Who has the BEST skinny water boat?

Discussion in 'Boating Stories' started by gebs, Apr 2, 2006.

  1. gebs

    gebs New Member

    Messages:
    128
    State:
    Illinois
    O.K., there's a lot of talk about boats for skinny water from jons and mod-v's w/ jets to the River-Pro to Carolina Skiffs and even 24' plate boats w/ 7' beams. It's time to sound off.

    I have a boat that can handle some seriously shallow water, but I'm always looking to upgrade. Later this year or early next I'm going to be in the market for a new, bigger, boat and I want to hear the best and worst of boats for skinny water so when it comes time, I'll get exactly what I want.

    My current boat is a Lowe 160 SPL 16.5' mod-v w/ a Johnson 50/35 jet. I can do about 25 in 6-8" of water, but I'm not real fond of the walk around room or the fact that I use about 3 gallons of gas on an average 4-6 hour fishing trip. I'm thinking of an open floorplan with a forward console, something that will be very even in the weight distribution so she'll get on plane faster and won't be back heavy. I still have to convince the "finance board", but I should be able to have everything in place by early fall.

    So what I want to know is: What kind of skinny boats are people running and why? What's good about it? What's bad? What would you do to make the perfect skinny water vessel?
     
  2. duxsrus

    duxsrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,014
    State:
    SW Ohio
    Check out Custom Weld Boats. :)
     

  3. copycat

    copycat New Member

    Messages:
    1,841
    State:
    New Jersey
    You can get a fan boat...How shallow do the fish run in your parts?
     
  4. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Riding your own wake over sand bars is a common occurance flats fishing in Florida. Those guys come in under power, cut the power and as the insueing wake lifts the back of the boat they power up and ride the wake over the bar.
    Fishermen seeking out holes in the extreme flats of the Florida coast drum fishing has born a whole new breed of boats in recent years like the Henderson Skiff and many other manufactured and one off designs.
     
  5. tmuenster

    tmuenster New Member

    Messages:
    53
    State:
    South Dakota
    Mark,

    Thanks for posting that information. I am sure the guys in the flats have quite a few tricks for getting around in shallow water. I think they also do a lot of poling down there. Carolina Skiff has some really nice shallow water boats too.

    I am attempting to describe a full power run across a dry patch of sand. I doubt any boat with a prop could make it. Not that you need to do it very often but it is nice to know you can.

    Another great shallow water boat is the tunnel hull series by SeaArk. They have a jet tunnel as well. Their tunnel hull makes for some great shallow water capability while maintaining all the best characteristics of a prop boat. That setup would get you through most rivers without any problems.

    Has any used a Beavertail Boat? Here is a link to their site:
    http://www.fisherbeavertail.com/
    Looks like a pretty amazing boat.

    Mark, that was also a great point about making your own boat. I have seen some homemade boats that looked like a big plywood sled. They had a very shallow draft and those guys could bring in some very big cats on it.

    Great discussion!

    Tom
     
  6. catsmith1

    catsmith1 New Member

    Messages:
    1,073
    State:
    Haughton, Louisiana
    I have never used the beavertail boats but have seen them. They are designed for one thing and they do it well. If there is enough water to float the boat it will run in it.

    I was just looking at those floation pods to add on the boat. Wondering if it would work with a regular motor? Neat idea!
     
  7. gebs

    gebs New Member

    Messages:
    128
    State:
    Illinois
    I have looked into the Beavertail's and Go Devil's, there's only one minor, insignificant, ittsy bittsy little problem with them........ They're all air driven lawnmower type engines, WITH NO REVERSE.

    Also, the motor hangs into the boat anywhere from 2-4'. That's 2-4' of boat that is now unusable.
     
  8. ersel

    ersel New Member

    Messages:
    1,164
    State:
    Haughton Louisiana
    Go-Devil type boats are work to drive. We use them at our duck camp they run in extremely shallow water.
     
