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So, though I love to fish salt water bays, I live in Nashville. My fishing is out of my kayak on St George Island or St Joseph bay. Love it. But I am 63 and kayaking can get old. So, I'm thinking retirement will be here soon and health permitting, hopefully fish more. But I have been looking and learning on these forums for over a year and strongly considering my first and probably only boat. I do not fly fish and I will not pole. Prefer a center console that can get fairly skinny but may accommodate 1 or 2 others. Doubt I will head into the ocean since I am not experienced enough to feel comfortable. Value stability more than "dry ride" into bay chop. So I am interested in any thoughts out there...and I have been told to rent if I do not go enough but I like the idea of having my stuff. Lt 25 has gotten my interest but so have other skiffs. Any ideas would be appreciated.
 

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Big Frank's Outdoors is not too far from you, and he keeps several skiffs in stock. It might be worth a visit just to try a few on. I have a little Piranha P140, which doesn't sound like it fits your needs, but you are more than welcome to go for a boat ride anytime. We are a couple hours east of Nashvegas when it's warm, and NE FL off and on through the winter. My priorities with this particular boat were a bit backwards.....I wanted something that would fish the backwater, but it had to be towable with the boss' Subaru and needed to be cheapish since it isn't our primary boat. I certainly understand wanting your own equipment.
 

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Depending on budget and storage requirements, I’d look into the aluminum “bass boat” type skiffs that are rigged to be used in saltwater from a corrosion standpoint.

https://www.rangerboats.com/aluminum/intracoastal/rb-series/rb190.html

Alumacraft and other companies build them as well, they’ve become more popular lately and are a good bit less expensive than skiffs.

http://www.alumacraft.com/Alumacraft-Boat.php?id=550

This is assuming you’d like something the bass fish where you live and run rivers also.
 

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You could get an aluminum tunnel with a jet drive. You could do lots of skinny inshore stuff and run stones river like a boss when you're at home.
 

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Brandon, FL
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So, though I love to fish salt water bays, I live in Nashville. My fishing is out of my kayak on St George Island or St Joseph bay. Love it. But I am 63 and kayaking can get old. So, I'm thinking retirement will be here soon and health permitting, hopefully fish more. But I have been looking and learning on these forums for over a year and strongly considering my first and probably only boat. I do not fly fish and I will not pole. Prefer a center console that can get fairly skinny but may accommodate 1 or 2 others. Doubt I will head into the ocean since I am not experienced enough to feel comfortable. Value stability more than "dry ride" into bay chop. So I am interested in any thoughts out there...and I have been told to rent if I do not go enough but I like the idea of having my stuff. Lt 25 has gotten my interest but so have other skiffs. Any ideas would be appreciated.
Here is my advice...
You are going to get comments from every aspect of the skiff life and it will serve you well. Well in the sense you will be more confused than ever.

Peruse the for sale section and start to narrow your focus, then zero in. The for sale section will help isolate budget as well and you will see what is out there in your budget range. Remember, flat bottom is a hard ride but floats shallow. V-bottoms are softer rides and draft more. Simply a trade off.

At 63 it is my opinion to cross anything Gheenoe off your list. I know there is that one guy 82 years old using his 13, but cross them off.
 

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Sounds like a shallow bay boat is what you are describing unless you are looking for something in sub 10" water. Master Angler as noted above is a good choice in this category. 12" or so draft, holds 2-3 fellows, rides well, very stable and great all around boat.

I like the California Skiff suggestions BUT those things are rough on an older body even in light chop.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Budget less than 20K and preferably 15K since it will have only moderate use. Skinny? Well the bay side of St George usually less than 3feet. And I saw and spoke with fisherman in a cove and he was on a G3 and it looked great and floated on nothing but may be out of my range.

I was looking at the Santee which looks as simple as one can get.

Frankly, I have really enjoyed going through these classifieds daily- learn a lot. Also look at Craigslist just for laughs.
 

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I could have written your post except I'm in Ga,not Tennessee, and I'm 62, not 63. I retired last year, and I bought a 16ft Carolina Skiff with 40hp Mariner. I have rerigged it with a remote control trolling motor up front, new electronics, and a few other little odds and ends. It's primary use will be lakes and reservoirs for stripers, with an occasional jaunt to the sea. I can fish one other person comfortably, two others if very little casting involved. It's stable enough to fly fish from the front deck. The ride is a little rough, but a decent trade-off for shallower draft. I can truthfully say that I am well under the $5000 cap with all improvements.
 

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Budget less than 20K and preferably 15K since it will have only moderate use. Skinny? Well the bay side of St George usually less than 3feet. And I saw and spoke with fisherman in a cove and he was on a G3 and it looked great and floated on nothing but may be out of my range.

I was looking at the Santee which looks as simple as one can get.

Frankly, I have really enjoyed going through these classifieds daily- learn a lot. Also look at Craigslist just for laughs.
I have a Livingston 14. It's a catamaran hull and has a dry soft ride. Very stable. I'm 66 and have had it ten years. It is my terminal boat. Kinda like a Swiss Army knife. It gets the job done. The hull is $3300 or so. I put a bow deck on mine. Makes a great casting platform. I have a 25 Yamaha 2 stroke but a 20 4 stroke would be fine too. It will handle a 40 with a center console. A navy buddie from Washington State told me about them. It was designed by a Boeing engineer and is the Gheenoe of the Pacific Northwest.

Links to posts with pics below.

https://www.microskiff.com/search/2713564/?q=livingston+14&o=date&c[node]=24

You Tube videos
https://www.google.com/search?q=liv...ome..69i57.13965j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
 

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My first boat was a key west 1520 and I tell everyone I thought it was the perfect first boat. Simple but nice, relatively inexpensive, and reliable. . Especially with the yamaha 60 that was on it. Did everything I wanted and more and rode very nice for a 15 ft boat. As someone else mentioned the 1720 is a great boat as well. Good luck!
 
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