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Old 06-11-2009, 07:32 PM
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Default Best Bay Boat - Money No Object

Hi Peeps,

I am in the process of researching my new boat purchase and have decided on a bay boat...

I know this topic has been done to death and i have searched the forums on a range of key areas. The one thing i have come to understand is that there are a host of differing opinions as to what is the best bay boat. Some argue the point that a type of bay boat is best in class or best at a specific price point etc etc

My questions is; Money no object, what is the best bay boat 24ft or under, or perhaps, what is the best manufacturer of bay boats. As is said i want a no-holds-bar opinion cause at the end of the day i will pay whatever to get the best. I need a boat that has a shallow draft to fish skinny water and be just as capable getting to the shelf 20odd NM out to sea in 3/4' solid swell and wind chop.

My most important feature though is a boat thats built right, I hate poorly fitted hatches, water sneaking in where it shouldn't (via poorly designed scuppers or inside hatches during clean up), poor duarbility, gel coat issues, agricultural finish, and poor quality fittings that rust easily.

Basically in short the boat has to be all class. The unfortunate position i'm in is that i cannot see the boats in the flesh. I live in Australia and will buy the boat unseen. I find it difficult to tell the difference between models only via the internet and images i can muster. It's forums like these that give me a greater insight.

Please any help would be appreciated. I will research all your suggestions at length and PM you if i need any additional info. Thanks in advance
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Old 06-11-2009, 07:35 PM
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Yellowfin 24, and if it were me rigged with a single F350.
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Old 06-11-2009, 07:36 PM
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yellowfin!!!!!

tippy top of the top tier boats....
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Old 06-11-2009, 07:36 PM
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x3


seen one fully loaded the other day and it was bad azz
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Old 06-11-2009, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by savvyfishing View Post
Hi Peeps,

I am in the process of researching my new boat purchase and have decided on a bay boat...

I know this topic has been done to death and i have searched the forums on a range of key areas. The one thing i have come to understand is that there are a host of differing opinions as to what is the best bay boat. Some argue the point that a type of bay boat is best in class or best at a specific price point etc etc

My questions is; Money no object, what is the best bay boat 24ft or under, or perhaps, what is the best manufacturer of bay boats. As is said i want a no-holds-bar opinion cause at the end of the day i will pay whatever to get the best. I need a boat that has a shallow draft to fish skinny water and be just as capable getting to the shelf 20odd NM out to sea in 3/4' solid swell and wind chop.

My most important feature though is a boat thats built right, I hate poorly fitted hatches, water sneaking in where it shouldn't (via poorly designed scuppers or inside hatches during clean up), poor duarbility, gel coat issues, agricultural finish, and poor quality fittings that rust easily.

Basically in short the boat has to be all class. The unfortunate position i'm in is that i cannot see the boats in the flesh. I live in Australia and will buy the boat unseen. I find it difficult to tell the difference between models only via the internet and images i can muster. It's forums like these that give me a greater insight.

Please any help would be appreciated. I will research all your suggestions at length and PM you if i need any additional info. Thanks in advance
if I had to buy a boat unseen, I'd buy a Yellowfin. hard to go wrong on their bay boat. a Shearwater would also be a nice choice...my affections for the 23LTZ and Z2400 are plastered in various places all over this board. but the YF is a class act if money is no object.
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Old 06-11-2009, 07:46 PM
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You're going to get 20 different recommendations. Some will be helpful and some will be blind recommendations because it's what they own. I believe there are two different kinds of bay boats. Type 1 is your Yellowfins, Shearwaters, Pathfinders that you stand on and can easily run a trolling motor from the bow. Type 2 are more offshore capable bay boats that are three piece that you actually stand in with 360 degree bolsters.

I would recommend these two based of what you're looking for. Neither a inexpensive but are very well regarded craftsmen. These are not high production, cheap materials, stamp them out builders.

The 23 Sheaffer comes to mind based off your criteria.
http://www.sheaffermarine.com/www.sh...om/SB_main.htm

Or the 23 Gause - http://www.gausebuiltboats.com/
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Old 06-11-2009, 07:57 PM
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I'll second the Sheaffer and the Gause boats neither are going to be as fast as the Yellowfin 24, but they will easily handle going out 20 nm.
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:07 PM
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Sheaffer
Gause
Dorado
Avenger
Young
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:08 PM
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Thanks gents...this is the type of info i was looking for.

i know some people were going to recommend me thier personal boats/manufactures but i need to understand the market, see who's the gun manufacturers and ascertain the price...then work out why these boats are the best at those costs, and work my way down.

I will spend good money if i feel i get my money's worth. If i feel i can spend a little less but get an equally decent boat i will. It's hard to make those assertions without knowing who the best are and why...

I appreciate everyones feedback.

BTW i definately need a boat i can cast from the front deck. I want a blend of bass boat fishability and CC offshore capability... if there is such a thing????
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:09 PM
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In my opinion, the 20 miles offshore forces consideration of both amount of freeboard, as well as ability to brace against the gunnels, as well as self bailing necessity. the Yellowfin is an extremely high performance bay boat, with great build quality, but in my opinion the two piece mold design is not intended for offshore use. There is absolutely no toe kick space under the gunnels, and therefore you cannot use the gunnels for stabilizing yourself in any kind of sea, in addition the relative shallow cockpit depth does not provide very high support. These elements do not come into play in typical protected bays, as well as calm conditions near shore, but in 20 mile offshore conditions, they can become a very big issue. The other boats mentioned, most all from my recollection are either of a three piece mold, or have cut outs under the gunnels, provided the necessary toe kick space, in addition to added gunnel height to give the necessary stability. For the combination of intended uses, the Schaeffer, Gause Built type boats will provide the shallow water access, in addition to some amount of offshore capibilities.
Just my $.02 from 40 years of it.
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:14 PM
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Thanks abacodan... great words of wisdom.

i am currently looking at all the boats suggested here. From my initial research most of these boats didnt appear in my internet searches. It's from informed people like you that allow me to uncover stuff otherwise hidden from buyers like me.

