new boat recs [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: new boat recs

01-27-2003, 12:57 PM
Driving home last night my wife says look at that boat, why don't we have one. I take a look out the window and it is a brand new 16ft smokercraft open bow fishing machine. Of course it was fully carpeted with padded seats and that is what caught her eye. Still it is a fishing boat which piques my interest. It actually looked really nice.

We have been kicking around the idea of a boat for awhile but it looks like if I get a promotion in March I may have a new toy by summer. Now I can finally chase the SRCs and Coho in the sound without having to drive my car from beach to beach.

I honestly do not know a thing about boat manafacturers so I have no idea were to start looking.

Here is what I am looking for:

16-18 feet is fine. Needs to be able to seat 4 -6 comfortably for cruising around. For fishing at least 2 people should be able to cast at the same time. Open bow is a must.

I know we will probably go aluminum due to weight issues. Also do not want to worry about dinging up a fiberglass boat on our rocky puget sound beaches. We also only have a V6 to pull it.

Will be using in in lakes and puget sound which is uusally quite calm. No big open water for this boat. Maybe Seiku...

Should be fully carpeted and have good seats for the wife.

Would like to keep it between 8 - 12 grand and a used boat is totally fine. Just want to know what brands you guys reccomend and who to stay away from.

So what do you guys reccomend? Gotta hurry up and start researching before Michelle changes her mind.


ps. OC I am defintley not interested in a sled:chuckle:

01-27-2003, 06:28 PM
is a major consideration (that sounds a bit dumb to put it that way) my first/last choice (other than they can be a 'wet boat' in rough water) is the Boston Waler. Had one for years and the adds about them 'chain sawing' one in half and everything (motor included) just keeps on floating.

But 'cheap' they're not.

01-27-2003, 09:03 PM
Sean, Hey its great your wife wants to get a skiff they are a lot more fun than the bigger options. Like you stated aluminum can be beached with out a lot of damage . There are a lot of choices and some have been around longer than others, those with the most longevity are often the better choice.
I have had the oppurtunity to own and operate a fair number of small craft over the last 50 years and of course also maintained and made repairs as needed to these various crafts. It is my view that the Lund brand is pretty basic and well made, requires minimum horsepower to operate and up to 18' can still be rowed back to shore or in shallow water for clamming or crabbing.
Lunds are the skiff that you see in every Rural Alaskan Village from Kotzebue to Ketchikan and the reason is simple they are proven and they are tough, also they get by with a smaller outboard motor than most alternatives which makes the original purchase price and the fuel consumption less which makes them more affordable.
I have not looked at purchasing a new skiff since 1988 so I am not real up on model changes , these would be only cosmetic as Lund figured out the right design a log time ago.
Lunds are a bit bouncy if you are operating in rough seas conditions, but you only have to slow down to take the roughness out of the ride.
My all time favorite Lund is the 16'WS which is basicly the 18' with 24" removed at the factory,thats how the salesman described it. Powered with a 40hp outboard it is not over or under powered.
Enough about skiffs Trailers are just as important as they will give you far more problems than anything else. First they need to be galavanized with at least 12' tires (bigger is better). When you leave the point of purchase you will have bearing buddies installed and have in your kit a grease gun with appropo grease for maintaining the "Bearing Buddies".
You know what Sean, this is going to take a lot more time than I want to spend hunting and pecking so I will send you a private message if you are interested and give you more info if you require.
Good luck to you and your wife in your selection of a skiff.

Greg Pavlov
01-27-2003, 10:42 PM
Moonlight, nowadays Lund makes a large variety of small boats, everything from deep vees to flat botoms. I would say that the "modern" incarnation of the boat you are talking about is the Alaskan. It comes in 16, 18, and 20 foot lengths. From 3 to 2 years ago, the hulls were modified one-by-one to provide a nicer ride.

There are a fair number of boat builders in the NW. You may want to pick up an issue of Salmon, Trout, and Steelheader for the ads and then contact a few places.

01-28-2003, 08:41 PM
The Lund Alaskan is a good boat. I'd look at the 18-foot for what you want, but if you're going to have four people in the boat frequently, I'd probably opt for the 20. The price isn't much more; the tow weight increase is negligble, and the comfort in a choppy ride is quite a bit better.

However, Alumaweld builds a pretty good boat in their Stryker series. I have the 17 (and run it from Neah Bay to Possession), and it's even better riding and more seaworthy than the 18 Lund. I'm thinking seriously of upgrading to the 19 foot Alumaweld. The 17' Stryker is Neah Bay capable, and it's a joy to own in the open, tiller configuration. It's a safer and more forgiving boat than the Lund Alaskan.

Another consideration should be the new 18 foot Crestliner, which is welded instead of riveted. It comes with a vinyl floor instead of carpet. This is a real bonus in the NW where everything we bring into the boat tends to leave a little bit of itself behind. If you're storing your boat outside, then you definitely want a vinyl floor. Carpet tends to gather seeds and dirt (not to mention sand, fish debris, seeds, dirt, and so on) and holds enough moisture to germinate everything that falls into it.

