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-   -   Best boat for Tampa Bay? (https://www.thehulltruth.com/boating-forum/355472-best-boat-tampa-bay.html)

sergestorms 05-31-2011 06:56 PM

Best boat for Tampa Bay?
 
Hello all,

Just curious what those familiar with the waters would suggest. 21' to 25'. Single outboard. 50/50 fishing and cruising.
Need to be able to run through 2' without concern and cross that 30' cabin cruiser wake without slowing down.
Does such a boat exist?

Thanks,
Serge

G8RDave 05-31-2011 07:12 PM

That's a tough call. There are quite a few boats that can run in 3 feet without concern, cross significant wakes, be very fishable and still be comfortable to cruise in (including mine), but the 2 foot thing will be tough.

You're probably looking at a center console like a Grady White, Sea Hunt, Sailfish etc that cater to families that fish instead of hard core fisherman brands like Guase, Schaffer, Dorado, Contender, etc.

It will definitely be an outboard though, because you WILL run aground out here somewhere.

p1i2t3a4 05-31-2011 07:24 PM

If you were an inshore fisherman I would lean towards the bayboats (Gause, Pathfinder, Hewes), but since you mention 50/50 and mention more about waves, wakes, cruising I would lean more towards the small CC with seating (so many to chose from).

Personally I think the Gause type of boat is the perfect all around boat for Tampa if you like to fish offshore and inshore and cruise with the family. You can go offshore (near offshore) with its taller bow and sharp entry. You can Tarpon fish the beaches and passes. You can fish the flats. You can put the dodger up and have kids up in the front with forward seating and out of the sun. Exc boat for a family to cruise to Egmont and picnic. It can cruise the 2' shallows, cross the wakes, cut through 2' seas, and has seating for the family.

If you don't do the flats, a 25 Contender FS is pretty good for Tampa gulf as well (but it has twins). I had a Pathfinder 22 and it was great for the Bay/Inshore, ok for for the Gulf, but lacked good seating for the family (and low /no gunwhales). Great for Tampa if you stayed in the bays more.

kevster1 05-31-2011 07:25 PM

That's going to be tough, I've fished Tampa Bay many times, you are probably looking at a bay boat in the 22' range at a minimum, something like a Pathfinder 2200, Ranger Bay 2200 or similar, especially if you're serious about going in 2'. I'm sure there are some bay boats that cater more to family or cruising...



Originally Posted by sergestorms (Post 3788972)
Hello all,

Just curious what those familiar with the waters would suggest. 21' to 25'. Single outboard. 50/50 fishing and cruising.
Need to be able to run through 2' without concern and cross that 30' cabin cruiser wake without slowing down.
Does such a boat exist?

Thanks,
Serge


blindmullet 05-31-2011 07:32 PM

Any of the 22.2 Aquasport ripoffs will do great in Tampa Bay. Fish the flats or go offshore...

p1i2t3a4 05-31-2011 07:52 PM


Originally Posted by blindmullet (Post 3789100)
Any of the 22.2 Aquasport ripoffs will do great in Tampa Bay. Fish the flats or go offshore...

x2 classic aquasport and their more modern renditions are perfect.

jlipsky14 05-31-2011 08:12 PM

i think the contender 25 would be great!
http://www.thehulltruth.com/boating-...tender-fs.html

If you would consider a twin (i would want one if i ever wanted to go offshore) These are the two boats i would look at. I love the yellowfin
http://www.thehulltruth.com/boating-...contender.html

bearohs 05-31-2011 08:28 PM

xhowevermanyneeded for the aquasport ripoff.
Closed Transom
Three Piece construction
Effecient

Find a gause/dorado if not look at privateer, parker, or other NC builder.

Tampa has a great mid depth fishing (4ft or more). all seasons.

bearohs 05-31-2011 08:37 PM

and dare i say that the sheaffer, avenger, threadfin, bonefish, and martin mfg all make a similar school of thought boat, differnet price points. shop them all, see which ones for you.

reeeljob 05-31-2011 09:06 PM

Gause Built would do the trick:thumbsup:

eggsuckindog 05-31-2011 10:05 PM

There ain't nothin that will ride nice in Tampa Bay, crappiest water ever - pick anything - maybe a big ass hatteras might LOL

G8RDave 05-31-2011 10:10 PM


Originally Posted by reeeljob (Post 3789382)
Gause Built would do the trick:thumbsup:

I guess we need to know if your budget is over or under $70,000.

