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2020 King Hell Boats Attitude 17 Sport

Get your motor running.

August 23, 2020
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Overview

Having rumbled to the end of the no-wake zone, you look around, and then twist the throttle on stylish ape-hanger handlebars. Your honey grips your waist, snuggling against your back, and the King Hell Attitude 17 Sport roars—and I do mean roars—onto plane, dew drops on the bow deck’s varnished mahogany peeling aft in speedy rivulets as you head for a top speed of 36 mph.

King Hell Boats Attitude 17 Sport running in the lake
The Attitude 17 Sport offers a unique ride. Courtesy King Hell Boats

Engine

The Attitude 17 Sport brings key attributes of a big, brawny V-twin motorcycle to the water. The handlebar steering, the twist-grip throttle, the V-twin engine, and the springer-style saddle seats all contribute to its biker vibe. These trappings come wrapped in a glossy, varnished, low-slung hull painted flag blue and boasting varnished wood topsides and a sweet sheer that incorporates oodles of tumblehome as it descends from the bow toward the transom. It’s a boat that’s got cool to spare.

Interior and Accessories

Is it a PWC? You ride in this boat, not on it. And while cornering proved safe and sure, you won’t be cutting any button hooks at wide-open throttle or looking for breaking waves to jump. If this was a motorcycle, it’d be a cruiser not a dirt bike—it reigns over comfort and style. Plus, there’s room in the boat to stow a paddle, life jackets and other gear. I even had room to arrange my test gear (fuel-meter display, GPS, sound meter and level gauge), and keep a pad and pen at my feet, things we generally cannot do aboard a PWC. Also, we never got wet, not a drop; although, our test day lacked any wind.

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The hull is cold-molded, and the V-twin is a custom job, neither of which comes cheap. With that in mind, King Hell President Chris Ashley informed me just before press time that the company will offer a fiberglass version of the boat, the Reward model, powered by a water jet. Ashley expects that boat to retail between $60,000 and $65,000.

The King Hell Attitude 17 Sport is a great boat for an affluent couple seeking a unique ride to a waterfront bistro, out to a friend’s boat, or to catch the sunset.

How We Tested

  • Engine: 105 hp custom Bob Johnson gasoline V-twin
  • Drive/Prop: ZF V-drive/ 10″ x 16″ 3-blade bronze
  • Gear Ratio: 1.40:1 Fuel Load: 18 Water on Board: 0 gal. Crew Weight: 280 lb.

High Points

  • Rumbling and loud, everyone will notice you pulling up.
  • Great finish work on our test boat. It looks as good close up as it does from afar.
  • Cannot overstate the cool factor of running this boat. It’s a ton of fun.

Low Points

  • Rumbling and loud, everyone will notice you pulling up.
  • Hot engine and a slippery deck make going forward to tie up…interesting.

Toughest Competitor

This boat stands in a class by itself. If pressed, we’d say check out the Donzi 16 Classic ($65,700 with a 250 hp MerCruiser sterndrive) for similar ability to provide stylish, attention-getting waterborne transport.

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Pricing and Specs

Price: $125,000 (with test power)
LOA: 16’9″
Beam: 5’7″
Draft (max): 1’4″
Displacement (approx.): 1,400 lb.
Transom Deadrise: 4 degrees
Bridge Clearance: 3’10”
Fuel Capacity: 18 gal.
Max Horsepower: 105
Available Power: Single 105 hp V-twin gasoline V-drive; single 170 hp Rotax gasoline water jet

Speed, Efficiency, Operation

King Hell Boats Attitude 17 Sport performance data
King Hell Boats Attitude 17 Sport Certified Test Results Boating Magazine

King Hell Boats – Harvard, Massachusetts; 978-330-7722; kinghellboats.com

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