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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I fish mainly flats of 12 to 18 inches with scattered holes of 6 to 8 feet. I am about to buy a boat. The two at the top of the list are a 2013 Boston Whaler Montauk 17 with a practically new 90, $24000 OR .....2003 Hells Bay Whipray Skiff Bay Boat with 2013 F50 $28000?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Not even a choice here hells bay
Ok. I accept that. Would you mind telling me why the Hells Bay is so much better? I have a shallow water boat. I know nothing about poling skiffs but am trying to learn. I want a smaller boat then the 19 foot I have.
 

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Zephyr Cove is on FIRE!
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Ok. I accept that. Would you mind telling me why the Hells Bay is so much better? I have a shallow water boat. I know nothing about poling skiffs but am trying to learn. I want a smaller boat then the 19 foot I have.
I guess that depends on what you want out of a “flats skiff”. A whaler isn’t really a flats skiff.
The first half of your first sentence states you fish mainly in 12-18”. A 17’ Boston Whaler can barely float in that with the motor down, I used to run that exact hull with a 70 Johnson on Sabine Lake and it sucked unless you wanted to stay in the deep areas. The Hell’s Bay will allow you to access much shallower areas to pole around and still run where the Whaler would and also run much shallower on plane.
 

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1652 G3, & 1756 Lowe tinnys
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I believe that you are comparing apples to bananas. As already said, the BW isn't going anywhere as shallow as dozens of other brands might.
 

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How do you fish? Do you fly fish at all? Do you want to pole and sight fish, or are you a trolling motor and blind cast guy? How many people do you usually fish with? How long are your runs to where you normally fish?

The Whipray is one of the finest light/fly tackle poling skiffs ever made, but if that's not your style of fishing it might not be for you. It's really a 2 man boat...three is doable, but not if all three guys are fishing at the same time slinging baitcasters or spinning rods. It's also not a super stable platform for walking all over. It's at it's best with one guy on the bow and another on the platform to balance it out. You can fish it with a trolling motor (I have one on mine), but there's no reason to own a pure technical poling skiff if you don't plan to pole the majority of the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
How do you fish? Do you fly fish at all? Do you want to pole and sight fish, or are you a trolling motor and blind cast guy? How many people do you usually fish with? How long are your runs to where you normally fish?

The Whipray is one of the finest light/fly tackle poling skiffs ever made, but if that's not your style of fishing it might not be for you. It's really a 2 man boat...three is doable, but not if all three guys are fishing at the same time slinging baitcasters or spinning rods. It's also not a super stable platform for walking all over. It's at it's best with one guy on the bow and another on the platform to balance it out. You can fish it with a trolling motor (I have one on mine), but there's no reason to own a pure technical poling skiff if you don't plan to pole the majority of the time.
Been fly fishing since I was 13. 72 now. Don't especially like to fish alone but most people I know are busy when I want to fish. My present rig is an 18'9" Blue Wave. Big tunnel. Inset motor. Runs shallow. Doubt if it will run in 3" though. It is now just too big. To big for me to continue to push around. Too big to hide from the HOA and big enough that any day now the wife is going to want to go for a boat ride. After two years. So smaller boat. I have equipped this boat with what I call a smart trolling motor. Minn Kota ILink along with a Helix 7 GPS/Fish finder. I can cruise south along a shoreline, turn the boat and have the TM take me back at any speed I choose. I can also "anchor" it with the TM more or less. Will I pole? Maybe 5% or less of the time I am on the water. I just can't do two things at once. I either fish or I pole. Someone else said it on here before me but I will say it anyway. I spent years fishing South of Lafitte in Louisiana. I caught redfish. Many redfish. Never caught one that was tailing. Suspect they were too busy digging for the tiny crabs they do so love. Unfortunately I did not fly fish there. Was just starting to get the urge when circumstances changed and I moved to Texas. Dallas metroplex. Sooooo said all of that to say this, I will fish where the fish are. When it is my choice, I will only fish with a fly rod. I will get there the best way I can except for swimming. I will find a boat that works for me and it will be 17 feet or less in length. Talked to a guy at Little Bay today that had a Chiquita, probably 12', with 4 " freeboard. Standard size console. 60 hp Evinrude I think. Made by Freedom boats. They have a video of one running in 3", and say it will float in 5". Made right up the road in Port Lavaca Texas. A possibility. Problem with ALL the boats in Florida is I will have to go get them. That little 13 footer sure looked sweet though. The Nanocraft. Anyway, till the Blue Wave is sold I am just getting facts and enjoying the hunt. They are picking up the Blue Wave tomorrow for a detail. Don't expect it to take too long to sell after that.

Within 50 miles of where I live there are acres and acres of shallow water flats. So yes, I do need a shallow water boat. Since I figure I have about 10 years left to fish, I really don't want to spend $28K on one. But when you fall in love, logic goes bye bye. Right now nothing is off the table.
 

