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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all. Do do you think there are some of the skiffs built in the last 20-30 years that can still compete with the fishability of todays class? Is it possible to buy an older used boat and still enjoy a decent draft, ride, and manners while poling?

Mirage1,2, and HP? (is anyone has specifics like draft and ride between these variants that would be helpful)

Silver King?

Dolphin SS?

Any others I'm missing?
 

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I Love microskiff.com!
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No, skiffs from twenty to thirty years ago can not perform like skiffs from the last 10 years or so. Neither can aircraft, autos, trucks, cell phones, clothes, shoes, fly rods, ...... built now vs thirty years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
No, skiffs from twenty to thirty years ago can not perform like skiffs from the last 10 years or so. Neither can aircraft, autos, trucks, cell phones, clothes, shoes, fly rods, ...... built now vs thirty years ago.
I don't know man.. my 1992 intrepid 26 gets 2mpg at a 40mph cruise (repowered w 4strokes). My 2002 yukon xl is as dependable and gets better mpg than many newer trucks, and although I dont have a stock in-truck computer screen, I have an iPhone.. which takes care of most all of that.

For real though, I hear you. What im trying to understand is all electrical systems aside, does a brand new HPX-V really warrant a huge premium over the best of 20 years ago? I'm trying to get into a good all-around skiff without taking a loan. I can completely re-rig a boat myself so I'm not afraid of old systems or even old power. Have the hulls really improved so much to where you cant compete in an older hull? I'm new to the skiff game. In offshore boats, you obviously get more built-in comforts, maybe a stepped hull etc. I still spend plenty of time in the bahamas on a boat almost as old as I am, because it's been cared for and updated correctly. Your thoughts on this are very welcomed, and I'd appreciate an expansion on those thoughts.
 

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No, skiffs from twenty to thirty years ago can not perform like skiffs from the last 10 years or so. Neither can aircraft, autos, trucks, cell phones, clothes, shoes, fly rods, ...... built now vs thirty years ago.
I disagree. You have a big gap. 10 years to 30. So I assume 20 years falls in your old category. My new truck does absolutely nothing better than than my first what I consider modern truck. It was a late 90’s F150 with the curved body design. I think it was a better truck.
My current B2 is 13 years old. Does everything current skiffs do. When both were purchased I think the price paid was easier to swallow.
 

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I would say yes, depending on what you’re looking for. Boats are still governed by the laws of physics, and if you want a boat that’s as light and drafts as shallow as possible, it’s not going to ride great by design.

I think most of the hull improvements have been geared towards being drier while running and quieter while fishing. Sure, materials have improved, but fiberglass and resin isn’t exactly new technology. Heck, people still catch tons of fish from aluminum Jon boats.

The caveat is if you’re looking for a true technical poling skiff, they weren’t really developed until the Whipray IMO. If you’re looking for a smaller flats boat there are some options. The Maverick Mirage, HPX, and Hewes Red/Bonefishers come to mind.

The setup and rigging makes a bigger difference to the “fishability” of a boat than the hull design to me, as long as you can get where you want in relative comfort/safety, but I’m not running from Islamorada to the Glades either.
 

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No, skiffs from twenty to thirty years ago can not perform like skiffs from the last 10 years or so. Neither can aircraft, autos, trucks, cell phones, clothes, shoes, fly rods, ...... built now vs thirty years ago.
In most cases newer is better than older, however,my HB 02 waterman was constructed out of Kevlar. I understand that this is no longer a standard feature and extra premium must now be paid for the Kevlar option. My boat weighs less than todays waterman and is arguably just as strong. It's fair to say, depending upon the boat model or company will ultimately determine which way you should lean when making a decision to purchase your next boat.
 

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I would say yes, depending on what you’re looking for. Boats are still governed by the laws of physics, and if you want a boat that’s as light and drafts as shallow as possible, it’s not going to ride great by design.

I think most of the hull improvements have been geared towards being drier while running and quieter while fishing. Sure, materials have improved, but fiberglass and resin isn’t exactly new technology. Heck, people still catch tons of fish from aluminum Jon boats.

The caveat is if you’re looking for a true technical poling skiff, they weren’t really developed until the Whipray IMO. If you’re looking for a smaller flats boat there are some options. The Maverick Mirage, HPX, and Hewes Red/Bonefishers come to mind.

The setup and rigging makes a bigger difference to the “fishability” of a boat than the hull design to me, as long as you can get where you want in relative comfort/safety, but I’m not running from Islamorada to the Glades either.

I run from Islamorada to the glades all the time. Bought my Redfisher new in 1995 for $22,000. I still have the original Yamaha 115 that runs like new. Would I like to float in 6-7”, yep. Would I like to have the extended range of a four stroke, yep. Am I happy with what I got, way yep. It would be hard to justify plunking down 30 to 50k for those gains. I like the old school. When I see an old pre Johnny Morris Silver King I just about snap my neck getting a look as it passes by on the highway. My old 15’ Wind River Skiff was a 6” boat, but wet and rough on those long runs. There was a refurbished one here in Tavernier on the side of the highway, I think he wanted 27,000 for it. I sold mine in 95 for 4500.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I would say yes, depending on what you’re looking for. Boats are still governed by the laws of physics, and if you want a boat that’s as light and drafts as shallow as possible, it’s not going to ride great by design.

