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Skinny Water Boat

Old 03-13-2019, 06:10 AM
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Default Skinny Water Boat

Okay Im sure this question is asked a million different ways on here and Ive read most of them. Im buying my first boat soon and have very specific needs for it. The problem Im having is I don't have a lot of money and I really don't want to have to upgrade in a few years. I need something 18 to 20 foot that is capable of operating during low winter tides in the Ozello FL back country. Every time I find something that I think will work I come here and find that there are quality control issues with that particular brand. Right now my Im looking at the differences between Carolina Skiff ( not sure which model ) Mako Pro Skiff 19, Xpress SW20B, Blue Wave 1900 STL. I know these are all budget brands and will have some issues but my question is which one will give me the least amount of grief over the years?
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Old 03-13-2019, 11:47 AM
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IMO in Ozello you need something made out of aluminum or an airboat to fish negative winter tides in this area. None of the options you listed are going to give you the access you need for catching holed up redfish and trout in the winter. At the VERY minimum you need a prop tunnel with a big jack plate and a low water pickup. At best, a jet drive or even an airboat. It is a very unforgiving area.
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Old 03-13-2019, 11:55 AM
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Go to 2coolfishing.com and look in the classified section. About a dozen very good builders and half the ads will be for those type boats
.
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Old 03-13-2019, 12:22 PM
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I definitely second. Jon boat idea.
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Old 03-13-2019, 12:26 PM
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Shame you’ve a limited budget, I got to see one and it’s Awesome:


Swamp Shark | Metal Shark
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Old 03-13-2019, 01:04 PM
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Tiller or console? For your area I honestly do not think an 18' aluminum boat with a tunnel hull can be beat. A tunnel hull will let you run SKINNY and aluminum is a lot better to scratch than fiberglass. Lots of people in Louisiana run tunnel hulls, and as a result, a lot of the builders are over this way.
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Old 03-13-2019, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by audioalchemy1 View Post
Okay Im sure this question is asked a million different ways on here and Ive read most of them. Im buying my first boat soon and have very specific needs for it. The problem Im having is I don't have a lot of money and I really don't want to have to upgrade in a few years. I need something 18 to 20 foot that is capable of operating during low winter tides in the Ozello FL back country. Every time I find something that I think will work I come here and find that there are quality control issues with that particular brand. Right now my Im looking at the differences between Carolina Skiff ( not sure which model ) Mako Pro Skiff 19, Xpress SW20B, Blue Wave 1900 STL. I know these are all budget brands and will have some issues but my question is which one will give me the least amount of grief over the years?
18'-20'x 42"-48" Southfork tunnel hull with anywhere from a 50hp-90hp tiller. Mine would run in 4" of water and get up in soft mud but i doubt you have any mud in Fl.
You didn't say what your budget is but this is probably a $10k rig with an Al trailer and tm.
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Old 03-13-2019, 01:49 PM
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Thanks for the reply and I agree with you on the aluminum hull. The xpress SW series is an aluminum boat with prop tunnel that supposedly gets up in 10 inches and will run in 6, Im just wondering about the build quality.
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Old 03-13-2019, 01:57 PM
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Xpress builds a good boat, know several people who own them. If you want to see a boat that runs shallow, watch for the guy it there fishing a Little cat boar. I think it’s a trans cat. I’ve known the owner for years (Gary), he’ll be happy to tell you the pros and cons of it. Personally, I’d go with the Xpress, a G3, Sea Ark, or other aluminum boat for out there.
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Old 03-13-2019, 02:12 PM
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Here's airboatin in Ozello.
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Old 03-13-2019, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by audioalchemy1 View Post
Thanks for the reply and I agree with you on the aluminum hull. The xpress SW series is an aluminum boat with prop tunnel that supposedly gets up in 10 inches and will run in 6, Im just wondering about the build quality.
In no particular order; ALWELD, Southfork, Alumiweld, these are boats designed specifically to run tunnels in La Marsh and were designed from local input. I have never seen a g3 tunnel used down here in the marsh and I’m betting that name will increase the price for zero benefit.
Blacks Outdoor in Lafayette knows tunnel hulls as does Jerry’s Marine in Sulphur and Sportsman in abbeville La. You can also go custom with some local builders, pm me for a list.
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Kenner 23 View Post


In no particular order; ALWELD, Southfork, Alumiweld, these are boats designed specifically to run tunnels in La Marsh and were designed from local input. I have never seen a g3 tunnel used down here in the marsh and I’m betting that name will increase the price for zero benefit.
Blacks Outdoor in Lafayette knows tunnel hulls as does Jerry’s Marine in Sulphur and Sportsman in abbeville La. You can also go custom with some local builders, pm me for a list.
What he said. Kenner, you must be from up this way. We fish primarily off of Dauphin Island, how about you?
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim311 View Post
IMO in Ozello you need something made out of aluminum or an airboat to fish negative winter tides in this area. None of the options you listed are going to give you the access you need for catching holed up redfish and trout in the winter. At the VERY minimum you need a prop tunnel with a big jack plate and a low water pickup. At best, a jet drive or even an airboat. It is a very unforgiving area.
This...G3 Tunnel may be a good option if you can find one used. Definitely a unforgiving place to operate a boat.
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Old 03-14-2019, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by jjc0009 View Post
What he said. Kenner, you must be from up this way. We fish primarily off of Dauphin Island, how about you?
Nope, S W Louisiana, been running tunnels since 2002 in the marshes. Whatevah the sales guy tells ya, don't ever buy a semi-v with a tunnel.
Tunnels are set up to run flat bottom with min planning, longer is better in almost all tunnel applications. Only a couple of places i know of that can
set up props for tunnels and know what they're doing.
OP, buy a 20x48 and hang a 2stroke 90 yamaha or merc on the transom, it's the closest you'll get to an airboat.
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Old 03-14-2019, 09:22 AM
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Billy Henderson builds a boat specifically for Ozello. Micro Draft 20 or 22. I run my 1874 dura craft tunnel with a jet drive in there a good bit and never had an issue with water. Now spooky ass fish that won't let you get close to them is another story. Aluminum is louder than glass and can make catching fish a bit harder.
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:46 AM
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Look at a Boatright--aluminum.

Also, second the go look at 2coolfishing.com classifieds. Lot of texas boats designed to run in less than a foot of water.
Forget V hulls and boats without a jackplate......IF shallow is your prime goal.
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:02 AM
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I watched one of these the other day scooting across flats that I'd be hesitant to cross on a jet ski!


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Old 03-14-2019, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Capt. Scott Crown View Post
Billy Henderson builds a boat specifically for Ozello. Micro Draft 20 or 22. I run my 1874 dura craft tunnel with a jet drive in there a good bit and never had an issue with water. Now spooky ass fish that won't let you get close to them is another story. Aluminum is louder than glass and can make catching fish a bit harder.
I tend to get out and wade whenever possible.
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:41 PM
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Shop for a used Alumacraft utlity v 16 with at least 20 hp. Tracker marine aluminum boats are not recommended for slat water, they cancel their warranty if u use their boats near salty water. I drove one all over FL,Ga, etc for 20 yrs with no issues whatsoever. It had Tohatsu 18 hp.
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Commocean View Post
I watched one of these the other day scooting across flats that I'd be hesitant to cross on a jet ski!

Don’t kid yourself.. that thing is leaving a canal behind it. In fl keys what he is doing there will get him a hefty fine..
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