recently concluded Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show - the new Triumph Skiff 1700. That's because the company didn't have exhibit space or a local dealer. To get the word out about the newest model of what Triumph bills as "the world's toughest boat," company representatives Mark Welsh and Jeff Gross gave demo rides to a handful of boating writers on the Intracoastal Waterway in Fort Lauderdale.
This shallow-water fishing boat is the Durham, N.C., company's answer to the Carolina Skiff: durable and inexpensive like its rival, but made entirely of roto-molded plastic instead of fiberglass.
"People don't baby skiffs," Welsh said. "They're going to bang 'em into jetties, run up on oyster bars. This boat can take so much punishment; we thought that's what people want."
Welsh said the boat's double-wall, single-hull construction requires no maintenance. It is guaranteed not to crack, blister, peel or fade. Owners can customize their boats with seats, ice chests, downriggers and rod holders by using a screwdriver directly into the Roplene exterior. For durability reassurance, Triumph's promotional literature shows the boat being dropped into the water from a helicopter and being launched off a tall, rocky cliff.
The 17-foot skiff has an 80-inch beam and can hold up to 1,800 pounds or nine passengers. It comes in two packages: two 6.6-gallon portable fuel tanks under the aft deck and a 25-gallon livewell under the console or one 18-gallon portable fuel tank in the console and a 25-gallon live well in the aft deck.
Equipped with a 50-horsepower Yamaha outboard and trailer, it's priced at about $13,000. For more information about the 1700 and other Triumph models, visit triumphboats.com.
Showgoers who visited the Broward County Convention Center might have come across an unusual small boat that looked as though it was missing its foredeck - the Patten Inflatable. Once exclusively the craft of U.S. Navy SEALs and U.S. Army Delta Force types, this lightweight, shallow-draft catamaran boat in models 13 to 21 feet long is now being marketed as a family dive vessel.
Simply remove the stackable flooring panel to reveal a zippered hatch with Velcro closure for through-the-floor dive entry. The Patten seats six to 10 passengers, holds up to 10 scuba tanks and can do up to 30 miles per hour, depending on weight and horsepower.
Boat, motor and trailer packages range from $18,000 to $25,000. For more information, e-mail Tom Carnes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2008, The Miami Herald.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.