BrokeOff

NE Fly Fishing Vessel

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Thanks for all the input.  I think I'll get into something small to start, learn the ropes, and stay confined to the protected areas.  I can always fish within a few miles of the launch when fishing more exposed spots.

 

I have three kids under three and a half.  When they are ready for a boat I'll jump to a Panga/Maritime/Whaler/Eastern/flats boat and be able to cover more of the exposed areas.

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Check out Towee Marine.  I just purchased one for fishing the flats on Long Island.  Floats super skinny is well constructed and flies with a 20Hp.  So far I am very happy with my purchase.

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Edited by BGBrown

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You don't NEED deadrise to get through a chop. Ever wonder why you see so many lobsterman's skiffs/lumberyard skiffs/whatever you want to call them? Because they float in skinny water, are cheap to build and maintain, have a high freeboard, high payload, and sharp bow, and can run in just about anything. If I wanted a cheap, durable, economical boat for running all over, I would get or build one of these in a heartbeat. 

 

Image result for lumberyard skiff

 

Image result for lumberyard skiff

 

 

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6 hours ago, capefish4231 said:

You don't NEED deadrise to get through a chop. Ever wonder why you see so many lobsterman's skiffs/lumberyard skiffs/whatever you want to call them? Because they float in skinny water, are cheap to build and maintain, have a high freeboard, high payload, and sharp bow, and can run in just about anything. If I wanted a cheap, durable, economical boat for running all over, I would get or build one of these in a heartbeat. 

 

Image result for lumberyard skiff

 

Image result for lumberyard skiff

 

 

My sister-in-law has a great Burnham-built clamming skiff.  Not including the 25 hp engine, it only drafts 2-3".  While it's not fun riding fast in chop, the flat bottom is very stable at rest - including chop, which makes a great casting platform.  Clamming skiffs are designed for abuse and should have a double plywood hull (floor) so that it can be landed repeatedly and removed and replaced when necessary.  It's not a sexy boat, but I see a lot of fly guys out on them early and late in the season.  

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The dark blue LYS in the pics above is a friend of mine who guides out of it in Dunedin FL. I've been on the boat several times and wouldn't want to have it in our waters. It does slap and beat even in a small amount of chop, which is pretty much always. The pros is it's super easy to build and cheap and is really stable, much more than you would think so. If you want his contact info PM me and I'm sure he'll be happy to bring you out on it in FL. Look up his brother Mark Vickers on youtube and they have a whole video series on building it and sea trialing it.

 

I have 2 boats (3 if someone wants to buy my Sea Hunt), one is a 14' microskiff that can be beach launched and one is a Jones Brothers 23 Cape Fisherman. Beach launching isn't always an option and can be a big PITA even with a microskiff, but you can stay in the really sheltered waters and run around. Also remember even when the seas are dead flat, there's always some 35' sportfishing boat in just deep enough water leaving a 3' wake. 

 

Depending on your budget, the best boat IMHO for fly and light tackle is the Jones Brothers 1910LTE. It can run in big enough seas to get to the flats and you can pole it around or use a trolling motor, then bounce when you're ready to the next place. I've been down in the cape and Islands for a couple weeks now and they're all over the place running around in some pretty nasty rips and seas. My next options would be a Parker SE (bigger boat), Maycraft (same Sea Ox hull as the JB), older Sea Craft 20s, or Maritime Skiffs.

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2 mins ago, nesportsman said:

The dark blue LYS in the pics above is a friend of mine who guides out of it in Dunedin FL. I've been on the boat several times and wouldn't want to have it in our waters. It does slap and beat even in a small amount of chop, which is pretty much always. The pros is it's super easy to build and cheap and is really stable, much more than you would think so. If you want his contact info PM me and I'm sure he'll be happy to bring you out on it in FL. Look up his brother Mark Vickers on youtube and they have a whole video series on building it and sea trialing it.

 

I have 2 boats (3 if someone wants to buy my Sea Hunt), one is a 14' microskiff that can be beach launched and one is a Jones Brothers 23 Cape Fisherman. Beach launching isn't always an option and can be a big PITA even with a microskiff, but you can stay in the really sheltered waters and run around. Also remember even when the seas are dead flat, there's always some 35' sportfishing boat in just deep enough water leaving a 3' wake. 

 

Depending on your budget, the best boat IMHO for fly and light tackle is the Jones Brothers 1910LTE. It can run in big enough seas to get to the flats and you can pole it around or use a trolling motor, then bounce when you're ready to the next place. I've been down in the cape and Islands for a couple weeks now and they're all over the place running around in some pretty nasty rips and seas. My next options would be a Parker SE (bigger boat), Maycraft (same Sea Ox hull as the JB), older Sea Craft 20s, or Maritime Skiffs.

 

Which microskiff are you running?  I'm leaning towards something like that for now.

