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Thread: Aluminum Center Console

  1. #1
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    Default Aluminum Center Console

    I am looking for advice regarding recommended open console aluminum hull boat in the 18-22' range. Intended use would be primarily as a salmon fishing platform for 2-3 people using downriggers, plus putting/pulling prawn pots etc. I also need the ability to transport up to 7 additional people (3 adults an 4 kids) for short day trips in fair weather. I would be using the boat in Southeast Alaska, Queen Charlottes and coastal BC primarily in the spring, summer and fall. The boat will need to be trailer stored and launched from rough raw beach and be tough enough to be beached when dropping people off in no wharf situations.

    There are some excellent west coast custom welded aluminum boat builders (Pacific, Eagle Craft/Daigle, LifeTimer and more) but Aluminum and labor costs are up and even a no-frills run-about is looking pretty pricey. Can't find mush suitable on second hand market but know they must be out there.

    I was thinking single 150hp 4 stroke and open console to keep the deck as open and multi use as possible. Any other suggestions for the intended use and southeast/BC waters?

    Thanks,

    mhk

  2. #2

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    mhk,

    Here you go, not cheap but well built:
    http://anchorage.craigslist.org/bod/4358375251.html

    Not a center console:
    http://anchorage.craigslist.org/boa/4313340231.html

    Not sure if enough deadrise for the ocean:
    http://kenai.craigslist.org/boa/4362215541.html

    Doug

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    Default

    Thanks AKExplore!

  4. #4
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    That Bay Weld does look nice. Question: I notice it is powered with 2 x 70hp. I have seen many similar boats powered with single 150hp. Are two props better than one?


    Here you go, not cheap but well built:
    http://anchorage.craigslist.org/bod/4358375251.html

    Not a center console:
    http://anchorage.craigslist.org/boa/4313340231.html

    Not sure if enough deadrise for the ocean:
    http://kenai.craigslist.org/boa/4362215541.html

    Doug[/QUOTE]

  5. #5

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    Are two props better than one?
    You just opened up one of the favorite power boating discussion can of worms. Enjoy....

    I have owed two ocean power boats and both had twin outboards. I wanted the redundcy due to doing long distance, remote trips with wife and kids.

    Doug

  6. #6
    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    Maybe I am a sissy, but a cabin is sure a nice feature up here to get out of the weather when fishing. A center console is more fishable, but I would always want a cabin up here. If you go with a big single, have a kicker which is nice for trolling anyways.
    2009 Seawolf 31'
    www.seawolfmarine.com
    Fully Loaded

  7. #7
    Member tzieli22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrogers View Post
    Maybe I am a sissy, but a cabin is sure a nice feature up here to get out of the weather when fishing. A center console is more fishable, but I would always want a cabin up here. If you go with a big single, have a kicker which is nice for trolling anyways.

    Your not not a sissy. We have just graduated to be a little wiser.

    +1
    Tony

  8. #8
    Member Cap'n Ron's Avatar
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    Uh...was ok with 2-3 people fishing in the size boat you describe, but you plus 7 other (total 4 adults 4 kids) is a NO WAY in a boat that small and open. Haven't been in Queen Charlotte Straits, but from what I have read, you would be nuts even with 2-3 people, in those waters except on the very best days, and then not very far from shore and a safe bay to tuck into when the weather that can come up suddenly gets ugly. I know money is an issue, it is with all of us, but safety is a much bigger issue!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhk View Post
    The boat will need to be trailer stored and launched from rough raw beach and be tough enough to be beached when dropping people off in no wharf situations.

    We faced much the same choices and looked long and hard for our needs and uses and finally settled on the Hewescraft 20' Open Fisherman. No regrets whatsoever. We're launching off steep, slick or soft gravel beaches with a half ton truck, and the boat is so light it's a dream to launch and recover.

    It's relatively flat bottomed with only 22 degrees of deadrise forward and 10 degrees aft, but handles chop surprisingly well. Not as good as a heavy deep V of some sort, but the tradeoff is stability and load capacity. We regularly fish 6 adults with plenty of room to move around and no worries when everyone runs to the same side to watch a fish fight.

    We weighed the power question even more carefully, and finally went with the "radical" decision to mount a 50HP Yamaha for fuel economy. No regrets again. With those 6 adults onboard, it still gets up on step quick and cruises at 25mph. Good enough for us, and we can run and fish all day on less than 6 gallons of gas. With more power that thing would go like a batoutahell, something we just don't need.

    Not many people's first choice in center consoles. That is, until they ride in ours.

  10. #10

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    Here is another look at the Open Fisherman. That removable fish box in the deck is hard to beat.

    Here is a comparison with the 18' model.

