Review: Polar Kraft Kodiak Sport 170 Fish & Ski – Quimby's Cruising Guide

Review: Polar Kraft Kodiak Sport 170 Fish & Ski

There’s a fine line we walk as fishermen when it’s time to start dreaming about a new boat. Particularly when you’ve got a family to consider.

On the one hand, you want a tough-as-nails vessel with deck space for miles, an expansive livewell and storage for every rod, reel and lure in your arsenal. On the other hand, you know your wife and kids will be tugging at you to go tubing every weekend, and they’ll probably want amenities such as padded seats and cupholders, too.

Good thing you’ve got options like the all-new Polar Kraft Kodiak Sport 170 Fish & Ski, a bona fide angling machine with everything on your must-have list that’s also comfortable for the entire family when the afternoon calls for watersports.

Fishing features, of course, are the center of attention, with a bow-mounted Minn Kota trolling motor and footswitch, baitwell and livewell, forward pedestal seat and locking port rod/ski storage. But optional cushions quickly convert the bow into a forward lounge for everyone in the family.

With its true deep-V hull and solid rivet construction, the 170 provides the smooth ride and nimble handling of a higher-end fiberglass boat, plus the durability and low-maintenance that comes from top-grade aluminum. Although it’s rated for up to 150-horsepower, the test boat performed exceptionally well with a 115-hp Yamaha four-stroke, evening when pulling a teenager on a slalom ski.

One of the reasons the 170 handles so well is that, like all Polar Kraft boats, it’s built out of a single layer of formed aluminum instead of the double layer you’ll find in many other aluminum boats. The stringer system design, number of rivets used and addition of flotation foam in every available space mean you’ll have a soft and stable ride while needing less horsepower — and perhaps most importantly, you’ll use less fuel.

On cooler mornings, you can shut the walk-through windshield to provide protection from the wind. Cockpit seats that flip down securely into the rear casting deck are also built for comfort and stow easily when it’s time to fish. An oversized livewell, additional locking rod lockers and a splash well to quickly evacuate water that comes in over the transom are also built for the hardcore angler.

It really is impressive the way Polar Kraft has designed the 170, particularly when it comes to storage. For a boat that’s only one inch over 17 feet, it sure feels bigger, because you’ve got plenty of room to get all of your gear out of the way when it’s not being used. Lockable rod lockers and dedicated tackle storage keeps your fishing gear within easy reach, but every square inch of this boat has been optimized so you can tuck away your towels, extra lifejackets and watersports equipment pretty easily. There’s even a place for your trolling motor’s footswitch up under the bow.

Of course, when you pull into the driveway, the only things the kids will notice are the optional stainless-steel ski tow bar and boarding ladder and swim deck. Well, that and the eye-catching paint job with matching trailer. Families who love camping will also like the convenience of the optional full enclosure with canopy top and side and aft curtains.

This boat is where comfortable family runabout and hardcore fishing machine meet, with incredible results. There’s no reason to “compromise” with a craft designed to meet all your needs, right?

Polar Kraft Kodiak Sport 170 Fish & Ski

Length Overall: 17 feet, 1 inch

Beam: 8 feet

Draft: NA

Dry Weight: 1,360 pounds

Fuel Capacity: 23 gallons

Power: 90-hp Yamaha F90XA                     

Base Price: $25,609

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