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Help Me Pick A New Boat For The Big Bend Area....UPDATE!

AC ManAC Man Posts: 6,977 Admiral
Post number 37 revived this nearly 3 year old thread. You can help him out and see what I did after that. 

I haven't posted here much lately, but been around since the get go when there was only about 10 members on BB. Learned a lot about the area since then coming from Ft. Lauderdale 28 years ago.Since I have been here I have owned everything from a POS 17 ft skiff to a 36 Contender and everything in between except a metal boat with a jet foot. Love them too, but I think you gotta be a two boat owner at least for me to own one since that would limit my interest.

So this time around I am trying to decide between a new Carolina Skiff 218 DLV shallow draft with a 115 hp with a ton of room,rolled gunnel, and a used high end 24 Bay boat with a 300 Yamaha that I have my eye on. Equipped with twin 12 ft power poles, I pilot, all the bells and whistles.

I have owned two 23 bay boats. Problem in this area is I couldn't go shallow, and I couldn't go offshore for grouper without getting beat up.

I guess I answered my own question. The bay boat is sexy, but I cant stand the thought of beating up the motor or hull in this area on rocks and oyster bars, although I would love to go further offshore and east coast trips.

The new skiffs ride much better than the old flat bottom models and I would feel safer further offshore with the high gunnels. At this point I'm done with way offshore for now. Been there done that at $4.50 a gallon.

So in a nut shell, I wanna run the Wac river to Homosassa and at least fish the points and bay for redfish and out to maybe 35 ft.for grouper in the summer and shallow in the winter.

What say you?
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Replies

  • swampmonsterswampmonster Posts: 339 Deckhand
    Get a Gausebuilt
  • AC ManAC Man Posts: 6,977 Admiral
    Get a Gausebuilt

    What? And have a nervous break down running that expensive boat in this area.:grin Anywhere but here. I agree an amazing boat.
  • GatorCityGatorCity Posts: 317 Deckhand
    Get a Gausebuilt

    ....and a second mortgage! They are total boat **** though. I agree with AC Man, not in this area with all the underwater hazards.

    I'd make sure you take a ride on a choppy day in a DLV - while they do have a semi V up front, the transom still has no deadrise and they will still beat you to death compared to a bay boat. What's your budget? You can get a real nice decked out Bulls Bay for a lot less than many other name brand boats, they are very well built and using a proven hull.
  • VertigoVertigo Yankeetown, FLPosts: 617 Officer
    The best all-around boat I've owned for this area is a restored 1971 Aquasport 22-2 flatback. It ran shallow, efficiently and could go 25 miles offshore on the right day. Priced right if you shop carefully.
    11102933_1047868818557369_6562337268921098116_o.jpg
  • Grady-ladyGrady-lady east of the river, west of the woodsPosts: 5,282 Admiral
    AC Man wrote: »

    So this time around I am trying to decide between a new Carolina Skiff 218 DLV shallow draft with a 115 hp with a ton of room,rolled gunnel, and a used high end 24 Bay boat with a 300 Yamaha that I have my eye on. Equipped with twin 12 ft power poles, I pilot, all the bells and whistles.

    We're in the same boat - or lack of one actually. :grin

    Those two choices make it easy for me - the Skiff. For a variety of reasons - high gunnels (a benefit for oldsters and youngsters alike), roominess - comfort, ease of moving around, near-offshore capability on a good day - days of going out on a 'bad' day are long gone anyway.

    Though I might question the 115 as being underpowered (without research can't say for sure), speed doesn't impress either - I get tickled at the 'youngsters' who proudly proclaim 'my boat will do 50-60'. My response - Oh really? Where?

    Our sons, 30-40 age group, talk down the CS, talk up the bay - our age group who own the Skiff's love them. Awesome 'problem' to ponder. :)
    I find my peace out on the sand...Beside the sea, not beyond or behind. R.A. Britt

  • swampmonsterswampmonster Posts: 339 Deckhand
    Get a Gausebuilt

    Gausebuilt was a joke because as we all know there is really no boat that will effectively fish Waccasassa and 35 miles. I fished Waccasassa with a airboat for years and I have never seen a boat that could really get back to the fish that can run out 35 miles. AC you know there is no perfect boat. Remember there is ankle deep water at the markers in the winter.
  • swampmonsterswampmonster Posts: 339 Deckhand
    I would think you could find a boat that will catch redfish and shallow water grouper at Young Boats.
  • SassaWhalerSassaWhaler Posts: 117 Deckhand
    AC Man, as already pointed out there is no ONE perfect boat for our area. When the wife and I started looking last year along with allot of research, I narrowed my search down to a few. Gause and Dorado are similar to the Aquasport 222or Proline 24 flatback, all of which are pricey. A personal friend has an Andros Boatworks panga Bonefish model that is very impressive. Drafts 8" and easily runs offshore. Has a narrow beam though. Due to budget I was looking at used boats and narrowed my search at the time to the Andros or Panga Marine panga, Pathfinder 220/ 240T (tunnel) and a few other less favorites but would do the job for the price. We then found a used Boston Whaler 220 Dauntless and fell in love with it. One of if not the best riding 22 foot bay boat I have ever rode in. Drafts 12" on paper, 15" realistic, wide beam and very roomy with plenty of removable cushions for guest seating. We did buy the Whaler and have been very satisfied but I do have to choose my locations/ tides for inshore fishing. But there are plenty of inshore places to catch inshore species that you do not need to be in 6" of water to have a good day. I do bump bottom and cringe at times, but a necessary evil in this area for us to have a good "all around" boat. Good luck on your search. BTW, the 2 boat system is perfect in this area budget providing.
  • Oldfox1939Oldfox1939 Posts: 521 Officer
    If you look at what boats the Guides use, you will see most run Carolina Skiffs.

