FULL Ankona Copperhead Gen 2 Review

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Str8-Six, Oct 23, 2016.

  1. Str8-Six

    Str8-Six I Love microskiff.com!

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    Review of Ankona Copperhead Gen 2(2016)
    By, Str8-Six

    I put my down payment on my Copperhead back in August of last year and picked it up February. I've fished it more than 20 times since then and only now feel like I can give it the honest review it deserves. I did over a year of research before deciding on the Copperhead and was unable to find a detailed review at the time. I will try to be as detailed as possible with my review and include everything I couldn't find online when I was making my decision.
    Disclosure: I am not affiliated with nor have I ever been affiliated with Ankona Boats. I am not affiliated with any company. I have not been compensated for this review. This review is my opinion and may differ from yours.

    I will break down the review into different categories and rank from 1-10(10 being the best). Customer Service, Build Quality, Performance, Draft, Stability, Noise, Poling, Accessories, Price and Trailer(float on),

    Customer Service:
    The Ankona employees I worked with are great people! They really seem to care for there customers. I had some trouble getting replies to my emails but then again I did send a lot of emails. I would say the best thing to do is just call them up to get the answers you need. I did have an issue when I picked up my boat on a Friday. Ankona checked the boat like an hour before I was coming and of course the engine wouldn't start. I wish they would have done that at least 24 hours before as I had to wait 2 hours for them to fix the problem. I planned everything to pick it up and go as I had to request to get off work earlier since I live in Jacksonville. They did there best to fix the problem as quick as possible and I was able to pick it up that day. They gave me a free stick it anchor for the inconvenience which made up for it :). I then noticed that the rod holder was installed a hair to high and I could not fit regular rods on that particular rod holder. Called Ankona and they sent me gel coat via UPS to fill the holes the next day. They did a great job of working with me to build the boat exactly the way I wanted, which is probably most important. Overall I am pretty satisfied with the service I received for the price I paid.
    9/10

    Build Quality:
    Fit and finish is ok. The boat looks great in and out of the water but there are some inconsistencies. The back hatches on my boat touch each other when they are opened and closed. Off by about 1 cm but enough to notice and make noise when closing(very annoying). I'm sure I could have let Ankona know and they could have fixed it but it is to much of a hassle to drive down there for that. The non-skid is great but there are some blotches of gel coat if you get close enough to the hull(doesn't bother me). The rod holders were installed a smudge to high but that is an easy fix. Micro power pole attached to poling platform and the pipe work is great! Overall pretty good for the price but not as good as other categories.
    8/10

    Performance:
    Wow!! This boat completely surprised me when it comes to performance. I have a 3 blade prop and this thing jumps on plane like nothing. I've had 3 people(including me), full live well and gear and it is still quick to jump up. This is a very trim sensitive boat and takes a little time to learn how to get the most out of her. Trimmed just right you should top out at around 37 mph. The sponsons create built in trim tabs and for that reason I don't think trim tabs are necessary at all. I have no jack plate and don't need one. IMHO, I think this boat takes chop really well for it's size. It will be a little wet if there is a side wind but that is going to happen in any skiff that is this close to the water. I've cut through small white caps... almost like butter. Money being considered I would rank this a 12/10 if I could!
    10/10

    Draft:
    Yes, she floats skinny. From my measurements with two anglers and gear it is around 6" to 7" give or take an inch depending on load. I measured in murky water and muddy/uneven bottom so understand it's not going to be the best measurement. 6" to 7" is about when the poling streaks start hitting bottom, which are about in inch long. She goes every where I want to go an I have not been stuck where I have to get out and push. And we have 5-6' tides up here.
    9/10

    Stability:
    No, it is not as stable as 22' bay boat. Shave 6' off that length and about 4' off the beam and you have the copperheads specifications of 16'4" and 70" beam. From the boats I tested in its class, the Copperhead was most stable. You can walk the gunnels while fighting fish.. with a little practice. This was the deciding factor that led me to the Copperhead. I have not fell in the water yet, and I am a very clumsy guy. For the little room you have on this boat I feel like it is as stable as you can get! If you are looking for a stable micro skiff, the CH is it.
    10/10

    Noise:
    Pretty much no hull slap! Don't notice any noise while poling but then again I am not listening for a pin drop while poling, I am focused on finding fish. Reds in Jacksonville aren't to prone to get spooked like a bonefish in the keys. For my scenario I will give it a 10.
    10/10

