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Boats, Boats, Boats, Boats

Old 02-09-2019, 04:36 AM
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Default Boats, Boats, Boats, Boats

Not trying to beat a dead horse here BUT I need some opinions because clearly I can't think of everything.

I sold my classic 1976 mako 25 because a guy offered me asking price so I couldn't say no... I didn't have another boat in mind at the time when I sold it. All this happened 3 weeks ago.

I haven't been offshore fishing on my own for more than a few years now, but, I have ventured off with friends in larger boats to capture and acquire a new type of offshore fishing.... deep drop. That's all I want to do for the most part...

My mako here in Texas didn't have the fuel / fish box capacity to run 100 plus miles to the shelf to do that and honestly I just wasn't happy. I work a 28/28 rotation and this summer I could of gone so many days to the shelf to fish but just couldn't because my boat didn't really allow it.

I have narrowed it down to a few different options, but also take into consideration the deck layout, fuel economy, price stand point and size. my mako had a closed in transom and a bracket so it was 27'6" LOA. I am shooting for something about the same size or a little bigger.

Looking at:
Contender 25 open (28' LOA)
Contender 27 Open or T (30' LOA)
world cat 266 SF

The question is, if you were going to the OCS to deep drop what would you be in with a budget of 100k?
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Old 02-09-2019, 06:11 AM
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A cat boat over at least 29ft long no question about it. There are some 29 TwinnVees floating around that would work. World Cats are great as are Americats. Prob have better luck in your pricing looking for Twin Vee or americat
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Old 02-09-2019, 11:32 AM
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We're almost in the same situ B., except mine hasn't sold yet, but that hasn't stopped me from window shopping.
We just have to assume 2'-3' minimum around here and be thankful when we get less.
So I was thinking the same thing, 28'-30' LOA on a mono, with at least 175gal tank, preferably more like 250gal.
A large, deep V mono is def better than what we've had; Contender, Intrepid, Jupiter, Regulator, etc..., but I find myself leaning more and more toward a Cat w/every passing week.
I don't think a Prowler 246 is big enough for consistent 100mile runs (I could be wrong, since I've never ridden on one..yet), but I know a 28'+ <any manufacture> Cat would cover the bases, to include the occasional (fall/winter) Floater trip, I've just heard that the bigger the Cat, the larger the PIA it is to haul/launch and I need the ability to drop it in anywhere from Galvez to South Padre.
I'd really love to get on a 25' Prowler I emailed them a while back (no response), as to actual differences between the 246 & 25, as the 246 comes on the market more often.
I've been on 25' SeaCat, 28' WC, 30' WC and 34' Freeman...there is no comparison in cruising comfort to a comparably sized or even slight larger mono and typically better range w/same size tanks, but you usually give up fish locker space and the run & gun scenario that a well powered mono provides.
Our typical 2'-3' on a 25' Cat and we cruised @ 22-27kts in comfort. I've been on 30' monos in same conditions and got the occasional slap/pound...not a lot and not enough to jar the spine in to submission, but there was zero pound in the 5' shorter Cat. yes, driving skills, trim, wind, head vs following, play a role, but done it enough to know Cat will always ride softer.
I really like the WC 270TE, but have no doubt that a good day at the Floaters would mean cutting sickles off of YFT at some point. My preference for the 270TE is the same reason for interest in the Prowler- I love the walk-thru transom/ladder setup; fighting, restroom, kids, dog, spearfishing, etc...
Tough decision, but I think you've got it narrowed down pretty well.
Just don't ignore a Jupiter, Sailfish, or ever-elusive Triton. I'll keep my eyes/ears out for you.
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Old 02-09-2019, 11:43 AM
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I thought the 25 Prowler and the 246 were one and the same. 25 Prowler being “slang” and 246 being the actual model name. Am I wrong?
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Old 02-09-2019, 12:13 PM
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Sorry foe the derail OP.
Wigg- I'm unsure. I know they used to be called a 246 and now they're a 25.
Contender used to be a 25 and now it's a 28, but other changes were made as well...that's what I'm seeking clarification on.
I'll PM you if they ever get back to me.
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Old 02-09-2019, 12:52 PM
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If the 26 has the range it can handle it but you will need to pick your days. While you aren’t going to get slammed in 3ft your not gonna run 35-40mph in it either
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Old 02-09-2019, 01:31 PM
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None of the ones you listed will have the range you are looking for unless the 27T has the fuel upgrade package on it. Most do not.

