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rating your saltwater boat, 1-10

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  • rating your saltwater boat, 1-10

    I will be looking to buy a boat next year, and I would appreciate some of you rating the boats you use/own for saltwater fishing (10 being the best rating). Just list what boat you have, even a picture would be nice, rate it, and then maybe give 1 or 2 pluses or minuses about your boat; like what you really like, and what could be improved upon.
    "Wine can of their wits the wise beguile, Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile." - Homer, Odyssey

  • #2
    I have a 26 heswes sea runner. I give it a 8.
    Minus is
    I wish it was little bit wider.
    Wish it had more storage space.
    I have 115 yahmaha's wish I got 150's
    Hate the peel and stick color siding!!!!!!!!!

    Love the Yahmaha enigines (except I wish they were bigger)
    Roomy inside the cabin.
    rides great.
    Built very nice.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK


    • #3
      I would give my Sea Sport a 10 for it's size (24 foot). 496 inboard provides all the power I can use with reasonable fuel economy (2.5 - 2.8 mpg).
      Fiberglass hull does require a little more upkeep as in the occassional wash and wax.
      If I could improve it it would be to add 3 feet to the length and 2 to the beam.


      • #4
        bigger is always better

        I have a Hewescraft 220 Searunner with 140 Johnson OB. It's great for the price (paid $33K for everything including electronics). Wish it had a 200 for the OB and a head plus more room would be nice but I bought as much boat as I could afford. It does well on the water and it is a nice upgrade for me to a hardtop. I would rate by boat at a 6 maybe 6.5, it does what I want it to but not as nice of a boat as I would like but cant afford to double the price. Aluminum is great for its ability to take a beating and low maintenance.

        There is a 2006 24" seaking for sale on 5th Ave by Merrill Field that the price keeps dropping on, I think they are down to $60K now and could be talked down more.

        Best of luck.


        • #5
          I'm actually considering a C-Dory or Searunner, 22' most likely, but I'll probably squeeze the bank for a 24'. If I waited a year or two, it wouldn't be as much of a problem, but I need to fish halibut NOW. Know what I mean? C-Dory's seem like a pretty good deal, but I like the Kbays too.
          "Wine can of their wits the wise beguile, Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile." - Homer, Odyssey


          • #6
            There is a boat show in Oct.
            Living the Alaskan Dream
            Gary Keller
            Anchorage, AK


            • #7

              I have a 26` Osprey and rate it a 9. The volvo diesel KAD44 is good on gas and endures rough water. I also have a 26` Hewescraft Alaskan searunner and in comparison, it is like the difference between a Porsche and a Ford.


              • #8
                Hi Ripface, I stumbled onto this site, saw your post, and wanted to respond as I have a 22' C-Dory Cruiser. I bought it new in '89 and I love it ! I wish it had a 90 instead of the 70 Johnson that it came with. It is a slow boat with a planing speed of 9 mph and a cruise of 10-22 mph with the 70. Max speed is about 26 mph for my heavily loaded boat. Towing weight for me is about 4500#. Whatever boat you get you'll want heat. I've got the Wallas stove/heater and it's great but others prefer the Dickinson, Force 10, or Webasto. Additional info can be found here . Another boat you MUST see is the Cape Cruiser . The original C-Dory team sold out and later formed a new company to produce these boats. They make a 23' that is more polished and refined than the C-Dory and has a somewhat greater deadrise at the transom. The dealer in Portland had one rigged with a Yamaha (115 ?) and trailer for just over $50,000. The Sea-Sport 24' is also a great boat but I think heavier and spendier. This is my first post here as I just registered but I'm sure I'll be checking in regularily as boating and fishing are my passion. Pete


                • #9
                  C-dory's are neat boats. The one downside is they are a flat bottom hull, so will beat you to death in a chop, or force you to run much slower than a semi V or deep V.

                  My boats still under construction so I can't rate it yet.

                  I can't think of anyone on the water who wouldn't like a bigger boat, but when you look at purchase price, having to fill up the fuel tank, and towing it, there is something to be said for the smaller boats. There is a saying that the bigger the boat, the less you use it.

                  As far as the best boat for your use, you need to figure out how many people will be on it, how far you'll take it out, how fast you want to go, how long you'll be out, and what you can afford. Every design is a compromise, and there are many excellent boats out there. The perfect boat for someone else might be a poor boat for you.

                  The criteria I'd set out would be:
                  # of people aboard, typical and max
                  length of trips, day trips, overnights, week long
                  range 100 miles r/t, 200 miles r/t more?
                  typical weight carried, include ice, fish, all gear, for sizing engine(s)
                  max & cruising speed 30/20 knots, 40/25
                  How many days a year you'll be on the water, to figure operating costs
                  $, for both purchase and operating costs.

                  It's all a balance. Maxing yourself out to get the biggest most powerful boat doesn't make sense if you have no $ for gas. On the contrary, going with the absolute smallest minimal boat doesn't make sense if weather conditions never allow you to take it out.
                  Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

                  If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.


