Our 1987 KMV 1700 HT Boat

August 5, 2020: Sadly, we have sold our beloved KMV. It was a very emotional process for me because last August I lost my father, whose handiwork went into the construction of the boat.

I’ve been asked a few times about the mounting of the ladder and kicker motor. The boat came to us with the ladder. The kicker was mounted on an existing plate and was connected to the motor so the steering wheel could be used. I have a few photographs and will post.

Today was supposed to be a boating day. But a problem with the engine tilt kept us more or less on land. Instead we paddled a bit on the Nottawasaga and then loaded the kayaks up and relaxed on the beach. While I’m waiting for supper to warm up, I thought I’d repost something I wrote several years ago on my old blog, now long gone.

For relaxation, you need one of two things: fire, or water. Neither are available in our backyard, and we are constantly ‘treated’ to our neighbour’s taste in music. Being out in our little aluminum fishing boat reminded me of what fun we had with our run-about many pre-children years ago. So, I suggested to my husband, that we should buy a another boat. No need for persuasion. He knew exactly what he wanted.

KMV 1700 HT Dromidille
Thomas with his KMV.

Back in the 1980s, KMV bought the Oliver Boat Plant here in New Lowell. The Norwegians were involved in building some of the Oliver Boats of the most recent vintages. Oliver had a creative mind and designed some really great boats that were fun and functional, depending on what you like. But once the Norwegians bought the business out, the plant was renamed KMV Boats. My father worked for Oliver, as did my mother, and several friends. My parents stayed on when the business changed hands and in KMV’s last year of business, my sister worked there as quality control. So if you have an 1987 KMV, she did the final inspection and applied all the trim and logos.

My father did all the woodwork in the boats, from the interior framework (I don’t know the proper ‘boat term’) and all the wood trim, like the three little decorative strips of teak on the front, and in the 1700 Dromidilles, the teak tables that span the seats in the front, but convert to a dining table at the back. My mother did the upholstery in many of the boats, so the fabric covered cushions, and the burgundy and grey or navy seats are probably her work.

When the plant closed, the molds were given away (or sold, but I think they were given away) and my husband was so disappointed, because loved the design of the 1700HT. 25 years later, he still wanted that boat.

It took a lot of hunting to track one down. One we looked at had scrapes through the hull. Not a consideration, because these boats are foam filled, just fixing the fibreglass doesn’t work because if the foam is saturated, it doesn’t dry out. My guess is that it would ride pretty low in the water. They are supposed to be unsinkable (which brings to mind the obvious comparison, the Titanic.)

I finally found one, three hours from home. I sent a family friend to check it out for us, and he deemed it worth our drive out. The owner was kind enough to take us for a spin on Lake Ontario, which on that day was as smooth as a mill pond (or milk pond). My husband was smitten, and we were soon on our way back down the 401 with boat

KMV 1700HT
Boat dog and I.

in tow.

Some things we’ve learned about this boat:

  • Things—anchors, batteries, coolers, gas cans and people have to be evenly balanced or the boat lists easily and the steering gets wonky.
  • With a 60HP motor it skips along fast enough for us, but not fast enough for the kids who want to ski and tube. At least that’s what we tell them.
  • Having the hard-top is awesome. It looks small, but I can stretch out for a nap (I’m 5’10”) quite comfortably and stay out of the weather.
  • It actually handles fairly rough water well. Not, stupid, you shouldn’t be out there in the first place, rough of course. But, out on Nottawasaga Bay, with the winds gusting from 30km to 40km we felt well rocked, but not at all insecure.
  • Overloading the front, either with people or heavy gear in the bow cubbies causes wonky steering.
  • With the small trolling motor you can get away with travelling through less than three feet of water.
  • It scares fish away. (Reason #9876 we didn’t catch fish)
  • It sounds more loud and hollow going over chop than our old run-about. My guess is that the sound is echoed under the hard-top rather than muffled under the closed-in bow of the run-about.
Captain Boat Dog

So, we now own a little bit of New Lowell history (not Owen Sound, Angus, Quebec or any other place you see people claiming KMVs were built), and a little bit of personal history. And, I get wife of the year award this year. I actually sold my horse trailer to accommodate this purchase. I win.

Since writing this, I’ve noticed that if the serial number is indication, we may have a 1986, rather than 1987. Not that there’s any difference. If I ever come across an Oliver with the center console, I’d be very tempted to buy it. I saw one near Midland at a storage facility, but have never seen one in the water. I’ve also noticed that there is another Oliver boat company in the U.S. Not the same thing at all.


24 thoughts on “Our 1987 KMV 1700 HT Boat

  1. I like this boat , So much style . i regret you got technic problème with the motor and the sailing day has been spoiled .
    I am amazed you sold your horse trailer, Cathy . I believe I remember you have not place for horses now but there are horse clubs . But after all boating is exciting too .
    I like the photo where you stand at the top of the boat with your dog .
    I know the lake Ontario and even came back in France with a stone of the shore of the lake !! 🙂
    Love ❤


  2. My parents had the identical boat although I believe it to be several years older. They used it up until last year when, after 30 years, dad decided it was time to move on to another boat and he gave the old Girl to me. Id be interested to see any other pictures you may have or an update on the use of the boat to date.


    1. The boat is ready to put into the water again. We’re just waiting for the weather to cooperate. It now has a 9hp kicker motor permanently installed. It needs some elbow grease to clean it up a bit, but again, easier done when the weather is warmer. Any particular photos you’re looking for?


    2. I bought a KMV 1700 in early July. I’m interested in getting various covers. do you know of any sources beside a customer cover shop?

      It is perfect for our Maitland Lake and I”m looking forward to going on the St. John, once I have a cover for the bugs …



      1. Hi, I’m not sure what you’re of cover you are after, but I think the only option is a custom job if the generic types don’t work. If you are in my area I could help out.


  3. Hi KB, just purchased a 1988 17’ Centre Console KMV. No decals or info but wondered if some info available re specs on max hp etc. Spec Decal blank from weather I’m sure.
    There is a bolt thru centre floor of hull that looks to purposefully be there in bilge at stern where bilge pump and battery located.
    Are there any old manuals etc available. My search has come up empty.
    Thx for any guidance.


    1. I’m envious! Those center console boats are so cool. But I don’t have any information on them. Sorry I can’t be more help.


      1. Hi…we just bought our first boat and first time boaters….bought a KMV 1600 SB. Have no idea where and how attach anchor… cant get on front of boat when in it. Any help or ideas on this would be great


  4. Greetings. We just bought a 1700 HT but it did not have a ladder. Went swimming last week and could not get back in lol. On a serious note, can you recommend a boat ladder to purchase? The transom is so different and i would like to buy the right one. Much thanks for the help.
    The Newbie


  5. I see you plan to sell your boat. Is it still in Ontario, couldn’t quite figure that out?

    If so, I’d be interested. My husband drove three hours to see one today, but it was sold and he had not been informed.


  6. Just recently picked up a Kmv 528cc and put a new motor on it. Very interested in how you mounted the kicker motor as well as wondering if you had a transducer mounted on the transom.


    1. Hi Chris, I just bought the same boat and I am wondering if you were able to figure out the kicker motor situation. I have a transducer mounted on the transom with spacers in order to ensure proper operation.


  7. I have the 528cc pro series. With the double hull design is the drain plug below the motor supposed to be left out when in the water? Can’t find any information on this boat.


    1. I would think you would want to keep it in when in use. I always pull mine after taking it out of the water and drain any water that has gotten in there.


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