TARobeck 05-31-2011 10:44 PM

Good luck with your search. I would go with a larger center console. 24' +. Anything smaller and you just can't get across the chop in the bay, especially if your running out to Egmont or beyond. We came back from Sarasota this past weekend and we got beat up pretty good and we have one of those 30' that doesn't slow down! :grin:

The Gause built is a sweet sweet ride if you can swing it. I have heard Gradys handle the chop well. My buddy has a 24 Tidewater and that is a real nice ride too... Lots to choose from in that range.

slickster 05-31-2011 11:47 PM

Panga 22 is made for that area....easily pushed with a 115ft, easily towed and handled..nice wide gunnels....I run a pangamarine 22 and it should suit you well for tampa bay.....you will have to slow down for wakes unless you are in a 26ft cat of something...don't need a deep vee or really anything larger....

Commocean 06-01-2011 04:55 AM

I just bought a Scout 245 XSF for the exact purpose you describe. My Panga Marine 18' Skiff was probably one of the best riding 18' boats on the planet, but the Tampa Bay chop, as mentioned above, is nasty. Steep, sharp, and present more often than not.

I wanted something with a single engine, plenty of seating, a head, some fishability, and enough size to prevent getting sent back to port because of the chop.

runabout 06-01-2011 09:03 AM

What is the price range? New or used? I live on the bay and I have a Sea Cat that has no problems with any of your criteria except for 1......it has twin engines. I can run in less than 2' of water, have no problems crossing boat wakes at speed and it eats up the bay chop, goes 50 miles offshore and cruises well. Seating is not the best, Katherine loves her E Sea Rider tear drop bean bag though. A cooler seat in front of the center console is another option.

As other have said, any of the Aqua Sport replicas with a single will work well and you can find one to fit any price range.

Necessary Evil 06-01-2011 09:27 AM

1 Attachment(s)
I've got an a '74 22-2. Pretty good fit for the area, but you do have to slow down a bit on blustery days. A boat that intrigues me is the 26' Calcutta catamaran. Its built in Tampa and has a very open and flexible layout. I've heard they ride well too.

http://www.calcuttaboats.com/

runabout 06-01-2011 09:41 AM


Originally Posted by Necessary Evil (Post 3790229)
I've got an a '74 22-2. Pretty good fit for the area, but you do have to slow down a bit on blustery days. A boat that intrigues me is the 26' Calcutta catamaran. Its built in Tampa and has a very open and flexible layout. I've heard they ride well too.

http://www.calcuttaboats.com/

The Calcutta is built on the south side of Tampa Bay, you can see their facility as you go south on 275 as you cross over 41. They boat comes in either a single or double....I didn't mention it because it was longer (26') than the OP's 21-15 ft parameter. Great boat that does exceptionally well in the bay. Not that many 26' boats can operate in less than 2' and do well offshore or in the bay chop.

sergestorms 06-01-2011 10:21 AM

Thanks for the responses.

I currently have a 22' panga and it's prefect with a light to moderate chop and great for the shallows. But, once a bit more than moderate hits I'd like something that can handle the waves a bit better.

I'm willing to sacrifice some draft for better sea handling.

I'm in no rush, just in the info gathering stage.

Budget would be around $50k - $60k, cheaper is always better. New or slightly used.

I guess the decision is the Gause / Avenger / Aeon / etc. type boat vs the Sea Hunt / Grady / Pro Line / Robalo / etc. type boat. Just examples listed there.

I'll ride in both when the time comes but wondering on any real world experience.

Probably get a traditional center console and throw a jackplate on it and be done with it.

Welcome any additional comments.

Thanks,
Serge

TARobeck 06-01-2011 04:43 PM


Originally Posted by runabout (Post 3790265)
The Calcutta is built on the south side of Tampa Bay, you can see their facility as you go south on 275 as you cross over 41. They boat comes in either a single or double....I didn't mention it because it was longer (26') than the OP's 21-15 ft parameter. Great boat that does exceptionally well in the bay. Not that many 26' boats can operate in less than 2' and do well offshore or in the bay chop.

Great Boat! A friend has one and if I was going to get something that size in a center console it would be at the top of my list.

oseadpc 06-01-2011 04:56 PM

take a look at the Aeon and visit the factory. I recently took delivery of my Pro Guide and i am very happy with the boat. PM me if you have any questions.

SourDaze 06-01-2011 07:13 PM


Originally Posted by sergestorms (Post 3790373)
Thanks for the responses.

I currently have a 22' panga and it's prefect with a light to moderate chop and great for the shallows. But, once a bit more than moderate hits I'd like something that can handle the waves a bit better.

I'm willing to sacrifice some draft for better sea handling.

I'm in no rush, just in the info gathering stage.

