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Duckworth and other "welded" boats

Old 08-26-2016, 08:35 AM
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Default Duckworth and other "welded" boats

Hello...I live in NJ and was looking for a new aluminum boat for fishing and family stuff. I was looking at the usual suspects like Starcraft and Lund. I then came across a "breed" of boats I've never seen before. They are Duckworth, Hewescraft, Thunder Jet, etc. They look EXTREMELY well built and reasonably priced, but not a single one is available on the east coast. In fact, 90% are on the west coast and north west. I get it that they are mostly jet boats for running rivers, but they can be had with stern drive and outboard also. My question is why are they not more popular? Am I missing something? I'd love a welded hull with a heated pilot house for fall and winter! I posted this over on another forum also, so please excuse the redundancy.
Old 08-26-2016, 08:53 AM
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Welded Aluminum Boats are very popular in the Pacific Northwest, British Columbia and Alaska with both sports fisherman and commercial fisherman. They are built like tanks and are very low maintenance.

I think the main reason they are plentiful on the Left Coast and not the Right Coast is that Aluminum used to be very cheap here due to inexpensive hydroelectric power. That's why Boeing was started in Seattle, making Aluminum requires a lot of power, so is readily available.

Because the boats were available for a reasonable price, fisherman got used to them and loved the "bullet proof" construction. They make great working boats and are seen as worth the premium price and hold their value very well on the used boat market.
Old 08-26-2016, 09:02 AM
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They are becoming more and more popular here in the Great Lakes. The dealers are few and far between, but people are willing to drive and pay for what they want. Mostly seeing Hewescraft around here, but a few Wooldridge are popping up too. Closest dealer around Michigan is near Chicago.
Old 08-26-2016, 10:00 AM
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Hit the Pacific NW forums and take a look at the aluminum boats. Washington section of Bloody Decks, and Ifish for instance. 26 to 28 foot pilot house style boats are popular.

Many high dollar offshore boats with twins and trips for running out to the tuna grounds in use. Tuna grounds are anywhere from 30 to 60 miles out in the Pacific.


Not all NW boats are jet type river runners!!!

Aluminum started out for use in the rivers due to the damage to boats caused by the rocks and boulders. Think drift boating for Steelhead.

Duckworth is one of the high end builders.

Myself? I live on the Straits of Juan de Fuca and have a 1977 Mako. Those big aluminums are way out of my affordability range.

Typical offshore big bucks aluminum: Around $180,000 to $200,000.

Why the pilot house? Nasty Pacific NW weather, it is not all sunshine and warm water up here. The boats have a control and steering station in the cockpit for the fishing time.






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Old 08-26-2016, 10:06 AM
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I live in Calif and run a Duckworth on the rivers, lakes, bay and ocean. I have friends with Ducks, North Rivers, HewesCraft and Alumawelds.

Many of these builders started out as river jet boats as you stated but most have branched out into making big water boats. Check them out, the ones I listed are all solid with the Duck and North River probably the higher end of that group. There are also a number of custom manufactures.
Old 08-26-2016, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Fishnmike View Post
I live in Calif and run a Duckworth on the rivers, lakes, bay and ocean. I have friends with Ducks, North Rivers, HewesCraft and Alumawelds.

Many of these builders started out as river jet boats as you stated but most have branched out into making big water boats. Check them out, the ones I listed are all solid with the Duck and North River probably the higher end of that group. There are also a number of custom manufactures.
Yep. Look at Armstrong for some unique boats. They are about 10 miles from me.
Old 08-26-2016, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Lago86 View Post
Hello...I live in NJ and was looking for a new aluminum boat for fishing and family stuff. I was looking at the usual suspects like Starcraft and Lund. I then came across a "breed" of boats I've never seen before. They are Duckworth, Hewescraft, Thunder Jet, etc. They look EXTREMELY well built and reasonably priced, but not a single one is available on the east coast. In fact, 90% are on the west coast and north west. I get it that they are mostly jet boats for running rivers, but they can be had with stern drive and outboard also. My question is why are they not more popular? Am I missing something? I'd love a welded hull with a heated pilot house for fall and winter! I posted this over on another forum also, so please excuse the redundancy.
There is a builder in the NE...Rock Salt Boats.
Old 08-26-2016, 11:13 AM
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I used to live in the Chicago area, now live in TN. I fished salmon tournaments out a HewesCraft for a couple years. It was an excellent boat, never have i had so much space in a 22ft boat.

From what I understand there is a demand and HewesCraft would like to expand more east but their factory is already at full capacity so they cannot build enough boats to support any more dealers.

This Ocean Pro was about a 2012 model, i believe they have redesigned them since then.

