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The right boat for our fishing

Old 02-07-2019, 08:25 PM
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Default The right boat for our fishing

I’ve read every thread I can find via search, but either the criteria are wrong for me, missing, or it’s dead on except for fishing out of Maine. Awesome, just doesn’t help me. When I say “our fishing” I mean gulf waters, specifically out of Destin, more later on the particulars.

My experince thus far is inshore and nearshore (call it state waters,) at least in my current boat. Offshore experience has still been relatively close, 20-50 miles, in others’ boats. I’ve fished a lot with the same two friends, so that’s been on a Century 26 walk around, and a Scout 242 walk around. Frankly, neither are what I would call comfortable to run, even in 1-2’s or just confused chop.

In general, I’ll likely keep the small bay boat we have now. It’s easy and cheap to run, and I’d be tempted even to run nearshore if I trusted the engine more but it has a place as a just jump in and go if it’s just a boat ride to lunch kind of day. It’s great to drift flats and fly fish, just as poor as it is for sighting cobia, trolling, or having me believe it will survive getting in or out of the pass on the more...interesting days.

So, it’s time to move up.

Budget is $100k. Yes, that’s boat budget, meaning that’s what I told the wife who will be fine when I find the perfect boat but it’s 20% more than the budget. (Only because she’s as fishing driven as I am.)

Use/type of fishing - here’s the chicken or egg question when the wife and I have been discussing boats. We set out to define which boat by the type of fishing we do, but then we always come back to “yeah, but we do that type of fishing because of the boat we have NOW.”

Ideally we’d be equipped for the cobia run but not centered around it, bottom fishing for the usual suspects (AJ, ARS, trigger,) trolling for wahoo and dolphin is a priority. As experience is gained, we are definitely looking forward to the capability of deep water and game fishing. The wife is a coastal kid and still has marlin and swords on the bucket list, can’t say I’m much different. Admittedly, we may be better off to charter that adventure and stick to tuna, grouper, and maybe even sails as far as our own boat.

So, we want to be able to safely do the above, and the only boat that’s 80% ruled out is a center console. (Which kinda sucks, otherwise I’d already be in a Cape Horn 31.) The wife wants, and I agree, a place to at least get out of the midday sun for her and the boy. A generator and A/C would be a sweet bonus, but not required. Fishing is still the priority.

So, high on the research list are big walk arounds, or express boats. Grady sailfish, marlin or express; Pursuit of the same style/size; Carolina Classic/Albemarle 28; Luhrs open around that size; and open to suggestions otherwise. Go diesel? Nowhere near necessary or even desired for what I want to do? Anything on that list that won’t get us where we want, for what we want? Something obviously missing? I can handle a little rocking on the drift if it’s a better ride in the slop and won’t rattle my teeth.

Thanks in advance for any ideas/insight.
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Old 02-07-2019, 09:23 PM
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Based on some of the choices you thru out, you either have private dock/slip or will be storing in one; ie, not seeing a need for a "trailerable" boat.
Is draft an issue??- could make the difference between a cuddy w/outboards or express w/diesel.
Plans to overnight or multi-day IC trips? Express wins over cuddy...specially if little man would be tagging along.
Considered a Cat- I know the GOM is a little tamer over there for you, but still an unpredictable washing machine and Cats go a long way to supple rides in the slop.
I'm a low-maintenance guy when it comes to the boat...don't want more upkeep than needed, so while I'd lean towards a CC w/cuddy cabin, sounds like you're more on track for an Albemarle, Stamas or Carolina Classic.
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Old 02-07-2019, 09:44 PM
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Ah, good points, forgot to address those!

- Private dock, that’s the primary plan. No requirement for trailerable, but I like the idea of the convenience. Although I have a diesel truck, I still don’t consider a Grady 330 “trailerable,” though I know some do. I’m lucky enough to live 200 yards from the nearest boat launch as well, so it’s tempting when considering outboards but some of those monsters are just unsafe in my opinion to be on the road.

- Draft becomes an issue about the 4+ feet mark. Less than that is easily manageable. Actually, bridge height is a bigger concern when considering boats with towers (which I very much want.) 19 feet or taller and it goes into a slip, regardless.

