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Conchfish 14' (yes, fourteen feet) - any builds yet? About to pull the trigger on the plans.

1705 Views 40 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  Bottlecap
Hey folks-- passed on the used Gheenoe as previously discussed and decided to build. Has anyone here tackled the (newer) 14' version of the Conchfish by CM? I haven't been able to find any builds via googling the interwebs. Looking to get a 14' for my fishing (95% of use, solo) in the ICW near Ocean Isle / Wilmington.

Love reading about the 16-footers, but for my first build I'm gonna need a smaller boat for my garage and budget.

Thanks!
Jeff
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Yep the home builds are rewarding. But still takes a lump of cash to get it all together. Compared to buying new you will save $10k minimum. But it will also take you about a year for completion in most cases.
It is going on four years now. I stopped counting long ago. But the big splash is within the next two weeks!
 

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I am going to step in here with a bit of details to ponder. I do this to just add my opinion to a (Microskiff) site.
I am not in here now to try and sell this design, just to give my thoughts on the practicality of 12’-14’ Microskiff designs.
The photos I share are from 30-32 years ago with my wife Rachel and our first daughter Kalessin using our 12’3” earlier version of the current designs. We are in the Bahamas, USVI and at sea in the Atlantic.
The pink hull is solid glass the rest 1/2” core. It weighed 140lbs.
The other hulls were core with the 12 versions I built weighing from 115-180 lbs depending on the interior.
I could hoist these skiffs on deck using a simple block and tackle. I used my main sheet on the min halyard. Was very easy to stow aboard.
These skiffs plus later versions made many Gulf Stream crossingbeing towed behind our sailboats in all kinds of seas up to 8’. We regularly towed between all the islands in the Caribbean with 30-60 mile open ocean sea conditions and trade winds of 20-30 knts.
They never gave any trouble ever. The only water that was ever inside after a passage was from a passing rain squall.
These small designs are very seaworthy.
I would not ever tow a Jon boat, Geenoe type, open canoe, rubber dinghy and most standard small skiff hulls for each of their faults in chop / seas over 2-3’.

The next thing to ponder is that these Micro Skiff hulls only need a 10-25 hp to push along quite well. These engines can be taken off with ease and stored away safely.
A 14’ skiff that weighs from 180-225 lbs is easy to store on its side along side a fence or building.
These skiffs do not need a battery, trim tabs, bilge pump, electrical components built in fuel tank, Purple lights, etc.
OR they can have it all, well the 14’ version, would hate to see a 12’ hull full of stuff.
The choices of materials can be strip planked wood of any soft easy enough to bend planks,
Or scrimmed balsa core, Nida core, any core from 1/2” to 3/4”.
My current version I built 8 years ago buying all materials retail which cost $1,500.00 to build.
Today it will be more.
You will need 12-15 gal resin.
Glass bubbles ,about 5 gal bucket worth.
Paint,
PVC for rub rails,
Eglass cloth and 1-1/2 Oz matt.
You make a trim plate to bolt onto the outboards cavitation plate to use as your trim tab.
I like plastic cleats to tie beach finds down with.
I have never needed a flats skiff because I could fish any where with my12’3” skiffs.
We raised our babies in them they were so safe and seaworthy, dry and stable.
For the 14’ design I would make the tower removable with 2 sockets glassed in the stern to slide the tower legs into.
Terry Baird in Hawaii is building the 14 to fish his flats at night in pursuit of world record bonefish.
Think out side of the box ….er hull. Don’t be conformist, just think of being able to cross any bay with a 15 hp, two people, draft 4-5” and either pole, paddle, row around burning 1-1/2 gals of fuel.
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Some current photos to show what a small hull can do.
I paint my skiffs mostly in pink because no one else does so it’s easy to see mine.
No one ever stole my pink ones but they stole one of my grey ones in Bequia.
You can see my simple trim tab plate on the engine. Started that 38 years ago. Works best as seen. I call it my Un patented Whales Tail.
Picture are of Rachel and I in BC this past summer. We side tie the skiff as our motor for our current sailboat.
These hulls are impossible to flip over by standing on the sheer. Very stable.
The fastest I see with a 15 two stroke one person is 22-23 knts.
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Here is latest skiff build in BC. It’s run the surf at the harbor entrance on Rapa Nui Easter Island to pushing or 3 tons sloop through all the rapids up here last summer as we cruised north.
This is a 12’3” skiff with a 9.9
 

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Nicely done. How dry is she in the chop?
It's not really for chop. You need something bigger. It's not wet, but, wasn't built for going out in 2-3' chop purposely.
For 2-3 footers, you need a much bigger skiff with deadrise. This is made for going extremely shallow.
 

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Damn it is tempting to get that and build it out. My problem is I have a 4 year old and a demanding job. I don't think I have the time to do it. Could you imagine that with a deck build onto it etc.
 

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Damn it is tempting to get that and build it out. My problem is I have a 4 year old and a demanding job. I don't think I have the time to do it. Could you imagine that with a deck build onto it etc.
Mine entire skiff was built in 2.5 months by my 12 year old and I. Adding a deck to that thing would be fairly simple.
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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Damn it is tempting to get that and build it out. My problem is I have a 4 year old and a demanding job. I don't think I have the time to do it. Could you imagine that with a deck build onto it etc.
Oooooh, that's the ticket. I have a 4 and 6 year old and "about" 2 hours a night to myself and no idea how to lay glass, etc... looking for a project boat to cut my teeth on/screw up first ;)
 

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Oooooh, that's the ticket. I have a 4 and 6 year old and "about" 2 hours a night to myself and no idea how to lay glass, etc... looking for a project boat to cut my teeth on/screw up first ;)
you are lucky for that 2 hours a night. I get home from work, workout, cook dinner, while my wife picks up the 4 year old from daycare. After that bed time comes quickly. Only way to get a day of fishing is to take a day off of work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
you are lucky for that 2 hours a night. I get home from work, workout, cook dinner, while my wife picks up the 4 year old from daycare. After that bed time comes quickly. Only way to get a day of fishing is to take a day off of work.
It costs me some sleep to have those two hours, but not much; with the previous job, that would not be possible. Luckily, I work a mile from home :) Speaking of four year olds, I just got mine out of the wife's car for after-school daycare shenanigans. Again, luckily, afterschool is next to work and home so that's nice during the lunch hour.
 

