12' livingston - tell me your tales

i came across a 12' livingston for what seems to be a great price (neighbor just not using it anymore). I already have a 12' v-hull aluminum and a 9' Bucks pontoon, but don't know much livingstons other than they're supposedly super stable. Does anyone have any experiences/recommendations about Livingstons?
I've had a 12', 14' and now own a 9' livingston (as well as a 12' Sorenson). These are very stable boats. I had a 25hp Johnson on the 14', and an 18hp Merc on the 12'. Both were really fast for their size, as the tunnel design makes the boat pretty much like a hydroplane - very little drag once you get it up on the step. A buddy and I fished all over the sound, occasionally in some pretty iffy weather in both the 12 and 14' and never a problem. So, the issue I have with these hulls is that they are not very comfortable due to the tunnel down the middle. You can bolt swivel seats to the tunnel if you brace the underside with a block of wood and then caulk the holes around the bolts, then you can place a piece of 3/4" plywood as floor boards and that helps quite a bit. Both modifications help, but moving around is still kind of uncomfortable because you have to maneuver around the tunnel. Also, again because of the tunnel, they don't have as much storage capacity as a v-hull of comperable length, but for two people fishing how much storage do you need?
I live on a small lake and a few years ago took the 9' out in the middle on a hot summer day, stood up on the gunnel and bounced up and down and couldn't get any water to even look at slipping over the side. Also, when I had the 12 and 14', I would crank up to full speed and push the tiller hard and put the boat into a 360 just for fun. Never any water over the gunnels.
Another note is that they are not as easy to row as a v-hull. But with a motor they really scream. Yet another note is that, again because of the tunnel, your seating position is in the center of the boat; if you have a tiller motor, you are always reaching behind you to steer.
So, yes, they are VERY stable, much more so than any v-hull size for size, very fast and maneuverable, and with modifications are fairly comfortable.
If this is a neighbors boat, why don't you take it out for a day and try it out before you buy?
One last thing. A 12' Livingston is a little wide to fit in a standard PU, so if it doesn't have a trailer that could be an issue.

Good luck
it does have a trailer. for the price he wants (next to nothing) I figured if i don't like it, I can just sell it for a profit as fishing season gets going.

Brad Niemeyer

Old School Member
I have a 9 footer and second all the previous comments pro and con. Super stable and a bit uncomfortable...I need to install some swivel seats!
I've always thought about cutting the tunnel out of a 14' er and glassing it over( maybe leave an inch or so tunnel), would make a good little sled!

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