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Thread: 23 or 24' Wooldridge SS Pilothouse

  1. #1
    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    Default 23 or 24' Wooldridge SS Pilothouse

    We are in the beginning stages of buying a new boat or having one built. I've been looking at the Wooly SS Pilothouse and following BCriverhunter's thread. Does anyone have and pictures or knowledge of a 23' or 24' Pilothouse? Likes or dislikes over Wooly/Bayweld/Hewescraft/North River and the others. We are looking at staying around the 23' size, but would like a cuddy too, but still have some fishing room. The boat will mostly be used in Whittier on weekends. I've researched a lot on here and found tons of great info. Made me realize how much goes into building or buying a new boat. So, any info or first hand knowledge would be helpful.

    Rob

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    Member patrickL's Avatar
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    I was just in your spot about a year ago. I had my heart set on a wooly but just couldn't come up with the extra coin. I ended up getting a 26ft Hewes PC from a guy I met on the forum here and for a heck of alot less than I could have gotten into a wooly . So if price is an issue you might think about going that direction. Also, I hear the Duckworth Pacific Navigator is supposed to be pretty nice and makes up for alot of the Hewes short comings.

    That being said, you get what you pay for. The Hewes is the pickup truck of boats. Totally utilitarian and tough. But the fit and finish leaves a little to be desired. To be honest, its a bit frustrating, but then again, I got a 2009 with 70hrs, for about 40K less than a similar new wooly. That will buy alot of finish work in a boat. The hull is tough as nails and engines have nothing to do with boat builders. I have twin 150hp Yamaha's and if I had a 26ft or 29ft wooly, it would have the same motors. They're fantastic. Wooly makes one heck of a great boat and when I can afford one, they'll probably be building me one. Not to mention, I met Grant and talked to both Grant and Glen and they are super guys. I'd buy from them anyday. They stand by their boats for decades and are super guys. It sure makes me feel good about buying a boat from them. But for now my Hewes will do and I certainly can't complain.

    One other point. Bayweld is a custom boat builder and if you can afford them I don't think there's any comparison between bayweld/wooly and hewes/north river. Bayweld makes a very nice boat and will work with you to build what you want. Wooly is a semi-custom shop such that you can customize the options and such but they dont' tend to build custom boats. The other two are commericial companies and can make minor adjustments but they are far from custom. Ohhh, a bayweld in my opinion is closer in line with a Glaciercraft than any of the others. Heavy gauge, bomb proof aluminum so if you can afford one I'd go with them over any of the other three.

    If your interested in taking a closer look at a Hewes or just talking boats let me know. I'd be happy to let you crawl over over mine. Heck, come spring I'd be happy to take you out and let you get a feel for it.

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    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    I totally understand about the difference in boats. I'm thinking long haul. Buy once, but does that ever happen? I'm already wanting to upgrade only after 2 years. HA HA I've been on a Hewes llike yours and it is nice. I started off just wanting an Ocean Pro, but now think a having a cuddy would be more useful. I'm heading to Minnesota in a week with a long layover in Seattle. I'm planning on checking out the Wooldridge shop and looking around. I've seen the new Duckworth and it's really nice, but big price tag too. Never been on a Bayweld, but seen a few up close.
    So what don't you like about your Hewes PC?

  4. #4

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    The only input I have is to say that if you're considering a 23 or 24-footer, go with a 24-footer. I think that you'll never look back wishing you'd bought a smaller boat, but if you get a 23 foot boat I think you'll be saying you wish you'd bought a 24 foot boat.

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    Member patrickL's Avatar
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    Skydiver also makes a great point. It highly unusual for someone to wish they had bought a smaller boat. 2 foot-itis only goes in one direction. Bigger. So if you are really looking long-term, get the bigger boat.

    So the only thing I've been unhappy about with my Hewes is the finish work. Several of the screws that hold the galley to the wall have come out. I've put them back in and they just back out again. The fresh water tank slides around under the sink such that its bending the door hinges and the clasp holding the door shut. Also, the door to the ice box broke off because of an install problem. They mounted it too close to the cabin door such that it torgued the hinge when you opened it and eventually broke. They also mounted the antenna on the gunnel rather than the roof. This decreased the effectiveness of my radio a ton. I moved it to the roof and now its much better. None of this is a huge deal but the finish jjust isn't that well done. I really like the arrangement of the cabin as it provides alot of space for passengers and such. Its perfect for a family of 4 for a weekend and that's why we bought it.