                  • #10
                    24 Hewescraft Alaskan

                    I ran a 24 Hewescraft Alaskan with twin F 100's for 5 seasons and loved it. I sold it this past spring (family has grown) and am currently having a 30' custom aluminum boat built. Mine had the extended transom and a 160 gallon fuel capacity. It was very functional and economical to operate. If you are looking for a fast, functional, and affordable fishing boat then the Searunners are a good choice. They also have an excellent resale value. If you are looking for something for the family then I would consider something with a cuddy. Check out the new hewescraft pacific cruiser at the October boat show or here:

                    Rating: I would give it an overall rating of 7.5
                    sigpicSpending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.


                    • #11
                      Good question! IMHO, all saltwater boats are a compromise between ride comfort, fuel efficiency, elbow room, and cost. My compromise choice was a Seasport 24 Explorer. Are there other boats I wish I had? You bet! But for what I was looking for it has turned out to be a good choice and I would give it a 9 rating. On my rating scale a 10 would be the ONLY boat worth owning, and that doesn't exist!


                      • #12
                        2 cents

                        My 2 cents :] I have a 22' Seasport very nice boat fast alot of deck room sleeps 3 fine nice range walace stove and cruz heat is wonderful someday as funds increase a 24' explorer or 27' pilot will be the next upgrade with diesel engine I run with a 22' friend with a dory nice boat just have to drop back on my cruze to stay together and his range is kinda short, but he makes south knight island. as for rating 7 always want more room to live on the water fuel milage ect but bang for the buck a 10 tough fast comfy and range. My two cents
                        22' SeaSport coho
                        TigerBight call sign


                        • #13
                          My ride

                          Harbercraft Kingfisher 2525 Pilothouse. Not too big for towing from port to port, but once I'm on the water wish it had more room as we always have company. 225 Honda. Perfect match. Cruise 30, max 40 mph. 125 gallons fuel will last a week out in PWS, unless you're not fishing.
                          The boat has a lot of creature comforts that the Hewes didn't. That's what lead me to spend another $20K. The V berth we can't live without. Second choice was the Sea Sport Pilot, but preferred the tin boat instead, mainly for less weight and ability to beach it.
                          I would rate it a 5 for price, an 8 for size and ride, and a 10 for construction and fish-ability.
                          Kingfisher 2525. 225, 20, and 2hp Hondas.


                          • #14
                            Compromises . . . .

                            As stated previously, there are a lot of compromises when choosing. . .

                            My first ocean craft was a 22' Trophy.

                            Upsides: Affordable, handled the water well, excellent fuel economy, ability to sleep a couple of people in the cuddy, and was able to fish 4-5 people.

                            Downside: kept bumping elbows when fishing, top-end speed was around 32 mph, never did use the cuddy for anything other than storage, could only fish 4-5 people, single engine (115 merc), unless sitting people down in the cuddy only had enclosed seating for 2.

                            Although I am sure I am missing other pros and cons, I think i hit most of them.

                            Three summers ago, we 'upgraded' to a 28' Alumaweld Offshore (seemed to be THE boat of choice for many guides up here a few years ago).

                            Upsides: Still pretty affordable (8 year old boat), handles the water excellently, with a little bit of ingenuity you can sleep a few people, fully enclosed cabin capable of holding 8 adults, heated cabin, huge deck allowing as many people as you want to fish, powered by TWIN 200 hp merc, cruise speed somewhere around 38 mph with a top speed (personally) of 58 mph, large range.

                            Downsides: Very little creature comforts, for what it was designed to do (take people out fishing quickly and safely and then return the same way) it does very well, not very economical at all (especially when running FAST) hahaha (I don't think fast and economical even go together), while trailerable and towable it is a big/heavy boat so you must have something designed to tow.

                            In retrospect, the alumaweld is a fine boat ... for doing what it was designed to do. I can load up with up to 7 or even 8 others (assuming I can find that many to go -- believe me, you wouldn't think it would be a problem, but it is), drive down to _______ (insert port of choice), launch, fly out to the fishing grounds, load up on fish, make a quick trip back and be ready to go again.

                            But that type of fishing just isnt quite as fun as it used to be. Who really needs to fly out to the fishing grounds at 50 mph? Do you really need (or want) to take out 8 people? How much fun is it driving around a big 1-ton diesel or dually? In the next 5 years or so, I think I will probably get rid of this one and pick up something just a little bit smaller and with more of the creature comforts my wife misses.

                            Just museing aloud . . . .

                            My two cents ...

                            -- Gambler


                            • #15
                              Wow, 58mph, thats a bit scary, lol. I wondered what my 27foot Aurora would do with twin 200's. Thats the max HP its rated for, I've got twin 130's now and it will do 40 max. I think thats fast. But I agree with you, it is strictly a fishing boat, nothing pretty inside about it. It's set up to haul 8 people out to go fishing and it does that wonderfuly. The most I've had is 7 I think. But with 7 people and a limit of halibut in the fish box it still gets up on step easily. It's very seaworthy, been in 10 footers before and it did great. I did take one wave over the bow and hit the windsheild for the first time ever on that trip, it was probably a 12 footer. It brought me back to port in Whittier safely though. I would rate it a 7 or 8.

                              Pros: Trailerable, fast, fairly economical, 8 foot deck fishes a lot of people, huge in-floor fish box.

                              Cons: 90 gallon fuel tank(want at least 150), wish it was a foot wider, but then a permit is required for trailering, wish it had a little deeper V in the bow to cut through the chop, its basicaly a river boat hull design(straight V all the way back)


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