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Old 12-13-2012, 01:32 PM
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Question forward seating - yes or no

I am having a hard time deciding if my next boat should have forward seating or not. I use my boat for fishing 98% of the time (mostly fly and light tackle where fishing from the bow is common; fishing anywhere from inshore to 30 miles offshore).

The seating would be useful to me for the dry storage it offers. I could also see the utility of the drop-in platform that fills the gap between the seats and creates a raised casting platform.

The disadvantage seems to be inability to lean on the gunwale or to brace yourself on the gunwale while fishing or in rougher seas. The idea of a wide open bow is also attractive, perhaps installing a small custom coffin box for storage instead of having permanent seating.

The boat I am looking at right now is a 23 deep vee Parker. But I am interested in thoughts for any boat of about 23 feet in length with an 8'6" beam.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:41 PM
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For me and the boat I just bought, forward seating was required. The wife and kids will be on the boat alot and they demand somewhere to sit. Plus, mine has two insulated fishboxes under the seating so one will used as storage and one will be having fish put in it.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:59 PM
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depends if you are going fishing with family or friends. with family, yeah you will need it. friends, no. I've got forward seating on mine for girlfriend/family purposes.
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:06 PM
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Currently dealing with this issue myself. I love the idea of having a big open deck, but there ARE those times when youre just heading out for a cruise with friends/girlfriend... decisions, decisions... I'm thinking about a small Bench on either side of the anchor locker door...
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:08 PM
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There is no need for forward seating. It is really a marketing ploy. Have you ever tried to sit at the bow of a boat on a 1/2" cooler cushion, sideways, with barely anything to hold on to in 2' seas? Beanbags all the way man!

Put a coffin box in the center up front and use that for storage and to cast from!
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:12 PM
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Think it's best for kids. Without kids I'd resist it. Adults are easier to accommodate and forward seating, unless removable, creates a permanent obstacle. A yeti cooler and bean bags are all the forward seating I need on my boat. The ability to move around and fish up there is pretty important.
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:15 PM
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Absolutely, it has been awesome! The dry storage is great and the family can relax. Not to mention the wife sunbathing up there!
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:33 PM
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Got in on my boat and it is great. Dry storage and all the women like to ride up there when not offshore.it really does not get in the way when fishing.
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:36 PM
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Personal preference I guess. I have had both and will never own another FS boat. Buy bean bags.
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reef Pirate View Post
There is no need for forward seating. It is really a marketing ploy. Have you ever tried to sit at the bow of a boat on a 1/2" cooler cushion, sideways, with barely anything to hold on to in 2' seas?
Agree. While running, even when relatively calm, it will be uncomfortable if not dangerous to ride up in the bow. I actually saw a person(adult) that was sitting in the forward seeting get thrown out of a 26 Regulator. Thankfully he was not seriously injured!
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:58 PM
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My previous boat had a casting platform which offered a great deal of storage. It also had a thru hull drain which allowed me to fill the space with ice for fish storage. When I had people of the non-fishing persuasion I had bean bags available for them to sit on. Other options were sit on the leaning post (had back rest) or stand behind leaning post.
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BACKTOTHESEA View Post
Personal preference I guess. I have had both and will never own another FS boat. Buy bean bags.
X2
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:02 PM
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we use bean bags if going to the islands. nearshore or icw crusing people sit on gunnels etc. i have buddies that bought boats based on wife and kid coming all the time blah blah blah kids have gone like twice.
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:06 PM
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No seating. When we go out on the boat for a cruise, I put my bench seat that goes across my transom on the boat......the kids scramble for the bean bags. Bench seat stays home these days.
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:13 PM
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The problem my wife has with the Bean Bags and I agree is she says when were running or cruising around she wants to be able to easily look out and enjoy the time on the water no be stuck down under the gunnels. Really depends on the boat, some boats it takes up a ton of space and others not so much. If you regularily fish 360 on the the boat it can be a PITA but if not and can deal with it then I'd say go with the forward seating.
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:21 PM
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It's an absolute must for us with family and kids on board.
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Old 12-13-2012, 03:31 PM
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They do get in the way a little while bottom fishing but overall I like mine. They have 4 vertical rod holders, a ton of storage, they make a decent casting platform when pitching, and a solid step up to the gunnel. Kids are always on them but like someone else said, adults like the stern bench and cooler seat in front of the console when running.

BTW, the front benches on Regulators are very high for some reason and riders are less secure than on most others.


Our bean bags only get used on long offshore trips. They are hot when you are going slow and you can't see from them very well.
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:19 PM
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I predict 10 pages, at least.

I really like mine for the storage. As another mentioned, one for dry storage and one for fish on short trips then it is the fish bag in the center hold. If you fly fish exclusively 98% of the time, maybe no FS. The platform sounds good but with no knee hold it could get dicey.

One thing to keep in mind is resale value. Due to demand, Regulator does not offer non-FS on several models. This site is pretty hardcore fishermen so take the non-FS with a grain of salt.

Yes, for pure fishing a non-FS may be best. For family and resale a FS would probably win out.
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Old 12-13-2012, 05:50 PM
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I much prefer no forward seating, but it is hard to find on cost point production boats.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:00 PM
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Forward seating sucks on a fishing boat, removable rear seating and bags gets my vote
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