    Poling:
    Wow again! If you are going to spend most of your time poling and worried about getting exhausted.. have no worries this boat poles as easy as they come. Turns and tracks amazing! Poling strakes really do a amazing job. Right up there with performance and stability. I've poled for almost a mile in one day without being tired at all. I would definitely recommend a 20' plus push pole for muddy bottoms.
    10/10

    Accessories:
    Ankona gives customers a lot of options for building their own custom skiff. I ordered the tournament edition with center console with jump seat. I also got a live well in the jump seat. The pump pushes enough water to keep fish alive in the live well for tournaments. Only one pump for two live wells and has a two way valve to switch between both. The nav lights are conveniently located on the center console. The switches are pretty good quality. No gas gage :(. The rod holders are okay but I might upgrade later. Wiring is actually not to bad and somewhat neat. Metal cleats and lockable hatches are nice. Pipe work was great and I like the addition of the power pole to the poling platform. Micro works great for this boat!
    Gunnel lights look great heading out before dawn and they are reasonable in price. Fuse box with battery trays for 24 group batteries. Good options with great prices!
    9/10

    Price:
    Best bang for buck! I don't know of a better NEW skiff for the money that is going to have the same performance on power and the platform. New skiff with 60hp and trailer under 20k, and 10 year warranty... not bad at all. Accessories and add ons are fair as well. I think the best bang for buck is simple lodge edition with center console and jump seat with live well. Tournament is great as well! If I had the choice again, I would definitely fork over the cash.. just probably do it a little sooner.
    10/10


    Trailer(float on):
    No one ever talks about the trailer it seems like. It's an important component of your boat that without it, your boat is useless. I think most boat enthusiasts know Float-on builds good quality trailers. I would agree but there are a couple things I would change to make it a better trailer for the Copperhead. Bottom bunks are perfect, but side bunks are to close to one side or the other. Makes it really hard to clean the boat while on the trailer(not that big of a deal). The winch and front eye on Copperhead is to high. At steep boat ramps or low tide makes it very difficult to launch and load. Also, the spare tire is way to close to the hull. Make sure you ask for a custom bracket that is angled away from boat. I called Float-on and they were able to send one to me free of charge(good customer service). If these changes were made the trailer would be perfect! Now, the launching and loading can be a little inconvenient, especially if you have a trolling motor that sticks out on the front. I won't include this in the overall review score since Ankona is not the manufacturer.
    7/10

    Review Summary:

    Customer Service: 9/10
    Build Quality: 8/10
    Performance: 10/10
    Draft: 9/10
    Stability: 10/10
    Noise: 10/10
    Poling: 10/10
    Accessories: 9/10
    Price: 10/10
    Total average score out of 10: 9.4

    Trailer(float on): 7/10

    All in all, I hope this review helps people that were in my position when deciding on a skiff.

    Thanks,

    Str8-Six
     
  2. jlindsley

    jlindsley Well-Known Member

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    They just switched the tanks so they have fuel gauges. (My Sm 1656 is the same as yours- i marked off a wooden stick.
    Fortunately it burns very little
    Fuel so not a big deal)
    Thought it was odd I didn't get a battery when I picked up my boat as well. All in all I love my skiff as well.

    Great review!
     

  3. Backwater

    Backwater Fly Fishing Shaman

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    What are you comparing the boat to?
     
  4. Str8-Six

    Str8-Six I Love microskiff.com!

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    No particular boat. Stability, I was comparing it to a Glide and BT micro.
     
  5. POCtied

    POCtied Well-Known Member

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    nice review, throw up some pictures of the rig, I'm currently looking at a CH for the Texas coast
     
  6. Str8-Six

    Str8-Six I Love microskiff.com!

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    More to come! Upgraded my phone and all my pictures are on my computer.
     
  7. LowHydrogen

    LowHydrogen Fly-By-Night

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    Nice review. 37mph is awesome, what size and pitch prop are you running? How is the fuel burn?
     
  8. Str8-Six

    Str8-Six I Love microskiff.com!

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    I have to verify but I think it's powertech 11.75" 3 blade, 17 pitch. Gets on plane quick. Good fuel efficiency, I only fill up every ten trips or so.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2017
    LowHydrogen likes this.
  9. forTX

    forTX Well-Known Member

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    Your skiff looks great! It's good to see a Copperhead with a Suzuki on it, I'm picking up my build next week and I'm leaning towards the Suzuki over the ETEC. Great review.
     