In the 100k range look for a 34 fountain, the ones that hold 400 gallons of fuel.
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Old 02-09-2019, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeepman View Post
None of the ones you listed will have the range you are looking for
Fuel bladders are relatively cheap when compared to another $5K-10K worth of boat for another 50-100 gallons...always an option.
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Old 02-09-2019, 04:00 PM
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Having owned a 246 Prowler, it's not going to make those 100 mile rides easily off the TX Gulf coast. I fish the same waters as I think you do, and will tell you the Prowler is an excellent inshore/light offshore boat, but not one I was comfortable being 100 miles offshore (others may have a different opinion). Also some 246s came with twin 60 gallon tanks and some with twin 80 gallon tanks so even at 2 mpg with 4 strokes and the 80 gallon tanks, I think you would be at a 280-290 mile round trip range coming back on fumes,(no 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 rule) or following the 1/3,1/3, 1/3 rule you would have ~215 mile round trip range which would barely get you where you want to be (no better probably than your Mako)... I can also tell you that it rides nowhere close as well as my CH31, and I prefer my 27 Lightning over it as well.

In the 26'-28' boat range, tops on my list for monohulls would be the Angler 2600, Contender 25 open, Intrepid 26, Jupiter 26, McKee 28, Southport 27 - I'm sure I'm leaving out some, but 22-24 deg deep vee.CCs. All of these probably get 2+ mpg with 4 strokes and probably have 200 gallon tanks giving you lots of range. Going up in length, you start trading increased fuel capacity for lower mpg so there's a trade off to be balanced - little more range, more safety, better ride but more costly to run.
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Old 02-09-2019, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by CLVL View Post
Having owned a 246 Prowler, it's not going to make those 100 mile rides easily off the TX Gulf coast. I fish the same waters as I think you do, and will tell you the Prowler is an excellent inshore/light offshore boat, but not one I was comfortable being 100 miles offshore (others may have a different opinion). Also some 246s came with twin 60 gallon tanks and some with twin 80 gallon tanks so even at 2 mpg with 4 strokes and the 80 gallon tanks, I think you would be at a 280-290 mile round trip range coming back on fumes,(no 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 rule) or following the 1/3,1/3, 1/3 rule you would have ~215 mile round trip range which would barely get you where you want to be (no better probably than your Mako)... I can also tell you that it rides nowhere close as well as my CH31, and I prefer my 27 Lightning over it as well.

In the 26'-28' boat range, tops on my list for monohulls would be the Angler 2600, Contender 25 open, Intrepid 26, Jupiter 26, McKee 28, Southport 27 - I'm sure I'm leaving out some, but 22-24 deg deep vee.CCs. All of these probably get 2+ mpg with 4 strokes and probably have 200 gallon tanks giving you lots of range. Going up in length, you start trading increased fuel capacity for lower mpg so there's a trade off to be balanced - little more range, more safety, better ride but more costly to run.
Not a bad list, some 25 opens do have 250 gallons but most have less then 200 and they all tend to have tank problems. The McKee is for sure a good choice, but hard to find. I have been looking at the Southports, think they would work.
My Angler 2600cc does have a 200 galllon tank and works for this type of fishing. We carry 2-3 15gallon race cans, they hold 18-19 gallons each. With them and the Suzuki 200s we have a true 500 mile range. I do not like gasoline in bladders. We fish out far often, and can say from first hand experience caring fuel on deck no matter how you do it gets old fast.

If it was not for work, all be it a very good thing for my future. Would have already bought the 34 Fountain Fox Yachts has for sale @ 94k. Fox does have an Angler 2600cc for sale also, cheap. But looks like it has been sitting up for some time, no coffin box and would need 10-15k in Eltcs to do what we do. Also triler is way to small for it, the hull alone weighs in at 5300lbs, loaded to fish close to 10k. That trailer will not make it, so buyer beware.

