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Thread: Hewes or Wooldrige

  1. #1

    Default Hewes or Wooldrige

    Wife and I have finally decided to jump into the ocean. We've settled at 26' but are still undecided on either the Pacific Explorer or the Wooly SS Pilothouse, both with the extended cabin, fishing package, cabin heater, overnight package, anchor windlass, etc. Most of the time it'll just me and her doing the overnight/weekend style trips out of Homer, Seward etc.
    I haven't been out on a Wooldrige but have made several trips on the Hewescraft boats.
    We've made a date to go to Seattle to check out the Wooldrige factory.
    Anyone have any advice on which one to pick?
    Thanks.

  2. #2

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    My opinion is on a scale of 1-10 the Wooldridge is a 9 and the Hewes a 5 as far as build quality and customer support after the sale (and yes, I have owned both).
    But with the market so soft on used boats do you really need to buy a new one? Let someone else suck up the depreciation and find a used boat to fit your needs.

  3. #3
    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    I would be interested in hearing how the prices compare for similarly outfitted boats from these two manufactures. I remember seeing a nice Hewes for 140K recently, and for that money you can look at a custom like Bay Weld boats in Homer.
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    Member idakfisher's Avatar
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    I was trying to make a similar decision two years ago. For me a prerequisite was that I wanted an aluminum selfbailing rear deck. Hewes didn't have that unless it was custom ordered for quite a bit extra. I was also shopping used boats and ended up choosing a Kingfisher because I found a fair deal and it had what I was looking for. My 2525 is 25' 10" long and we love it.

  5. #5

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    We priced out the 26 Explorer with twin 200's with full Garmin electronics and the Wooldrige with twin 150's and the same electronics package both came out at around 135K.

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    Member Ronster's Avatar
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    Ive looked at both of those boats in the last few months and recently I added the Sea Raiders into the mix. I got a chance to check them out while I was in Valdez last month and I really liked their 2896 and the 30'. They are in the same price range as the Hewescraft and a little cheaper than the Wolly. All of these boats would make a nice choice, but I am leaning towards the Raider over the Hewescraft, but thats not 100% either. Its a big investment, make sure you are getting what you want.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rav'n Mainiac View Post
    We priced out the 26 Explorer with twin 200's with full Garmin electronics and the Wooldrige with twin 150's and the same electronics package both came out at around 135K.
    Have you checked on a 26' North River OS with the 20/55 hull? You can get one with a fully loaded interior, dinette, stand up head, sink, wallace diesel stove, refrigerator, shore power with twin 200hp Hondas for $126,800 deliver here to AK. For another 10k you could easily equip the boat with electronics, EzAnchor puller, and electrodyne shrimp pot puller with davit.

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    Member Ronster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halibutgrove View Post
    Have you checked on a 26' North River OS with the 20/55 hull? You can get one with a fully loaded interior, dinette, stand up head, sink, wallace diesel stove, refrigerator, shore power with twin 200hp Hondas for $126,800 deliver here to AK. For another 10k you could easily equip the boat with electronics, EzAnchor puller, and electrodyne shrimp pot puller with davit.
    Not to split hairs, but thats about $20K more than the Hewes, is it really worth the extra $ for a boat thats a foot shorter? From what I understand, the Hewes comes with the anchor puller in its price, but the engines are only 115s. I ask because I am not familiar with NR.

    On the other hand, you can get into a 30' raider pretty loaded for around $140. I didnt get all of the specifics from their rep, but I think thats a 10'2" hull, lots of room, and it had dual Honda 250s. Electronics not included though.

  9. #9
    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    Rav'n Mainiac, PM me and I'll tell ya what I info I have found out from our recent purchase.
    27' Wooldridge Super Sport Offshore Pilothouse PRIME TIME!
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  10. #10
    Member luff2fish's Avatar
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    Great input from everyone. Our interest in a 26' foot boat is to ensure that the boat will fit within the dimensions of our existing garage.

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    saw a 26 wooldridge on craigslist not to long ago.....are your prices including electronics, anchor gear & other neccesities? dont forget shipping it up. I'd shop used myself & sve yourself a good chunk of $$$.