    I had an Action Craft 1720,, which I loved.....sold it due to my age and use a guide exclusively.

    He runs a Carolina Skiff and calls it an Air Boat without an aircraft engine......he runs really shallow.
  • Robalo makes 2 nice bay boats; R226 (8'6" beam) or R246 (9' beam).
  • 33vector33vector Posts: 49 Greenhorn
    AC- I have the same problem as I have a 33ft Hydra sport and 18ft. century bay that is absolutely perfect for beating around in Yankeetown. I would suggest the 24 bay it can 99% of what you are wanting to do on most days. The Carolina skiff will fish inshore better but offshore will absolutely, in the smallest of chops, require 2 kidney transplants and a spleen repair, been there. I would suggest the 24 bay and if it doesn't get you where you want to go you can always buy a cheaper flat bottom skiff to get where the bay boat wont go. Also, the bay boat will have better resale value.
  • nicknick Crystal RiverPosts: 5,040 Admiral
    mburke001 wrote: »
    Robalo makes 2 nice bay boats; R226 (8'6" beam) or R246 (9' beam).

    The older ones always looked like total junk but I had to double take on the first few new ones I saw!
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 12,505 AG
    I would think you could find a boat that will catch redfish and shallow water grouper at Young Boats.
    I think you're right.
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • I went for the Robalo R227 DC for a little family comfort.
  • Jim311Jim311 Posts: 4,961 Captain
    How do you think your time will be split between inshore and off? Will you do more inshore fishing than off? The thought of running a bay boat on any sort of low or outgoing tide at Waccasassa scares me and I've got things pretty mapped out. Even the river channel gets hairy. Have you thought about something like a Sea Ark bay extreme? 15 degree dead rise and a tunnel. If you're focused mostly on inshore fishing with some light offshore in good weather it might be just the ticket. Not exactly as glamorous as a Young but you'll survive the rocks and oysters a little better I think.
  • DemonDemon Posts: 227 Deckhand
    In the length you are looking at the panga style boats will be a good compromise for both shallow & offshore.
  • restlessnativerestlessnative Posts: 2,718 Captain
    I know Gause was a joke but on the real it isn't even a self bailing deck.

    Sassawhaler the 222 is an Auquasport hull, the proline flat backs are 24' and an awesome choice, but will either need to be rebuilt or will be an already rebuilt.

    Young makes fine boats, and Rob is a good dude.

    This area really is a 2 boat or compromise. I run a Tremblay and it does everything I want, plus I have a little flat bottom skiff I can beat up and not worry about for tooling around close to home and winter time fishing. It's a very efficient cost effective 2nd boat as I barely burn a few gallons and am only a few thousand in to it tops. Both my boats combined are less than a 1/4 cost wise of today's bay boats that are worth a chit. I'd decide on where you are going to be spend a majority of your time and go from there, and at the end of the day go with what makes you happy. Oh and have friends with boats on the other end of the compromise :)
  • AC ManAC Man Posts: 6,977 Admiral
    I just turned 60, been in a boat since my parents put me in a porta crib in the boat as a infant. Been boating ever since. I really appreciate the input by everyone. I don't think there is a tougher place than the Big Bend to pick just one boat.
  • SassaWhalerSassaWhaler Posts: 117 Deckhand
    RESTLESSNATIVE, Thanks for correcting the info in my post (post has been edited). My intention was to list both boats, however with all the thoughts of boats and sugarcanes dancing in my head, I did not proof read my post carefully. My apologies.
  • SassaWhalerSassaWhaler Posts: 117 Deckhand
    Here is a listing I found on CL for one of the boats suggested. http://lakeland.craigslist.org/bod/5788820863.html
  • nicknick Crystal RiverPosts: 5,040 Admiral
    Wonder how much wood is still in it?:hairraiser
  • leadheadleadhead Posts: 90 Greenhorn
    That old 22 aqua sport is one fine boat if you can find one. I currently have a 1972 20' proline that I am redoing with the hopes that it will also get pretty shallow as I fish Wacassassa also. those old proline and aqua's are hard to find
  • VertigoVertigo Yankeetown, FLPosts: 617 Officer
    Here is a listing I found on CL for one of the boats suggested. http://lakeland.craigslist.org/bod/5788820863.html

    That hull is not a flatback. The last year for a flatback is 1971. The hull advertised will not run anywhere near as shallow, particularly with all the weight added. Still a nice boat, but a light flatback will run in 9" or less while this one will probably be more like 15". The 20 and 24 Prolines are also good boats for the area. There's a 20 for sale in front of Aquapower in Inglis.

