BOAT REVIEW - Frauscher 717 GT

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Cafe Racers Part 1 - DAVID LOCKWOOD tries out three cool retro runabouts for an out-of-body experience, first off is the Frauscher 717 GT

BOAT REVIEW - Frauscher 717 GT
BOAT REVIEW - Frauscher 717 GT

Based on a 1930s gentleman’s racer, the black Frauscher 717 GT was an absolute hoot to command. The Austrian-made boat has a centre-mounted 6.2lt 320hp MerCruiser petrol V8 engine — an 8.2lt is an option — with a direct shaftdrive spinning a four-blade propeller. Think skiboat setup, but think again.

The hull is the clever bit. As you advance the chrome throttle, the unique air-step design shoots forward before the propeller momentarily cavitates at mid revs. Then it regains traction and the boat lifts bodily from the water. You are now riding on the flat aft sections and, with just the right amount of stainless-steel rudder in the water, you can slide through the turns.

The sensation has more in keeping with snowboarding or skateboarding than traditional snappy sports boating. And the longer you command the boat the more you fall in love with the feeling. In fact, it’s almost as though the Frauscher was a living thing, as it responds to driver input like a horse to the whip. Spur it on!

Besides sweet lines enhanced by the black hull with gleaming stainless steel fittings, the eye candy extends to an integrated swim step, optional oiled teak decks, recessed canopy, and foredeck sunpad cushions that are stowed in an absolutely cavernous bow hold. The helm seats and lounge are upholstered in luscious leather.

Some of the trick details include a beautiful stainless steel rudder with custom contour lines, groovy designer cleats, toerails to assist with security on deck, and beautiful engine breathers. Access to it comes via the fold-back retro-racer dash. The frameless acrylic windscreen adds to the look. But with plenty of storage space for toys, there’s a real sense of utility to the Frauscher 717 GT.

The story from its importers, Premier Marine, goes thus. While wandering the Genoa boat show last October they fell in love with the day racer. Then they discovered the company is family owned, makes boats to 10 metres in length (the 1017 GT was nominated for Best European Powerboat 2011), and has a rich history dating back to 1927.

In keeping with modern times, the Frauscher 7117 GT is available with hybrid electric/diesel power. Either way, this is a sought-after runabout and trick tender to superyachts (three-point lifting system included) gadding about The Med’. Oh, and top speed is around 45kts with cruising at 30kts for about 40lt/h. Did I mention the driving pleasure. Whooppeee!

(FACTS & FIGURES)
FRAUSCHER 717 GT

PRICE AS TESTED
The fully optioned Frauscher 717 GT was selling for <B>$179,000</B> w/ 320hp MerCruiser petrol inboard, safety gear and registration

OPTIONS FITTED
Upgraded engine (300hp std.), teak decks, swim step, ski hook, recessed bimini, sunbed cushions, and more

PRICED FROM
Approx <B>$159,000</B> w/base 300hp MerCruiser petrol inboard
 
GENERAL
MATERIAL: GRP
TYPE: Variable deadrise warped plane hull
LENGTH: 7.02m
BEAM: 2.19m
DEADRISE: Flat aft
DRAFT: 0.65m
WEIGHT: Approx 1700kg (dry w/ base motor)
 
CAPACITIES
BERTHS: n/a
FUEL: 160lt
WATER: n/a
HOLDING TANK: n/a
REC. MAX HP: 380
REC. MIN HP: 300
 
ENGINE
MAKE/MODEL: MerCruiser 6.2 MPI
TYPE: V8 multipoint injected petrol engine
RATED HP: 3200 at 5000rpm (max)
DISPLACEMENT: 6.2lt
WEIGHT: 390kg
GEARBOXES (MAKE/RATIO): Direct Velvet Drive
PROPS: Four-blader

SUPPLIED BY
Premier Marine,
Rose Bay Marina,
594 New South Head Road,
Rose Bay, NSW, 2029
Phone: (02) 9328 0999; 0417 253 545
Website: www.premiermarine.com.au

From Trade-a-Boat Issue 422, Dec-Jan, 2012. PHOTOS: Ellen Dewar; Premier Advantage; Agencies. VIDEO: Sea Earth Air Productions

 


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