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Hello all,

I narrowed my new used boat search down to these two different boats. Found both in same price range, HB a bit older. Love the Professional and where it can get but concerned about getting caught in rougher open waters during or crossing rough bay chop. The older model Pro is also a bit shorter/tighter in the cockpit. Gunwales are also narrower than new models. The 18 HPX is great for an extra fisherman and taking my wife and daughter for a ride but is it too much to pole when fishing the flats and how restricted will I be in Flamingo. I know every boat is a compromise just wondering what you all think about how they compare if you have fished both. The HPX 18 is more in line with the size of the Marquesa but those are out of my price range. Will be used mostly for Fly Fishing, Flamingo/back country, and Biscayne Bay.

Thanks
 

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Can’t say for where you are fishing but the hpx 18 is fine to poll all day at least for me. Draft with two normal sized guys and gear is going to be 10-11”

Another option you might look at is the maverick HPXv 17’ I know with an f -70 it drafts a couple inches less than the 18 which might be a good comprise since you would still have a skiff with some good deadrise.

Your the only one who will be able to make that decision I would suggest getting out on them in the area you want to fish.
 

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I run an 18’ Waterman out of Miami. While in Flamingo, I’m good to go! I have yet to be denied floating into skinny stuff out there. The Waterman floats as shallow as can be and handles most crossings (mostly west to east) without much trouble while staying dry. Range is great as well. The pro should perform similarly, as they’re basically the same (the older pros are anyways).

Now, in Biscayne Bay, I sometimes struggle during the crossing due to the Waterman’s dead rise. But, I can easily pole it all day, even in some good wind and current. Rarely do I need to be as shallow out there though. I just slow down and take my time crossing. I also try to judge the wind and plan my crossing appropriately, tacking into a head sea, etc. No biggy, but I sometimes wish I could pin it and do 40mph like the HPX’S I see out there.

Everything is a compromise, and my skiff leans a bit towards the park and backcountry. With that being said, I fish the bay all the time, so it doesn’t really stop me much if at all.
 

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Hpx for Biscayne Bay/Keys and pro for flamingo.

The hpx handles chop very well but like @texasag07 said it drafts around 11”. Decide how and where you fish 90% time and get on both skiffs to make a decision.
 

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Wouldn’t a bay boat be better if you wanted a 12” boat to handle chop? Why a skiff? A 10-12” skiff just seems a waste. I have a 22ft bay boat that floats in 13-14” with a 250 SHO. A skiff is a niche boat to me. I guess two boats is always better ;)
 

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Find a beaver tail vengeance for sale - right between the 2 - best overall compromise for what you want- I had 2 in miami and it allows you to fish all the areas well. poles better than the HPX and floats in 8”, runs way better in slop than the pro
 

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It was the Pro for me. I looked at both and just decided I would rather have the option to go skinnier when I wanted to, even if it meant I got a little wet once in a while in bigger water. Even with the Pro I have wished I could hang in an area on a falling tide when you’re in the middle of a bunch of fish a little longer, I can’t imagine how I would feel in a deeper draft boat. Most of my fishing is in Flamingo but have actually taken the Pro out the inlet and offshore before on a nice day. Both are excellent boats though just decide where you’ll use it more.
 

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I have a Fury...similar class boat as the Pro. No problems crossing open water. Hopefully you’re spending more time fishing than running. Obviously, the HPX 18 is going to ride better and feel safer. That being said, I don’t care what you’re in, if you’re crossing a bay in a skiff and it gets sporty, it’s not going to be fun. I’d go Pro unless you’re going to be making huge runs all the time and/or spend a significant amount of time with 3+ people on the boat. Hells Bay, Maverick, East Cape, Beavertail, Chittum...they’re all amazing. Don’t listen to the debates. Figure out the class of boat that fits you best.
 
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