  12. #12

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    P1000545.JPG

    I was in the same position as you three years ago and had two boats (used) to choose from, a 26' Hewes and the 24' Wooly. I ended up picking the Wooly and have been very happy with the choice. I've never ridden in a Hewes, but I can tell you from experience the Wooldridge ride is excellent, especially when the seas become a bit rough. Check out this thread on the Aluminum Alloy Boat(AAB) forum http://aluminumalloyboats.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=4321, there are several videos highlighting my Wooldridge from the 2012 AAB Alaska Meet and Greet weeklong trip taken this summer. Good footage of the Wooldridge in action. PM me if you ever want to take a look at the 24. I keep in in the driveway in Anchorage during the week, and it even fits in the garage for winter! Boat is light and pulls easily. Pleanty of power from the two 115's. Almost forgot to mention their customer service is second to none. I know Glen Wooldridge on a first name basis, and he has even called me at work to resolve an issue with the boat. Scale of one to 10, I rate them a 9.5.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronster View Post
    Not to split hairs, but thats about $20K more than the Hewes, is it really worth the extra $ for a boat thats a foot shorter? From what I understand, the Hewes comes with the anchor puller in its price, but the engines are only 115s. I ask because I am not familiar with NR.

    On the other hand, you can get into a 30' raider pretty loaded for around $140. I didnt get all of the specifics from their rep, but I think thats a 10'2" hull, lots of room, and it had dual Honda 250s. Electronics not included though.
    There is a big difference in the Hewes and the Seahawk OS. To really compare apples to apples you'd have to compare the 26' Hewes to a North River Seahawk Cuddy which has the same hull deadrise and similar bow entry. The base price of a the cuddy is $17,000 less and theres BIG difference in hull design between the two and the ride an handling of the OS model is by far much better. The OS models are all full aluminum self bailing decks and all windows are Diamond Seaglaze as well as the door as a standard features.

    If they are including a windlass on the Hewes I would recommend staying away from it. I used one for the first couple years on my charter boat and it was an excise in frustration. It was a two man job most of the time to pull the anchor but fortunately my boat is a walk around and it wasn't dangerous to be out on the bow in rough seas. When I installed the EzAnchor puller it turned a two man job into a one man job with a simple toggle button from the helm. Three of my close friends here in Valdez own the Raiders you've most likely seen down here and one has quickly learned about the frustration of a windlass and will be swapping out for the EzAnchor. He would have saved allot of money had he just gone with the EzAnchor style puller from the start. The down fall to this style puller is that it's taller then a standard windlass and can block visibility. However if your ordering a boat new, the manufacture can recess the puller so only the drum is all that's visible.

  14. #14
    Member patrickL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halibutgrove View Post
    There is a big difference in the Hewes and the Seahawk OS. To really compare apples to apples you'd have to compare the 26' Hewes to a North River Seahawk Cuddy which has the same hull deadrise and similar bow entry. The base price of a the cuddy is $17,000 less and theres BIG difference in hull design between the two and the ride an handling of the OS model is by far much better. The OS models are all full aluminum self bailing decks and all windows are Diamond Seaglaze as well as the door as a standard features.

    If they are including a windlass on the Hewes I would recommend staying away from it. I used one for the first couple years on my charter boat and it was an excise in frustration. It was a two man job most of the time to pull the anchor but fortunately my boat is a walk around and it wasn't dangerous to be out on the bow in rough seas. When I installed the EzAnchor puller it turned a two man job into a one man job with a simple toggle button from the helm. Three of my close friends here in Valdez own the Raiders you've most likely seen down here and one has quickly learned about the frustration of a windlass and will be swapping out for the EzAnchor. He would have saved allot of money had he just gone with the EzAnchor style puller from the start. The down fall to this style puller is that it's taller then a standard windlass and can block visibility. However if your ordering a boat new, the manufacture can recess the puller so only the drum is all that's visible.
    No offense Mel but we all know you're a North River dealer. Why not just let the owner/operators of these boats talk about the good and the bad of them instead of the dealers bashing each other? Notice neither Hewescraft nor Wooly is involved in this discussion but you have 2 posts both of which promote the product you sell. I'd bet the original poster is most interested in user reviews and not dealers. Just a thought.

