New Flats Boat Suggestions

james 14james 14 Posts: 2,873 Moderator
I'll be moving into an HOA neighborhood and as a result I won't be able to keep my 21' bass boat at the house. I love the boat but I'm looking on the bright side in that it'll be a chance for me to transition to a new flats boat that will now be able to be garage kept. I have 21.5' to play with so the trailer will need a swing tongue. My bass boat storage length is at about 24' with a 10" jackplate so I think I can get into an 18 footer.
I'm not super familiar with all that's out there. I'm really only familiar with the Mako line as far as pricing is concerned but that price is about right even with all of the options I'd want to add. My problem with Mako is the 18 LTS is only rated for a max of a 115 with a claim of about 40mph top speed. Giving up 25-30mph will be a tough pill to swallow. I can't help but think that some of the other makers can handle something in the 150-200hp range.
I've only just begun to look around. I'd love to hear some input on other some other makes I should look into. I'm not opposed to buying used at all but that's more of a shot in the dark to find just the right thing. TIA for any help.

Replies

  • kmagnusskmagnuss Posts: 2,731 Captain
    Action Craft 1720, 1820, 1890
    Hewes Redfisher
    Egret
    Hell's Bay
    Just to name a few that could fit your needs.
    Tarpon... everything else is just bait.
    2017 Tarpon Count: 109/431
    Captain Keith Magnussen - Crooked Rod Charters
    Instagram is @crooked_rod_charters
  • Westwall01Westwall01 Posts: 4,877 Captain

    What kmag said, though none of those will go 65-70 mph either. That kind of speed in a flats boat is what keeps my wknds busy

  • SaltygatorvetSaltygatorvet TallahasseePosts: 2,202 Captain
    They put pretty big outboards on lake and bay boats 
    You should have been here yesterday
  • kmagnusskmagnuss Posts: 2,731 Captain
    They put pretty big outboards on lake and bay boats 
    They sure do... 250's I believe... I've heard 80 is doable on them.  But man I'd hate to be in some sloppy water in one.
    Tarpon... everything else is just bait.
    2017 Tarpon Count: 109/431
    Captain Keith Magnussen - Crooked Rod Charters
    Instagram is @crooked_rod_charters
  • Westwall01Westwall01 Posts: 4,877 Captain
    They actually take a chop really well. What scares me is many years ago I worked a crash involving one doing ludicrous speed over a flat and hit a submerged piling. Needless to say they never had anything to worry about again. 
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 5,555 Admiral
    It's not a Race for cryin out loud..slow down a bit and enjoy the day...
    40 MPH is all you'd ever need.
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • kmagnusskmagnuss Posts: 2,731 Captain
    I had somebody beat me to a spot one morning while going 40... planned that trip out for a few days and he beat me by about 30 seconds.  That's really not that big of a deal... eventually left and I pulled my PR snook out from under that dock still.  More importantly for me though is when I'm on the harbor, butter calm, and I get a call that there's a feeding pod of tarpon on the opposite side of the harbor.  Getting there in 10 minutes instead of 20 can make all the difference... or not.
    Tarpon... everything else is just bait.
    2017 Tarpon Count: 109/431
    Captain Keith Magnussen - Crooked Rod Charters
    Instagram is @crooked_rod_charters
  • kellerclkellercl Posts: 1,671 Captain
    I'm not in the market, yet.  But I really like what I see and read about Egret.
  • finbullyfinbully Posts: 467 Deckhand

    I have a Maverick 18 HPX with a Yamaha 115 on it. I find myself traveling in the mid 20's most of the time. Even in choppy conditions, you can make mid 20's with the boat and stay dry. The boat tops out in the low 40's but SW conditions are not the same as when on lakes. Personally, I don't find any need to go faster and the 115 sips gas. Roaring up to spots like you’re in the Bassmaster Classic is counterproductive. For a flats boat draft and stealthness of the hull is way more important than top speed. Even if you are experienced, it is worthwhile to hire guides based on boats they run and see just how they work in real conditions. I did that over a two-year period before I ordered my Maverick and the $ spent on the guides was well worth it for the boating and intel experience I got from several guides.

  • WeBeBoatinWeBeBoatin Posts: 23 Greenhorn
    edited April 15 #11
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  • WeBeBoatinWeBeBoatin Posts: 23 Greenhorn
    edited April 15 #12
    I have an Actioncraft 1820 I've been thinking about chopping the trailer to fit in a 20' garage.  Its a no go with a 150 etec and a 6" jackplate.   I need a tad under 21' to do that.  Others I have talked to with 1820's have fit them into a 20' deep garage though so I guess choice of motor is key.  Just thought I'd share.  BTW the setup I have does 54mph @ 5400rpm.  Cruises 30 at right around 3000rpm.  You can trim it way out of the water and get 57 but why?  Good luck 
  • Westwall01Westwall01 Posts: 4,877 Captain
    Speed is great, but I agree with TRT. It's not like driving a car, you never see everything in front of your path because half of whats in front of you is underwater. Flats boats do not come equiped with airbags and seatbelts in case of an accident.
  • kellerclkellercl Posts: 1,671 Captain
    Speed is great, but I agree with TRT. It's not like driving a car, you never see everything in front of your path because half of whats in front of you is underwater. Flats boats do not come equiped with airbags and seatbelts in case of an accident.

