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Sea Hunt BX22 vs Key West BR230 or Other Bay Boats

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Sea Hunt BX22 vs Key West BR230 or Other Bay Boats

Old 06-24-2020, 08:23 AM
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Default Sea Hunt BX22 vs Key West BR230 or Other Bay Boats

Hello, everyone
I am currently in the market for what I hope to be a do it all type of boat. I currently own a 20' Lowe Roughneck and have spent many a day in the freshwater here in Central NC. Recently, I and my wife are looking for a beach or vacation home at the coast and I am looking at upgrading to a boat capable of handling crappie fishing duties, some light offshore and mostly inshore while down at the coast, depending on days, some light offshore.

I haven't just narrowed it down to just these, but Chatlee is 10 minutes from work and I go by the Key West dealer at the coast all the time, I have looked at both of these units. Have not been in the water on either, but both have their pros and cons.

I guess my question is, knowing both of these have similar inshore and offshore capability, how are they to fish freshwater? I like to spider rig and long line during certain parts of the year and wondering if anyone has set either of these two boats up for that style of fishing. I expect to sacrifice some freshwater capability for more inshore/offshore.

Anyone have any experience with boat and what are must-haves to consider?

Thanks,
Old 06-24-2020, 01:07 PM
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I have a 2014 BR 230 and would be happy to answer any questions you might have but I don't know what a spider rig is or what you mean by long line. I have done considerable fresh water as well as salt water fishing so I am surprised I don't know the meaning of these terms..
Old 06-24-2020, 01:36 PM
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I have a 2017 BX22 that I use primarily in the CHS harbor and rivers. It handles everything here and in the harbor great. Its a surprisingly a shallow boat which is good for what I use it for. Its also a very dry boat for having such low a freeboard. Basically, its the same (lower) hull as the SH Triton 225. The Yamaha F200 I4 pushes it about 46-48 MPH with the FG t-top. If I had it to do over again I'd probably get the F250 SHO for it, just because.

It's not a MBG (Maverick Boat Group--Pathfinder/Hewes ) boat, but its also not MBG pricing, either.

A couple things I don't like about it: Powder coated T-Top supports and leaning post frame. If I ever get another boat, I won't get powder coat again. It looks great new, but it chips and bubbles up pretty easily. Get the silver anodized aluminum framing and treat it with sharkhide before you put it in the water the first time.

My factory stereo sucked, but the new ones come with JL MM50's, so they have fixed that.

I had to fight to get the correct prop for it; It came with a 14 1/4"x18" reliance; it needed a 14 1/4" x 17". Yes, it made a huge difference, with no difference in top end speed. They may have fixed that, too.

Anchor locker is way too small. Even the aluminum Fortress FX-7 anchor won't fit in it, which stinks, because i bought one, and never use it.

I had a couple fiberglass voids that popped up. Not a structural or performance issue; only cosmetic. All were fixed under warranty, until I found another last week.

Other than that, I love the boat. I put two power poles on it and couldn't live with out them. I'd like to get curtains for it and completely remove the windshield; it's kind of in the way sometimes. That's not a BX-22 thing; that's a small CC thing.

OTOH, You won't go wrong with a Key West. Fully foamed, well made boat. Good resale value. I had a KW 1720 years ago that was a terribly wet boat, but the one you are looking at is a completely different animal. You will pay at least $10K more for the new KW though. You'll have to justify if the subtle differences in layout and trim are worth it. Had I spent $10K more on my BX-22 new, I'd have a larger engine and a custom phone booth type covering around me, with cash to spare.

Good luck; I don't think you'd go wrong with either boat.
Old 06-25-2020, 05:59 AM
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I'm also in the market for a new bay boat and have been researching and looking at different brands for several months. I've looked at both these boats and found things I really like and things I would change on both the BX 22 and BR 23. A friend of mine has a BR 23 that he purchased from Collins Marine in Smithfield, NC and really likes the boat only thing he would change is getting a Yamaha 250 instead of his current 200 to give it a little extra zip when he's loaded down for fishing. For me personally I prefer the SH and I'm currently trying to find a used 2019 or newer without a t-top before I have to bite the bullet in the Fall and get a new one. As the previous poster said I think you'll be happy with either one of these boats and I wish you luck in your search. Welcome to THT.
Old 06-29-2020, 10:44 AM
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Can't believe this thread didn't get more feedback on these two very popular bay boats.
Old 06-29-2020, 10:52 AM
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Going on 5 years with my 230 BR Key West, Charlotte Harbor area. Looked hard for a few years. Problem is there are a LOT of very nice bay boats in this size range. Talking with owners, build technique, great owners website, all influenced me. Climb around, thump on the sides, compare prices. Nothing negative about the SH, but happy with my choice. 200 Yamaha plenty for me
Old 06-29-2020, 12:03 PM
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after hard look at the 230br, i chose the BX22, stepped up from 1860cc alumacraft jon boat

bay reef has a pad, more stop speed conducive, good for bouncing over chop offshore, but with a hard top, i saw no point, it is a bay boat not a speed boat ,if i was going no t-top, i'd have gotten the bay reef

both had about same price for me, key west was actually cheaper if i had it rigged with the same stuff on it because some of the goodies are standard on sea hunt but optional with key west

i prefer the sea hunt dash layout, seating, t-top design, moulded trim tabs, hatch beefiness, giant coffin box style insulated front hatch, factory JL stereo, garmin package, airmar thru hull (no drilling transom), etc.