  9. RamRod

    RamRod New Member

    Messages:
    2,047
    State:
    Ohio
    What's the prices on those river-pro boats and such?
     
  10. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,160
    State:
    NC
    I don't have a dog in this fight because I am a lake fisherman and I try to avoid stumps, sanbars and rocks, but it is an interesting thread for me.

    Personally, IT SCARES THE HELL OUT OF ME to think of jumping a sandbar with your own wake. LOL!! I would love to take that ride with someone who knows what they are doing though.
     
  11. primitivefrn

    primitivefrn Member

    Messages:
    777
    State:
    collins mo
    I own a river pro too,
    Kind like a 4 wheeler, kind run some shallow water, If you got the guts to keep it open, Second jet boat, 1st a tracker, like the river pro a lot better,
    Had the tracker run a ground in a mud bar @ 40aprox and almost went air born at 20 mph in it. hit a log under the water. going down stream and the log was lean ing down stream. I use mine, about like a work boat., I trap out of it, You have to be awear of sucking gravel trash over the jet water in take.
    when trapping I cary a rock rake, to reach under, and clean intake grate, didnt have to use rake this year. 12 inches is usualy no problem. and you can go shallower . if running take off need a litter deaper water 18 inches is nice. .They recomend 36 inches.
     
  12. primitivefrn

    primitivefrn Member

    Messages:
    777
    State:
    collins mo
    river pro (google) should get you some info.
    I think, there around 18 stripped. just boat and 175 jet, safe and stable boat.
     
  13. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    One man's meaning of skinny water is not another man's.
    Like the Carolina skiff. That would be a last ditch effort for a skinny water boat. They are heavy as lead. If the shallow sounds of the NC coast is skinny to you then the Carolina Skiff fits the bill for a skinny water boat.

    A skinny water boat to me means a boat that will float in one inch or less of water and run in ankle deep water and has a high PPI at the DWL or in other words a lightweight hull that takes say 450 pounds of additional weight to sink it one inch lower in draft.
    I've never cared for the skinny water boats like the above simply because they are really stripped down to save weight, They arent going to be comfortable, and alot of the super skinny boats are going to be tiller steer to save alot of weight in one fell swoop.

    I've got the plans to a 20 foot Garvey type hull along the lines of a Carolina Skiff but with a lower freeboard to lessen the effects of windage and weight.
    It would make an awesome cattin' platform if you concentrated less on skinny and more on comfort. Even so this boat would go where most others couldn't with a hydraulic jack plate and built with the tunnel.
    At an 8 foot beam and a hull weight of 575 pounds with a 437 PPI at DWL you could afford the weight of some comfort.
    Built per plans you are talking not alot of effort for a nice looking factory look boat for 2500-3000 dollars. Turn key sitting on a trailer ready to fish somewhere around 8k. I've seen pictures of this boat do a high speed pass in 3 inches of water with a standard 20 inch shaft propped motor.
    That is insanely skinny at 30+MPH but you wont be jumping logjams. Atleast i wouldn't be.
     
  14. JAYNC

    JAYNC New Member

    Messages:
    1,312
    State:
    Newport N.C.
    IMHO if you need a boat to go through 1" of water why dont you just drive or walk there. My boat will go through about 1 1/2 feet on plane and besides what kind of cat lives in an inch of water. I mean yes there are some needs to get through some pretty shallow water to get through other waters, but from where I fish the 1 1/2' draft is more than fine.
     
  15. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Jason, most of the guys running these boats I call skinny water boats are fishing the huge flats found in Florida's saltwater.
    You have to run those flats to get to the many small holes dotted here and there for some red drum.
    Alot of those guys are just as accomplished in running that type of water as they are fishing for that type of fish.
    It's not for the squeamish or the beginner but a necessary evil in some parts of the world.
    It would be rather slow and dangerous to wade out several miles to fish, especially with how storms roll up in Florida out of nowhere.
    But I see your point. The type of fishing we do say on the Neuse up around Smithfield that type of boat would come in handy until you met up with a log or stump.
    Most of us wouldn't push our boats to that magnitude like some of those guys are. One builder put a mangrove stump through his hull and drove it 3 miles back to a ramp with the stump hanging out the bottom. To us that is a major deal. To those guys, just another day on the water in search of a big red. It's all in what you are accustomed to.
    I'm sure some of those Floridians would call me an idiot if they saw some of the places I packed my gear to for bankfishing.
     
