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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am almost ready to pull the trigger and need a little insight. First, let me air some laundry so you know a bot more from my perspective.
I am a DFW area transplant from coastal Texas. I have built a life here with my wife and two kids, one who is a senior at A&M and the other in middle school. I am a teacher who spends my free time fishing and hunting. I am pretty hardcore in regards to both. I take an international trip every 5 years and go to the roughest ends of the earth to fish. It works out well because I hire locals to not subsistence fish and take me with them instead. My wife works for an airline, so travel is not a big expense. Tackle, visas and food are the lion's share. Each trip is an absolute adventure and usually I sleep under the stars, eat with locals around open fires and cast to fish which have never seen a lure. These are some of my best memories aside from those built with my family
Being a teacher, I am very conservative with my funds. I have paid off my home, drive my trucks 10+ years, only eat meat I hunt and have owned my current boat for 17 years. It is a 18' aluminum tunnel hull that floats in 5" of water. I don't carry debt and pride myself with that. The only debt I have is my truck. My biggest payment is my son's college and we planned for it. He is a brilliant kid and the best son anyone could ask for. He earned a scholarship and we pay the deficit. He also works as an EMT to help.
I have kept my boat in good shape and it has served me well, but it is time to get a bad ass rig that I am proud of and will serve me well as I get older. I also fish a lot. I plan to own it for 12 years and sell it once I retire to buy one more for my sunset years. I fish my current rig along the Texas coast and lakes and have been trailering to fish Florida in the summer since a couple of buddies have moved there. I love Florida boats. Minimalist boats in terms of size, but with caps and more storage than Texas rigs which are bigger without caps and minimal storage.
I have just came back from Florida to test East Cape's Vantage and this is what I believe would serve me best from what I have seen so far. Build quality is great, the guys (Josh and Kevin if you have met them) there are genuine and I feel like I am supporting a smaller business for people who are doing for their families like I am. This goes a long way with me.
I also have a friend in San Antonio who has a neighbor who bought a boat winter of 21' and he has not been fishing it. He knew I was looking and asked him if he was interested in selling it. He said he would consider it if someone paid it off or took over payments. Apparently, he had high aspirations when he retired, but has not fished it since breaking it in. I guess his eyes were bigger than his drive and they have become grandparents now. The boat is a BT Vengeance with a 90hp (12 hrs), trolling motor, Simrad unit, 24V lithium battery for TM, charger for batteries,12V lithium for cranking battery and is generally loaded with other small options. Pay off is 49K, which I could pay without taking on any debt. Used boat loans would suck in terms of interest rates anyway.
So, the choice is putting the money down on a EC and having to finance the rest or buying the BTV. I have never tested the BTV and don't really know if I would regret it knowing I could have gone with the EC. The BTV is parked off site and I will have to go look at it with testing it.
This has also made things tense with my wife with a slowing economy. Buying power is less with inflation, she does not feel as comfortable with the purchase as I do and feels better with the money in the bank. She thinks we should wait one more year and let the people who have debt start to liquidate assets. Liquidating assets is not an option for us. We are conservative people who are comfortable because we live within or below our means. It also means I will not be traveling to fish halfway across the planet the next summer (last trip was 4 years ago and next year would be normally be a trip) or probably the next 5 years. Still, a new boat means more. This is a big deal for us. What would you do?
1. BTV?
2. ECV?
3. Wait and pounce?
 

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1998 AC 1890 / 2022 Gheenoe Classic
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Find out what you want....many owners are happy to let you ride while they show off your skiff.

Once you have figured out what you want....#3.

Definitely.
 

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Nothing bad or wrong with a Vengeance, but test it out and see if it is what you want. I have a Vengeance and am happy with it, but use it in a totally different area and likely fish it differently than you will. BT is also a smaller company with good owners. Hopefully someone closer to your area can provide some feedback. Good luck with your decision, my opinion is you are not making a mistake with either choice.
 

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2007 Gordon Waterman , plus beat up J16 and unfinished Gheenoe project sitting in the "boneyard"
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I don't know enough about either of those boats to offer an informed opinion on them, however I would be of the mind to pull the trigger on something. Late in 2019 I was making plans to skiff shop in the spring of 2020. I was in an accident on the highway that totaled my boat so it moved up my timetable and I bought a new to me skiff in December of 19. March of 2020 Covid hit, the world got turned upside down and I took about a 30% hit to my income. I cut corners here and there, was careful and was able to weather it, and swing the boat note etc... however I'm grateful I bought my skiff when I did because if I had waited, and business had turned south as it did, I wouldn't have pulled the trigger and would have missed an unbeatable deal on the skiff of my dreams.

2 more things.