    Inshore, 30 is probably the max speed I would hit.  I can't fathom doing anything 50+ mph.
  • mustang190mustang190 Posts: 9,736 Admiral
    I have an Actioncraft 1820 I've been thinking about chopping the trailer to fit in a 20' garage.  Its a no go with a 150 etec and a 6" jackplate.   I need a tad under 21' to do that.  Others I have talked to with 1820's have fit them into a 20' deep garage though so I guess choice of motor is key.  Just thought I'd share.  BTW the setup I have does 54mph @ 5400rpm.  Cruises 30 at right around 3000rpm.  You can trim it way out of the water and get 57 but why?  Good luck 
    Knock out the back wall. The HOA can’t see the back of the garage can they?
    2013 Pathfinder 22 TE , 150 Yamaha,
  • mustang190mustang190 Posts: 9,736 Admiral
    kellercl said:
    Speed is great, but I agree with TRT. It's not like driving a car, you never see everything in front of your path because half of whats in front of you is underwater. Flats boats do not come equiped with airbags and seatbelts in case of an accident.

    Inshore, 30 is probably the max speed I would hit.  I can't fathom doing anything 50+ mph.
    Don’t forget about those partially submerged containers offshore. Imagine what one of those could do to that 34’ Yellowfin doing 60 mph!
    2013 Pathfinder 22 TE , 150 Yamaha,
  • waldnerrwaldnerr Posts: 1,010 Officer
    It's commonplace to put 175's on 18'9" Egrets, and no jackplates are needed - or even recommended - on these hulls, but I doubt that an 18'9" with motor will fit in your garage. My garage is about the same size as yours and it houses my 16'7" Egret fine, but it's a tight fit through the door, given this boat's beam. Both E/Z Loader (galvanized) and Continental (aluminum) make narrow trailers with swing tongues for this hull. It won't do 60, as will some of the 18's with 175's, but it will easily reach the mid-40's with a 135.
  • PeterCPeterC Posts: 20 Greenhorn
    I fit a 16 Hewes Red Fisher with a 90 in a garage just a little smaller than yours. Swing tongue trailer. Speed is not a big element in catching fish. You don't catch fish with the throttle! Speed fills egos more than coolers! Best of luck to you
  • TarponatorTarponator Under a BridgePosts: 10,381 AG
    A lot of the bass guys love speed.  I never really understood the need for speed on the water, personally.  I'm out there to have fun, not to race or compete in tournaments, but to each their own.

    I'd find a nice 16 or 17' flats boat -- there are plenty of good models suggested in this thread.  Maverick, Egret, Hewes, AC, HB, etc. -- they work great as bass boats as well.
  • james 14james 14 Posts: 2,873 Moderator
    Thanks for the suggestions. Speed is not the only factor but just something I'm looking at in the overall picture. I do still plan to fish freshwater with the occasional tournament. 
  • fishdishfishdish Posts: 1,223 Officer
    Check out the new SaltMarsh Heron in the 18' version. 
  • johnDjohnD Posts: 6,388 Admiral
    ranger 518 intracostal , 21'11 with the tongue folded.

    if not , i'd go with a maverick.

     
  • 1outlaw1outlaw Naples FLPosts: 735 Officer
    I did what your considering 2 years ago. I came out of a Stroker bass boat with a 300X and Bought a 19' Blazer bay with a 115 yamaha 4 stroke on it. I literally lost 60 mph.
    With that said. My boat rarely sees WOT. I generally cruise in the mid 30's, Usually the water is just too sloppy or the boat traffic.... IMO atleast for where i live you would rarely be able to use all that HP on a flats boat/Bay boat in the size your looking into.
    Jason :USA
  • JmacjjsJmacjjs Posts: 16 Greenhorn
    I'd recommend an Eastcape Vantage VHP.  At 19'2" with a swing tongue trailer I'm able to fit mine in my garage.  With a Merc 115 I'm able to hit 50mph, but there are guys out there with a 175 and they're topping out at 70mph.
  • DavidPlattDavidPlatt Posts: 7 Greenhorn
    I just picked up an 18' Beavertail Vengeance and it fits perfectly in my garage with room to spare. The swing tongue certainly helps, and with a 90hp I'm able to get 40+mph and stay dry. Plus the service is top notch with Beavertail. Just adding to your list. Good luck, and let us know what you end up with!
  • andrewthe1andrewthe1 Posts: 608 Officer
    never fished one(web surfer) but dusky makes a mean looking flats boat, also been eyeing the stumpknocker brand due to economy and versatility, my friend has one we fish all over in. 
    we need more internet money
  • equystequyst dallasPosts: 10 Greenhorn
    Nice thread, I also have almost the same question
  • HallTHallT Posts: 15 Greenhorn
    james 14 said:
    Thanks for the suggestions. Speed is not the only factor but just something I'm looking at in the overall picture. I do still plan to fish freshwater with the occasional tournament. 
    James, what exactly will you be fishing for? That's the main criteria that should drive what boat you get. Super skinny water ability? Bay? Offshore sometimes? Bass mainly? 
  • BTVengeanceBTVengeance SCPosts: 30 Greenhorn
    I just picked up an 18' Beavertail Vengeance and it fits perfectly in my garage with room to spare. The swing tongue certainly helps, and with a 90hp I'm able to get 40+mph and stay dry. Plus the service is top notch with Beavertail. Just adding to your list. Good luck, and let us know what you end up with!
    Ditto:  I have the exact same 18’ BT Vengeance/90HP/Trailer in a 2016 model and could not be happier.  Speed was not my primary goal but I have to regularly cross a bay and the boat performs very well in rough water.
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