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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings All,

Recent member here, been lurking for a while. As you know, this forum is a great resource for dipping into the knowledge / experience of members here and I'm afraid I'd like to pose a question that no doubt, has been asked many times here before. I've read thru some similar threads, but looking for some guidance for my situation.

What is the right flats boat for me? So I thought I'd describe my requirements. I don't have a specific budget in mind, probably less than $20k, due to already being an owner of a 22' deep vee boat, that checks many boxes for us for family boating, island exploring and some inshore and nearshore fishing, but am looking for something smaller to more easily fish the smaller inshore waters around us.

I'd be looking for the highest quality hull my budget would allow, maybe 17-18ft, assuming 10+ years old. Ideally I'm thinking of something structurally and mechanically sound, that I could put in the water on short notice when life and weather cooperate. Not so much worried about cosmetics, as I'd like it to be an easy in, easy out, easy clean up for when windows of time open up for some time on the water. It would be run in the intracoastal waterway where larger vessels abound, when headed to fishing spots, so it would need to be sea worthy enough for potentially choppy waters before reaching the smaller creeks and rivers I'd like to explore (ever hear that before?). It would not be used as a technical poling skiff requiring a super skinny draft. Honestly, there's a chance I'd be removing the poling platform all together. It would be used regularly in shallow water, but usually no shallower than 2 feet. Some might suggest a 19-20ft bay boat, but it would only be used with 2 people fishing, and am looking for something that 1 person can easily manage in tight, somewhat shallow spots. There's also a chance I might add a trolling motor and/or power pole. I would like it stable enough fish the gunnels, without being super tippy. I realize having a requirement of handling some inshore chop contradicts my stability request a bit --- everything is a compromise, of course. 2 livewells would be nice, but 1 would suffice.

So after all that, I'd like to get your thoughts. Not necessarily looking for specific leads today, really just advice on what hulls to consider, others maybe to avoid, etc. Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer.
 

· Lowcountry Degen
2021 Conchfish 17.8
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2,171 Posts
Keeping it under 20k, I would consider a late 90's Hewes Redfisher (lappy hull) with newer power (4 stroke 115 would be good for the 18 footer). Maverick Mirage too, but you may want something larger. Key West Stealth and Action Craft are other options, although the Hewes is all I really have experience with. Maverick Master Angler is very similar to the old Hewes as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks all for your responses. Appreciate any feedback on what hulls would suite my needs. I am certainly not a flats boat expert in regards to strengths and weaknesses of certain hulls/manufacturers. Did fail to mention my location. I’m in Savannah, GA. Goal is to get into the spots I can’t reach with my current rig, targeting the usual Lowcountry game - Reds, Black Drum, Trout, Flounder, Sheepshead, etc.
 

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1,568 Posts
but once you start your going to want a poling platform. then your not going to want your other boat anyway:)
 

· Ankona Sales Rep
2021 Ankona Advent
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3,028 Posts
PM sent.....

P.S. - I love your city.....and based on that and your needs that you specified, I'd lean hard on either a Salt Marsh 1656 (Kevlar hull for the low country and oysters) or the Ankona Native SUV 17 (true 5" draft and a huge platform to fish from).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So I've been continuing to research potential hulls and find myself drawn to Maverick. I've found some old threads but have not been fully able to pull together the lineage over the last 20-30 years. Can someone help map out the history of the Maverick hulls from the Mirage, Mirage II, Master Angler, HPX (are there 2 generations?), etc., and their strengths and weaknesses? Below is the closest thing I could find that kinda maps things out but not sure where the revered Master Anglers fit in. Thanks!


The Berg boat was the original and turned into the Deluxe which then evolved into the Master Angler. (No longer being made.)

The Mirage was produced from '92-'96
The Mirage II was produced from '97-'00
The HP '98-'00
The HPX '01-'15

The 15 HPX was made from 2004-2012ish
The HPX Tunnel started in the 2001 and is still being built.
The HPX 18 started in 2004ish and is still being built.
The HPX Micro was built from about 2009 to 2013.
The HPX-S is the newest model first built in 2014.
 
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