Ok well i have talked my boss/wife into getting a boat i have wanted one for years just building up the nerve to get one little scared of water lol swim like a rock.I have all ready read all saftey and rules from state i live and surrounding states as well as all post here at BOC.Well anyway i have a few questions i would like to find out from people who boat.Im wondering what other boaters think is smallest size boat that could be used on Ohio river or and comparable river safely and what size motor for there also.I have a 9.9 Mercury i bought last year from a freind that had it on a 16' jon but i dont think it is big enough for a big river.Im looking at mostly 16' Vbottom boats and was thinking about maybe 20horse motor or is this not enough for rivers it would only be used during good river conditions no high water.And if you guys and gals can give me any first time buyer things to look for other than the norm i have read like transom,soft floors,things like that would be appreciated highly.Thanks Brad
Brad, I have a 14' semi-v and am on the river every week in it. It is really only suitable for two small or medium size adults at a time though. It has a 15 hp johnson and with just me and my gear can run close to twenty. It's a little slow, but it will get me there. I would definately go with the 16' though if I were you. Also it would be in your best interest to purchase a boat with a 20" transom over the smaller 15" for bigger water. That would mean you would need to purchase a motor with the same length shaft. Personally I like the V bottom over the flat for the ride. Also if you can afford it and have a choice I would go with a motor that matches the maximum hp rating for that hull. This will get you the maximum performance the boat has to offer and never leave you second guessing yourself as to why you didn't go bigger. It's always better to have the power there when you need it and not use it, then it is to want it and not have it. If you plan on fishing with your family and there will be more than three people riding in your boat often I would get an eighteen. As you said you swim like a rock so you wouldn't be much help to anyone if things went sour. Just my opinions. Vern
Hi Brad. I fish the missouri river here in Iowa and the river runs fast between 6to8 mi. which is perty swift and I fish out of an 18FT. Lund alasken deep v. the boat is heavy and handles the river well,but don"t make the same mistake I"v made . I only put a 30HP on it and when I"m fishing with a partner it lacks in preformance some what. It is rated for a 60Hp. and now I think I will move up to the max. rateing.I have several friends that fish out of 16Ft. flats and v hulls and do just fine, just make sure you have enough HP.And as mentioned above if you plan to fish with more than one other person I would go with an 18FT.also. don"t be scared of the river just put your life vest on and enjoy its so peaceful out there you think your in a different world. Good luck and good fishing,Bigcatman0816.
I have fished the Ohio river with a 14ft flat bottom with a 40 horse on it and it gets scarry out there when a big river boat with a long string of barge's comes up river putting out some big waves and the wind on the river plays a big factor on boat size because it can whip up some large waves with white caps in no time at all. I resently purchased a 17' Invader Reef Runner V-hull center consol with a 90 horse and a 7' beam to fish the river. Copycat is right about the width playing an important part when getting a boat for stability and you need that when fishing big rivers. I would go with a 18' with as wide a beam as you can get and the most horse power thats recomended for the type boat you get. Good luck and be safe.
Thanks guys for replys to my questions.Vernon thanks for info about transom height and also metion about getting max hp for what ever boat i buy.John Thanks for letting me know about not being happy with lower hp motor should have gone bigger and its not that im scared of river as much as i respect it and i will deffenitly have life vest on lol. And yea Tom a few of my buddys have said that wide is stable and smooth and thats what i want not where it feels like its rocking when i stand up.Yea i have freinds with 14 bass boat they go out there on Ohio all the time they have asked me but to scared on that little boat in lake no problem just not on river.Well guys again thanks for answers to my questions and the other info gave it is appreciated.Brad