- Not planning on grand family overnights, fishing is the primary concern. In a pinch, to facilitate a fishing trip? Sure. Planned multi-day cruise and overnights, no.

- I haven’t ruled out a cat, I’m just completely ignorant on where to start, no familiarity at all. Definitely no experience, but I’ll read up!

- I do love the relative simplicity of an outboard option, but I also like to tinker and do all of my own vehicle maintenance shy of anything with the phrase “complete rebuild.” So I’m slightly different, but I may eventually side with you on this one. My fear of the diesel option is purely fear of the unknown, I admit that.

Stamas added to the research list. Any other outboard options you’d really lean towards? I mention Grady due to reputation and layout, and they seem like heavy, solid boats - but that’s all I got.

thanks!
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:34 PM
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Donít overlook a cat. Itís a great ride. Come off waves that you think oh this is really going to suck and nothing happens. No bang no slam. Itís really nice. I think world cat makes some cuddy cabins that fit what your asking for. I would also tell you that marlin / sword is not something to shy away from. I caught them from the 26 I had. I would at least go for a ride on one a cat boat before purchasing. A 28-36 ft world cat cuddy sounds like a good fit for what your asking for. It can also be found used in your price range. Please keep us updated in your search and decision. I am curios to see what you end up with. Good luck and I hope you enjoy whatever you end up with
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Old 02-07-2019, 11:17 PM
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I've fished the GW 30 walk around and the 33 express. The 33 is a different animal. Its also a fuel pig. I believe the 30 walk around can be had for much shorter $ too. I would put the 30 as the better option here.

The 30 pursuit is a nice boat. My neighbor has this one for sale - https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/200...owse%20listing. I feel a toss up compared to my other neighbor's 30 GW (which is not listed but I believe may be available). I'd look at both if you end up narrowed to that class.

I'd stay away from gas inboards. Diesels are a breed of their own. Outboards are typically much easier to do your own maintenance, have repaired, have these things done quicker.

I would consider a boat that you feel you can trailer. Great piece of mind when a hurricane is barreling up the gulf. Also easier to take to a shop, do hull maintenance,(boat yards are not cheap), etc.
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:31 AM
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My opinion- the majority of inboard boats are slower and burn more fuel. With that being said they can be money pits in the upkeep. I hate how sport fishers roll and am not a fan. I’d look for a cat with outboards and a cabin like previous guys have mentioned. The only thing else that’s comes to mind is a fish around contender or a boat of that nature. The last thing I would want is a 1980s sportfish cruising at 18knots all day with 10s of thousands wrapped up in yearly maintenance
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:24 AM
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Bluewater in Orange Beach has Grady 336 aggressively priced with trailer. I realize the missus said no CC but these have 3 wide seating with a big hard top to escape the heat, not to mention a genny with ac at the helm and in the console with something that sort of is a bed.
No it is not mine, just would like it to be.
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:36 AM
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World Cat 270EC or 320EC
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Old 02-08-2019, 07:13 AM
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For a minute you kinda sounded like a buddy who has a Grady 330 Express and really likes it. However, that was before I got to your 2nd post and you mentioned no overnighters, multiday trips and you live fairly close to the marina. He does all those things and lives 2 plus hours from marina so sleeping on the boat keeps him from renting a room.
When it comes to fishing not the best setup. Fish box room is limited, we have to pack a few 150-200 qt ice chests to have enough... which takes up room that is already limited. Single livewell, limited storage and tackle storage. I get this sounds nitpicky, just trying to say you would expect more on a 33í boat. Fishing 5 people is tight.
Boats have enough to work on imo without adding a generator and A/C. And if that generator isnít running that Express cabin is a sauna.
Someone already mentioned slow and not great fuel economy, which may be a consideration if you are footing entire fuel bill. Hate being negative, but most of the plusís of this boat are having a way to eat, sleep and shower. It does have a good ride and you wonít get wet in the Express style helm.

