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Should I sell my skiff and get a bay boat?

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I Love microskiff.com!
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I have a 23' Seacraft and a 18' tiller Tracker Grizzly. Seacraft is great for the family, plus the Mayport jetties and near offshore (30ish miles). I am on the list for an Ankona Native SUV 17 after doing a cast and blast (reds and marsh hens) last fall. As soon as my build time gets closer I will sell the TG. Bought both boats used close to your budget.
 

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I run an 18’HPX too, do lots of beach/nearshore fishing as well as inside. As you said it doesn’t do either with flying colors.
All my buddies run bay boats, and I’ve spent a good deal of time on them.
Here are what keep me in 18’:
1. If it’s too rough for 18’, it’s too rough for bay boats, they are a little more comfortable, but uncomfortable nonetheless.
2. Bay boats are soooo much louder in water on tm or hook. If you do any tarpon fishing in sloppy conditions you will be disappointed in a banging, slamming bay boat.
3. If I went with a bay boat I would have to buy a small cheap skiff as well, have no interest in maintaining, insuring and storing 2 boats.
4. I might rethink a bay boat in 2-3 years when the market is going to be flooded with low hour/usage Covid bay boats..

Just some things to consider.
#2 is the real deal breaker for me.
 

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Rex Kwan Do Dojo
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I run an 18’HPX too, do lots of beach/nearshore fishing as well as inside. As you said it doesn’t do either with flying colors.
All my buddies run bay boats, and I’ve spent a good deal of time on them.
Here are what keep me in 18’:
1. If it’s too rough for 18’, it’s too rough for bay boats, they are a little more comfortable, but uncomfortable nonetheless.
2. Bay boats are soooo much louder in water on tm or hook. If you do any tarpon fishing in sloppy conditions you will be disappointed in a banging, slamming bay boat.
3. If I went with a bay boat I would have to buy a small cheap skiff as well, have no interest in maintaining, insuring and storing 2 boats.
4. I might rethink a bay boat in 2-3 years when the market is going to be flooded with low hour/usage Covid bay boats..

Just some things to consider.
#2 is the real deal breaker for me.
So your 18HPX is basically the same as a Dorado or Sheaffer...just a lot quieter? Lol.
 

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Just for perspective...........
Sometimes the wife will surprise you. It’s a little-known fact that women will flip-flop on their standards, defying all logic. Don’t tell anybody that.
When I bought a pad-vee hulled bass boat years ago, the bride said she was no longer going to fish with me unless I promised not to “go fast” with her in the boat. I enjoyed having her fish with me (well....... most of the time anyway), and I vowed to keep it off the pad while she was aboard. So, the breakin protocol called for something like 20 hours with double oil. I ran it with extra oil for the prescribed time, and still had a few gallons of oil-rich gas in one of the tanks. I was trying to run that out so I could switch to the other tank of straight gasoline and change plugs. She was aboard, along with her quiver of rods, because she knew the boat don’t get wet without some lips get ripped.
So, we’re running up and dowh the south end of Lake Conroe at 3000 to 4000 rpm, varying speed like the book says to do. But never on the pad....... After a while this guy in a Skeeter comes up behind us. As he passes on our port side, he backs off the throttle. He’s looking hard at us. He firewalls the throttle and starts pulling ahead, then backs off and pulls up beside us again. Looking at us hard. Repeats the procedure several times. All the while, I dutifully ignore him, waiting for the long- overdue, “DON’T YOU DO IT!!!!!”. Finally she punches ne in the arm and shouts, “Are you going to let him get away with that?” I looked at her, and she started shouting, “GO GO GO”. So the Skeeter guy punched it again, the bride kept screaming “GO” and I pegged the throttle. Now, when that ols Stratos jumped up on the pad, it felt like someone hit the up button in an elevator. You could really feel it. It jumped up on the pad, loosened up and aired out real nice, and was coming up fast on that Skeeter. I was waiting for another shoulder punch, punctuated with a shrill “STOP!!”, but it never came, and I didn’t want to take my eyes off the water to look at her. Just as we were passing Skeeterdude, the rich tank ran dry and we fell off the pad. The boat had a manual tank switch in the splashwell, so the race was over. Much to my surprise, the bride was mad that we didn’t finish destroying Skeeterdude. But after that, she never had a problem with speed. She wouldn’t drive, but she always enjoyed the “Hair by Evinrude” experience after that.

Another time we were fishing a flat on the east side of the lake when we saw a pretty dark summer squall approaching. As it started across the lake I stowed the TM and idled out to deeper water as we donned rain gear. I told her it was going to get a little wild for a few minutes but not to worry. When it hit I was doing 3000 RPM with the bow trimmed as high as I could get it to keep the waves from breaking in the boat. The wind and waves, and quart-size raindrops, were crazy for a few minutes. Then it blew past, and peace & tranquility once again reigned. I expected a frightened rant from her, but she just laughed and told me it was fun. WOW!!! Last thing I expected to hear!

Given a chance, the wife just may find out she likes the boat you like. It’s worth a try.
 

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I had a 17 foot jon that I re worked to be quite a capable fishing boat and I absolutely loved it. That's gone and now I have a Robalo Cayman 206. The Robalo is much bigger but it doesn't stop me from taking it out when I get the slightest wild hair. But my wife lives this boat and could have lived without the jon.

It's funny... Going from an aluminum jon to a fiberglass bay boat, I don't notice any more hull slap than normal!

If I could have MY pick, I would get something like a 20-22 foot aluminum bay boat like an Xpress, and a small used knock around jon.
 

