Wonderful 17 Sportsman

Best name ever.

The Katzs Marina crew yesterday received two almost identical 17 Sportsman in roughly identical condition. One as a trade in and the other a local boat house find. So they did what anyone would do in this situation.


Running and ready

They got them in the water and running!

SWEET – Patina and Original down to the very hard to find windsheild

Sweet to the second power – Ditto

Of course things kinda got out of hand, or in my case completely expected, they wanted to know which one was faster?

Of course this is New Jesery so the Ship talk kicks in!

it runs and I am gonna kick your aft!


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KFL vs KLC @katzsmarina fun #classicboats #woodenboat #chriscraft

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Of course the guys switched boats and had some fun, and in the end, it was a draw. Both won. Like little league, everyone gets a trophy and true Sportsmanship, wins the day!

Fun on Lake Hopatcong. This crew is a ton of fun!

Two time capsule 17 Chris Craft Sportsman. WOW!

TIP! If you are looking for a great winter project, I would call the Katz’s Marina team ASAP before they get started on them. You may be able to get a very sweet deal on a great running boat and do the refinishing yourself.

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19 Responses to “KFL, Or KLC, Sportsman..ship On Lake Hopatcong.”
  1. Frank@Falmouth

    Love the 17 Sportsman……
    I have two 1957’s …. (#3007 and #3251) one restored and pristine and one was the family user boat… They are very practical and we spent many days boating, fishing, and goofing around on the Patuxent River (MD) growing up… it was just a boat and got used and abused as boats are supposed to … Now they are inside covered and cared for as they deserve….

  2. Cameron

    Identical? Matt!
    Split front seats, different apholstery, different gauges and no brand name detail on the one…all the best things about a boat. The rest was almost identical.
    Now can we go back and see that cobra.

    • Matt

      Identical-ish! HA, yes some custom work was done over the years. We do have the Cobra update. Its amazing.

  3. Matt

    These were the most popular boat Chris Craft made. And ride like BUTTA! These are PERFECT, PERFECT starter boats that refinished and running are smart buys.

  4. Tight Lines

    Ya know, as popular as the 17 foot Sportsman’s are I never seem to see any at our Michigan Chapter shows. A couple guys had them but they don’t come out any more. My brother and I have a lot of love into this one… It’s a great boat. 1956

    • Jeremy Rolfs

      Don’t wanna feel left out! Lol.
      Here is my ‘56 Julie Sue in Sylvan Lake, MI Hull#2469

  5. Johnny V./John Vyverberg

    Here’s my ’56 on Keuka this summer. Restored in 1990 with only two new pieces of wood. Upholstery is the original color, windshield is not correct. Original K replaced with a KLC. BTW, I’ve got an original ’57 plexi windshield I’d part with if anyone wants it.

  6. Greg Lewandowski

    A ‘59 17 Sportsman was my starter boat when I got back into the hobby some 30 years ago. It had the CC 283 and would do 40+. The girls were young and we used the hell out of that boat skiing and tubing. Brings back a lot of fond memories!

  7. George Emmanuel

    I’ve always been a fan of utilities. You can do more than just ride. Here’s my ’55, “Muffet” with my wife, Muffet….Both have KLC’s; Kind, Loving Companions!

  8. Carroll P

    My ‘57 with a few mods. I call this one my dock basher……
    Very versatile yet lots of fun.

  9. Briant

    Fun video and times!!! but….

    NO NO NO, what is it with this new found thinking that in a competition everyone wins and everyone gets a trophy just because they participated and behaved nice????!

    What happened to behave nice, play by the rules, and doggone it, somebody is gonna win and somebody is gonna lose?

    Would we hold Mr Gar Wood to such esteem if back then they all just raced back and fourth a bit, shook hands on the dock, and then both got a plastic little bs trophy like the little kindergarteners get with the local soccer league?


    Race. Race hard. Win. And yes, lose too. It is ok.


  10. Bilge Rat

    My first wood boat was a 1955 17 foot Sportsman with a KLC. Nice running boat. Many wood boats since then.

  11. Reddog

    Does anyone know what year C-C started with the small V-8. (In the 17’s and maybe 18’s) Sportsman’s rule. Others drool. 👍👍

  12. don danenberg

    Ok Matt,
    Explain the difference between KLC and KFL, (Jim Grant could do this, hopefully he will?).
    K is the Hercules block, 6-cylinder inline,
    L means long-stroke (longer piston rod and crankshaft boss), and
    C, the aspiration (carbs and exhaust size).
    KFL means K is the same size Hercules block, 6-cylinder inline, of the very same cubic inch volume displacement,
    But now, the F stands for the aspiration (carbs and exhaust size) and THEN the
    L for the long shaft rods and crank?

  13. Johnny V./John Vyverberg

    The CC engine geek explanation that makes the most sense to me: the KB (and MB) existed as high performance versions of the K and M and when CC added the long stroke block they just added the “L” as a suffix. The KLC was an addition to the line using the KL block, but adding the lighter flywheel and cam of the KBL plus a bigger carb which according to my (very possibly flawed logic) which is why it’s a KLC not a KCL. The KFL supplanted both the KLC, and KBL but I’m sure there was crossover as old stock was used up. Feel free to correct me………………