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I'm looking for something small/affordable to take out on the estuaries and lagoons in Connecticut. I'd love to have a Boston Whaler 13', Carolina Skiff J12, or some kind of micro skiff, but I don't have the money for that. Some folks mentioned that a Mod V Jon boat would work, but I'm not sure I want to pay for an aluminum boat that will probably corrode. So my first question is, does anyone have a recommendation for a small vessel (aside from a kayak) that would work well in small estuaries? And the real reason I came here, is to ask where I should go to learn about the basics like hull design, basic physics, and anything that will help me figure out what would fit my needs.Thanks!

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I have a gheenoe I fish off of inshore in my area. Cheap ,very affordable but still very fast with little hp.  Can normaly be found for under 1k for hull and can find a motor for under 1k.  So for under 2k you can be fishing.  

 

Like a overgrown kayak .  Still manageable for car topper.  Can use up to a 9.9hp . 

 

Draft under 4 inches with paddle . No issues motoring in 1ft.of water.  

 

My 15' 4 with 9.9 2 st yamaha did 24mph with 2 people loaded.  

 

My other 15' with 9.8 (which is same as a 8hp ) does 18-19.  

 

Both are 40 inches in the middle but taper on both ends. 

 

Both are rated from manufacturer  for 3 poeple  but I only have ran 2 on either. 

 

A jon boat/ skiff would be a little more stable but you will lose speed alot compared to the same hp.   You still not going out in windy conditions  when I'm not .   

 

Bw and Carolina skiff your just buying a name.  

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Having grown up along the Connecticut shore, and in particular the Mianus River estuary, Greenwich Cove, and the shoreline between the Mianus River and Greenwich Harbor, I have two comments:

 

1) On a good day, you can fish that area in anything that floats--as a boy, I spent a lot of time fishing from a friend's 10 1/2-foot plywood skiff.

 

2) The day will come when you look out over the Sound, and see bluefish ripping apart a school of bunker outside the estuary's mouth and you give in to temptation to venture outside, or the river is dead but those offshore islands offer irresitstable temptation, or you go out on a weekend when big boats are throwing constant wakes, or a late summer cold front pushes through and the Sound goes from serene to scary in about three minutes--or any combination of some or all of the above, and your boat suddenly feels very small.

 

Having spent over 65 years fishing the Sound--although I live on Long Island now, I still go back to fish with a friend and do most of my bass fishing there--I'd call a 13-foot Whaler the bare minimum for safety.  Can you fish out of less?  Absolutely.  As I said, I spent lots of time in a 10 1./2 foot skiff.  But I've also seen a dead calm day turn deadly--I'm talking about thunderstorms and 50-knot-plus gusts--on days when NOAA weather was calling for a breeze less than 10, when boats got knocked over and people drowned.

 

The Sound is not a protected pond.  Kayaks, jonboats and the rest are all fine--until they're not.  Even if you're planning to stay close to shore, you want to be in something that will let you live long enough to get in the lee of an island or a piece of shore, where you will hopefully be able to beach and wait out the blow.

 

There's a good chance that you'll never get into that kind of trouble, but I've been on the water long enough to have learned not to trust the odds.

 

"I have always believed that outdoor writers who come out against fish and wildlife conservation are in the wrong business. To me, it makes as much sense golf writers coming out against grass.."  --  Ted Williams

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A tin boat is the way to go.  I fished tin boats from inshore to pretty far offshore for most of my life.  You will probably knock some rivets loose over time, but you won't really have to worry about corrosion unless except in very specific circumstances.  Most of those can be avoided by keeping your wiring out of the bilge and not dropping pennies or brass fitting on the floor.

 

sam

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12 hours ago, 757saltwater said:

I have a gheenoe I fish off of inshore in my area. Cheap ,very affordable but still very fast with little hp.  Can normaly be found for under 1k for hull and can find a motor for under 1k.  So for under 2k you can be fishing.  

 

A jon boat/ skiff would be a little more stable but you will lose speed alot compared to the same hp.   You still not going out in windy conditions  when I'm not .   

 

Bw and Carolina skiff your just buying a name.  

Thanks so much for the info, I just stumbled on gheenoe this evening as it happens. I don't really care about the brand name, I just know a J12 or striper 13 is about the size I was hoping for, but I'm pretty sure it's not in the cards. I will look into gheenoe per your recommendation. Thanks again!

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12 hours ago, CWitek said:

Having grown up along the Connecticut shore, and in particular the Mianus River estuary, Greenwich Cove, and the shoreline between the Mianus River and Greenwich Harbor, I have two comments:

 

 

 

I really appreciate your input, and I understand what you mean. I have taken all different size kayaks on the sound (close to shore), and I've had the weather flip like that. I'm really only looking to stay in the rivers and lagoons, I have enough respect for the sound to know when to stay out of open water.  Thanks for your wisdom! 

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8 hours ago, sams said:

A tin boat is the way to go.  I fished tin boats from inshore to pretty far offshore for most of my life. 

Thanks for your input, I don't know enough about aluminum to make that call. I suppose my concern is putting money into something that will break down over time, but I guess that can happen with a molded boat too!

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15 hours ago, C.Crisp said:

Thanks for your input, I don't know enough about aluminum to make that call. I suppose my concern is putting money into something that will break down over time, but I guess that can happen with a molded boat too!

Aluminum boats are not going to corrode on you in saltwater.  Over time you will probably knock some rivets loose, but that is pretty easily fixable.  I've never priced it out, but I would expect that you can get the same level of capbility in an AL boat for 50% of the cost of a similiar fiberglass hull.

 

Both my boats now are fiberglass, so I'm not so in love with them that I think they are hand s down the best option.  But if you look at cost, required maintenance, and functionality its pretty hard not to see them as the best value.

 

sam

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Need more information…..do you plan to cartop or would you be willing to trailer……
 

If you are car topping…..I would suggest a kayak over an aluminum boat.
 

If you are willing to trailer……a galvanized trailer, aluminum boat and outboard is hard to beat. 

If want something that fits in the trunk of a car then check out a Sea Eagle inflatable with a portable outboard or something similar.

 

 

I fish in the salt out of aluminum. Just hose it off when you are done…….give a soapy wash like a car on occasion. 

Edited by aae0130


We’re gonna need a bigger boxcar

 

“Shall not be infringed” was the “talk to the hand” of that period. (Me 2022)

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11 hours ago, sams said:

Both my boats now are fiberglass, so I'm not so in love with them that I think they are hand s down the best option.  But if you look at cost, required maintenance, and functionality its pretty hard not to see them as the best value.

 

 I think I keep getting fixated on the amount of space fiberglass boats offer. The gamefisher 10, and a J12, offer a lot of room which is nice, but probably not the most gas efficient. 

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10 hours ago, aae0130 said:

Need more information…..do you plan to cartop or would you be willing to trailer……

With a Subaru outback, most boaters tell me I can't tow a small fiberglass boat,I would imagine a Gheenoe would be doable though... 

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Depending on distance to the ramp, I think an outback would be fine for the glass boats you’re thinking of.   I have to ask if you’ve been over on Microskiff yet or found the build you own foam/glass stuff in your research?  

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1 hour ago, C.Crisp said:

With a Subaru outback, most boaters tell me I can't tow a small fiberglass boat,I would imagine a Gheenoe would be doable though... 

you can probably tow about 1200 to 1500 lbs with that. I see Outback’s towing jet skis all the time. 
 

That’s another thought…..there are Jetskis set up for fishing…
 

Edited by aae0130


We’re gonna need a bigger boxcar

 

“Shall not be infringed” was the “talk to the hand” of that period. (Me 2022)

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