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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been considering picking up one of those old square 14-15ft stick steer boats that you steer from the front seat. Ouachita, Tidecraft, Skeeter just to name a few. It seems like there were many makes of these in the late 70’s through the 80’s. They’re usually cheap and run pretty well on lower hp. Anyone with any experience? I suspect that the ride up front might be a little wet in the right conditions, but then again I don’t know. Would be a fun project though. Thanks guys.
 

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My first boat was one of the original old Ranger stick-steer bass boats that I had purchased from my boss back in the early 80s. It was in particular a great solo boat because I didn’t have to move around a bunch. I could motor up to my fishing spot and cast from my front seat. My old trolling motor could also be deployed and operated from my front seat and the “anchor-mates” were accessible from the same spot.
I don’t remember it running particularly shallow but then I wasn’t fishing the FL flats back then, I was on the big N Ga reservoirs nearby (Lanier and Alatoona). It was always a dry ride for me even in windy and choppy conditions and I fished a good bit in cold weather so I would have remembered getting wet. Seems like the rear seat caught some spray if I remember right.
The stick steering assembly at the time was somewhat fragile and I remember replacing and repairing it at least three times over the 4 years I owned it. Probably had something to do with me having a larger outboard than what the boat was rated for...
I wouldn’t necessarily run out and buy one these days, there have been so many changes and advances in design. However, they can be acquired for next to nothing so if I was on an extreme budget then it could be a great option.
 

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My family had a 22 ‘ stick steer harkers island wooded well boat growing up. Traded for a ‘73Volkswagen beetle, with bullet hole decals ( hows that for the way back machine ) It was cool as hell Bow/Gunnel mounted. Forward for port , backwards for starboard. 2x4 stick , sailboat pulleys , coated clothes line and springs to pull it all together . pretty bullet proof Those old juniper boats sat high in the water. Crazy wide bow flare , don’t see it much anymore ( too much work ) built w/ 1” strips.Bow ribs curved so much they came out of a 22+” wide board ( one piece ribs in bow) probably built late 40’s early 50s Old evinrude W/ push button controls. Y all wont believe the good time memories that come flooding back thinking of that old skiff this am. Good stuff . Never thought they would end ......
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My family had a 22 ‘ stick steer harkers island wooded well boat growing up. Traded for a ‘73Volkswagen beetle, with bullet hole decals ( hows that for the way back machine ) It was cool as hell Bow/Gunnel mounted. Forward for port , backwards for starboard. 2x4 stick , sailboat pulleys , coated clothes line and springs to pull it all together . pretty bullet proof Those old juniper boats sat high in the water. Crazy wide bow flare , don’t see it much anymore ( too much work ) built w/ 1” strips.Bow ribs curved so much they came out of a 22+” wide board ( one piece ribs in bow) probably built late 40’s early 50s Old evinrude W/ push button controls. Y all wont believe the good time memories that come flooding back thinking of that old skiff this am. Good stuff . Never thought they would end ......
I wish you had a picture of that one!
 

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Been considering picking up one of those old square 14-15ft stick steer boats that you steer from the front seat. Ouachita, Tidecraft, Skeeter just to name a few. It seems like there were many makes of these in the late 70’s through the 80’s. They’re usually cheap and run pretty well on lower hp. Anyone with any experience? I suspect that the ride up front might be a little wet in the right conditions, but then again I don’t know. Would be a fun project though. Thanks guys.
I seem to remember some Gheenoes w/ stick steer................who says the steering needs to be up front?
 

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You can still find crappie hulls set up with stick steer from the factory.

The driver’s weight is forward, so they plane easily at slow speeds/with low horsepower. You have fabulous visibility if you are running stump fields in freshwater or tracing a creek through a shallow saltwater flat. Stick steering is more responsive than a steering wheel, so, in combination with the low planing speed, they are fabulous for weaving through narrow creeks.

The downside is that the stick is always in the way when you are actually fishing and you can’t have a front deck. The old bomber-style bass boats are tri-hulls and rather heavy for their size. When you screw up (...and you will screw up), miss that tight turn and beach yourself on a mudflat, they are tough to wallow around and back to deep water. I suspect they pole poorly. They are almost always made for freshwater use, so salt will corrode the hell out of the electrical system and all the galvanized hardware.

Nate
 

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My dad had a Tracker stick-steer we freshwater fished out of. I always thought it was the goofiest thing but very practical
 
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