Ebbtide 176 SE

The gelcoat gleamed, and ample use of stainless-steel hardware means its good looks will remain for years.

Ebbtide Boats has been Handcrafting fiberglass runabouts for decades, and NMMA CSI awards attest to their quality. Now, new leadership has developed this regional brand into an international player. Our test of the new Ebbtide 176 SE proved the veracity of the new team’s commitment.

The premium gelcoat gleamed in this entry/value-priced boat, and every detail was nicely finished. Sculptured carpet is carefully laid on the sole. The upholstery — of rich, supple vinyl with performance-inspired graphics — was carefully stitched. Belying the value price point, stainless-steel details like cleats, cup holders and windshield struts make the beauty durable.

Our test boat had an optional swim platform — a nice feature for water sports. Access to it is over the generous sun pad, and an aft bench spanning the full beam complements the two bucket seats in both style and comfort. Bow seating was spacious, offering enough room to face forward and stretch out our legs.

We were gratified by the acceleration and top speed of the 176 SE with a modest 135 hp. Time to plane was 3.4 seconds, with time to 30 mph was 8.9 seconds. It was crisp in the turns and smooth in chop thanks to the 20-degree transom deadrise. It’s a satisfying ride for a value-priced vessel.