Budget would be around $50k - $60k, cheaper is always better. New or slightly used.

I guess the decision is the Gause / Avenger / Aeon / etc. type boat vs the Sea Hunt / Grady / Pro Line / Robalo / etc. type boat. Just examples listed there.

I'll ride in both when the time comes but wondering on any real world experience.

Probably get a traditional center console and throw a jackplate on it and be done with it.

Welcome any additional comments.

Thanks,
Serge

I counted 13 Pro Lines at Beer Can Island (Pierce's Paradise) on Sunday ranging from 18 to the 30 (maybe 32?) yellow express on the south side of the Island. If you get serious about including that brand in your search call Bill Erickson with Erickson Marine in Sarasota. He's an honest guy. BTW, my boat handles the Bay very well. However, I don't try to get into anything less than 3-feet of water. I probably fish a little more than you plan to, but I think the boat I have is probably set up to be a more family ready fishing boat. There are lots of good brands out there, good luck and have fun.

Patton222 06-01-2011 10:29 PM

Avenger, Dorado, Aeon etc. Throw some beanbags on when you go with the fam, takes up space but doesn't get more comfortable than that.

Don't know much about anything high production, can't go wrong with custom.

cerrncr 06-02-2011 12:30 AM

Unless you are planning on fishing on the flats in 2 feet of water then I strongly suggest you find a quality center console with a true deep v hull 23 to 24 degree deadrise. Given the nasty, confused, short chop here on west coast I would also buy as much length as you can afford.

Single motor boats: Bluewater 2350 and 2550, Contender 23, Sailfish 23' (more family friendly) would all be on my short list.

Conditions here change very quickly due to the shallow waters. Summer lightning storms are on you quick. I'd want a hull I could get on plane and get home fast without beating yourself and crew to death.

As always go for a ride in choppy conditions and you will make the right choice for yourself. Best of luck in your decision.

bearohs 06-02-2011 05:54 AM

Serge,
You cant compare a SeaHunt to a Dorado (or the entire three piece west coast style crew of boats).

Dorado/Sheafer/Gause/Aeon all use a three piece construction.

This makes you set IN the boat, verse ON it. Making it more family oriented, and feels safer. Plus the openness of them make them very versatile.

I have a SeaPro sv2100, and am dying to get into a 22-26ft 3piece boat. But live n learn.

scooperfl 06-02-2011 06:52 AM

I have had a bunch of boats here over the years and would now only pick a boat with the following:
1) At least 22', 24-26' can run comfortably most days
2) V hull with 18-24deg deadrise AND a sharp entry. The deadrise number is not as important as the sharp entry.
3) Significant reverse chine to keep the spray down
4) If you want to cruise, a real head (not a porta potty)
5) A good live well or two
6) For cruising with kids, forward seating

Of the ones that were mentioned:
-Pro Lines except the Donzi models have a distictly blunt bow
-Mostl of the Bay boats have softer chines to limit slap and less deadrise
-Contender 25S is a GREAT ride, but the console is too high and pretty bare bones.

Newer 24-25' Grady, Scout, Regulator, Edgewater, Pursuit fit my criteria and can be found for 60K. Twin F150's will have less draft and handle better than the single 250's.

Slingnbait 06-02-2011 07:58 AM

I would throw Canyon Bay into the mix. The two models that would fit Tampa Bay very well are the 2375 and the 2400. The 2375 is a great family boat. Here are some pics:

2375

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...9241986&type=1

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...9241986&type=1

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...9241986&type=1

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...9241986&type=1

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...9241986&type=1

2400

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...9241986&type=1

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...9241986&type=1

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...9241986&type=1

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...9241986&type=1

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...9241986&type=1

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...9241986&type=1

Coquille 06-02-2011 08:03 AM

has anyone looked at the new Hanson Skiff 23 and the 3 piece bayboat they are making off the same mold? I would really like to see one up close.

Also, the Blazer Bay 2400 will do everything you want if you put a jackplate on it.

Reelin Good 06-02-2011 06:20 PM

My Everglades 240CC handles the Tampa Bay chop well and is very dry...don't think I've had a drop of water come into the boat yet. I don't think you'll find a 240CC in your price range but the 230CC can be had and is a nice boat.

http://www.thehulltruth.com/boats-sa...-offshore.html

Necessary Evil 06-03-2011 08:10 AM

That Canyon Bay is good looking! Highly customizable too it appears! How much do they run?

