Fiberglass Skiff okay for shallow, rocky water?

Discussion in 'Boat Tips' started by CatFighter, Aug 12, 2009.

  1. CatFighter

    CatFighter New Member

    Messages:
    526
    State:
    Morgantown, WV
    Howdy!

    Got a[nother] quick question about boats.

    so I'm looking at 14-footers and I found a 14' fiberglass skiff.

    here is a pic of the boat attached.


    Question I have is what happens to the fiberglass if I get into shallow water and the rocky floor scrapes the bottom of the boat. Am I doomed, or is fiberglass hardy enough to take bottom scraping?

    The reason I ask is there are parts of my river where I will have to get out and push/pull the boat b/c it's too shallow. That is why I was hoping for an aluminum boat, but the price is right on this one, it holds 750# and only weighs something like 150#!

    Any help is greatly appreciated.
     

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  2. corklabus

    corklabus New Member

    Messages:
    359
    State:
    West Virginia
    I have a friend who has a 19ft Carolina skiff. We poked a BIG hole in it on a submerged tree limb and all we did was pull one of the drain plugs and headed back to the dock once we noticed we were getting water in the boat. While we were driving back to the dock, the water drained out just fine. We have skinned many rock shoals with this big heavy boat with no problems. However, the skiff you are looking at may not be a Carolina. If not, I can't speak for it. The Carolina will NOT sink even if completely swamped and cut completely in half. ( at least that's what their advertisements say) But I sure wonder about the rear half with that heavy motor......... If I could find one like my friends' boat I'd mortgage the house all over again to buy it. It's nice and wide with plenty of move around room and doesn't bounce all over hell from other boats' wake.
    The only thing I see as a draw back is that in steering the boat it slides around turns instead of "banking" over in a turn. That's great at normal speeds because it rides flat, but at speed, you really notice how much it slides toward the outside of the turn.
    I might also add that you have to consider how much weight your "stuff" is going to add to the boat once you get it set to go.
    Also......my friend is a lot more crazy and destructive than I am when it comes to being on the water. That's WHY I bought MY OWN boat. Mine is similar. but narrow and has sort of a tri-hull looking nose, yet the actual bottom is almost perfectly flat. It don't slide around turns.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2009

  3. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Aluminum isn't indestructable. That skiff and an aluminum boat have something in common. Both will sink.
    Bottom line. Which would you rather patch, aluminum or fiberglass?
     
  4. BigBird

    BigBird New Member

    Messages:
    2,104
    State:
    Charlotte, NC
    Had a 16' with a 40 yamaha. skiff slide is easy to overcome but needs a different driving style. Mine would run about 40mph with ss prop. overcame slide by powering down just a bit entering turn and throttling out. Does not work otherwise. If you wait to slow once into a turn you will find yourself on the river bank. After a few trips you can maneauver at speed in tight corners.:cool2: Was not an issue after.
     
  5. CatFighter

    CatFighter New Member

    Messages:
    526
    State:
    Morgantown, WV
    Excellent suggestions.

    I looked at it today. It's a 1983 Sears Gamefisher tri-hull. Weighs 250#, holds 745# and is rated for 25HP engine. 56" beam and 20" transom. I think I'm going to get it!


    I've been in a 19' Carolina Skiff on Lake Erie (I don't suggest it; 19' is too small). Man, that thing took a BEATING on those waves!

    Anyway, they're asking $800 with a troller, finder, and trailer. I'm hoping I can get it for $600 w/out the troller (already have one larger than what he's selling).


    Now, I checked the transom and it seems very sturdy (had a high pitch when I beat on it . . . no rotting "thud" sounds), but can you suggest anything else I should check before sealing the deal?

    Thanks again!
     
  6. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    You could always add some strakes.
    It would help the sliding but may cause another problem. Flipping.:smile2:

    Really all you need is one strake down the center to help it track.
    If you look at my canoe building thread at the little fin I added to the back of the hull it was put there for tracking.
    In other words, when I paddle on the left the boat doesn't turn to the right before I paddle on the right. You aren't battling a constantly turning bow like you would paddling a jon boat.

    It don't take much. It's a little fin that will fit in the palm of your hand.
     
  7. CatFighter

    CatFighter New Member

    Messages:
    526
    State:
    Morgantown, WV
    Strake, huh? I'll look into it.

    BTW - I'm putting a deposit on the boat. got the boat, trailer and finder for $550. don't know if that's a good price, don't care. I'm done looking at crappy boats and waiting for the motherlode.

    Anyway, the boat holds 745#, and we plan to carry ~500# of total weight. It's rated for 25hp motor.

    It will be used on small lakes and rivers, like this:

    Tygart Lake, WV


    Monongahela River


    Tygart River


    Would a 9.9 motor be sufficient? We still need to buy an outboard for it.