Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Thomas Mitchell, Mar 7, 2009.
I just saw that 14 Dauntless on CL. Looks like it would be an awesome ride. Don't know about the fishing configuration. Any 14 footer will be wet but that looks like the driest wet riding boat you'll find. I haven't actually spent time in one but the hull design looks excellent. Re: Garaging, you can also modify the trailer tongue of any trailer to hinge so you can have a larger boat still fit in the garage. For all around use I'm happy with my aluminum wooldridge but it doesn't have the nice ride of a glass hull. Aluminum takes a lot more abuse than glass but most models don't have enough Vee for the salt. You might look at Gregor, Valco and Crestliners for a deeper Vee that carries back to the stern. Also, as mentioned above Almar used to make a deep V hull. Most of the aluminum welded boats like North River etc don't have nearly enough V for a good ride in a chop.
I still like my first boat. 14' Livingston. 1977 model and beat up from use, but still serves me and the family well. Full casting platform over the entrire bow area. 35hp Evinrude moves it fast enough for my use. It is heavy, takes chop well and normally unless the wind is really whipping the spray stays away.
It's good to see your old crazy looking avatar back, Ed. Is that El Cap in the background? I think he's fishing the Merced... I'm onto your secret spot buddy.
yes, almar was bought out by northriver. the original idea was for almar to continue with custom building for a wide audience of agencies who appreciate bullet proof construction: navy, CG, port authorities, corp of engineers, LEOs and so on. they would also take on private customers, me as an example, if i choose to get in their build que, i did. reelfast is the best boat i will ever own, i say that without reservation at this point.
unfortunately, the economy has conspired and hit the recreational products industry pretty hard. northriver has now closed down the almar yard in tacoma completely. what almar badged construction the future holds i do not know. boat building, i am told, will continue at the northriver facility in roseburg,OR. i believe the nearest northriver/almar dealer is in marysville.
all that said, i would still be looking for a welded aluminum 14-16' boat on a trailer. they are light enough to man handle on some of the poorly designed ramps around the sound, have almost no maintenance, take a pounding and go like snot with a modest amount of HP. with a 25, tiller steering is just fine and really simplifies things even further. until you get way into boating, simple is a very good thing.
iagree I'd rather cross the Sound and fish out of, say, a 15' Smokercraft than I would a 13' Whaler. The Whaler is a cute little boat and great resale, but it has no freeboard and room for 2 flyfishers is tight.
Thanks all! As much as I like the Whalers, I think the 'aluminum is best' concensus is pushing me toward the right path for a first boat that will be 95% used for chasing searuns and coho in Puget Sound.
I'll look for the biggest that I can handle easily by myslef and will still fit in our garage with a swing tongue. Probably a 13-14' with a 15-25 outboard.
Maybe once I'm finished with school tuition for the kids (someday...), I can get what I really want!
I really appreciate the input and first hand experience.
yeah, those 'bay' boats are really sexy make sure you take note of the water conditions they always show those boats operating on!
Have you looked at Livingstons/Sorensons? I've owned several boats over the past 35 years, and keep coming back to this hull. You can find a 13' + that is plenty big for two people. They are very sea-worthy and scoot like hell with a 25 or 30 hp. That size of a motor is easily removed and stored, and you can then put on an electric trolling motor for lakes with a motor restriction. They are lightweight enough to easily be handled by one person. Add some plywood to the floor to eliminate the awkward walking around issues.
All boats have their drawbacks. I personally don't like aluminum, and I think the Whalers are way over priced for what you get (yes, I've had one).
Free advice, and worth every penny.
I was lucky enough to find a barely used 15' Dauntless about 8 years ago. I was concerned about the ride, having spent time in a 13' sport wishing for a kidney belt and bite guard. It's rated for a 75 horse, but I re-powered with a 60hp 4x injected Yamaha last year. I was in the trailer boat business for a number of years, so have time in a variety of hulls to compare the ride, performance, etc. I've never fished from a small boat that I liked better.
If you and up to two buddies are all under 200 lbs, this boat simply cannot be beat for the South Sound. Smooth, dry ride, self bailing cockpit, bilge drain, freeboard just low enough to boat fish or divers, full electronics, rated for 6 passengers or 775 lbs. It's not built for the big fellas, though, it's kinda narrow going around the console in rain gear. If you are American sized, look for something bigger. These boats are hard to locate, and usually too spendy for a SRC boat. Mine will be available some time in the future, you younger guys should keep an eye on the obituaries.
A great alternative is the Triumph boat from the Carolinas. They are roto-molded plastic, foam filled; center consoles start at 15', you can leave them in the salt or weather without
ruining the hull. Best of all, the cost is a fraction of what you'd pay for a new BW. I know they used to sell them out at Verle's in Shelton. The 17' CC is a great design.
It's really just me and my 11 yo son (or slightly older daughter) and I'm definitely a 'middleweight' in boxing terms so we're pretty low in the people-poundage area.
There were a couple very nice 14' Dauntlesses in CL over the last month. My understanding is that they are a slightly different design and the 14' is actually a little heavier and bigger inside than the 15'. It looks like a killer boat but the sticking point is just the price to utility comparison with a comparable aluminum boat. Double the price but nowhere near double the utility (some might even say less).
Even so, if budget wasn't an option, I'd go with the little Dauntless in a second. Seem like boats are like sports cars and motorcycles >> rarely a rational purchase for the 'recreational user'...
What are talking about? Who ever said a boat isn't a rational decision?
Seriously though. I like the 13' Whalers. Everyone is right that they are a bit wet and uncomfortable when it gets rough out, but when are you ever out fly fishing when it's blowing 20 knots? The nice part is that they're really stable. The ideal for me would be a 17 foot Montauk, but they're a bit pricey and more boat than you really need for cutthroat fishing. At the moment, I'm actually liking the idea of a big open plywood skiff - something like 15-16ft with a tiller outboard. A better ride than aluminum and a little more character.
You need a wood skiff for sea-run cutthroat, a nice big water boat with a big motor for salmon fishing, a friend with a drift boat for the rivers, a 12 ft aluminum pram for rough use on the beaches, and a small sail boat for recreation. And plenty of storage space. At least that was my solution to the problem.
Oh, I know. I'm a firm believer in the fleet concept! No one boat does everything, right? I've thinned the herd recently, but still have the little racing sailboat - just need a cutthroat skiff, 30 footish lobster boat to buzz up to the Islands and a 40 footish blue water capable sailboat in Mexico or the South Pacific.... and a couple dinghies to go with.
Aye aye Admiral!
You just described my Fleet!
18' Wooldridge Deepwater Plus w/115 Evinrude 2 stroke
10' wooden rowing dory for local SRC/Rezzie fishing
10' Cape Dory sailing dory
10' inflatble canoe, portable,stable and fun. Doesn't row that great though.
friends with pontoon boats for the rivers.