the key west is a great boat too, i just liked the look & features on the sea hunt better, the bow flare looks more pronounced too, & damn my bx22 rides dry/soft n some chop, very impressed, the F200 does great, i've hit 51mph, more typically 45-47, a little slow out of the hole, but 4 blade will cure that, mine is rigged with hard top, power pole, charging system, 72" minn kota ulterra (def get 72 not 60 shaft!), i couldn't be happier, here's the build sheet & a pic of it

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Old 06-30-2020, 04:27 AM
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Awesome ride Chevyrulz hope your enjoying her. I’m looking one similar to your built with out the t-top.
Old 06-30-2020, 05:15 AM
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Sweet 8 lb 6 oz infant baby jesus! $86.5K for a Sea Hunt 22 bay boat. That is astonishing.

I'm never ever going to be able to afford a new boat ever again.
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Old 06-30-2020, 05:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Onewolf View Post
Sweet 8 lb 6 oz infant baby jesus! $86.5K for a Sea Hunt 22 bay boat. That is astonishing.

I'm never ever going to be able to afford a new boat ever again.

No shit. Hopefully that wasn't the actual sales price

You could save a few thousand by installing some of those options yourself, but DAMN.
Old 06-30-2020, 05:48 AM
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There are a lot of good boats in there his class. The 20-24 foot bay boat has kind of become the Swiss Army Knife of boats.

those 2 are good boats.

also look at:

Tidewater
Robalo
Sea Pro
Edgewater

and even more.

I haven’t been boat shopping for a while and it was a bit surprising to see how many good choices there were.

We went with the Robalo Cayman 226. The admiral loved the seating. I was impressed with the ride and live we’ll capacity. It’s basically identical to the 246, just shrunk a bit.
Old 06-30-2020, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by acme54321 View Post
Hopefully that wasn't the actual sales price
haha for real though! it wasn't

the bx22 stripped down can be had for high 40s / low 50s, rigged like mine probably high 60s+, easily into mid 70s depending on what options are selected, ie the 250
Old 06-30-2020, 06:45 AM
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$86.5k for a 22' SH?
I dont even think the bx25fs with 300 I looked at was that high.
Old 06-30-2020, 08:23 AM
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I assume these are list prices so you should get all that down to high 60's low 70's. If not then holy cow things have really gone up since I bought my 2014 KW BR230.
Old 07-07-2020, 02:07 PM
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Chevyunc14 did you make a decision between the Sea Hunt BX22 or the Key West BR23?? Just curious on what you decided to go with.
Old 07-07-2020, 02:15 PM
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If you are consideringthese two, you should give Sportsman a look as well.
Old 07-07-2020, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe View Post

I had to fight to get the correct prop for it; It came with a 14 1/4"x18" reliance; it needed a 14 1/4" x 17". Yes, it made a huge difference, with no difference in top end speed. They may have fixed that, too.

t.
Joe, what performance did you gain by going to the 17" prop?

To the OP, what Joe said is spot on. All of the bay boats in this class are slightly different, so you have to decide which make/model fits your preference. The build quality of the Sea Hunt is on par with the rest in this class/price range and offer good factory support through their dealer network if an issues arises.
Old 07-07-2020, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Murray_Bound View Post
Joe, what performance did you gain by going to the 17" prop?

To the OP, what Joe said is spot on. All of the bay boats in this class are slightly different, so you have to decide which make/model fits your preference. The build quality of the Sea Hunt is on par with the rest in this class/price range and offer good factory support through their dealer network if an issues arises.

Mostly out of the hole performance and no bogging. Before at WOT it would do @ 5700 rpm at around 46 mph; no It does about 6000 RPM at 46-48. Boat just fees more powerful throughout the power band.
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Old 07-07-2020, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Onewolf View Post
Sweet 8 lb 6 oz infant baby jesus! $86.5K for a Sea Hunt 22 bay boat. That is astonishing.

I'm never ever going to be able to afford a new boat ever again.
You're not kidding! Now I don't feel so bad for what I paid for my 22trs pathfinder!
Old 07-07-2020, 04:21 PM
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Make sure to check out the Pathfinder 22 and 23hps. You can build a boat on their website and see the prices. Can't speak for those other brands but Pathfinders have great resale value also.

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