    Backwater likes this.
  10. Backwater

    Backwater Fly Fishing Shaman

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    IMO, the Zuke is a better motor.
     
    forTX likes this.
  11. texasag07

    texasag07 I Love microskiff.com!

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    I have a gen 1 copperhead and have for two years. I will say this is a pretty accurate review of the boat. And I have had the pleasure on fishing on a lot of other boats.

    With a 60 etec I'm getting similar speeds. I get around 6-7 mpg depending how heavy I'm loaded.

    Overall it's a great boat for the price. It poles well, but gets a little wet in chop.
     
  12. fastrack1

    fastrack1 Just passing through.....

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    I also love my copperhead. Is the first skiff i've owned so maybe take it with a grain of salt but the price point allows me to own another larger center console as well for the family or those offshore trips.

    I get compliments everywhere I go. The $60k skiffs guys might turn their noses but the CH gets the job done. Mine has a 70 Yami on it and I've had it up to 41 on the gps. Usually tops at 39.
     
  13. Intrepid

    Intrepid Member

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    I just wanted to thank you for your review. I ended up purchasing a used CH. I wanted to see if you could answer 3 questions please.
    1. What type and brand of mounting bracket did you use for your GPS.
    2. Where did you mount the transducer? Thru-hull?
    3. Could you please send a picture of the GPS bracket mounted on your console and a picture of where you mount your transducer?

    Thank you.
     
  14. Str8-Six

    Str8-Six I Love microskiff.com!

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    IMG_0054.JPG IMG_0053.JPG IMG_0052.JPG
    I have a CC, not sure if you do. There is not much room for GPS so I used a RAM mount for my Lowrance 5ti. I drilled a hole just big enough for transducer plug and ran cable through first before installing mounting bracket to cover most of the hole. Here are some pics..

    Ankona recommended to mount the transducer in front of the engine right next to the scupper hole on the port side. I didn't do it there because my Suzuki dealer didn't recommend it. I mounted it on the starboard side. Watch out for the bunks on the float-on trailer if you mount it there. Included pic of that too. I showed how I ran the wire too. I lose depth reading at like 19-20 mph. IMG_0055.JPG
     
  15. Intrepid

    Intrepid Member

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    That's perfect. Thank you for getting back so quickly with the pictures and suggestions.
     
  16. Str8-Six

    Str8-Six I Love microskiff.com!

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    Did you end up getting the Zuke 60 on your CH? I think I saw your build on Ankona FB page.. looks great! If you got the Zuke let me know what size prop/pitch you got. I am interested in performance numbers.
     
  17. Str8-Six

    Str8-Six I Love microskiff.com!

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    Long term update. Boat still looks new and in good shape besides some oyster rash and usual abuse. Went out today in some heavy wind in around 1-2’chop. It was so bad I had to head back in since I couldn’t escape the wind to fly fish. The boat performed very well under power in following sea trimmed up and also very well against sea. Did get wet while running with side wind, not sure if spray rails would have helped since it was pretty heavy wind. I believe Ankona installed the motor a little too low but that’s an easy fix, plan on highering it soon. When I previously measured draft it was muddy bottom so it was inaccurate. I would say draft is at least 8” or so. My resting draft is 8” with trolly and battery up front but the boat does squat a bit while resting. Which is fine since the stability makes up for it. I’ve been able to creep up to reds with backs out of the water, which is skinny enough for me. Customer service at Ankona is phenomenal and Erin has been more than helpful almost two years after sale. Overall still very happy and my next skiff will probably be another Ankona/SM. I updated the mentioned categories below.

    Customer Service: 10/10
    Build Quality: 9/10
    Performance: 10/10
    Draft: 7/10
    Stability: 10/10
    Noise: 10/10
    Poling: 10/10
    Accessories: 9/10
    Price: 10/10
    Total average score out of 10: 9.4
     
  18. Hardluk81

    Hardluk81 Well-Known Member

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    Nice rig! You are a brave soul for heading out with the long rod. Pretty sure you would’ve got wet in anything today.FWIW ram mount makes a puck with a hole in the side that goes under that ball mount. It would save you from having to drill that hole on the outside of the base for the wires. I know it’s too late now but for anyone reading this.
     
    Str8-Six likes this.