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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in the process of planning a build. I had been leaning towards a bateau lm18, but now I am all but set on a Conchfish, (or other Chris Morejohn design) build.

These are probably better questions for Chris, however before I start bothering him I figured I would get some insight here first.

Things I want:

-Something closer to 18' so its either the Conchfish 17.5 or one of his other plans.
-I want to be able to fish 2 people pretty much every time, 3 people comfortably, and maybe 4 on a rare occasion.
-I want to be able to do this with some speed as well. I really want a 70hp yamaha 4 stroke.
-I want to be able to run across a bay in up to 2' chop and not get soaking wet.
I don't plan on doing this regularly, however if we drive 4-12 hours to a destination to fish, I dont want reasonable wind to completely keep us off the water. I don't want to be stuck if a storm picks up when I'm halfway between flamingo and islamorada.

Most of the conchfish builds I have seen have been 16' and 20-30 hp. Is the conchfish 17.5 rated for a 70 if built to spec?

Right now I am in a gheenoe lt25. Its a great little boat, has served us well, and will continue to do so, however we want a bigger boat. I want to be able to run across a bay in up to 2' chop and not get soaking wet. I am not looking for a bay boat. I still want a poling skiff. In fact poling ability is a very important part of this boat for me. I wanted a tiller, however my wife is not a fan. So I will be building as low a profile side console as I can. Open cockpit.

Having said all of this, is it possible to get all of these things and still be able to run on plane in less than 1' of water? I saw first hand all of the prop scars in florida bay and I do not want to be a contributor of that. Being able to hop on plane from a "pothole" is another ability I want.

Am I looking for a unicorn or is this a boat that I can build?
 

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Brandon, FL
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I want to be able to run across a bay in up to 2' chop
In a flat bottom skiff...that is funny.

run on plane in less than 1' of water? I saw first hand all of the prop scars in florida bay and I do not want to be a contributor of that.

Prop wash will damage grass at that depth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
In a flat bottom skiff...that is funny.

run on plane in less than 1' of water? I saw first hand all of the prop scars in florida bay and I do not want to be a contributor of that.

Prop wash will damage grass at that depth.
Learn me, I'll admit ignorance. What's the minimum depth needed to run without causing damage to grass? I'm not trying to do anything that's not right. This is all still very new to me.
 

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Lowcountry Degen
2021 Conchfish 17.8
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Sounds like you will want something larger than the Conchfish 17.5 (or at least something with a little deadrise). His new Beryllium plans look pretty good, or maybe the Lithium. I've driven the Lithium with a tiller 50 and it's an absolute riot.

Also, a 2' chop probably isn't what you think it is, but I think we know what you mean. Where in SC do you typically fish?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Maybe I should reword some things. When I say run across a bay in 2' of chop I don't mean scream across @ wot. I mean more be able to make it back at a speed faster than idle and dryer than in my Gheenoe. Is that wishful thinking?

Also I think the less than 1' of water is a bit much. I just saw a bunch of boats running across some of the flats down there and didn't seem to be leaving prop scars. Maybe the water was deeper than I thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sounds like you will want something larger than the Conchfish 17.5 (or at least something with a little deadrise). His new Beryllium plans look pretty good, or maybe the Lithium. I've driven the Lithium with a tiller 50 and it's an absolute riot.

Also, a 2' chop probably isn't what you think it is, but I think we know what you mean. Where in SC do you typically fish?
Charleston to Hilton Head. Anywhere in between. I'm still in the process of putting time in and learning the water on the SC coast. Have yet to even see a redfish down there while on the boat.

My wife and I plan on doing trips to maybe TX and Louisiana and the SC, GA and of course Florida coasts. Eventually want to move somewhere between Charleston and Jax.

Yeah I think 2' is a bit exaggerated from what's in my head. I understand this is still a skiff and I have no expectations of it being anything more than that. We ran into a guy on a Chittum Islamorada 18 and both agreed that size boat is what we want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I second the Beryllium!
I have read all I can find on Chris's website, but havent quite found what Im looking for as far as hp ratings and stuff for different models. I know he is a busy man so I have been patiently waiting for him to post updates on all the other plans. It looks awesome from the few design pics he has on there. Is there anything else on the market that it compares to from a design and size standpoint? (just for comparative reference).

I am not stuck on having a 70hp by any means but i also would like to be able to cruise in the 30-35mph range and maybe touch 40 wot. I don't know what combination of hull and motor I need to do that. I don't know if that's even a reasonable speed to want.

Top priority is poling ability. I want it to sit level in the water and track well. The reason I am thinking maybe higher hp is because I tend to have long runs and do alot of exploring. Our last trip to the chickee was extremely slow due to all the camping gear, and it really wasn't that much weight. I couldn't get past 14mph. We made it, however I couldn't help but think about what the right tool for the job would be. Plus the 70 doesn't weigh much more than a 40.
 

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Brandon, FL
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Learn me, I'll admit ignorance. What's the minimum depth needed to run without causing damage to grass? I'm not trying to do anything that's not right. This is all still very new to me.
Measure from yhe bottom of the hull to bottom of the skeg. Lets say 10 inches and that is not counting any draft of the hull.

You are 2 inches above the sand and easily in the grass. Then the violent water being spun off the prop will be beating up the ground.

Now add in the draft.
 
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Measure from yhe bottom of the hull to bottom of the skeg. Lets say 10 inches and that is not counting any draft of the hull.

You are 2 inches above the sand and easily in the grass. Then the violent water being spun off the prop will be beating up the ground.

Now add in the draft.
Ok, now add a tunnel “custom build”, low water pickup, stainless prop with lots of cup, and a Bob’s jackplate! And learn how to drive the rig!;)
 

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from what I'm reading, wanting to fish 3 to 4 people you want a flats boat not a poling skiff (although people do pole flats boats), like an 18 ft Maverick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
from what I'm reading, wanting to fish 3 to 4 people you want a flats boat not a poling skiff (although people do pole flats boats), like an 18 ft Maverick.
3-4 people will be more of the exception rather than the rule. I would say probably 90% of the time it will be my wife and I, however if I wanted to bring another it would be nice to have the room, and also the hp to make that happen.

Edited to add*
I want to still be able to poll areas in florida bay like snake bight for example. If I cant do that, then I'd rather sacrifice the extra person capacity than the poling ability.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Asking for a lot out of a boat.
That sort of what I'm afraid of. I know I have thrown out alot of "requirements" but these are just things we have talked about would be nice. They are not actually requirements, and in all reality just about any poling skiff is going to perform and do things better than our gheenoe. I am just trying to figure out the best direction to go in for this build.

I guess what i should be asking is what are the capabilities of the Conchfish 17.5. What are the hp recommendations? I'm not sure if anyone has build a Beryllium yet, but also what are the specs and capabilities of that boat? I sent Chris an email so hopefully that will give me the info I need on which of his plans meet my needs best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Or, run a jet like me for the shallow stuff!:)
I don't even want to open up the whole poling a tunnel hull can of worms. Jets have always interested me, however I have never run one nor have I even been on a boat with one. When do we get to see an xcaliber update? I have been drooling over that thing for a while.
Great looking design. Look forward to updates.
 

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Brandon, FL
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I don't even want to open up the whole poling a tunnel hull can of worms. Jets have always interested me, however I have never run one nor have I even been on a boat with one. When do we get to see an xcaliber update? I have been drooling over that thing for a while.
Great looking design. Look forward to updates.
Keep busting his balls. He just ignores me now ;)
 
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