Smokercraft is OK. They tend to build a tough boat, but their design seems to lag behind that of Lund and Crestliner.

If you are trying to carry four people around, even if only two are fishermen, then I would suggest you forget about a steering wheel and choose a tiller version. The increase in roominess will blow you away.

As far as outboards go, a 40 hp will probably do all you want in both the Alaskan and Alumaweld. If you choose a four-stroke, then you will be aghast at the fuel economy.

Good luck. Boat shopping, while frustrating, is a blast.


01-29-2003, 10:25 AM
Sean -

You might consider a compromise that allows you to run rivers with a pump. Your weekend visits to mom's house could be radically more interesting, not to mention the last place we chased steelies in spring.

Sekiu trips are much further apart and the best coho ff'ing is seasonal. This all'rounder approach could prvode benefits through the whole season.

Make sure there's a seat for me :devil:


01-29-2003, 01:24 PM
You might consider a compromise that allows you to run rivers with a pump.

Yes it would be nice to have a sled down south but I just cannot do it. Flyfishing and sleds just do not go together for me. Maybe OC IS rubbing off on me....

My boat search is probably going to take a while as I want to do it right the first time. There is a lund dealer 3 blocks form my house in Ballard so maybe I will start window shopping there this weekend....


01-29-2003, 01:46 PM
along with Willie Boats (and several others) here in Medford, OR. You may be able to get a 'better deal' down here .... even if it's just from the fact of 'dodging' the Washington State sales tax (Oregon doesn't have one).

01-29-2003, 02:01 PM
Fred ,

Will have to take a break from fishing when I am down there in March and give them a look. Would like to see the look on Michelles face if I came home from Oregon with a new boat. Will just blame it on you.:devil:


John Desjardins
01-29-2003, 02:19 PM
Forgive me Sean, but I have a question for Fred. How does Sean avoid taxes by buying in Oregon vs Washington? At least here in MA you have to pay the tax regardless of where purchased inorder to register a vehicle.

And Sean strike while the iron is hot before there are discussions of "priorities" that don't include funds for boats. :(

01-29-2003, 04:24 PM
Originally posted by John Desjardins
Forgive me Sean, but I have a question for Fred. How does Sean avoid taxes by buying in Oregon vs Washington? At least here in MA you have to pay the tax regardless of where purchased inorder to register a vehicle.

And Sean strike while the iron is hot before there are discussions of "priorities" that don't include funds for boats. :(

Actually, it's pretty easy. Here in Oregon we're not required to license a boat trailer (at least for boats the size that Sean's looking at ... Sean, I can easily confirm that through OSP if you get reallly hot and bothered.)

If you know the size/info on the trailer, get a Washington plate before you drive home and stick it on the back. Only thing I'm not sure about on this is the 'hull number registration' via the Coast Guard. But, if it's an issue initially, use my address in Oregon. A couple of phone calls can 'dot the 'i's.'

Washington and Oregon have some sort of 'reseprical (sp?) agreement. Example: Washington has about an 8-8.5% sales tax. If I (an Oregon resident) flash my drivers lic. the sales tax is waived by the State of Washington. A few exceptions (take out food comes to mind) to this, but a considerable amount of my kids (both in the Seattle area) "major purchases" are made by 'me.' Last go was an HDTV for Gregory. Saved him almost $200 on the tax. Had a 'strange' phone call or two where I actually did the whole thing over the phone ..... Greg was 'buying it' for me and bringing it 'down to Oregon.'

PS: Alum.wld is about a 10 minute drive from the Bank.:rolleyes:

01-29-2003, 05:52 PM
Geez, Sean, I hate to rain on the tax-free parade, but you won't escape the tax man, even with Fred's good graces. At least it's been my experience that you won't.

Here's the deal: The only way you will get title to the trailer and boat is to go through the Department of Licensing which will ensure the governor gets his cut. You will be charged sales tax (or excise tax, I'm not sure which applies) on both the boat and trailer. However, if Fred is willing to have you use his address for registering the boat and trailer in your name at his address then you might escape. I'm 99 percent sure you will need trailer plates though, even with an Oregon boat. I can visualize a marine deputy stopping you for the plates and then checking your driver's license to make sure you really live in Oregon. They seem to have lost their humor about plates and registration lately; I speak from experience on this.

One more reason I'm paranoid about this is because Washington state is really clamping down on the tax-avoidance gimmicks that have been in use for years.

You know how, when buying a used car, you used to be able to list just about any figure and pay the tax on that? That's in the past-- if your "price" varies by more than a hundred dollars from what blue book says, they call you on it. You will end up paying tax on blue book value regardless of how much you did pay. This budget shortfall business has really caused the tax people to look for all the loopholes.

Where you can save bucks is to buy your engine(s) in Oregon and have them listed on a separate invoice and don't admit to buying them out of state.

Good luck and have fun shopping,