By: Bernard Clancy

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Good for light offshore work or crawling along the river banks, the Trophy 1703CC also has the length to make it the ideal fishing trailerboat, writes Bernard Clancy



FROM THE ARCHIVES: First published in TrailerBoat #219, June 2007




There's a lot of luck in fishing but if you have the right tools it sure helps. The Trophy 1703CC is a purpose designed fishing boat, and a good one at that, so there are no excuses for not bringing home supper when this is your weapon of choice.
To my way of thinking, the 1703CC is pretty close to what I would like as a multi-purpose fishing boat. It has room at the back end (though there could be more) to fish two in the traditional baited-line style, whereas the forward section has a raised platform suitable for lure or bass/bream fishing with an electric motor slung on the bow.
The design is ideal for light offshore work, as well as crawling along river banks, and with a LOA of 5.18 metres is just about the perfect trailerboat size for ease of handling.
The Trophy brand is closely aligned with the American Bayliner range and, as such, comes from one of the biggest boat building outfits in the world. They get their fundamentals right and then churn out the product.



The hull is fairly flat with just a 14-degree deadrise so stability is quite good. It will also handle a chop very well with just a little spray coming aboard when crossing the wind on test day on Port Phillip Bay.
In fact, trimmed right, the little boat skimmed across the lumpy bits very well indeed and loved a bit of throttle. Unfortunately the speedo decided to have a day off and we couldn't get effective speeds but, nonetheless, the four-stroke 115hp Merc gave the boat ample power and pace. Without hydraulic steering, though, it was hard work on the arms and shoulders. It's an option I'd always have top of the list.
The deck is fully molded with a nav light in the bow. I'd be moving that and fitting an after-market anchor carrying bowsprit as well as a Minn Kota electric motor.
Immediately behind the bow is a raised platform, about half-gunnel height, which can be used for additional seating (it has clip-on padding) or as a casting platform. Underneath is storage for jackets etc., as well as a separate molding for anchor and rope.
The wide gunnels are non-skid patterned all the way around with cleats either side of the bow and stern, and low grabrails amidships.
A small padded seat in front of the console has a removable 51lt Igloo tucked underneath. The padded backrest is on a panel which opens for access to wiring and a small storage area.
Coamings are only knee-high, which is not ideal and padded in the cockpit section.
Beneath that are rod storage racks with retaining elastic straps. The deck is full non-skid and self draining.




The centre console has a dash molding for a compass in front of the portside stainless steel five-spoke helm, as well as room either side of the centrally positioned controls for small electronics and radio which weren't fitted to the test boat. Instruments are centrally located and, although no trim gauge was fitted, there is space for one. It's certainly needed. A couple of molded cup holders are handy.
The height of the Perspex screen is ok when seated but only chest height when standing. It is surrounded by a stainless steel grabrail for when the going gets rough.
The double bench seat with reversible backrest is good and underneath is a fully plumbed livebait tank and twin storage boxes for lures. 
I'm not sure what outboard boat designers are trying to achieve with transoms these days. I would have thought it more important to maximize interior space rather than have a fancy swayback arrangement that simply robs you of fighting room.
This boat is a classic example. It has a large engine well which allows you to get the motor almost horizontal and the prop well clear of the water which is a great idea in shallow water if you're using a bow-mounted electric.
However, the well surrounds are cut very low and I wouldn't want to stop quickly for fear of water rushing on board. One would feel somewhat insecure fishing over the stern. Either side of the motor are boarding platforms and, inboard from them, two rear molded quarter seats with storage for batteries and oil bottles underneath in the bilge area.  This is really a two-person boat - one forward, one aft - so one can only presume the rear quarter seats are for the kids.
There is a grab handle in the engine well between the seats, two stainless steel rod holders in the gunnels and rear cleats lower on the transom sides. A telescopic ladder on the port boarding platform and a grabrail is handy for swimmers.
Being self draining, the hull is quite deep for a five-metre boat but with the floor necessarily high, it does rob the boat of interior depth which was at a premium.
The test boat had no options fitted but all the basics are there in the package and it could be tricked up quite well. On a windy bay, though, I'd worry about those low coamings.




Great fishing layout
Livebait tank
Centre console
Bow fishing platform




Low gunnels
Low, space wasting transom
No hydraulic steering
Minimal storage




Specifications: Trophy 1703CC 




Price as tested:...$45,240
Options fitted: Nil
Priced from: $ 45,240




Material:  GRP
Length overall:  5.18m
Beam:   2.18m
Deadrise:   14°
Weight: 1028 kg




Fuel:   140lt
Max HP:  115




Make:   Mercury
Type:   Four-Stroke
Rated HP:  115
Weight:  175kg
Propeller:  19" stainless steel




Avante Marine,
Boronia, Vic, 3155
Phone: (03) 9769 2222
Email :



WORDS Bernard Clancy

Originally published in TrailerBoat #219

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