Sailfish450 06-03-2011 10:13 PM

Around a year ago, we sold off 266 Sailfish and went to a 22'3 Everglades with a Verado. Originally we bought the Sailfish for Island Hopping around the Tampa Bay Area and for runs offshore. Ended up falling in love with the Everglades brand. Excellent construction, excellent handling, and I can run in less than 2ft of water.

We have enjoyed this mixed use boat emensily. Great for beaching it around Beer Can or anchoring up at Egmont Key or running 25 miles offshore for a little near shore fishing. I have had it out in 3ft's and the boat performed better than my 266 Sailfish.

yz250b 06-04-2011 03:22 AM

Buy as much boat as you can from a local builder. Having factory support is priceless! My list would be Andros, Calcutta, , Aeon, & Yellowfin. I have a 24 and smoke by offshore boats getting beat all the time.If you asked any of my passengers there wod be one answer I think!
http://i194.photobucket.com/albums/z...s/db9907c1.jpg

chemoniepilot 06-04-2011 05:03 AM

If you are buying 'new' here's another consideration: Take a look at the Sundance NX boats that have just came out ( 17 - 25 feet CC'S ).

FINNally 06-04-2011 06:30 PM


Originally Posted by Slingnbait (Post 3792757)


Slingnbait...where have you been? Was hoping you were still around.

The 2400 is my favorite. Have a question for ya, are there options for a bow cushion on the 2400? Wifey needs a place to sun bake while I fish.

Oh, yea, can you get a transom livewell installed on the 2400?

Sorry to derail thread...

davepjr71 09-28-2020 09:41 AM

I know this is a 9 year old thread but wanted to revive for updated boats. I'll be moving down to the Bay area either late next year or the following year. I currently have a Tidewater 230 that I love but am very interested in fishing skinny water but also want to head offshore at times and do almost all light tackle fishing. I've been looking at Avenger 24's, Skeeter, Pathfinder, etc all in that same size. I've been on a charter where we fished skinny and then went out to the channel for shark in a Skeeter 24. I see boats like Canyon Bay and such listed and would like input. Thanks.

69Mach390 09-28-2020 11:47 AM


Originally Posted by davepjr71 (Post 14089493)
I know this is a 9 year old thread but wanted to revive for updated boats. I'll be moving down to the Bay area either late next year or the following year. I currently have a Tidewater 230 that I love but am very interested in fishing skinny water but also want to head offshore at times and do almost all light tackle fishing. I've been looking at Avenger 24's, Skeeter, Pathfinder, etc all in that same size. I've been on a charter where we fished skinny and then went out to the channel for shark in a Skeeter 24. I see boats like Canyon Bay and such listed and would like input. Thanks.

If your starting point is a Tidewater 230, any V hull in that size youíre switching to is going to be a compromise.

If it runs shallower, itíll ride worse. It it rides better, it wonít run shallow.

Honestly your current boat will be great for around here.

Outside of that, youíd be looking for a cat hull. Itíll both ride better and run shallower than your current boat. Calcutta makes a great boat for that and theyíre built in Tampa Bay.

Patton222 09-28-2020 12:57 PM

I don’t know much about the TW 230 but I’m sure it would do fine over here. Most locally built boats are similar in respect that they’re 3 piece boats you stand inside and not on top of. That’s the biggest difference to what you’re currently in. If you fish open water where it’s rough that’s where it will be the most noticeable. If you’ve got good sea legs and don’t mind it stick with what you have. If you want something with more cockpit, gunnels and a closed transom I would look into: Dorado custom boats, Sheaffer boats, marauder marine(avenger boats). Each is built locally and designed for this area, well engineered machines.

SRQMynatt 09-28-2020 01:04 PM

Robalo Cayman, people are missing the 50/50 fishing/cruising. So of the boats mentioned are pretty much hardcore fishing boats.

69Mach390 09-28-2020 01:48 PM


Originally Posted by SRQMynatt (Post 14090185)
Robalo Cayman, people are missing the 50/50 fishing/cruising. So of the boats mentioned are pretty much hardcore fishing boats.

The OP is from 9 years ago. We are responding to the guy who bumped the thread today. Seems only to be talking about fishing.

Just a note to the other guy recommending a Sheaffer, etc. Yes those are fantastic boats for Tampa Bay. Weíve owned one since 2003. They will run shallower than the Tidewater. However, donít expect it to ride nicer. Itís quite flat in the back. Some people will take them offshore. We donít.

Flying_Norseman 09-28-2020 02:17 PM

Ours has worked perfect for Tampa Bay Fishing/cruising, as well as offshore fishing, lazy days at Egmont, kids days at Beercan, and the occasional weekend trip with the kids. Rain or shine doesn’t really matter either:


https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.the...20225410d.jpeg




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