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CoffeeRun, if you look at my avatar you will see my 14er (14x4)

she will be 32yo this spring

when she was spec'd folding tongues were not a thing and since my shop was only 24' deep i still needed to angle the trailer to have walking room around it w/ the motor kicked up in travel mode

since i got her i have had considerable contact with folks who went 16' because of the real life differences

by the time a 14er is outfitted we have found it takes less HP to get a 16er up on plane than a 14er given the same design and similar load outs

as mentioned above simply canting the trailer into the garage along with a folding tongue will resolve most storage concerns

the amount of time to build a 16er over a 14er is virtually the same and the little bit of extra coin to fund the 16er will long be forgotten in the life of the boat

16ers float in less water and will hop up easier given the same load out

LABOR when doing a build like this is your major investment and the difference will be negligible

IF my hull deteriorated to a point where i needed to replace it i wouldn't hesitate to go the extra 2 feet on her replacement

just an old fat man's 2¢ worth this morning

leon
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
CoffeeRun, if you look at my avatar you will see my 14er (14x4)

she will be 32yo this spring

when she was spec'd folding tongues were not a thing and since my shop was only 24' deep i still needed to angle the trailer to have walking room around it w/ the motor kicked up in travel mode

since i got her i have had considerable contact with folks who went 16' because of the real life differences

by the time a 14er is outfitted we have found it takes less HP to get a 16er up on plane than a 14er given the same design and similar load outs

as mentioned above simply canting the trailer into the garage along with a folding tongue will resolve most storage concerns

the amount of time to build a 16er over a 14er is virtually the same and the little bit of extra coin to fund the 16er will long be forgotten in the life of the boat

16ers float in less water and will hop up easier given the same load out

LABOR when doing a build like this is your major investment and the difference will be negligible

IF my hull deteriorated to a point where i needed to replace it i wouldn't hesitate to go the extra 2 feet on her replacement

just an old fat man's 2¢ worth this morning

leon
Thanks Leon. Great looking boat and good recommendations, thank you. The more I read and learn from you all, the more I realize that a true flats skiff is likely not the answer for the majority of fishing I'll be doing and running through chop, taking the kiddos out to a sandbar, etc., in the Wilmington, NC area. The boat will spend the majority of its time in the ICW, tidal creeks, Cape Fear and Brunswick rivers, and on a glass day out to a jetty or two. No mangroves, here! I've realized that I need more deadrise akin to the styling of your boat and @Chris Morejohn pics above.

Chris -- do you have plans for something like your latest skiff build in BC? I'm pretty utilitarian at this point - fish, haul the fam, incorporate front casting deck with trolling motor, minimize/eliminate hatches, electronics, etc.
 

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The more I read and learn from you all, the more I realize that a true flats skiff is likely not the answer for the majority of fishing I'll be doing and running through chop, taking the kiddos out to a sandbar, etc., in the Wilmington, NC area. The boat will spend the majority of its time in the ICW, tidal creeks, Cape Fear and Brunswick rivers, and on a glass day out to a jetty or two. No mangroves, here! I've realized that I need more deadrise akin to the styling of your boat and @Chris Morejohn pics above.

There used to be be old some core sounders around Harkers Island that fit the bill. I stumbled across this option out of Morehead for a 16' skiff. $200 for plans and patterns, and $3,000 for plywood kit.

 

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Thanks Leon. Great looking boat and good recommendations, thank you. The more I read and learn from you all, the more I realize that a true flats skiff is likely not the answer for the majority of fishing I'll be doing and running through chop, taking the kiddos out to a sandbar, etc., in the Wilmington, NC area. The boat will spend the majority of its time in the ICW, tidal creeks, Cape Fear and Brunswick rivers, and on a glass day out to a jetty or two. No mangroves, here! I've realized that I need more deadrise akin to the styling of your boat and @Chris Morejohn pics above.

Chris -- do you have plans for something like your latest skiff build in BC? I'm pretty utilitarian at this point - fish, haul the fam, incorporate front casting deck with trolling motor, minimize/eliminate hatches, electronics, etc.
Thanks Leon. Great looking boat and good recommendations, thank you. The more I read and learn from you all, the more I realize that a true flats skiff is likely not the answer for the majority of fishing I'll be doing and running through chop, taking the kiddos out to a sandbar, etc., in the Wilmington, NC area. The boat will spend the majority of its time in the ICW, tidal creeks, Cape Fear and Brunswick rivers, and on a glass day out to a jetty or two. No mangroves, here! I've realized that I need more deadrise akin to the styling of your boat and @Chris Morejohn pics above.

Chris -- do you have plans for something like your latest skiff build in BC? I'm pretty utilitarian at this point - fish, haul the fam, incorporate front casting deck with trolling motor, minimize/eliminate hatches, electronics, etc.
The plans come with 4 different interior layouts from flat skiff to my simple interior skiff. Or I can just draw up an interior to suit.
 
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