I've kind of felt those bay boats would make a good fly fishing platform for fishing sea run cuts. My only concern would be the shallow draft and how it would ride in Puget Sound with some chop. Much better than being solo in a 14 Lund I'm sure
I've long had the same thought, and questioned the ride as well. I had known of this hull for a number of years (the other south sound guide has run this exact hull for several years now) and often wondered about it. Seemed like the perfect platform for the fly fishing I do in the sound, but I did wonder about the ride in that surprise 2-3' of afternoon chop.
Upgrading my boat was nowhere on my radar until I was approached by the owner asking if I had any interest. At that point I started doing a lot of research. Everything I could dig up was positive, including how the boat handled in chop. I spoke to the owner at length about this very thing and his thoughts lined up with everything I had read. The general consensus was it rides better than many similar aluminum boats, but like every other small boat you have to slow down and the experience of the person at the wheel has an impact.
We sea trialed Saturday and I was hoping for more choppy water than we found, but we did the best we could. Found some great wakes to play around in, and did find a foot or so of rippy chop down in the narrows. It handled the wake quite well. Could definitely feel it riding different than my Triumph. The bow wanted to come out of the water much easier, but it didn't pound and slam the way I was expecting. Ya, had to slow down, you definitely wouldn't want to hit that stuff at 40, but I think we slowed to maybe 18-20 and it took it just fine. With the foot or so of chop we did slow down....from 47 down to about 35 and skipped across it like nothing.
Ultimately I won't know until I have to run 5 miles back to the launch in 2-3' of slop, but at this point I am confident it won't be an issue. Like any small boat, just slow down and be smart. One difference is with this hull and the power on it I'll be able to stay on top of stuff at a slower speed than my other boat. I've had the Triumph out in some awfully nasty water. With that boat I need to slow down to the point that it really won't stay on step and just kinda ride the waves up and down which is wet and not super enjoyable. The Ranger will be able to stay on top of many of the same waves at a similar speed, which will definitely change the ride.
Ultimately my decision came down to this: I am out fly fishing on nice days WAY more often than I am running in crappy water, and the advantages this boat has as a fly fishing and guiding platform far outweigh any possible disadvantages it may have on those much rarer days I'm out there in those nasty conditions. Only time will tell if there are truly any major disadvantages when compared to the Triumph, but if there are they will only be in the area of ride quality on those really lousy days. If that does turn out to be the case I'm fine with trading that for all the advantages this boat does have (Longer, wider, faster, more comfortable to fly fish from, newer, prettier, tons of lockable storage including fly rod storage, better electronics, and the biggest game changers....bow mount with foot pedal, remote, spot lock, heading lock etc, and twin power poles off the stern, both of which are absolute game changers out there).
The last factor is appearance. In the charter/guiding world this can be huge. The Triumph is a fantastic boat, but lacks any "wow" factor. This boat provides that in a big way. Not every customer cares about such things, but many do. Not THE reason I upgraded, but it certainly doesn't hurt.
Oh, and did I mention it's pretty fast? Man is it fun to drive!