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You should look at some of the Maverick HPX Ts in the classifieds here. Slightly longer with a little more beam than a Whipray. Nice boats and probably a little better in open water than the Whipray.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You should look at some of the Maverick HPX Ts in the classifieds here. Slightly longer with a little more beam than a Whipray. Nice boats and probably a little better in open water than the Whipray.
Forgive me for saying this but......Thanks Tex!!!
 

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If you prefer to flyfish then this isn't even a choice between those two boats. HB, period. But as others have said there are tons of boats out there that would fit your needs. As for the cost? Dude you said it yourself, you figure you have about 10 years left to fish. Make the absolute best out of them. Get what you want and to hell with what it costs (within a little reason anyway)
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
If you prefer to flyfish then this isn't even a choice between those two boats. HB, period. But as others have said there are tons of boats out there that would fit your needs. As for the cost? Dude you said it yourself, you figure you have about 10 years left to fish. Make the absolute best out of them. Get what you want and to hell with what it costs (within a little reason anyway)
Now all YOU have to do is convince my wife. She says I can't catch enough fish to pay for a $20000 boat. She can't make enough quilts to pay for a $2000 sewing machine either......whatcha gonna do?

I made a decision. I can keeping splitting my time and money between casting rods and fly rods or I can dedicate. I chose to dedicate my fishing time to fly fishing. My neighbor told me today I could tie on a hook and use shrimp. Bet he thinks he is the first guy to think of that. But....when it's all said and done, it's them against me. If I can't outwit a fish I am in really bad shape. Ok, so I keep trying.......
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I spent a good deal of time today perusing used boat classifieds. Reason it took so long was I was doing all the towns on the coast of any size in Alabama and Florida. Florida has a tremendous amount of Flats Boats. These typically draw 12 inches or so. My Blue Wave bay boat draws 8 or less. I now understand some of the comments I received when I opened this thread. Also noticed there are a heck of a lot of Gheenoe boats for sale. On another note, my Blue Wave came home from the beauty shop today. Man she is purty. But....too big. You'll see pictures and details probably early next week.
 

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If you want to try the flats and do a lot if flycasting, I'll bet you can pick up a really inexpensive Gheenoe . Keep your present boat and see which gets used the most. I'll bet that in a year or so, one or the other will be sold.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
If you want to try the flats and do a lot if flycasting, I'll bet you can pick up a really inexpensive Gheenoe . Keep your present boat and see which gets used the most. I'll bet that in a year or so, one or the other will be sold.
Any idea what a Gladesman is?
 

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I Love microskiff.com!
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Were built by East Cape.
 

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I guess I was just suggesting that you find a cheap, skinny water boat that you can buy for small money. Fish, then decide, if you really want to sell what you have. Two boats could be the answer for many of us..... if we had the place to store them. Gheenoes just seem to be the most inexpensive, easily available (in Florida) for that purpose.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I guess I was just suggesting that you find a cheap, skinny water boat that you can buy for small money. Fish, then decide, if you really want to sell what you have. Two boats could be the answer for many of us..... if we had the place to store them. Gheenoes just seem to be the most inexpensive, easily available (in Florida) for that purpose.
Thanks. I do appreciate your input. My problem is that I don't have room for the boat I have. I have a backyard with a 12 foot gate in the fence. When I back my present boat in, it sticks out the gate about two feet. If it were lighter I could maneuver it easier and possibly make it fit. Unfortunately for them and me I live in an HOA community. I have been warned several times. Harvey (the hurricane not the rabbit) saved me for a time. Now...times up. The next boat is going to fit in my garage. I am guessing it will be in the 15-17 foot range.
 

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One word of caution. A good buddy of mine was looking for a boat. He said "the next boat will fit in my garage." And he found one. Yeah it fits in his garage but its also for sale because it doesn't do the job for him. Nothing wrong with having a boat fit in your garage IF it also works for the fishing you do. But getting one to fit in the garage as a primary criteria may lead to disappointment. There are always storage options.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thing is I hate to rent. Lease is one thing when it makes sense. Rent is not something I wish to do. The other thing is if it fits my garage it will also fit my backyard, either of which will make the HOA happy. Seriously considering two that are in the 14 foot range. What I am really worried about is waiting so long I just have to have a technical poling skiff. Most of the ones I would consider are in Florida which brings another set of problems. I have a ton of opportunities here to spend $25000 to $45000 on an older boat. Just is not going to happen. Anyway, the boat I own now has been detailed and only needs a bit of touch up to get it on the market. When it sells I will start going to look and possibly test. Until then I'd be wasting everyone's time. For now gathering information is my main focus. I thought I had this narrowed down to one or two boats but now I am not so sure.
 
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