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2003 Hells Bay Waterman 2008 Seapro SV2100
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As long as the skiff is paid off then keep it. I was in the same dilemma with the wife wanting to be comfortable and I wanted something to chase tarpon off the beach in the summer. Was able to scoop up this SeaPro super cheap and just keep the Hells Bay safe in the garage.
171374
171375
 

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never went out any more, well maybe a little more at first
When I post about "going out" what I really was refering to is that I was happy my wife or other family wanted to go, so I generally did what ever I could for them to have fun.

Also years before we had kids I'd decided that I'd like to retire up in the Sierras Mid 80's).
The way I made her see it as a viable thing was I took her along when ever she would go on my "camping trips" to the mountains. Her most arduous tasks included reeling in a fish now and then to drinking one of my voda heavy BM's while I cooked or was cleaning up.

Moral of the story it's on you provide the reasons they will go with you.
My little machinations didn't always work but they all were honest and fun for me.
Live for today as tomorrow may never come.





when we saw a pretty dark summer squall approaching
Referring to my jaunts into the Sierras above, after our girls were born and the youngster was a toddler her idea of camping became wall to wall carpet, TV in every room etc,,, I found a lodge that had it's own launch ramp and docks on a pretty lake and not bad fishing too. Late after noon there was a little breeze on the water with the sun peeking through the clouds, just enough to help hide the boat from the fish. I'm running the boat and keeping an eye on the kids, my wife and two rods dragging Rapalas :)
About 20 minuets into this and just out of the blue I notice something was Not Right, second later I realized that all three of the girls hair is stand out/up. I look up and there's a big thunder storm cloud coming at us. We managed to get back to our cabin right as it rained. Then treated to the thunder minuets later.
 

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When I post about "going out" what I really was refering to is that I was happy my wife or other family wanted to go, so I generally did what ever I could for them to have fun.
Let me clarify too then for the sake of the OP. I got a bay boat right around the time my kids started playing organized sports and time was limited anyway. It became difficult to find time for the entire family to go out (adds 2 hours to your trip no matter what you do), so we'd only do a few times a year. Doesn't mean that we didn't enjoy it when we did go, just meant I could do the same in my skiff and the other 80% of what I was doing (fishing solo or with a buddy) was much more enjoyable.
 

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My center console bay boat is great for my local lakes and when I need to take 6 people out for a day of fun. I also use it for a different style of fishing.

My skiff is great when I want to get away from everyone except for one other person. It completely allows me to disconnect, get really focused on something besides work, and enjoy my favorite hobby. My time on the water like that is my own personal church. Well, until a jet skier or air boat goes by or someone licks my pot.... :)

Do both man, you won't regret it.
 

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Depends on how much she and the kids go out on the boat with you. Remember the 80/20 rule, buy a boat that fits 80% of your needs how you use the boat. In 20 years of marriage, my wife’s has gone fishing with me 5 times. She’ll go canal cruising when the weather is nice or a sunset cruise but otherwise it is 99% fly fishing poling skiff.
Incidentally, you don’t need to buy a boat with higher sides when you have kids for their safety. I raised two boys right on the water and never had a boat with more than 14” of freeboard. Use your best judgement as a parent, husband and responsible boat owner. Pick your days when running with the fam and remember this when fishing with kids, it’s 100% about them and you are the fishing guide.
 

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Rex Kwan Do Dojo
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I have a 2016 dorado 23. Offshore capable but you can also get it in 10 inches of water. No top is best for that boat imo.
I’m torn, like an old sweater. I love the spotting tower! I really need to run it more before I go topless. Was thinking 1/2 tower....
 

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Two boats is awesome, I’ve been blessed to have had that situation 2x in the past and it was awesome for having the right tools for a wide range of situations. However, I was happier when I got rid of one.

I found that it stressed me out with all the expense and upkeep. I’m pretty OCD and I spent way too much time fixing things. It’s nice to just focus on one thing and fish more. I also found myself diluting what I would spend on upgrades and equipment I wanted because I had to reallocate funds to pay for a broken widget on the other boat or just felt guilty spending so much on two boats I could not possible use enough to justify. So it just became impractical financially and also robbed me of time which is precious.

So my $.02 is if you have unlimited funds and a boat maintenance minion do it...if not something to think about. To each his own but that was my experience.
 

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I’m sure many have been in this scenario so I’ll try my best to keep it brief. I have a HPX18 which I really love and would never sell it if it were just up to me. It’s a great jack of all trades, master of none skiff. My wife on the other hand wants us to get a Bay Boat for the more comfortable ride and additional room. I’m hopeful that if we get a Bay Boat we’d stay home less because of weather and spend more time as a family on the water. That being said, I will miss the shallow water stalking of fish with a fly rod that a skiff allows. Also, I’m sure I’ll be doing a lot more babysitting vs fishing with more people on a boat. I’d buy used and funds would come from selling of my skiff (assuming $40k budget). I have three options, let me know what you guys think.
Get the bay boat and go solo in one of these. I just got this one barely used for 6K. Not as sexy as your skiff but the fish dont really care.
171854
 

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I've had no regrets with a bay boat and skiff combo. The bay boat is surprisingly skinny, and if you play the wind right, it can sneak along without much hull slap at all. That took me some time to figure out, but I've found it to be a great platform from which to flyfish. I've sight fished and caught some of the more notoriously spooky fish on fly in our neck of woods including tarpon, sheep and pompano. My wife loves the comfort of the boat, and I fish it solo with no trouble getting it hooked up, launched and retrieved. All that said, there are times when I just want to be on the skiff and in places where only the skiff can go. I will always have both.





I've been eyeballing Blackjack boats for a couple of years. How do you like it?
 
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