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Old 08-26-2016, 11:16 AM
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There is a PNW builder option for just the type of boat you are looking for, with an east coast dealer close to you.

http://www.wooldridgeboats.com/catal...ore-pilothouse

http://www.paschmarine.com/

If you are looking to have a new one built the current wait is 7+ months but by pretty much all accounts (online) that I've ever read, well worth the wait. Good luck finding a used one on the east coast, I've been looking for years. They are only slightly more common than unicorns and sell very quickly.

Advice I have been given by a buddy who owns/runs one on Lake Erie is if you are going to have a new one built, deal directly with the factory, not thru a dealer.
Old 08-26-2016, 12:12 PM
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Here is my Armstrong
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Old 08-26-2016, 12:40 PM
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This is a Hewescraft Ocean Pro. it's an awesome boat. Cruises at 25 knots at 7 GPH + or - depending on conditions and rides pretty well. I have had it for about 8 months. Prior to it I had a Weldcraft Maverick which is the sister brand to Duckworth. In my view the weldcraft and Duckworth boats are a little bit better built in that they fold the sides of the boat vs just welding in extra support inside. The welds were also better in my opinion but then again Im not a welder so what do I know. Bottom line the aluminum boat builders have been making some good rough water boats for some time. The Hewescraft is a huge seller up in Alaska. Thunder jet also makes a really nice boat. Pretty much bombproof.
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Old 08-28-2016, 04:01 PM
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Thank you for the replies. I think I'll sell my Starcraft Mariner 210 and start looking for a good used Duck/Hewes/WC. I know I'll have to travel a ways but I'll make a vacation out of it.
Old 09-25-2016, 08:57 AM
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I run a Duckworth Offshore 28 in northern Canada. Bought in Seattle and hauled it back. I looked at the equivalent Hewescraft (Pacific Cruiser), Thunder Jet, Kingfisher, Weldcraft (same parent company as Duckworth).

Very happy with my Duck...great production boat. Solid build. If I was going a bit more custom, I'd look hard at Wooldridge. No direct experience with them, but heard lots of good things.

Thought I'd throw in a beauty pic of the northern lights when late season boating up here. I've posted it on THT a couple times before in other threads but that pic never gets old to look at.
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Old 09-25-2016, 09:51 AM
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Here's my Pacific 23 T-top.
If your looking for Alloy go here>>>> www.aluminumalloyboat.com
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Old 09-25-2016, 10:48 AM
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As previously stated aluminum alloy boats in the PacNW came about due to the availability of cheap power from the dams to run the smelters and the need for a tough boat building material that could withstand the rough recreational and commercial fishing conditions common to the area. There are quite a few builders of these boats on the gulf coast as well primarily servicing commercial needs but the places doing recreational builds down there are pretty well known for their cool rigs.

Not talking about lunds and other sheet metal lake boats here, the offshore machines are made of heavily welded 1/4" marine alloy plate.

My boat was built in 1988, had an i/o, I repowered with zuke 225 on a porta bracket about 10 years ago. It's like riding around in a tank.

For a list of alloy boat builder links see:

http://aluminumalloyboats.com/viewto...p=46844#p46844
Old 09-25-2016, 02:45 PM
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I would suggest you determine what you want to do with the boat and what your budget is and then go from there. I'm sure you can find something that will meet your needs if you do some research and are willing to travel to get it.


I had a plastic boat (Searay) when I lived in Miami and I will never own another fiberglass boat if I can help it.
Old 10-14-2016, 01:24 PM
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I was just looking at the specs of a bunch of these boats. Most seem to have a deadrise of only about 15 deg. at the transom. Do they run differently somehow so they don't need as much V as a glass boat?
Old 10-14-2016, 01:38 PM
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keep looking they come in deeper vees

mine is custom but north river and pacific both have deeper vees than some others . . .
Old 10-15-2016, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Mixed Nuts View Post
I run a Duckworth Offshore 28 in northern Canada. Bought in Seattle and hauled it back. I looked at the equivalent Hewescraft (Pacific Cruiser), Thunder Jet, Kingfisher, Weldcraft (same parent company as Duckworth).

Very happy with my Duck...great production boat. Solid build. If I was going a bit more custom, I'd look hard at Wooldridge. No direct experience with them, but heard lots of good things.

Thought I'd throw in a beauty pic of the northern lights when late season boating up here. I've posted it on THT a couple times before in other threads but that pic never gets old to look at.
Dude,
Love the pics, Love the boxers even more. They look like they were enjoying themselves...I miss my boy, he is on my mantle.
Old 10-15-2016, 09:39 AM
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Try the New England area. Aluminum boats are pretty popular up there. I don't think you will find any in NJ, which is where I live. I very rarely see them around here.

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