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4 mins ago, nesportsman said:

Depending on your budget, the best boat IMHO for fly and light tackle is the Jones Brothers 1910LTE. It can run in big enough seas to get to the flats and you can pole it around or use a trolling motor, then bounce when you're ready to the next place. I've been down in the cape and Islands for a couple weeks now and they're all over the place running around in some pretty nasty rips and seas. My next options would be a Parker SE (bigger boat), Maycraft (same Sea Ox hull as the JB), older Sea Craft 20s, or Maritime Skiffs.

Agreed.  The new Sea Ox is pretty sweet too. 

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I agree the Jones brothers is probably one of the best boats for NE fly casting which is a compomise,but a good one.  I've fished the boat with a friend and it handles a chop quite well. Drafts about 12ft +.

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22 mins ago, BrokeOff said:

 

Which microskiff are you running?  I'm leaning towards something like that for now.

I built it, it's called the Bateau SK14. It's a little more involved to build than the LYS (I originally planned to build that) but is a fun little boat. If you want to see if in person PM me and we can arrange something. 3 friends of mine decided to build them after being out on it and at least 1 of them might be on the market soon if you're interested.

 

Not sure if it's allowed (if so let me know and I'll take it down) but here's a video of it running when I launched it: 

 

 

IMG_6893.JPG

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25 mins ago, JCH said:

Agreed.  The new Sea Ox is pretty sweet too. 

Forgot they are making them now. I've heard good things about them as well.

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If I go small I’ve messed around with the idea of building a Conchfish 16.

 

A few month ago, when I was seriously thinking about financing,  I called East Cape to get their thoughts on what would fit up here.  The model they recommended was...not even theirs, it was a Maritime.  He said get a bare hull ship it down and let them rip it up.  He mentioned dropping the freeboard, adding an entirely new fore and aft casting decks, new cockpit, platform, etc. 

 

It’s a cool idea but it would be expensive by the end and I could just slap a poling platform on a Maritime and call it a day.

 

Its funny you mention wakes.  That’s what I’m concerned about.  I’ve had two wakes end up in my kayak this summer.  Not a great feeling.

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The Conchfish looks cool but would be a bit more involved of a build than a stitch and glue for sure. 

 

I wouldn't go out and start cutting into the hull design of an existing boat. Any problems down the line will likely get you zero support from anyone and I can't imagine the resale on something like that being great. Freeboard is a good thing even on a fly fishing boat, it just makes landing fish a little more of a reach. Get a net with a longer handle is a cheap solution to that. 

 

There is no such thing as a perfect boat and there will always be compromises. Modified Vs make a good compromise in most cases. Find any hull you want, preferably one with clear decks, and you can change out hardware to make it fly friendly. For instance replace the cleats with pop up cleats, the lights with pop up lights, etc. Worst case you can't do all of that and you buy a stripping bucket or wear your stripping basket in the boat. When it's really windy you'll end up doing that anyways. If you're going out by yourself, you don't need a poling platform. If you plan to bring people out and take turns poling each other around go for it, but not many people are 1) good at poling a skiff and 2) strong enough to do it for a long time. I would put a bow mount trolling motor on it or see if you can still find some troll and tabs. Bow trolling motors are excellent fly line slicers if you're not paying attention, but even with a bunch of newbies on the boat several times a week all season it only happens 2-3x. In many cases once you find the paths the fish are taking you can troll/poll up to it and anchor and cast to the pods of fish rolling by. If you need extra height, lash down a cooler and stand on top of it.

 

If you go small with low freeboard look into self bailing hulls and the faster the better. A friend of mine has a gheenoe he runs around this area and has had close calls with it being flooded by wakes. It's not self bailing. The microskiff has a big cut out in the back to shed water and we've taken 2-3' greenwater waves over the bow and completely swamped it, in about 15 seconds it's empty. Same with for instance a kayak, a sit inside wouldn't be great when you get swamped whereas a sit on top will drain without any effort on your part. 

 

The last thing I would say is the flats make up a small percentage of the fly fishing opportunities in NE. Rocks, jetties, boulder fields, rips, coves, ledges, etc are all good fly fishing opportunities as well. Add in albies, bonito, bluefish, etc and you can have a blast fly fishing around this area and extend your season quite a bit. Limiting yourself to really sheltered water or really calm days (good bye most of spring and fall) will cut into your possibilities and enjoyment of the sport.

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Been going out with six different guides a year for 2 weeks a year for 20 years on the Cape....in virtually every venue and depth from way up estuary creeks to the deep blue Atlantic.  I have been in virtually every style boat....from micro-skiff in Pleasant Bay to big Cat to offshore inboard for the islands and rips....and everything inbetween.  I also have a flats boat I keep in Miami and run Biscayne Bay, the Everglades, and to a lesser extent the Keys.  And on any given day there are moments when I wish I had a micro...mini-skinny...and other moments when wish I had a bay boat and could go outside and manage the chop.