1. If you're in Dallas, you should consider fishing SW Louisiana around Lake Charles, probably a similar drive as the Texas coast.
2. Please tell us more about your "ends of the Earth" adventure trips... where, how, what did you catch. I am absolutely fascinated by that kind of fishing travel and hope to do some one day.
 

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I think in your situation I'd go with the vantage, but just wait and buy one used. It's hard to imagine things are not going to cool off and there will be a flood of boats on the market at some point in the next 1-2 years.
 

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Well, I understand your desire! The BTV would be a fine boat for the years you want to use them. However with your budget you could also swing that HB Pro that is currently advertised. If you fish it hard for the next 12 years that boat will definitely retain its value. Not to mention performance wise it’s a nice rig for what you are looking at.
Dollars wise you will be ahead with the BTV and no note. Save your dollars for your retirement rig…
 

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I would wait, economically we will see harder times very soon.

As far as the Texas coast goes regarding an East Cape, I think the Evo X is a better choice.

Had a bay boat and Hells Bay pro I fished the coast on. Currently have a Chittum LMII. I am also in DFW, might be worth a cup of Coffee and conversation sometime.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't know enough about either of those boats to offer an informed opinion on them, however I would be of the mind to pull the trigger on something. Late in 2019 I was making plans to skiff shop in the spring of 2020. I was in an accident on the highway that totaled my boat so it moved up my timetable and I bought a new to me skiff in December of 19. March of 2020 Covid hit, the world got turned upside down and I took about a 30% hit to my income. I cut corners here and there, was careful and was able to weather it, and swing the boat note etc... however I'm grateful I bought my skiff when I did because if I had waited, and business had turned south as it did, I wouldn't have pulled the trigger and would have missed an unbeatable deal on the skiff of my dreams.

2 more things.

1. If you're in Dallas, you should consider fishing SW Louisiana around Lake Charles, probably a similar drive as the Texas coast.
2. Please tell us more about your "ends of the Earth" adventure trips... where, how, what did you catch. I am absolutely fascinated by that kind of fishing travel and hope to do some one day.
I could have pulled the trigger in 19 and been in the same place I am now in regards to funds. I have been saving with purchased of index funds and they took a beating. The only reason I have the same amount of money is I've adding to it. It is pitiful.
I have fished Sabine Pass and the Lake Charles area. Good fishing, but the horizon is polluted with the site of refineries. The more I am outside humanity, the better I feel. That is what has brought me to fish The Glades. I love it there. Few if any other boats in the backcountry all day.
In regards to fishing ends of the earth, I started with Baja when I was a kid. I would drive the peninsula and fish my way down and back. That sort of kick started the deal for me. I camped a lot and fished solo from the beach or in pangas with locals. I hitch-hiked it the last time when I was 21. That was a great trip. Caught everything from yellowfin to surf perch.
In my late twenties I started fishing Central America, mainly in the Pacific side. I would fly into Panama City and start my way west and north following the Panamerican HWY. I caught everything from black marlin to roosterfish and everything in between. Biggest houndfish and cuberas in the world are down there.
Started fishing GTs in my 30s and was hooked. I fished Yemen just prior to the war with Saudi Arabia and would work with sheiks at local villages to gain access to their version of pangas. I could not speak Arabic or Somali, but they spoke fishing. I would help mend nets in the afternoon and roll boats up hills by using logs to get them away from the surf. Caught all sorts of bad ass fish.
Took my son to the Andamans for GTs there and holy shit was that place beautiful. We took motorcycles due to roads being non-existent and boats from island to island. Those flats were crazy full of fish. Small GTs, bluefin trevally, grouper, snapper, wrasse and even triggers would hit poppers. With boats, we fished beyond the reef for GTs. Huge GTs, wahoo and monster sailfish would try to eat poppers sometimes. We stayed at villagers houses and my son would play cricket with the kids as we enjoyed evenings.
There is really nothing like being places where people go to sleep when it gets dark because it is dark and wake because it is light. No alarms because you slept 10-12 hours and worked hard all day. People love each other because they work/live together and absolutely depend on each other. The fish taste better, the birds sing longer and louder and fish are not educated enough to be spooky.
New Guinea is next.
 

