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Evening Fellas,

I have had a Flats and Bay and a Ranger Banshee tiller. I'm doing homework and in the market for a new skiff. If I can ask … which do you prefer center console or Side console ? I had never had a side console but I am very interested.
All opinions and thought welcome.

Thanks
 

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Side console. Skiffs are too narrow forcing you to sit off the side of a center console or sit tight to your partner. Or they sit in front of console which I don’t like either. Side console opens up the floor for multiple coolers or camping gear. Room to walk. Shrimping with cast nets and collection baskets. I’ve had both.
 

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I prefer a side console for the reasons listed above as well as less weight vs a center. One advantage to a center console is being able to have your battery under the console, keeping that weight centered and avoiding having to eat up space in one of your hatches for it.
 

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Side console. Skiffs are too narrow forcing you to sit off the side of a center console or sit tight to your partner. Or they sit in front of console which I don’t like either. Side console opens up the floor for multiple coolers or camping gear. Room to walk. Shrimping with cast nets and collection baskets. I’ve had both.
20200118_085317.jpg
what he said exactly.
 

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My house battery is very small agm on console side and my trolling motor group 30 battery is on other side in rear hatch.Offsets weight some when solo ,just use tabs to level when running, can also put tent in cockpit to camp.
 

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Maybe I've never had a proper "microskiff" but I've built, rigged, or restored one or two boats over the years (and one of them was an early aluminum 16' Starcraft back in the mid seventies with a side console that drafted only six inches that we used for everything from Key West to Palm Beach - and back in the 'glades).

As for me, I'd never have a side console again - since on bad weather days you're always on the wrong side of the skiff.... It will be either a center console or a tiller, period. Everyone gets to make their own choices though so post up what you finally settle on...
 

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I’m in a BT Micro side console and I do NOT like side consoles. I will not own another. I prefer the visibility of a center console (if the boats big enough for it) or tiller. I like to stand when I run a boat. Personal preferences I guess.
 

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Side console. Skiffs are too narrow forcing you to sit off the side of a center console or sit tight to your partner. Or they sit in front of console which I don’t like either. Side console opens up the floor for multiple coolers or camping gear. Room to walk. Shrimping with cast nets and collection baskets. I’ve had both.
You can’t sit two normal sized people on the seat with my side console comfortably without rubbing shoulders.
 

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I prefer center console with integrated cooler jump seat. This keeps the weight of the people centered, offers built in storage in the console for either battery/batteries or quick access smaller items like fly boxes, leaders/tippets, etc. With the integrated cooler, you don't need to schlep a separate cooler for drinks, snacks, fish or whatever. I don't usually make long fishing trips, like 4 hours is a long one for me but I also live right on the water with my boat in a lift behind my house. So, I don't need to load my boat up with a bunch of gear for the weekend trip and still need room for a couple people on board.
Make a list of how you want to use your skiff and decide on what set up will work best for you the majority of the time. Don't forget to take into account what you think looks better, it is your skiff after all. After you decide and get your new boat, make sure you post up some pics because all of us are boat porn addicts...
 

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Lot of valid arguments for both layouts already. I've owned center consoles, tillers and now a side console and for my needs and normal First Mate (120-pound Rottweiler), the side offers so much more room and flexibility. Move a 25-quart roto cooler around to adjust weight and double as a casting platform. Have loaded it to the gunwales with camping gear. Not too crowded with two big guys aboard and not a performance issue on plane or using tabs.
 

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Great question. Can easily see the merits of each design. Have not been on a boat with a side steering station, and tiller is simplest, center console takes up most room in cockpit, but also can keep weight centered properly for best ultra-shallow weight placement and in deep south TX that matters. A lot. Strongly considered ordering a side steering station on new boat, but as of now the order includes a center console with integral box in front. That could possibly change, probably not though. Do not plan on posting any photos or other info on new boat. Kind of embarrassed to admit to buying a boat instead of building my own. I think the site is now primarily about the home build boats which perhaps is the way it should be. Speaking of home builds, to me it looks like the deck is by far the hardest part to get right, with all the hatch work and drains around hatches etc. In considering building a boat, (do want to do someday but have no place to do so) the hull fabrication does not worry me near as much as does the deck fabrication. Looks like virtually all the home builds are tiller with maybe just a minority being side steering station. Observation. If / when I can build, it will definitely be a tiller.
 

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I was planning on a side console for my upcoming Ankona build. What swayed me away from that is ease of access to under gunnel rod storage under a side console. I pretty much only fly fish. Getting a rod out quickly without risk of breakage is important. For my needs, a center console is the best option. I would say for you it all depends on how you fish and run your skiff.
 

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I was planning on a side console for my upcoming Ankona build. What swayed me away from that is ease of access to under gunnel rod storage under a side console. I pretty much only fly fish. Getting a rod out quickly without risk of breakage is important. For my needs, a center console is the best option. I would say for you it all depends on how you fish and run your skiff.
My son is making new support for my outlaw that allows better access for 9 foot rods ,sold my poling platform yesterday, he is in process of building new poling,casting, bag bar and console support as well. Mey be doing tube under gunwale holders as well with seadek on surfaces where rods touch.i will post finished pictures next week
 

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My son is making new support for my outlaw that allows better access for 9 foot rods ,sold my poling platform yesterday, he is in process of building new poling,casting, bag bar and console support as well. Mey be doing tube under gunwale holders as well with seadek on surfaces where rods touch.i will post finished pictures next week
Didn't you take delivery recently? That's several significant changes to a custom skiff. Certainly not meant as a knock on Drake. Haven't seen one in person but from all accounts a quality builder. Just curious about mods so soon and wondering if you've changed fishing style, etc. to better fit needs. Seems pertinent with the OP's inquiry. Regardless, nice to have your son's skills readily available.
 
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