  15. #15
    Member patrickL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rav'n Mainiac View Post
    We priced out the 26 Explorer with twin 200's with full Garmin electronics and the Wooldrige with twin 150's and the same electronics package both came out at around 135K.
    Rav'n Maniaiac, you've asked a great question and one I've pondered many times. You've gotten some great responses from owner/operators of both and including a few other options. Back in 2010 I was looking to pick up a 26ft ocean boat and looked hard at a Hewes and a Wooly. There's no argument that the Wooly is an awesome boat and their customer service is unmatched. Notice though that I own a Hewes. They make a solid product that those of us can afford to get in to. I didn't choose Hewes because Hewes is better but that I was on a budget. Although some have suggested it, I have a hard time believing that you can get a 26ft Wooly for the same price as a 26ft Hewes. If you could you'd see a nice shiny new Wooly in my signature. Be sure to compare what you're looking at boat for boat with the big ticket items being the same. I got our 26ft Hewes with twin 150hp Yamaha's, less than a year old and 90 original hours for $10K-$15K less than a comparably equipped wooly with twin 115hp Etecs, same year, and similar hours.

    In my opinion and as Money Pit mentioned....shop used. We saved 20% on a 1 year old boat that was practically brand new and there was an identical Wooly. While I'd love to customize a boat and buy new, I think if you had the patience, you could save some serious money buying a year or two old, well kept boat.

    Now back to your original question. In 2010 when I was looking at both a 26ft Hewes and Wooly boat, there was no comparison. Wooly was by far the best made, best performing, and best customer service boat on the market. We were maxed out and just couldn't afford the extra 10%-15%. Another interesting fact, Propnut and I were rafted up one night earlier this summer in PWS...thanks again Propnut for a great weekend. He has a 24ft Wooly and I have a 26ft Hewes. I swear his boat was every bit as long as mine. He lacked the head but he has one heck of a nice rig. If you want to look at them side by side I'd be happy to bring mine by his place and we can talk boats. Just an idea.

  16. #16
    Member JR2's Avatar
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    Yep used is the way to go, I saved about $35 - $40 K on the price of my Kingfisher by buying a 3 year old one with 113 hours on it. There are quite a few nice looking boats showing up on Craigslist the last week or so. Be patient and you might find yourself something you did not think you could afford.On a side note, I spent 6-8 months shopping for my boat, searching the various online ads and talking to people.. eventually I found what I wanted at a price I could tolerate..

    Oh and if I was going to buy a new boat today... a Wooly 29SS would be high on the list.
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  17. #17

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    Thanks for the link to your video Propnut, it looks like it was a great trip.
    Who did the cockpit cover for you, we've been planning the same thing to increase the livable space during extended trips.
    We've been looking at the used market for over a year and haven't been able to find the boat that does what we want yet.
    Our toy shed is designed for a 26' boat with a 14' door, has anyone used a trailer with the "swing-away" tongue?

  18. #18
    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    Aluminum boats are pretty tough, and don't mind sitting outside. If I were you, I would get a conventional trailer and store it outside in the summer, and then block it up in the garage in the winter. I have not done this myself, but they do it in WA all of the time wit travel lifts. Might be tricky to get a system to get the trailer in and out easily, but it would be worth figuring out.
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    Member Sobie2's Avatar
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    Back to the original question...

    Wooldridge boats have been proven to be more fuel efficient than Hewescrafts. Specifically look at the performance reports by Yamaha and Honda. But then again when you are forking out over $100k for a boat fuel economy may not be at the top of your list.

    Other than that I have been on both pilothouse models and they are both great boats, and I have been out in 6'-8'ers in the Hewescraft running up wind and down and never felt in danger. I am personally looking at the 24' Boulton Explorer or the 23' Wooldy Pilothouse (Honda 225 at 5MPG!!!). The Pacific Cruiser has a lot of standard features for sure, they are a buy it off the lot kind of boat (and good too), the Wooldridge is a custom build (you had better have all your ideas before hand), you don't really see them on dealers lots that often.

    The 260 Pacific Cruiser owned by my buddy is the big cabin model and the lack of fishing/deck space, to me, does not seem to be worth gaining for a dedicated stand up marine head and associated isle walking forward. It does have a great vee-berth and bulkhead though, and nice pilot help chair.

    Sobie2

  20. #20

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    Forgot to mention that my life "oops" wife wants a forward facing Co-Pilot seat.
    It had better be as good as the pilots seat as well.

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