    Here's an Aquasport that might be worth a look if you have the patience for a restoration.
    http://miami.craigslist.org/pbc/boa/5714621263.html
  • THINKICANTHINKICAN Hernando, FLPosts: 594 Officer
    Best dual threat boat I've had here (Homosassa) was a Lund SSV 18. Put a floor across the seats, raised the helm and outfitted it to my liking. Ran to 35' on nice days, fished really shallow most of the time and was tough enough to withstand the rigors of the occasional oyster bar or rock. 60 hp E-Tec pushed it about 25mph and it sipped gas. Even installed a T-top for a little overkill. If you like to mess with boats, might find a good, heavy gauge "tin" boat and design it to your own specs. Plenty of fun "playing with boats"! Good luck.
    SO WHEN IS THIS "OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW BETTER" SUPPOSED TO KICK IN?
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 16,302 AG
    Vertigo wrote: »
    The best all-around boat I've owned for this area is a restored 1971 Aquasport 22-2 flatback. It ran shallow, efficiently and could go 25 miles offshore on the right day. Priced right if you shop carefully.
    11102933_1047868818557369_6562337268921098116_o.jpg

    Exactly what I want for my next boat.
    You can't pet a dead dog back to life 
  • AC ManAC Man Posts: 6,977 Admiral
    I like those flat backs too. Hell, I remember when I had a Mako (as a kid) and the neighbor had a Aquasport. 1971. I would have to know the build history and there aren't many around. What happened to Trembly in Chiefland? Almost bought one but went with another Bay boat around 2000. Got a buddy with the Proline version. It has bushes growing out of it the last 20 years and all the glass has delaminated. He is still holding on to it cause he heard they are in demand. Lol
  • livebaitlivebait Posts: 793 Officer
    AC, there isn't one boat that will make you smile for everything. Being 68 and boat and fish nut all my life, I've owned 28. Most I bought and rebuilt-decks, motors, transom so, you name it. Soon as you buy the next one, you aren't going to like something. But chase the dream, it's fun.
  • Wishin i was fishinWishin i was fishin Dunnellon FlPosts: 977 Officer
    With electronics having satellite imagery now and some good local knowledge I think the bay boats are very capable inshore. I fished with Biggary and fishmike on Mikes 24hps pathfinder last spring and he can run the backcountry with the best of flats boats in that thing! They have awesome lockable storage, which I see as a big plus. But they are so popular that a bargain used boat is very hard to come by. And new are in$ane!

    I'm personally considering the SeaArk or express aluminum 22' bay series but they are equally as hard to find fully equipped used under $25k. Both have good storage and rear seating for passengers. I never venture more than about 10 miles out, so long runs in chop wouldn't be a huge concern for me.

    To me the big skiffs just look like bathtubs. But I'll admit the new ones have come a long ways. I've seen guys like Capt Ed build some very nice custom fishing platforms from the older Carolina's.

    Realistically though if space isn't a problem. One could probably buy a 20-24' used deep v for offshore and something like a ghenooe, john boat, or small skiff to cover inshore. That would cover both bases better and with a smaller investment most likely. After rereading this I realize I'm more undecided than you...
  • KeatonBchFisherKeatonBchFisher Posts: 297 Officer
    Bay boats work for the warm weather inshore but since my dad got his airboat we seldom fish an area that my 22 scout will ever see. I like inshore and we just charter for offshore now or hook up with friends. My bay has sen more sand bars than oyster bars in the last few years.
    Keaton Beach Rental https://www.vrbo.com/780025

    Yankeetown Rental https://www.vrbo.com/619425
  • AC ManAC Man Posts: 6,977 Admiral
    With electronics having satellite imagery now and some good local knowledge I think the bay boats are very capable inshore. I fished with Biggary and fishmike on Mikes 24hps pathfinder last spring and he can run the backcountry with the best of flats boats in that thing! They have awesome lockable storage, which I see as a big plus. But they are so popular that a bargain used boat is very hard to come by. And new are in$ane!

    I'm personally considering the SeaArk or express aluminum 22' bay series but they are equally as hard to find fully equipped used under $25k. Both have good storage and rear seating for passengers. I never venture more than about 10 miles out, so long runs in chop wouldn't be a huge concern for me.

    To me the big skiffs just look like bathtubs. But I'll admit the new ones have come a long ways. I've seen guys like Capt Ed build some very nice custom fishing platforms from the older Carolina's.

    Realistically though if space isn't a problem. One could probably buy a 20-24' used deep v for offshore and something like a ghenooe, john boat, or small skiff to cover inshore. That would cover both bases better and with a smaller investment most likely. After rereading this I realize I'm more undecided than you...

    Yep, you just spelled out everything as I see it. Except Fishmike. Their is no excuse for what he thinks.:grin
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