 

Every boat and every design is a compromise.  Nothing does everything.  Trade-offs.  Whatever you decide, that will define what you an do easily and safely....and make some things impossible, uncomfortable....or unsafe.

 

And that is before even considering what your budget actually allows....or whether this must become a "family play" investment.

 

What you will be happiest with depends on what you want to do the most.  The boats that do best in 1 foot of water are those designed for that world....a flats boat.  How BIG a flats boat starts pushing the bigger water world.  One pushes it until you get a reality check....such as a bow-stuffing complete 2 foot deep overwash when the guide had us 5 miles outfront of Chatham in his flats boat.

 

In the "Cape and North" world of 12 foot tides the speed of that drop seriously limits the time that a bay boat can float in and access flats.  The less the tidal swing the more bigger boats can play on flats.

 

I would suggest taking a couple of guide trips, one in each type of boat you are considering, and not only see how it rides and fishes but how it handles the water and talk to the guide about how he uses it in those "other" environments.  The good news is that there are lots of fish and fishing in each of those environments.  It is just different.

Edited by Peter Patricelli

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44 mins ago, nesportsman said:

The Conchfish looks cool but would be a bit more involved of a build than a stitch and glue for sure. 

 

I wouldn't go out and start cutting into the hull design of an existing boat. Any problems down the line will likely get you zero support from anyone and I can't imagine the resale on something like that being great. Freeboard is a good thing even on a fly fishing boat, it just makes landing fish a little more of a reach. Get a net with a longer handle is a cheap solution to that. 

 

There is no such thing as a perfect boat and there will always be compromises. Modified Vs make a good compromise in most cases. Find any hull you want, preferably one with clear decks, and you can change out hardware to make it fly friendly. For instance replace the cleats with pop up cleats, the lights with pop up lights, etc. Worst case you can't do all of that and you buy a stripping bucket or wear your stripping basket in the boat. When it's really windy you'll end up doing that anyways. If you're going out by yourself, you don't need a poling platform. If you plan to bring people out and take turns poling each other around go for it, but not many people are 1) good at poling a skiff and 2) strong enough to do it for a long time. I would put a bow mount trolling motor on it or see if you can still find some troll and tabs. Bow trolling motors are excellent fly line slicers if you're not paying attention, but even with a bunch of newbies on the boat several times a week all season it only happens 2-3x. In many cases once you find the paths the fish are taking you can troll/poll up to it and anchor and cast to the pods of fish rolling by. If you need extra height, lash down a cooler and stand on top of it.

 

If you go small with low freeboard look into self bailing hulls and the faster the better. A friend of mine has a gheenoe he runs around this area and has had close calls with it being flooded by wakes. It's not self bailing. The microskiff has a big cut out in the back to shed water and we've taken 2-3' greenwater waves over the bow and completely swamped it, in about 15 seconds it's empty. Same with for instance a kayak, a sit inside wouldn't be great when you get swamped whereas a sit on top will drain without any effort on your part. 

 

The last thing I would say is the flats make up a small percentage of the fly fishing opportunities in NE. Rocks, jetties, boulder fields, rips, coves, ledges, etc are all good fly fishing opportunities as well. Add in albies, bonito, bluefish, etc and you can have a blast fly fishing around this area and extend your season quite a bit. Limiting yourself to really sheltered water or really calm days (good bye most of spring and fall) will cut into your possibilities and enjoyment of the sport.

 

For some reason I have really resigned myself to fly fishing in shallow water by sight.  I'm certain that if I was yanking in 40# bass my feelings would change but for now that's where I'm at.  Even compared to guided albie trips I like wading the shallows for schoolies far more.

 

There are some other non fishing factors involved with my decision as well.  I have "fishing" funds that I can use for...fishing.  Even though I could finance a JB or big flats boat and still be within my annual "fishing" budget, if my wife ever got wind of the total price of something like that...I'd be sleeping in the boat.  For that reason I think something small and subtle will work best and then when the family is ready we can pull the trigger on a Maritime, JB, Parker, Panga, etc.  What my wife will really want is capacity.

 

The cool thing about building a boat is that I can stay involved without leaving the house.  I am starting to get depressed thinking about the end of season.  I have three kids under three and a half so I'm limited on time away from the house.  At night, instead of an hour tying flies I could be building a little skiff.  If I do the Conchfish 16 I would take baby steps venturing out.  I can find plenty of fish within a few miles of the launch.  After all, guys do great with kayaks, SUPs and wading.  I see this as the next step.

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If you build a conchfish keep it really simple, no liner, no hatches, just the bare bones. That way you will be able to get it done in one winter, a first build is super time consuming and most of the work is after the hull is complete. The great thing is that you’ll have the consultant possible with Chris.

JC

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