I think most of the hull improvements have been geared towards being drier while running and quieter while fishing. Sure, materials have improved, but fiberglass and resin isn’t exactly new technology. Heck, people still catch tons of fish from aluminum Jon boats.

The caveat is if you’re looking for a true technical poling skiff, they weren’t really developed until the Whipray IMO. If you’re looking for a smaller flats boat there are some options. The Maverick Mirage, HPX, and Hewes Red/Bonefishers come to mind.

The setup and rigging makes a bigger difference to the “fishability” of a boat than the hull design to me, as long as you can get where you want in relative comfort/safety, but I’m not running from Islamorada to the Glades either.
I've hear the mirages and hp from back in the day poll pretty well, is that not the case? They seem to fit the bill for a skiff that would be oceanside for tarpon and doubling as a flamingo boat.. but I know there's not one perfect boat, even today.

Also, one thing that I forgot to mention and failed to come up here in convo- was there a seismic shift in how the boats were built when they started hanging fourstrokes off of them? In offshore boats, some repowered boats really went poorly with heavier four strokes. This is starting to come full circle again though. Mercury now makes a 225 four stroke that is significantly lighter than my old 225 yammie two strokes, so now we're far enough along that you can actually go lighter than the comparable two-smoke (at least in the offshore application, my feeling is the the old yamaha 90 two-smoke is lighter than any four stroke at the hp by a long shot)
 

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No, skiffs from twenty to thirty years ago can not perform like skiffs from the last 10 years or so. Neither can aircraft, autos, trucks, cell phones, clothes, shoes, fly rods, ...... built now vs thirty years ago.
I disagree. There has not been many advancements in boat designs in decades, just slight tweaks and mods. Newer materials, bigger motors, a strake here, rounded chine here....but hull shapes don't change much.
 

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Cars, trucks, boats, planes and trains. It’s been done. There will not be any huge advancements. Huge was when they first happened. There will be modifications is all. Jetson mobile I would consider something new. Only thing it spews out is little circles. And it takes you anywhere
 

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So my 18.2 Off Shore Mirage my be a classic since it has a splashed Master Angler hull
 

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Exactly, what is fish-ability?

Just enjoy the boat you have.

It worked before it works now.

Less is more...we just do not remember it like we should, me included.
This is just my definition of it, so take it for what it’s worth...

“Fishability” is how well suited or efficient your boat is for the style of fishing you do. Basically, how much it gets out of the way and let’s you focus on catching fish rather than screwing around with controlling your boat, tripping over stuff, or snagging your fly line.

We work a lot of small oyster bars up here and have to deal with heavy winds and strong tides. A boat with a pull start outboard and regular anchor isn’t great for hitting an area for a few minutes and moving along. A trolling motor and power pole are extremely useful

If I only fly fished shallow flats and had a buddy to pole me around, the same trolling motor and power pole would be in the way a lot of the time and add unnecessary weight.

You just have to figure out what helps you fish as effortlessly as possible.
 

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This is just my definition of it, so take it for what it’s worth...

“Fishability” is how well suited or efficient your boat is for the style of fishing you do. Basically, how much it gets out of the way and let’s you focus on catching fish rather than screwing around with controlling your boat, tripping over stuff, or snagging your fly line.

We work a lot of small oyster bars up here and have to deal with heavy winds and strong tides. A boat with a pull start outboard and regular anchor isn’t great for hitting an area for a few minutes and moving along. A trolling motor and power pole are extremely useful

If I only fly fished shallow flats and had a buddy to pole me around, the same trolling motor and power pole would be in the way a lot of the time and add unnecessary weight.

You just have to figure out what helps you fish as effortlessly as possible.
exactly.....
 

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I've hear the mirages and hp from back in the day poll pretty well, is that not the case? They seem to fit the bill for a skiff that would be oceanside for tarpon and doubling as a flamingo boat.. but I know there's not one perfect boat, even today.

Also, one thing that I forgot to mention and failed to come up here in convo- was there a seismic shift in how the boats were built when they started hanging fourstrokes off of them? In offshore boats, some repowered boats really went poorly with heavier four strokes. This is starting to come full circle again though. Mercury now makes a 225 four stroke that is significantly lighter than my old 225 yammie two strokes, so now we're far enough along that you can actually go lighter than the comparable two-smoke (at least in the offshore application, my feeling is the the old yamaha 90 two-smoke is lighter than any four stroke at the hp by a long shot)
this is why HB put sponsons on the whipray and waterman, to offset the 4 stroke flab.
 

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this is why HB put sponsons on the whipray and waterman, to offset the 4 stroke flab.
Chris Morejohn said the sponsons were added so the engine could be tucked in closer making it easier to be used as a tender on yachts and shorter for garages.

I still think the 17.8 Whipray and 18 Waterman are the sexiest hulls out there.
 
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