  16. gebs

    gebs New Member

    Messages:
    128
    State:
    Illinois
    I have heard many great stories about Carolina Skiff's and the flats in NC and FL. Skiff's are great for sandy areas and I seriously considered one for a while, but I live in IL where the typical river bottom is rock, mud and stumps. Fiberglass boats get pretty chewed up when you beach them on rock. I know, been there, done that.

    As for what kind of cat lives in 1" of water? None, but tons live in the 6' hole just downstream from the 1" riffle.

    Thanks for the replies so far, keep 'em coming. There has been some great info so far.
     
  17. primitivefrn

    primitivefrn Member

    Messages:
    777
    State:
    collins mo
    Trumph boats, make quite a claim how tough they are, materal that their made out of , looks to be heaver . though their is no sechthing as the perfect, boat. all have draw backs and most have pluses.
     
  18. mspratt

    mspratt New Member

    Messages:
    173
    State:
    missouri
    howdy .This is my frist post,lots of info about kittycat fishin.There are a lot of good shallow water boats.Some are very pricey,I run a northriver commander,and have had this boat in as little as 4" on plane.It well handle like a sport car,turn on a dime and out do any boat out there.These boat are heavy with 1/4" aluminum hulls,so getting stuck can be a real pain.Carry a comealong with lots of rope.Anyway check out customweld,phantom jet,riddle marine,wooldridge,northriver,rockproof boats,just to name a few.Learn more at riverjetmagazine.com. Like I say these boats are pricey,but I just about live in mine when not working.I fish rivers mostly, the missouri river,Have fished it from south dakota to the miss river.All catfishin.:) Am a member of uscats,Hope to meet some of u carp eatin,beer swillin,riverrats........Your humble servant beartrap,his river dog buoy and my boat river unit,,,,,,,keep ur nose to the wind ur powder dry and ur hull wet.;:cool:
     
  19. peewee williams

    peewee williams New Member

    Messages:
    3,111
    State:
    Pembroke,Georgia
    My skinny and shallow water boats.#1-One man fiberglass pirogue built in Chalmette La. #2- 8 ft.Grumman dinghy. #3-17 ft.Grumman (old heavy duty type) whitewater canoe. #4-12 ft.sq.stern fiberglass canoe. #5-13 ft.Fiberglass Waterbug. #6-4 ft.x 14 ft.alum.John boat. #7-54 in.x 14 ft.alum.John boat. #8-6 ft.x 16 ft.Fisher Marine alum.mod.V utility boat,which is a great rough and shallow water boat.Ain;t no perfect boat.Each of these were bought for a specific reason,with a place and type of fishing in mind.I have never owned a expensive or pleasure boat.I put my money in light,easy to clean fishing boats.My Go-Devil will move my John boat over sand or gravel with less than a inch of water.The boat will be grounded,but the prop will dig a hole in the sand or gravel.The prop will catch in the water that runs in the hole and the boat will jump several feet.You just keep repeating the process.It amazed me.I do not know how big a load you can have in the boat and still do this.CAUTION! This erodes your prop very fast.Don;t have a reverse in my Go-devil.Being that I was 30 years old before I owned a outboard with a reverse,no big deal.My boats gave me many tears of pleasure before my illness.I still can;t give up on using them more.peewee-williams
     
  20. FishMan

    FishMan New Member

    Messages:
    2,293
    State:
    Tennessee
    mark is correct about the flats in florida. I have got out to push and pull more than once to go hole to hole around daytona beach.

    Danny