... but for fishing only CC the biggest you can afford, cats are better imo and just get one of the many shade systems that works with a Ttop or outriggers.
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Old 02-08-2019, 07:31 AM
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I am a wet slip / moored guy and i always will be it.
Having your boat ready to go and just need to bring personal stuff, bait and food/drinks, a fuel station nearby is priceless, particularly if you get older.
Towing a big boat and launching it on a well made ramp is doable and a lot of people do it, but i am considering that as not very safe and you need too much help to do that.
I love to go fishing alone and so i need the boat either in a marina/home dry dock or wetslipped to be able to leave alone in a short time.

Here is some kind of "wetslipping and antifouling is a no-go" mentality, but trust me, having a boat wetslipped is not a issue at all, just need some extra preperation and limited expenses.

If you are able to have your boat docked/on a lift in front of your hoem you are a very luck man, i dream of such a luck for my whole life!

Regarding your boat, consider a few things befor you choose
- do you really need a cabin? 30-35ft boat cabins are usually a rat nest and end as a big gear locker, but kids can have a nap there and a/c may be available but a expensive option
- Does wifey would like a toilet? Get a one with a easy to use toilet, she will be happy. Some Center Consoles have a useful and big enough bath to use it comfortable
- go with outboards, their price and maintenance is much lower than inboards, if inboard goe diesel for lower fuel consumption and safety than a gas inboard
- stay away from i/o, they are complicated beasts and not adapted to be wet slipped,
- choose a boat you can handle alone, i know too much people locked in harbour because they can't handle the boat alone if no one is available to crew
- a center console will give you less maintenance and more fishability
- i personally don't like walkarounds, as they squeeze too much things in one hull
- for a "livable" indoor experience you would need more than 30ft, i consider a cabin as useful from 35ft up
- a express type boat will probably make everyone happy
- catamarans have big deck space but test them well before you decide, they have their particularities as well

Chris
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Old 02-08-2019, 08:23 AM
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for 100K you can find a lot of boat these days that fits your needs. One thing that may help you out is spending some time on the water in your boat and go to the local sandbar or drinking hole that has the most boat traffic and start talking to owners. Owners with a few drinks will tell you all the good and bad of their boats which will in turn help you with your decision. Narrow your search a little then start chatting with those folks and ask the sober ones for a ride. I have never turned someone down that wanted to go for a ride and I've never seen someone turned down either. Gong to boat shows helps as well, even though your budget isn't new boat budget you get the opportunity to go dig through a ton of boats with all sorts of different setups and find the "must have" options you want then go home and start looking online. Two of the manufacturers you mentioned Grady White and Pursuit have had very similar models for a long long time so if you fall in love with one of their new boats you can more than likely find something similar from the used market in your budget.

My last word of advice is TAKE YOUR TIME!!! Better to keep your boat one more year and really dig and find your next five year boat instead of making a decision that has you looking again in 10 months and losing money the wrong boat. Lose money on a boat that will make you smile!!
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Old 02-08-2019, 08:36 AM
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World Cat 270EC or 320EC
  • lbsprear nailed it. This is a fishing machine that has everything you want. These are some fine boats.
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by ashcreek View Post
My last word of advice is TAKE YOUR TIME!!! Better to keep your boat one more year and really dig and find your next five year boat instead of making a decision that has you looking again in 10 months and losing money the wrong boat. Lose money on a boat that will make you smile!!
Bingo! In that situ myself right now- though a slight twist. Point being, you want what you want right now because of what you want to do right now. These ain't flip-flops or Shimano 50W's (easy to ditch). Think about the next 5-10 years and how needs/desires might change and like the man said, go crawl all over every boat on your short-list and pick it apart, top to bottom, before you pull the trigger.
Have a look @ Wellcraft Coastal series, Intrepid (w/cuddy), don't rule out a Downeast or Trawler and never, ever ride on a 28'+ Catamaran in 4+ seas....you will be hooked.
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Old 02-08-2019, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Twin Vee 26 View Post
Donít overlook a cat. Itís a great ride. Come off waves that you think oh this is really going to suck and nothing happens. No bang no slam. Itís really nice. I think world cat makes some cuddy cabins that fit what your asking for. I would also tell you that marlin / sword is not something to shy away from. I caught them from the 26 I had. I would at least go for a ride on one a cat boat before purchasing. A 28-36 ft world cat cuddy sounds like a good fit for what your asking for. It can also be found used in your price range. Please keep us updated in your search and decision. I am curios to see what you end up with. Good luck and I hope you enjoy whatever you end up with
If you go cat make sure you drive it in a quartering sea on the stern...
Bow steer like crazy!
But a head sea ride is hard to beat...
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Old 02-08-2019, 04:08 PM
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Might want to check out a Contender 31 fish around also, there are going to be a lot of boats for you to look at in your price range. Best to narrow it down to the ones that YOU like best then start with the details of each.
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Old 02-08-2019, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Twin Vee 26 View Post
Donít overlook a cat. Itís a great ride. Come off waves that you think oh this is really going to suck and nothing happens. No bang no slam. Itís really nice. I think world cat makes some cuddy cabins that fit what your asking for. I would also tell you that marlin / sword is not something to shy away from. I caught them from the 26 I had. I would at least go for a ride on one a cat boat before purchasing. A 28-36 ft world cat cuddy sounds like a good fit for what your asking for. It can also be found used in your price range. Please keep us updated in your search and decision. I am curios to see what you end up with. Good luck and I hope you enjoy whatever you end up with

