Sunbird Boat Company opened in 1981 in South Carolina, and was sold to Outboard Marine in the early 1990s. Outboard Marine continued to produce the popular Sunbird boats throughout that decade. The 1997 Sunbird Spirit 170 was a popular powerboat for fishing and skiing. It was a trailerable, open-bow runabout that used outboard power. The 1997 Sunbird Spirit's reputation as an excellent recreational power boat has held up well over the years. You can still find them used, selling for $5,000 to $15,000, depending on condition and equipment.
Dimensions and Materials
The 1997 Sunbird Spirit 170 measured 17 feet, 1 inch in length, and 7 feet across at the beam. It weighed 1,905 lb. without motor. It had a strong fiberglass composite hull and glass walk-through windshield. The original exterior design was blue and white with a Gelcoat finish.
The Sunbird Spirit 170 also came standard with an under-floor fuel tank, bilge pump, boarding ladder, canopy and fire extinguisher. The boat came fully carpeted with comfortable fold-down seats, cup holders, and a radio and cassette player with speakers. Standard indicator gauges included a tachometer, speedometer, hour meter and fuel gauges.
Capacity and Power
The US Coast Guard certified the 1997 Sunbird Spirit 170 to carry a maximum of seven people, or 950 lb. With several seats and a sofa, as well as driver and navigator seats, there is adequate comfortable seating for seven. The Sunbird Spirit is typically found equipped with a 90- to 130-horsepower outboard motor. It was rated for 130 horsepower maximum. The internal gas tank had a 20-gallon capacity.