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Thread: Tolman questions

  1. #1

    Default Tolman questions

    To you knowledgable Tolman owners/builders: I'm considering building a Tolman for use here on Kauai. The type of fishing done here is different than in Alaska; we typically troll at about 6-8 knots in search of fish and the weather/wave conditions here are pretty choppy with common tradewinds at 15-20 knots and seas 4-6' (short whitecap type waves). I'm wondering how a Tolman (widebody/jumbo with cab) would handle these conditions while trolling? I'm thinking that maybe the deadrise and entry "v" are not steep enough to handle the rough waters here? I regularly fish on a friend's boat that's 19' in length, all glass construction, deep v and pretty steep/rakish deadrise, even at the transom. The boat weighs about 4,000 lbs. with twin Yamaha 60's, fuel, ice, etc. It's great in the chop and handles pretty rough conditions considering the 19' length (mostly due to the weight). I'd hate to go thru all the time & expense of building a boat to find that it just isn't geared for here. Any help/advice will be appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006


    I can't say if a Tolman would work or not, but somebody here might be able to help you out.
    "When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it."
    Henry Ford

  3. #3
    Member Tolman24's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Eagle River, AK


    I have a 24' Jumbo but I am not sure how it would work in those conditions. One plus to the Tolman is it's lite weight and fuel efficiency. I think it would safely handle the conditions mentioned but I am not sure it would be as comfortable as a heavy boat. If you are thinking of a cabin on a jumbo you would want to keep it as short as you comfortably can as it will blow around in the tradewinds. The boat handles the Alaska chop well. I have also been in 4 - 6 feet wind driven waves but it required that I throttle back to keep from going airborn, a factor of the lite weight, fuel efficient design. I have a friend that uses his 22' jumbo in San Francisco Bay all the time and heads out 80+ miles chasing tuna. The bay can get pretty wild and he hasn't had any problems. He has had his over 5 years. The thing I do like is at trolling speed the chine flats make for a pretty darn stable ride and it isn't as tippy as some deep V's I have been on. Feel free to PM me if you have specific questions. Also hit the Fishy Fish forums if you want to talk to some pretty knowledgeable guys.

    You might also email Renn Tolman in Homer to get his honest opinion. He will tell you straight out if he thinks it is a good fit or not.
    Last edited by Tolman24; 10-20-2008 at 15:30. Reason: more to say.

  4. #4


    I think that it would be at least as good as any other boat in that size range. I like light boats: they are nimble, easy to trailer, and easy on gas. Heavy boats ride better, yet are rarely any more stable. They just feel that way.....

  5. #5
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006



    I'd recomend e-mailing Renn, he's great about answering questions regarding his design, and has put alot of hours in various Tolmans.

    If your typical conditions are 4-6' choppy seas, then the Tolman might not be the best design. I've had my widebody in 4' seas, and it handles it just fine, but I'd rather have a larger boat. But my type of boating is different than yours. My typical use is run 50 miles out and drift over structure for bottom fishing. My ideal boat will run 22-24 knots in 1-2' chop. For that use the Jumbo is the way to go, or something larger.

  6. #6


    Yeah, the more I think about it, the more it seems the deep "V" and matching deadrise are the way to go here. We just don't have many calm days here. Last week was blowing a constant 20-25 and we didn't go fishing, as die hard as we are. 2 weeks ago was better but still were smacking waves head on and had saltwater "waterfalls" off the rear of the cab roof (too hot here for a full cabin too!). Don't think a Tolman's cut out for this kind of stuff. Well, I can still build one for Alaska!
    Thanks to everyone who offered their opinion!


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