Pathfinder tunnel info needed

MC1MC1 Posts: 47 Deckhand
In the market for a shallow water boat. Saw some photos of the Pathfinder tunnel hulls. Never ridden in one, but like the simplicity. Any insight on how the run/pole? Do they handle any type of chop?

This will strictly be a shallow water boat inshore, gulf side of the keys, lakes in florida,masquito lagoon maybe boca grand.

Replies

  • swampmonsterswampmonster Posts: 301 Deckhand
    I rode in one on a semi rough day and way to bad of a ride. I could not wait to get off the boat. You might look at a boat that will sit in the water right with a jack plate and skip the tunnel. A ride in a tunnel on a rough day is a must.
  • esteroestero Posts: 2,041 Captain
    I have an older 15T. It is a great back water boat. They float shallow, poles ok but not as good as some, the ride is bumpy but I have it for back waters and that is where it performs the best. I can go where many can't. Mine had a 2cycle 40 Yamaha and I can go several times on a tank of gas. 17gal). I think it is a good boat for what I need it for. 90% of my fishing is backwater but will go out 3 miles on a nice day. My top speed is only about 32 but that is fast enough.
    Buy a boat for what you do most of the time.

    Just because you’re  Offended  Doesn’t mean you right!

  • capeanglercapeangler Posts: 586 Officer
    MC1 wrote: »
    In the market for a shallow water boat. Saw some photos of the Pathfinder tunnel hulls. Never ridden in one, but like the simplicity. Any insight on how the run/pole? Do they handle any type of chop?

    This will strictly be a shallow water boat inshore, gulf side of the keys, lakes in florida,masquito lagoon maybe boca grand.

    Pathfinder P17 & Tailfisher: I've owned two P17's and a Tailfisher.

    All ride like crap in anything over a 12” chop. Careful with the P17's; they are known to have serious hull issues, with stringers delaminating, etc. P17 is a cheaply put together boat. If you’re lucky, you’ll find one that has fallen apart, and pieced back together properly by a local boat builder (Many have).
    For those that want a cheap boat and are willing to sacrifice quality and ride and don’t mind hull slap, it’s a barely sufficient poling utlity boat for 10k, flamingo, IRL/ML, etc. Not so sure I would take it to fish BG, too far gulfside of the keys or do much open water bay running. The Tailfisher (If you can find one) is the improved version of the P17 with a much nicer cap, console, deck layout etc
    .
    Both boats runs super shallow (5-7”), but draft closer to 10-12” with two anglers. The Hulls pound you to death in anything over a 12” chop. Both boats don’t track straight on the pole, and they will slide on a turn so careful running fast in tight areas, creeks, etc. The TF feels like a more solid boat. Both love to porpoise.

    You can get a P17 between 6,500 – 9,000 and a TF between 10-13k. If it’s in your budget, I would consider an older used HPX 17, AC 16, RF 16, Phantom, etc. to come along. You’ll be much happier. Other than the HPX, you won’t run as skinny, but will float in about the same water on a pole.
  • esteroestero Posts: 2,041 Captain
    My boat drafts about 6", and runs in less than about 6-7". It has never had water in the bilge since I have had it.
    If you want a boat for the bay then get a bay boat. There isn't one boat made for everything. The Beavertail is close.

    Just because you’re  Offended  Doesn’t mean you right!

  • capeanglercapeangler Posts: 586 Officer
    estero wrote: »
    My boat drafts about 6", and runs in less than about 6-7". It has never had water in the bilge since I have had it.
    If you want a boat for the bay then get a bay boat. There isn't one boat made for everything. The Beavertail is close.

    The problem is; north of you in PineIsland and Charlotte Harbor, there is a lot of open water running. The HPX T will run 5x better in a chop than the P15 or P17 or TF. The HPXV 15, and certainly the HPXV 17 will amaze you of how well they both handle a chop. I've seen some older HPX 15Vs between 12-14k, a little more than what you would pay for a newer TF, but leagues apart in ride. The 15' V will eat a 1-2' chop and will still pole in 8" and run in about 6-7". I've had the 15' V in 2-3 footers many times.

    At 205lbs, I've never ever floated in any less than 10" with another angler in a P17 or TF. In all fairness; that's with the weight of a a 24v trolley & batts upfront and power pole. Now at 250lbs, i'll need 11" of water.
  • esteroestero Posts: 2,041 Captain
    I have been from Matlacha around Pine Island to Cabbage key in my 15T. It was a nice day and I had no problems with the chop.
    From Punta Rassa to Carl E. Johnson boat ramps was very choppy at 1 1/2 - 2 feet and it was a bumpy 9 mile trip. Not that great a ride in that chop. Rarely do I get in that much chop and it would only be for a short distance if I do. My boat with 2 people will float in about 7" with one on the front with trolling motor.

    Just because you’re  Offended  Doesn’t mean you right!

  • heavychevy15heavychevy15 Posts: 837 Officer
    I've been in the tail fisher which people claim rides better than the Pathfinder tunnel. If that's the case you'll be upset and hurting if you have to run through a chop. They'll float in spit but getting there will be uncomfortable. I have seen quite a few pathfinder tunnels go for really cheap. Good luck in your search and decision.
  • capeanglercapeangler Posts: 586 Officer
    I've been in the tail fisher which people claim rides better than the Pathfinder tunnel. If that's the case you'll be upset and hurting if you have to run through a chop. They'll float in spit but getting there will be uncomfortable. I have seen quite a few pathfinder tunnels go for really cheap. Good luck in your search and decision.

    Rides marginally better...lol. And I think that's because it's heavier. It certainly dose not rattle and make as many concerning noises as the P17. Still rides like crap compared to say the fancy brother; HPX T
  • esteroestero Posts: 2,041 Captain
    If you run in constant chop then get a boat built and made to run in chop. I don't run in chop that much so it does not bother me.
    One of the better boats I have been in for chop is the Beavertail. It handles the chop very well and has a dry ride.

    Just because you’re  Offended  Doesn’t mean you right!

Sign In or Register to comment.