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I Love microskiff.com!
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I could have pulled the trigger in 19 and been in the same place I am now in regards to funds. I have been saving with purchased of index funds and they took a beating. The only reason I have the same amount of money is I've adding to it. It is pitiful.
I have fished Sabine Pass and the Lake Charles area. Good fishing, but the horizon is polluted with the site of refineries. The more I am outside humanity, the better I feel. That is what has brought me to fish The Glades. I love it there. Few if any other boats in the backcountry all day.
In regards to fishing ends of the earth, I started with Baja when I was a kid. I would drive the peninsula and fish my way down and back. That sort of kick started the deal for me. I camped a lot and fished solo from the beach or in pangas with locals. I hitch-hiked it the last time when I was 21. That was a great trip. Caught everything from yellowfin to surf perch.
In my late twenties I started fishing Central America, mainly in the Pacific side. I would fly into Panama City and start my way west and north following the Panamerican HWY. I caught everything from black marlin to roosterfish and everything in between. Biggest houndfish and cuberas in the world are down there.
Started fishing GTs in my 30s and was hooked. I fished Yemen just prior to the war with Saudi Arabia and would work with sheiks at local villages to gain access to their version of pangas. I could not speak Arabic or Somali, but they spoke fishing. I would help mend nets in the afternoon and roll boats up hills by using logs to get them away from the surf. Caught all sorts of bad ass fish.
Took my son to the Andamans for GTs there and holy shit was that place beautiful. We took motorcycles due to roads being non-existent and boats from island to island. Those flats were crazy full of fish. Small GTs, bluefin trevally, grouper, snapper, wrasse and even triggers would hit poppers. With boats, we fished beyond the reef for GTs. Huge GTs, wahoo and monster sailfish would try to eat poppers sometimes. We stayed at villagers houses and my son would play cricket with the kids as we enjoyed evenings.
There is really nothing like being places where people go to sleep when it gets dark because it is dark and wake because it is light. No alarms because you slept 10-12 hours and worked hard all day. People love each other because they work/live together and absolutely depend on each other. The fish taste better, the birds sing longer and louder and fish are not educated enough to be spooky.
New Guinea is next.
That sounds amazing. Thanks for sharing.
 

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I would listen to my wife. She has never given me bad info, gone along with boat purchases when the time were right and most of all been my partner for a very good/long time. If you need to float in 5” you need to put eyes on a boat doing that before buying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Oh, I don’t need to float in 5”. I’m in the TM all the time. My current boat does that, but honestly that is most important when I duck hunt out of it. I really want a more dead rise for comfort and crossing big water. I’m tired of getting my ass handed to me.
You Floridians get your shit together. A storm is headed your way. Honestly, I hope for the best, but you may need to expect the worst. The models look ugly for west Florida.
 

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2021 East Cape Vantage 2022 East Cape Bay 2012 East Cape Caimen. 2016 Towee Calusa pro
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I spent a lot of time discussing your needs. At the top of the list was ride quality.

The Vantage is a 12* deadrise, as you know. The BT Vengeance is a 3* deadrise.

You would buy the Vantage without thinking if it was $49k. These boats are not comparable. If you don’t want to spend the money on a new Vantage then buy a used one. That is the boat you want.

Life is short. My dad informed me yesterday that he can’t fish with me anymore after I took him out last week. Some day it will be me and you saying the same. Get the boat you want, spend what you are comfortable spending, and do it sooner than later.

My 2 cents. You know how to get me if you need me

-Josh
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I spent a lot of time discussing your needs. At the top of the list was ride quality.

The Vantage is a 12* deadrise, as you know. The BT Vengeance is a 3* deadrise.

You would buy the Vantage without thinking if it was $49k. These boats are not comparable. If you don’t want to spend the money on a new Vantage then buy a used one. That is the boat you want.

Life is short. My dad informed me yesterday that he can’t fish with me anymore after I took him out last week. Some day it will be me and you saying the same. Get the boat you want, spend what you are comfortable spending, and do it sooner than later.

My 2 cents. You know how to get me if you need me

-Josh
No doubt, I would buy it if were 49K! I am sorry your father said he can't fish with you anymore. That is a tough thing to here. I hope it is a long time until I say it to my boy. You guys take care this week!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I would wait, economically we will see harder times very soon.

As far as the Texas coast goes regarding an East Cape, I think the Evo X is a better choice.

Had a bay boat and Hells Bay pro I fished the coast on. Currently have a Chittum LMII. I am also in DFW, might be worth a cup of Coffee and conversation sometime.
I am absolutely up to a cup of coffee. It is always nice to meet people who like fishing the coast and even the area lakes in a pinch. The new lake (Bois D' Arc) opening next year is going to be fun to explore. It is not very far from an area I hunt. I am shooting you my number.
 

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Some great advise here. As mentioned above a pro would be a great option for the Texas coast as well. And a great re sale value. Your in a good spot. Take your time and figure out how you plan on fishing. If being on the pole or skinny is your thing. The Vengeance may not be your best bet.
 

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Personally have an aversion to have to make payments for anything.
So I'd be looking at #3.

I'd keep the tin boat. Having a quality skiff and hunting with it... that's what tin boats are good at.

Doritos, Fly rods, Boats, hard to have just one.
 
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