Safe boat size

Discussion in 'Boat Tips' started by ollie, Jul 17, 2007.

  1. ollie

    ollie New Member

    Messages:
    5
    State:
    Indiana
    Hello, first post. I was wondering what size boat would be safe on the Ohio river. I have been looking at boats and have not been on one in the Ohio river for a long time. I want to get one that will not scare the wife when a bardge goes by and one that will not beat me to death traveling at speed. I was thinking about getting a tiller model v-hull utility type boat 16' -18' like the Lund ssv but my wallet tells me to get somthing cheaper like the tracker grizzly jon. Most of the time it will be me and dad but occasionally me, my wife, my dad, and his wife will go. I've noticed that you cannot go by the persons capacity number but the weight and that will be about 690lb for all four of us. I have ordered catologs from a lot of companies but the only dealers that I know are close are tracker, sea ark, and lowe. This will be a fishing and just getting out on the water boat. Any suggestions from you folks with experience?
    Thank you, Ollie
     
  2. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    I may have misread your post and was thinking I should just ask for clarification. I believe you stated..."I've noticed that you cannot go by the persons capacity number but the weight and that will be about 690lb for all four of us.". The data plate on your boat normally will give the total weight allowed in the boat, including passengers, hardware, fuel, tackle, bait, beer, etc - the total weight which is not to be exceeded. It also lists the number of passengers you may carry. But it is an either/or restriction. If the manufacturer said the boat could carry three people or 900 pounds, you cannot change it to carry four people and 700 pounds. The number of people is the maximum number of people you can carry. Common sense tells us that if the rating is based upon a person of, I believe it was 160 pounds, it should be the same thing to add a fourth person and subtract 160 pounds from the max weight capacity. But that is not how it works. There is no way to say you will receive a citation for exceeding the max number of people, because it depends entirely upon the mood of the individual inspecting your boat. A state trooper does not ticket everyone he stops...it is his discretion. But, if you were in an accident and you were in violation of the data plate, you probably will be cited, your insurance probably will be canceled, if you carry insurance, and you could be on the wrong side of a law suit. The old adage of being safe not sorry always holds true.

    If you haven't all ready purchased a boat, you would be money ahead to insure the data plate states 4 or more people.
     

  3. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    If you buy a boat that simply says it has a 800 pound capacity, that 800 pounds includes people, motor, batteries, fuel, tackle, the dog, and right on down to the bag of tater chips.
     
  4. Mr.T

    Mr.T New Member

    Messages:
    2,553
    State:
    MO
    If those were my choices, I'd pick either Sea Ark or Lowe, something around 18 ft ought to work just dandy for you. The Lowe Roughneck is a good boat. Sea Ark makes some good boats, but I'm most decidely not a fan of their 3-degree V-hull models... They make an 18 ft, 15-degree "catfish" boat that might suit your needs well, and it'll be plenty safe to take on the Ohio.

    Do keep in mind that 4 people in a 16 or 18 ft boat is going to be awfully crowded. 18 ft sounds like a lot but it's not...
     
  5. Ictalurus Punctatus

    Ictalurus Punctatus New Member

    Messages:
    353
    State:
    Greensboro, NC

    Agreed. I'm pretty happy with my MV1648 SeaArk. I can't speak to being on a river with that type of boating traffic, but I did take a beating in it on Jordan Lake when a sudden storm popped up and caught me four miles from the ramp, and it brought me home safely.

    Also remember, all boats look bigger on dry land.

    Jon
     
  6. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    We catfish with 3 comfortably in an 18 foot G3 center console.
    2 people make it more enjoyable on this boat.
    The room isnt so much a problem as each fisherman having enough room to fish with 2 rods at the same time in current.
    4 people going on this boat and I would opt to stay home and cut the grass without question.

    As far as the deadrise fore and aft on a boat there is a tradeoff.
    The deeper the V the more horsepower is required to get it up on plane and keep it there. A flat bottom boat is on plane sitting still.
    The deeper the V the less stable the boat is. Where a flat bottomed boat on anchor will ride a wake up and down with little change in yaw and pitch a V bottom will rock. Get up into the 24 degree deadrise boats and they rock violently. They arent dangerous, I just dont care to be slammed around by a boat on anchor or a slow troll.

    On the other hand the shallow to flatbottom boats will beat you up underway if you dont choose to slow down for the conditions.

    Its impossible to find an adequately designed flat bottomed boat that is manufactured.
    There are some home builder designs and custom build designs that are flat bottom or shallow V that I would run well offshore in the blink of an eye.
    They dont look like a box and they have high bouyant bows.
     
  7. ollie

    ollie New Member

    Messages:
    5
    State:
    Indiana
    Thank you all for the advice. The weight I was talking about is the max. person capacity. Most of the boats that I looked at had it listed like 4/555lb and the max weight cap. including motor exc. was listed also. I was thinking about building a boat but I am not sure I will have the time a project like that deserves. I would love to build one like Arch Davis Design's Bay Pilot 18'. Thank you all, Ollie