  11. #11
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    I totally agree that safety is the most important issue. I would NOT enter Queen Charlotte Strait in that type of boat with multiple people (or any number in rough weather). My intention is only to run multiple people in good weather/calm seas close to shore as a water taxi to move from beach to beach or across very sheltered bays to reach friends etc. I absolutely agree with your safety comment and thanks for your suggestions!

    mhk

    Quote Originally Posted by Cap'n Ron View Post
    Uh...was ok with 2-3 people fishing in the size boat you describe, but you plus 7 other (total 4 adults 4 kids) is a NO WAY in a boat that small and open. Haven't been in Queen Charlotte Straits, but from what I have read, you would be nuts even with 2-3 people, in those waters except on the very best days, and then not very far from shore and a safe bay to tuck into when the weather that can come up suddenly gets ugly. I know money is an issue, it is with all of us, but safety is a much bigger issue!

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    Thanks Brown Bear. That Open Fisherman is on my short list and I plan to go check one out soon.

    In reply to the comments about a cabin being recommended, I totally agree that up here that is close to essential. I intend to use the boat I am talking about as a fair weather run-about further south. The furthest north I would be cruising would be Ketchican, so I think rain gear is most important for my uses. Even then, my small passengers are going to want to wait for calm seas and sun. I can fish in good gear.

    mhk

    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    We faced much the same choices and looked long and hard for our needs and uses and finally settled on the Hewescraft 20' Open Fisherman. No regrets whatsoever. We're launching off steep, slick or soft gravel beaches with a half ton truck, and the boat is so light it's a dream to launch and recover.

    It's relatively flat bottomed with only 22 degrees of deadrise forward and 10 degrees aft, but handles chop surprisingly well. Not as good as a heavy deep V of some sort, but the tradeoff is stability and load capacity. We regularly fish 6 adults with plenty of room to move around and no worries when everyone runs to the same side to watch a fish fight.

    We weighed the power question even more carefully, and finally went with the "radical" decision to mount a 50HP Yamaha for fuel economy. No regrets again. With those 6 adults onboard, it still gets up on step quick and cruises at 25mph. Good enough for us, and we can run and fish all day on less than 6 gallons of gas. With more power that thing would go like a batoutahell, something we just don't need.

    Not many people's first choice in center consoles. That is, until they ride in ours.

  13. #13
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    The Yamaha shop in Homer has a center console Bay Weld ready to go for sale. I don't know what they are asking. I will say that Bay Weld boats are built so tough you could drive it up the devils back side, and back out.

  14. #14

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    One addition to the standard model- Get their accessory wind screen with the aluminum grab rail. Worth every small penny of additional cost. The grab rail protects the windscreen while also providing a great place to mount our VHF antennae on a rail clamp.

    For seating we got box seats, the variety with an aluminum gear box below and pivot seat above. But rather than install them, I put a plywood bottom in each and we leave them free-standing. Dandy for moving around for travel or fishing. Put a life jacket in each and there's still room for each passenger's personal gear. We also have some folding lawn chairs we've been known to bring along. Yeah, that deck is big enough it kinda turns into a barge sometimes.

    Storage is at a premium in any open boat, and those box seats largely resolved it. I put a 200 quart ice chest behind the console for my own seating, plus extra gear and life jackets. Another dandy, mobile feature.

    We use that bow locker for our anchor, line and chain. Really nice to get those completely out of the way when you don't need them.

    Only additional mod was to add stainless railing waist high up in the bow, extending 4' back even with the step down. We do a lot of fly fishing around the reefs and kelp beds, so it is a great "leaning rail" while getting a fly caster up in the bow with some elevation. I stopped it short of the bow and used 60-degree T's to terminate the top rail forward. Add a cross piece to tie the two side rails together while not interfering with anchoring. Allen wrench to loosen and remove the cross piece when boarding elderly passengers over the bow, then replace. Takes a couple of seconds. Though the railing was aimed at fly fishing, it's proven even more useful for general fishing because one or two folks can fish up there, clearing even more deck space.

  15. #15
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    I don't think that a Hewes has a self bailing deck and for me in Alaska that is on my list of must haves! As long as Hewes puts foam under their deck I want no part of one, but on the bright side pulling out the deck and removing hundreds of pound of wet foam helps pay the bills at my shop just got done making a Hewes about 500lbs lighter. I like having the air chamber below the deck of a bay weld, plus the fish box that will self flush if you want it to or you can put in the plug and have it dry too. Bay-Weld boats built tough like a commercial work boat, and finished for fun.

  16. #16

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    Enjoy your new boat.

  17. #17
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    check out workskiff in Bellingham, WA. The BEST

  18. #18
    Member pacific23's Avatar
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    Here is a Pacific 23HT with no frills, this is just an idea of what you can start with.
    www.pacificboats.com down in Marysville Washington.

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