World Cat no question, if you don't want your "teeth rattled".
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Old 02-08-2019, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrigelKarrer View Post
I am a wet slip / moored guy and i always will be it.
Having your boat ready to go and just need to bring personal stuff, bait and food/drinks, a fuel station nearby is priceless, particularly if you get older.
Towing a big boat and launching it on a well made ramp is doable and a lot of people do it, but i am considering that as not very safe and you need too much help to do that.
I love to go fishing alone and so i need the boat either in a marina/home dry dock or wetslipped to be able to leave alone in a short time.

Here is some kind of "wetslipping and antifouling is a no-go" mentality, but trust me, having a boat wetslipped is not a issue at all, just need some extra preperation and limited expenses.

If you are able to have your boat docked/on a lift in front of your hoem you are a very luck man, i dream of such a luck for my whole life!

Regarding your boat, consider a few things befor you choose
- do you really need a cabin? 30-35ft boat cabins are usually a rat nest and end as a big gear locker, but kids can have a nap there and a/c may be available but a expensive option
- Does wifey would like a toilet? Get a one with a easy to use toilet, she will be happy. Some Center Consoles have a useful and big enough bath to use it comfor
inboard goe diesel for lower fuel consumption and safety than a gas inboard
- stay away from i/o, they are complicated beasts and not adapted to be wet slipped,
- choose a boat you can handle alone, i know too much people locked in harbour because they can't handle the boat alone if no one is available to crew
- a center console will give you less maintenance and more fishability
- i personally don't like walkarounds, as they squeeze too much things in one hull
- for a "livable" indoor experience you would need more than 30ft, i consider a cabin as useful from 35ft up
- a express type boat will probably make everyone happy
- catamarans have big deck space but test them well before you decide, they have their particularities as well

Chris
Where did you get "outboard motors are less expensive than inboard " purchase or service?
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Old 02-08-2019, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Capt Grady 23 Gulfstream View Post
Where did you get "outboard motors are less expensive than inboard " purchase or service?
I'm assuming he is referring to diesel as he referred to going diesel over gas in an inboard. That being the case, does that quote not hold true?
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by dryhydro View Post
If you go cat make sure you drive it in a quartering sea on the stern...
Bow steer like crazy!
But a head sea ride is hard to beat...
I am not in agreement with this statement based upon my experience. In some of the glacier bays back in the day yes. Itís minor compared to banging your teeth out. I have friends with 30ft plus v hills and they get hammered in 3ft chop. I drive with 1 foot and enjoy a refreshing beverage in any sea direction in 3 footers. Literally
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:15 PM
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Iím over in Panama City. I have a buddy with a 2007 28 Contender with Yamaha 250s if youíre interested. I have an 01 28 contender and I think the 28-31í range is perfect for our area
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