Fox Yacht Sales-Four Gulf Coast Locations (Port Aransas, TX)
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Last edited by Jeepman; 02-09-2019 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 02-09-2019, 11:01 PM
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If you want to make offshore runs 60-110 miles don’t buy a 26ft boat. A 29 plus ft cat or a 34 plus mono. I will take the 29 cat over a 34 mono every time. I’ve watched the “slower cat” run right by the race car monos in 3 footers time and time again. If you fish 4 times a year when the weather man predicts the seas right then get a mono...... it can be flat calm to 3 foot in no time......
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Old 02-10-2019, 05:43 AM
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The 25Open is not the boat you want to go 100 miles in 3 footers with. I would upgrade to the 31 Open if u r wanting a V Hull. U can find one for really close to $100K.
There is a reason why Jeepman upgraded to a 34’ boat, which is a really good boat also.
i am moving from a 25 Open to a 30 foot cat.
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Old 02-10-2019, 06:33 AM
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I'm running a 29 ocean runner. I had it built for less than many 10 year old used boats. It is a tank. I have 240 gallon fuel capacity and additional fuel tanks are an option. The fish hold is massive. I've been 135+ miles and stayed overnight several times. They are worth checking out for a long range capable boat that is easy to trailer and handle but won't break the bank.
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:33 AM
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A lot of good inputs. I'd prefer to stay with Contender, looking at a 2008 33T with twin 300 yamahas.

I would never buy a twin vee...talk about a horrible deck layout for the 26', they don't carry any fuel really... Ameracat is OK, WC, GB are ok too. Cant afford a freeman 34VH so ya...

On my mako I used a 50 gallon ATL fuel locker (still have it) and I would burn the bladder on the way out then switch to the tanks...It got old for sure, because the only place I could put it was on my fish box.

The 27T i was looking at holds 265 gallons of fuel, found a 25 open by my house with new 175 suzukis that holds 245 gallons.
Yes, contenders in the early 2000s had lots of tank issues so that is another thing to consider...

I'm paranoid about Fountains because they ride not so good unless they are doing 40 plus mph, you sure can't run 40 in 3' seas in that boat without feeling like you're going to get ejected... I've been in a 38' a few times to the shelf.
the good part is with that boat we're running 45-50 mph getting .9 mpg if weather allows.

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Old 02-11-2019, 07:52 AM
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A lot of people get hung up on Contender and fuel tank issues. Yes some of the boats have issues but also there’s a lot of boats that don’t have any issues with the fuel tanks. You only hear the bad of stuff here on the THT. I agree that a 25ish is doable for shelf work outta TX but you’re going to be wishing you had gotten in something a little longer to span the waves better. I know of a 31’ open w/ 300 vrods well below ur budget, here local on Galveston.
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:39 AM
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The good thing is I think they ship all contenders with rain gear. You gonna be wet. I fully agree that a 26 Twin Vee doesn't carry enough fuel for long offshore trips. I also feel like it just inst big enough. I had one. My 31 is a different story. Its a beast. 240 Gallons at 1.5 mpg @ 36mph / 4500 RPM. I have the one with the big coffin box in front that fixed the fish storage issue. The only thing I can say negative about the boat is a lack of storage for tackle / stuff.
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Blue Fury View Post

I'm paranoid about Fountains because they ride not so good unless they are doing 40 plus mph, you sure can't run 40 in 3' seas in that boat without feeling like you're going to get ejected... I've been in a 38' a few times to the shelf.
the good part is with that boat we're running 45-50 mph getting .9 mpg if weather allows.

For me, would not make a long run in 3' seas no matter what hull I was on. If it is not smooth then we just stay in close. But when it is flat, and I can run wideass open then need speed. We do ever now and then make day trips out 100 miles, but got to have boats that can cruise 40+, if not spend to much time boat riding and not enough time fishing.
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:09 AM
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For that price range, I would say find a 31 Contender or a 31 Cape horn. I've fished both on a lot of 100+ mile (one way) trips with no issue. Will be a little bumpy in 2-3' seas but definitely do-able. Cape would be a little drier IMO, but the contender has a better layout and ice box for sure. Have made it as far as a 220 mile (one way) trip on the contender when it was flat calm (with a bladder). Wouldn't make a journey like that unless it's super calm though.
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:58 AM
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I have been on some long trips on a 36ish contender and 34ish Fountain. Both really nice boats that will handle the job without question.... The extra speed on a calm day is very nice!
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:21 PM
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I've made several trips on a 34 fountain as well. Rides good, but the one I fished wasn't nearly as fuel efficient (Twin 300's) as the contender or cape horn (also twin 300's). Not really a fan of the front fish box size either. They do hold more fuel though and feel like a much bigger boat.
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