Rossiter 17 Center Console
The Markdale, Ontario-based company Rossiter has built a 14-foot deep-V dayboat since 1999. Customers have raved about its big-water ride but asked for a larger vessel with more ponies under the hood.
Rossiter’s owner and designer Scott Hanson responded with two boats: the 17 Center Console and the 17 Closed Deck Runabout. “We know that some people like to feel the wind in their hair, but others want the protection of a full windshield and canvas,” Hanson says.
The center console has ample deck space and holds lots of stowage for fishing and other gear. She’s built with a self-draining cockpit and enough flotation to make her unsinkable. I thought the seating was comfortable. The two seats in the cockpit corners are nice and big, and so is the one on the console’s forward side. A bench-style seat at the bow does not impede access to the anchor locker, which is amply sized for a 17-footer. Our test boat was outfitted with the teak trim package, which adds to the traditional feel of the boat. The helm seat’s backrest tilts forward, converting it into an aft-facing settee. A bimini top can be added to the package.
Rossiter uses 3D modeling in its design processes—a sign that it welcomes the latest technologies. Its construction crew hand lays the solid hulls. A molded, foam-filled stringer grid is secured to the hull and structural closed-cell foam cores are used where needed to provide the necessary panel stiffness in the liner, deck, and transom. Rossiter bonds the liners to the stringer grid, topsides and transom. The deck assembly is then fastened to the hull using machine screws through a high-density epoxy board. This method gives the boat, “that solid feel running through a chop,” says Hanson. The builder uses a vinylester resin barrier coat in the layup—important for warding off osmotic blistering and print-through. Limiting the use of teak to just the interior cockpit area reduces the maintenance requirments of the 17. All the hardware on each Rossiter is through-bolted.
George Rossiter founded the company in 1974 and Hanson took it over in 2007, consistently increasing the boats’ presence at shows on the East Coast and Great Lakes. The ride originated from George Rossiter’s design of the 14 Rossiter, his first powerboat. Rossiter later added a flat lifting pad on centerline for easier planing. Hanson used the 14’s design to create the 17-footer. I tested the 17-foot center console with a Yamaha F115. And those lifting pads do indeed work. The boat is quick to plane and holds it even at low speeds. I had her cutting through 2-foot seas at a 10-knot clip in the Gulf of Mexico. She had little to no bow rise and needed no trim to run efficiently. The boat rides on a deep-V with noticeable flare, pronounced chines, lifting strakes that run all the way forward and the aforementioned lifting pad. The F115 pushes the boat to a top speed of around 43 knots, and at 26 knots she gets about 3 mpg. With a Yamaha F90, the boat can travel an eye-popping 7 miles to the gallon at 22 knots.
Let’s face it, small center consoles are a dime a dozen, but the Rossiter’s simple, traditional look, surefooted ride and efficient hull make for a package that separates her from the rest of the pack.
Rossiter Boats, (866) 251-2380; www.rossiterboats.com
: 2,340 lb.
: 27 gal.
: 1/115-hp Yamaha F115XA outboard
: 13½ x 19