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Where to sea trial a May-Craft 1700 or Mako Pro Skiff 17 around Lower Chesapeake

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  • 1 Post By bigk23surf

Where to sea trial a May-Craft 1700 or Mako Pro Skiff 17 around Lower Chesapeake

Old 03-08-2019, 03:43 PM
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Default Where to sea trial a May-Craft 1700 or Mako Pro Skiff 17 around Lower Chesapeake

Hello. I am a life long sailor but interested in getting a small skiff to take my wife and kid out exploring and make beach runs in protected water (Back River, James River on calm days, other ICW in the southeast). Much of the advice on picking a boat falls on test drives yet I haven't found any dealers that are open to such a thing for a small boat like the May-Craft 1700 or the Mako Pro Skiff 17. I am in Hampton, VA. If anyone has an initial steer on where I might find the opportunity to sea-trail one or both of these hulls I certainly appreciate it. Curious about how they ride and a reference for what power is most appropriate. Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-11-2019, 05:41 AM
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Both are completely different hulls but would fit the bill for what you are looking for. Neither are flat bottom hulls so you won't get beat up as bad as in traditional skiffs. I have the Mako with a 60 hp mercury and am happy with it. The May-Craft I would want the same size motor. The Mako has more deck space. I would go with whichever one you get the best deal on and is closest.
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Old 03-11-2019, 07:48 AM
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Call Gootees for the maycraft, they had a few skiffs there. Not the lower bay, but they are a maycraft dealer.
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Old 03-11-2019, 04:36 PM
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Judge Yachts builds a pretty nice 18í and I think they are cheaper (and better built) than both of the boats you suggested. It looks like the sought after Chincoteague Scow design.
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Old 03-13-2019, 05:51 PM
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Thank you all for the info and thoughts so far. The Judge 18 looks like a nice boat - pretty, even. About 6K more than the May-Craft which is a bit steep for my budget. I've corresponded with both Goatees and Soundside Marina (south of here) and their prices are within a couple hundred bucks of each other for the May-Craft. BPS has the Makos for about 3K more than the MC. i initially thought "no way" on the Mako but the hull shape is growing on me - the storage and the deck space appeal to me. I really like them both based on looking at them and reading about them which is why I'm trying to figure out how to trial them. Any thoughts on an 800lb boat with a 60 horse (MC) vs a 1200lb boat with a 75 horse (Mako) with similar load? Similar speed? The Mako seems like it has a lot more wetted surface area but that could be me thinking about it with my sailor brain. Might the additional 15 horses (comparing top recommended power for each) make up for the stickier hull of the Mako? Or am I way off and/or nuking this....
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Old 03-13-2019, 08:14 PM
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Check with Jett's Marine in Reedville - May-Craft dealer. They MAY have something you can sea trial? Sometimes it's more difficult to get a sea trial on SMALLER boats than larger ones. 60HP on an 800lb. boat is probably gonna' give you more speed and power than 75HP on a 1,200lb. boat. The hull styles (shapes) will come into play somewhat there.

QUESTION - have you looked at the 18ft. May-Craft CC's? They will probably look (and are) somewhat larger than the 17's. Also, the "skiff" style of the 18 doesn't look quite as "sturdy", to me, as the "standard" 18CC. Will probably still be less than the Mako, too. The 18 May-Craft's may take up to a 90HP? I liked May-Crafts when I was looking back in 2001 - not sure how much they have changed.

Again, take a peek at the 18 MC and see what you think.


EDIT: I JUST thought about C-Hawk boats - similar to May-Crafts - and there is a dealer in Gloucester (Oyster Point Marine?), as well as Ed's Marine just north of Richmond (Ashland). Ed's doesn't usually do ANY sea trials as I remember.


Last edited by Bruce W; 03-13-2019 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 03-14-2019, 05:50 AM
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I have a may craft 1700 for the past 12 years. Love the boat as it takes the waves quite well. I have a 50 honda and it will top out around 30 mph. The only issue for you would be that the boat sits low in the water, not a lot of freeboard. I use it for flounder fishing and trotlining for crabs. It is a perfect little boat but I stay in rivers and the back bays on the eastern shore of virginia. With a wife and child the low freeboard may not suit your needs.
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Old 03-15-2019, 07:13 PM
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dam wish I had 20k laying around cuz that Judge 18 looks sweet.
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Old 03-22-2019, 07:18 PM
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1800 maycraft is rated for 115. I had an 01 before I bought my edgewater, it was a great boat for the shallows, could handle moderate bay chop if you slowed way down, but was wet. (Mine didnít have tabs). Some jackass put a leaning post on mine but didnít seal the holes correctly, resulting in a soft deck. I ended up towing the boat from th upper Chesapeake to the factory in NC to have the deck and stringers replaced. They are now using kiln-dried treated ply, and will build with composite on request. I would not hesitate to buy another if I was in the market for that kind of boat. They are built by good people who stand behind their work, canít speak for the mako.
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