Based on a 1930s gentleman’s racer, the black Frauscher 717 GT was an absolute hoot to command. The Austrian-made boat has a centre-mounted 6.2lt 320hp MerCruiser petrol V8 engine — an 8.2lt is an option — with a direct shaftdrive spinning a four-blade propeller. Think skiboat setup, but think again.
The hull is the clever bit. As you advance the chrome throttle, the unique air-step design shoots forward before the propeller momentarily cavitates at mid revs. Then it regains traction and the boat lifts bodily from the water. You are now riding on the flat aft sections and, with just the right amount of stainless-steel rudder in the water, you can slide through the turns.
The sensation has more in keeping with snowboarding or skateboarding than traditional snappy sports boating. And the longer you command the boat the more you fall in love with the feeling. In fact, it’s almost as though the Frauscher was a living thing, as it responds to driver input like a horse to the whip. Spur it on!
Besides sweet lines enhanced by the black hull with gleaming stainless steel fittings, the eye candy extends to an integrated swim step, optional oiled teak decks, recessed canopy, and foredeck sunpad cushions that are stowed in an absolutely cavernous bow hold. The helm seats and lounge are upholstered in luscious leather.
Some of the trick details include a beautiful stainless steel rudder with custom contour lines, groovy designer cleats, toerails to assist with security on deck, and beautiful engine breathers. Access to it comes via the fold-back retro-racer dash. The frameless acrylic windscreen adds to the look. But with plenty of storage space for toys, there’s a real sense of utility to the Frauscher 717 GT.