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Best big water flats boat

9851 Views 29 Replies 24 Participants Last post by  Redbelly
I live in the panhandle of florida, specifically Destin area. I am looking for a a large flats boat. I have had everything from a 21 ft trophy cuddy cabin, bay boats, and currently fish out of a 18ft bass tracker center console. I'm looking for a flats boat that can handle open water crossing bays and run along the beach on calm days. I will be using a trolling a motor 90% of the time and poling 10% of the time if any. It will be fished also in tournaments at least once a month. Would like a wide stable boat with room. I have two kids(9 & 3 years old) that I take on the boat regularly. I have a budget of $20,000. Can be a older boat I dont mind working on. I would prefer 18ft and up but would be fine with a 16 footer if it had a nice ride. I've been looking at Mavericks, action crafts, key west, and hewes. What other brands should I look at and what models.
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How shallow will you need to go?

For your budget and what it seems like you’ll be doing most, I’d just get an old 18’-20’ pathfinder bay boat for a few reasons: Your budget..Seems like you’ll rarely be poling.. Draft will be same or slightly more than some of the above suggestions...roomy comfortable layout...rough water ability.

I don’t think you’ll find a vantage for 20 or it will be a beater if you do...same with a big Egret, but either would be a good option otherwise.

Ditto the above suggestion for old Master Angler 18 too

Good Luck!
 
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