    I think your decision to go with the cuddy is a smart one. We originally bought an Ocean Pro and it was a good boat. But we figured out quickly that it wasn't useful for boating up here and living in Anchorage. Its alot of time and money to haul a boat to any of the major ocean launches in the Anchorage vicinity. It just doesn't make alot of sense to do day trips and therefore a cuddy is a major benefit to boating from the Anchorage area.

    Keep us informed about what you decide. The decision is half the fun.

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    Member Sobie2's Avatar
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    I have a few over 1MB files of a price sheet and photos of a 2007 Wooldridge 23' Pilothouse new from a dealer (sent you a PM). The list was 81K on sale for 75K. A few years ago there was a used 23' for $67k from an Oregon dealer. The 23' Pilothouse with a honda 225 gets 5MPG according the performance report!!! That is amazing.

    I was looking at one of these at one time but ended up with a Hewescraft OceanPro... that I sold last week.

    Sobie2

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    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Both Patrick and Skydiver bring up some key points. You mentioned that you are looking long term. Two footis is a reality. I started with an 18 foot klamath, then moved up to a 24' hewescraft Alaskan. It was like my old plane Jane suburban that sported the "Texas leather". It would get the job done, but had limited creature comforts. I could sleep four. Two on the fold out bed, one on the floor, and one on a cot I had bolted/suspended above the port side window. As my family grew it was apparent that a cuddy was the only way to go. I am now in a GC.

    A friend purchased a gently used 24 foot Wooldridge this fall. It is set up nice with a galley and table. It does not have a true head. It is a big 24 footer with incredible economy. They seem to be more efficient than the Hewescraft and other factory boats in the same class and Grant and Glen have a very good reputation and allow you to customize your boat to a certain degree which is nice.

    Wooly/Hewescraft/North River and the other factory boats are not really comparable to Bayweld and the other custom boats IMO. With the bigger, heavier custom boats comes a bigger, heavier, and more expensive truck. Just something to think about.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Member patrickL's Avatar
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    I don't think its called 2ft-itis when you jump from a Klamath to a GC. Its more like 14ft-itis. If I'm lucky maybe I'll get the chance to follow your lead.

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    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patrickL View Post
    I don't think its called 2ft-itis when you jump from a Klamath to a GC. Its more like 14ft-itis. If I'm lucky maybe I'll get the chance to follow your lead.

    Hey, I did have a 24 Alaskan that I put over 1000 hours on the motors with, right?
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    Sobie2. Looking forward to checking out the info you have. I've read a lot about the Pilothouse and really like the economy too. Looking at boats is just lke looking at trucks. You go to buy a half ton that's cheap to drive, then you start looking at the 3/4, then on to the deisel and before you know it you are buying a 1 ton duelly deisel. Now I can't jump to a GC or anything close to that, but I do want the best suited boat for me. Did you sell your Ocean Pro only because is wasn't weekend trip comfortable?

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    Member Gundog's Avatar
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    If it where me and it was a short while back I went with the 26' Wooldridge with the aluminum trailer it did not run that much more than the 23' part of the reason is they recomend against the aluminum trailer for the 23'er and the galvanized trailer was about $1200 more than the aluminum trailer that narrows the difference in price by quite a bit. They said the aluminum trailer did not fit the 23'er very well. I was upgrading from a 21' boat and the more I though about it 2 more feet was not worth that much money but 5 more feet was way better.

    Mike my .02

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    Member Sobie2's Avatar
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    robbentler,

    I sent you an email with all the attachments. I sold my boat to begin a major homebuilding project (started today). My boat wasn't for overnighting but a commuter to my cabin and for day fishing...

    Sobie2

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    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    Thanks, Looking forward to seeing the info.

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    The 23 can't be beat for fuel economy, I have ran a 23 Pilot with a 200 honda and a 23 Pilot with twin 115 Yamahas. I loved the twin setup super economy and still would get up on step with one engine and a moderate load. A 24 over the 23 will get you one more ft out back for fishing room. No head but a 26 gets you the stand up one, they can put a head in the cuddy in the middle or off to one side. That is the great thing about Wooldridge, Glen can build what you wan't off the basic design of the boat.
    That 24 Spoiled One talked about sipps fuel acording to the first owner,under 7 gph. You still get the table for 4 that makes into a bed with the cuddy and a sink, fridge and a cook top, all in the 23. I know you can trust thier fuel consumption numbers they have been proven up here on several boats.

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    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    Looking forward to checking out the factory on the 23rd. It's amazing how good of fuel economy they get over other boats. Plus like they say, you don't buy a boat from Wooldridge, you build a boat.

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