Some background on Dyna-Ski Boats and Hydrodyne. Hydrodyne used to say "Buy your last boat first!" and that statement is still true and in use by Dyna-Ski today. Hydrodyne was originally made by Crosby Marine Engineering Corp. Models included Outboard and I/O powered 18 foot boats. Many of the 18 foot boats were twin rigged and used for water ski tournament events long before the tournament inboards came into the water ski market and became popular. Hydrodyne made a 20' Flat Top and 24' Flat Top again both with I/O and Outboard powered models. They even built house boats and a paddle wheeler.
The Dyna-Ski current 20' hull design was made by stretching the old Hydrodyne 20' in length. We added 9 inches and squared up the transom of the boats. The old Hydrodyne 20' which actually measures 19' 4" was made by stretching the 18' and widening it. Both longer models retained the excellent wake characteristics of the old 18' boat. Again there were 20' closed bow outboard and I/O versions as well as an open bow. The 20' I/O was last made in 1990. The 17.6 was offered as an I/O until 1990. The 17.6 I/O was an AWSA Tournament Approved Tow Boat in 1987.
Hydrodyne ceased production of the 17.6 XB after the 1992 Model year. Hydrodyne ceased production of the 20' Dyne family Skier (Open Bow) after the 1992 Model year. Hydrodyne ceased production of the 20' Dyne (Ski Club Twin Rigs) after the 1993 Model year. Hydrodyne never offered the hull as a triple motored boat. Hydrodyne produced inboard water ski boats for several years after ceasing outboard boat manufacturing.
Skis 'n Stuff started selling the 20' closed bow boat in late 1995 and delivered the first boat to Badgerland Show Ski Team in January of 1996. The 17.6 XB was brought back into production during the summer of 1997. The first 17.6 was delivered to a customer in November of 1997.
The 20' was first manufactured by Three Rivers Industries in 1981 under the name of Hydrodyne as a replacement for the popular 18' model. The basic hull design of the boat is unchanged and our first few Dyna-Ski boat hulls were actually made from a modified hull mold of the original 20' Hydrodyne I/O was. The 17.6 and the 20' both handle much better than the old 18' mainly due to the increased width and length. There are still a fair number of the older style 18' Hydrodynes all over the US and there even is a special interest following for the old 18' boats. The old 18' boat is a wet ride with its low side walls. 140 hp is the maximum US Coast Guard power recommended on the old 18' boats although I've driven one with twin 140s . . . . . yikes! The US Coast Guard regulations helped kill the old 18 models. The Modern Dyna-Ski 20' Closed Bow boats have been equipped with one to three motors with horsepower ranging up to 900! Very quick and powerful boats designed for towing the maximum number of skiers in water ski show club acts.
The 17.6 was first manufactured by Three Rivers Industries in 1986 under the name of Hydrodyne as the 17.6 XB. The basic design of the boat is unchanged and we actually made some from the very same molds as the first 17.6. We no longer produce this model although I have the original deck mold in storage. The hull design was made by shortening the popular 20' Hydrodyne Outboard so it shares the same 84 inch beam and excellent wake characteristics. It is an awesome water ski boat and the outboard was actually an AWSA Tournament Approved Tow Boat in 1986. The 17.6 deck was a totally new design from the 20' model for Hydrodyne with taller sides making for a safer and dryer boating experience. Like the 20' the 17.6 has a fin mounted on the bottom for stability and sharp turns without skipping or sliding. The 17.6 boat can be pulled with a typical mini van or small SUV. We recommend a trailer and boat lift with a minimum of a 2000 lbs capacity. The performance is outstanding with a 150 horsepower 6 cylinder 2 stroke engine. Expect a top end speed around 55 mph with little if any bow rise and excellent speed holding characteristics. We have sold these boats with both 2 stroke and 4 stroke 4 cylinder motors. The acceleration and top end are lower with the four cylinder motors but still make for an excellent and economical water ski boat with performance similar to an older tournament inboard. Having the outboard motor properly installed and a propeller to match the motor characteristics is of utmost importance to achieve balanced and optimal operation.
I have talked with an owner of an old 17.6 that reported he was quite happy with a 110 horsepower two stroke on his boat. We have build 17.6 Open Bows with 75 hp motors for people living on lakes with horsepower restrictions. Even with a 75 hp motor the Dyna-Ski 17.6 Open Bow is a very good water ski boat. I have done testing with a 90 two stroke which pulled a 185 lb barefooter many times. The 17.6 Open Bow with a 115 two stroke easily pulled 2 barefooters with 3 adults and a child in the Dyna-Ski. Dual cable steering is fine for the smaller motors but I'd recommend the hydraulic for all 6 cylinder motors and really prefer it because it is no maintenance.