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Bay Boat or CC Suggestions

muttonman1984muttonman1984 Posts: 2 Greenhorn
Hello FS members,

New to the forum and Florida. Recently relocated from San Diego and I am in the market for a new boat. Hoping for some suggestions based on your experiences. 

I will be fishing out of Naples and plan on doing a fair amount of backcountry/bay fishing but my heart is really set on offshore. I've been looking at bay boats that could potentially handle both but I would like to be able to run several miles offshore (up to 50 or more). I figure this puts me in the CC conversation so my question to you is are there certain CC models that have a reasonably shallow draft that could fish the bays at lower tides but also be capable of running offshore? Anyone have favorites for these type of applications?

Sorry if this has been asked a million times but hoping for some local knowledge from you all. Appreciate the suggestions in advance.

* also, budget is 100k max. 


  • fish_stixfish_stix Posts: 1,395 Officer
  • Tony RomaTony Roma Posts: 4,673 Captain
    A boat that can go 50 miles offshore and fish the tidal creeks. You need 2 boats a $75,000 offshore boat and a $25,000 inshore boat. Boom problem solved:)
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski Posts: 16,813 AG
    Everglades 243 
    You can't pet a dead dog back to life 
  • finbullyfinbully Posts: 895 Officer
    Hire some guides to help figure it out. $100K you have a lot of options.
    Take your time and look around the market is flooded with maufacturers.
    A Pathfinder 2500 Hybrid is in your price range, but there are others that claim the hybrid style too.
    A good used Yelllowfin is in your price range too.
    Young is another I'd look at.
    Part of the fun is the number of choices you have and learning about the pros and cons of each.
    I tried the hybrid style too (Pathfinder 2500) but found two boats are needed to really be effective at shallow and offshore. Personally, I went back to a shallow water boat. If I was to buy an offshore rig, it would have twins for safety reasons.
  • TXWahooTXWahoo Posts: 572 Officer
    I would recommend the two boat route. There are guides that run 24-25' bay boats around 10K islands but that is NOT a place you want to learn to navigate in a boat like that. You can get trouble in a hurry. You usually can't see bottom in 2' of water. Pick up a $20K skiff and a $80K CC and you will be much happier and less stressed.
  • rudyengrudyeng Posts: 546 Officer
    I had a pathfinder. It was an awesome boat for back country and reef fishing on a good day but i would not recommend a bay boat for a 50 mile trip. I got into some bad weather with a 31 contender (LOA 33'). I had radar and all the safety equipment. A storm develop on top of us we barely made it back. We thought we could outrun bad weather since the boat hit 62 mph.  We averaged 8 mph. 

    Best of luck !
  • Tony RomaTony Roma Posts: 4,673 Captain
    ^^^^that humbles a man quick
  • gogittumgogittum Posts: 4,210 Captain
    edited November 2020 #9
    That brings a thought to mind.  My old 19ft Glastron runabout was flat bottomed with a fairly fine entry and wide, flared bow.  When I bought it I tried to use that as a way to beat the price down.  When I told the old boy about the flat bottom causing pounding in rough water, he looked at me like a r.e.t.a.r.d, paddled his hands downward in the air and said, "well then, sloooww down."  Dohhh......??  I paid his price, which was very good to begin with.

    Someone ask me about the seats.

    I found in actual use that the boat was fast and dry and in moderate chop it just punched thru if I had the bow trimmed down.  In rough water, slow down was the only thing.  It'd come off the top of a wave and SLAM your back teeth loose when it belly-flopped onto the next one.

    That said, I did get to ride on a couple of Deep Vs a few times....and actually didn't like them as much.  In moderate chop at moderate speed, they'd hit about as hard as mine.  In really rough water, they'd come off the top of a wave and slam down onto the next wave almost as badly as mine.  If I was down to 8mph, they might be down to 10mph.  BFD.  They didn't have the wide, flared bow, either, and were wetter.  Of course, if running at speed in a cross wind, you'll get wet on the Queen Mary.  

    Mine was rock solid stable when stopped or trolling.  Walk around like on a sidewalk in that big, wide open cockpit.  Brace against the high freeboard when pulling on a fish.  It never once took any water over those sides....just once took green water over the bow....and that was interesting....and wet.  Shouldn't have been out there.  The Deep Vs would rock from side to side and it wasn't quite as comfortable.  Nope, I came to love that funny looking old boat.  It was great.  The big old 115hp 2 stroke Johnson gave me an easy 25mph cruise at 5gph.  IIRC, I put 700 hours on it in 6 years....and worked full time.  What wonderful memories.
  • larrywittlarrywitt Posts: 2,924 Moderator
    Well I have 2 boats a 14ft. Panga skiff and a 20ft. 25 HP zuk and 1992 Trophy built like a tank 150 ETEC for power third motor for this boat  I run offshore up to 30 plus miles most of the time closer.  The crew i boat with have 24 to 26 ft CC boats for the 40 to 50 mile runs. We share the cost on all our trips. I would take my time make a few friends to fish with then you will have a better idea what you like best.
  • cortrcortr Posts: 538 Officer
    Hybrid bay boats are popular right now, but they are as safe as weather permits. Any size boat will be a challenge in rough seas. Do not rely on hybrid bay to get you back safely when seas are more than four feet
  • finbullyfinbully Posts: 895 Officer
    OP 1 and done?
  • FS BlairFS Blair Posts: 1,857 Admin
    There are larger bay boats every year.  But, not all are created equal, nor for the same purpose.  If you take your time and look for a bay boat in the 25-27 foot range where you can go with a single engine and a trolling motor I think you'd be able to comfortably accomplish both missions.  But, in your search look for bay boats with more deadrise, deeper vee, and higher gunnels to accommodate those long trips offshore grouper digging.  
  • muttonman1984muttonman1984 Posts: 2 Greenhorn
    Wow, thanks for all the suggestions! Two boats would be fun but I'm running into issues finding storage for just one boat. 

    I'm looking at pathfinder and a NauticStar that's in my budget. I think I will go out with a few guides as well...right after I get back from fishing the keys next week! 

    Thanks again for all the feedback. 
  • 10kman10kman Posts: 999 Officer
       As you get older the appeal to me of going offshore becomes less and
    less appealing.The cost of fuel big issue,grouper are out further and further
    and seeing these twin engine Grady Whites trying to move in two ft. of water
    is a joke!
  • 1outlaw1outlaw Posts: 1,888 Captain
    If your going to be fishing out of collier county, you will most likely make 10K islands your home water. I would look for a 24' bay boat. Anything that fishes off shore really wont work in the 10k trust me. 
    The islands will keep you very busy learning them! 
    Jason :USA
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