I thank you all. Please keep em coming in if there are any more recommendations
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:31 PM
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24yf. youre gonna have to pick your days to run 20 out in any bay boat, there simply is no replacement for deadrise running offshore. that being said, when you pick the right day, the 24yf will get you there faster and drier than any other bay boat. a gause/sheaffer may have a slightly better ride in a big sea from the sharp entry, however it will be at a much slower speed. if the 24yf can get on top of the chop, theres nothing comparable. aesthetically its beautiful but its simplicity is a breeze to maintain. the factory support is second to none after purchase as well...
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:20 PM
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:24 PM
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sweet looking machine mate...

What are these babies worth???
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Old 06-11-2009, 11:36 PM
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While this is my first post, I have been lurking here for a while, it is not my first boat by a long shot. I have had several center consoles with singles and twins as well as fully loaded desiel sport fish boats up to 43 feet. I have actively boated for 40 years on the west coast, in the north east, both sides of Florida an am now in Louisanna and looking to enjoy the water in this part of the country.

I to am in the process of looking at the purchase of a high end quality bay boat. I have been drawn to Young. They custom build only a 20 and a 24 bay boat. They are a family operation and build about 40 - 3 peice boats per year to each owners exact specifications.

Look is a personal thing and I like the look of the Young boat. Not to mention the 4" or 5" more freeboard of the Young over the Yellowfin. Freeboard on Shearwater is about like the Yellowfin. As I am sure you know there is not much freeboard on most of the bay boats.

In speaking with both Young and Yellowfin seems that the Yellowfin hull is more performance oriented. Yellowfin is saying mid 70's with Yamaha 350 although seems odd that Yamaha 300 is only in the mid 60's with same weight. Don't understand all I know about this. Think they may be fooling with gear ratios and lower units in addition to props. If you haven't looked I suggest looking at the Yellowfin Forum - there is a discussion or two about performance of the 24 bay boat. If the fastest bay boat is your goal seems that the Yellowfin is the boat.

Young says that their boat will perform in the mid 60's with Yamaha 350. Both Young and Yellowfin numbers are without t-tops or hard tops as they seem to reduce top speed by 3 to 4 miles per hour.

Seems most all bay boats will get you in skinny water and with an adjustable jack plate get you on plane and out of it as well.

I am looking for a combination of look, functionality, hull performance in all types of conditions including cruise, top speed and gph at cruise. I desire shallow water access, offshore capabilities on nice days and creature comforts. The Young 24 has a head as an option. I like that.

Hope you find this info of value. By the way, I have nothing to do with Young boats or any other boat manufacturer, just on a search like you, I look forward to hearing which boat you choose.

Best Regards,
Larry
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Old 06-12-2009, 12:04 AM
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Cheers Larry...

Will have a close look at Young now!

Just from my initial research the 23 Sheaffer and the 23 Gause are far too much boat for what i am looking to do. I own a bass boat now and want to keep the shallow water fishability of a bass boat but couple that with trips offshore in decent conditions. The 23 Sheaffer and the 23 Gause are what i would consider more offshore capable than inshore practical. Yes they do seem to draw shallow but would struggle in the skinny creeks i fish here in Oz.

The YF24 looks good though...
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Old 06-12-2009, 04:58 AM
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young and YF as the best custom boats and shearwater as the best production boat...IMO.

I am also a fan of Ranger, Skeeter, triton, hydrasports and champion fan but they are not in the same league as the other boats mentioned above in this thread. Cant get much of a better ride with HS or triton in the rough stuff. To me bay boats are for skinny or near shore and that would make that my main concern when purchasing as you will have to pick your days carefully with any of them anyway so why limit yourself what you will be doing most of the time.
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Old 06-12-2009, 06:51 AM
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Don't overlook Dorado. Very sweet 23. Dolphin makes a 20. Canyon Bay is another good choice.
For me the Dorado, Gause or Canyon Bay are the combo boat of choice. Will fish skinny but you can run off also.
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Old 06-12-2009, 07:30 AM
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Savvy, you mention skinny creeks and draft. Well the Gause and Shaeffer will draft a little less than the Yellowfin and they are just about the same width so unless the creeks you fish are right at 8' 6'' wide I'm not sure the logic makes sense.
I agree with the above statements that there are two types of bay boats, their are the bayboats that are shallow water minded; pathfinder, shearwater, yellowfin, champion, etc... These boats generally draft less, have a full flat front deck and are 2 piece boats.
Then there are the more offshore capable ones: shaeffer, everglades, gause, dorado, avenger (one of my favorites), etc.. These boats have much higher freeboard, much better offshore capability, and sit higher out of the water.

I have a Everglades 223 bay boat. It has a 21 degree deadrise and drafts 16 inches or so. I prefer this as I fish offshore just as much inshore and was willing to give up the draft to get a better riding boat with more capabilites offshore. I still fish inshore quite a bit. I have a trolling motor on the boat and a powerpole. I have been bonefishing in it before (only at high tide) but when it gets shallow I usually get out and wade. Also, the front deck is raised on the more offshore boats and give you better sight lines. Not to mention I am usually fishing on the gunnels of the boat anyway, they are wide and stable. These are traits shared by most of the boats mentioned above.
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Old 06-12-2009, 08:14 AM
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My memory is broken, but what about that big black and yellow bay boat with some offshore ability that someone touted so highly a couple of month ago? I can't remember who or the brand, but I bet someone can. It might not get skinny enough for savvy's needs, though.
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