Fishing Chesapeake Bay and Tributaries

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keithareilly
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Fishing Chesapeake Bay and Tributaries

Post by keithareilly » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:24 am

Hi folks,

Very interesting site ...

I am trying to decide what boat is best.

My cousin and I fish using a 12 foot Jon boat in Maryland’s sheltered areas and creeks about the Magothy River off the Chesapeake Bay. We row the boat to the various places we want to go. This spring, we will have to fix a number of rivet leaks before going out. We are thinking about replacing the boat. We are also thinking about buying an outboard. Maryland allows 7.5HP or less without requiring a registration fee. If it makes sense we would like to keep the horse power to 7.5.

Our objective is to extend our fishing range. Typically, we fish for four to eight hours at a time in the Magothy. We would like to fish farther shores, be able to hit more of our fishing spots when trying to locate the fish, be able to fish or travel through rougher waters, and we would like to be able work other rivers off the Chesapeake. Extending our range into other rivers while still being able to fish the shallow shores, piers, and creeks of those rivers is important to us.

We would also like a little more room than our 12’ Jon boat provides as we would like to take some crab traps and crabbing gear along while fishing. However, we are concerned that too large a boat will make it difficult for us to navigate in and around the piers. Consequently, we would like a boat that is open, where we can place the seats where we want, ideally, bring our own more comfortable seats.

One limit of the Jon boat is that it does not handle wakes, and chop very well. This means we can not fish in exposed waters where wind and unrestricted speeds make rowing impossible and threaten to swamp the Jon boat.

So, we are looking for a boat that is small enough to navigate shores and piers while providing enough hull, bow, stern, siding, and power to travel to and from other rivers through chop, wind, and wake without threat of swamping.

I have been researching hull designs to help me make an intelligent decision, but it is just a lot of information to process and quite frankly, the information about the hulls don’t answer my concerns about still being able to navigate around piers while being able to handle the wind, wake, and chop.

Between my cousine and I, we bring about 550 lbs into the boat with gear, not including a motor. We would like to be able to carry two coolers as well one for us and one for crabs.

So, Any Suggestions …

Keith



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Re: Fishing Chesapeake Bay and Tributaries

Post by tech_support » Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:16 pm

FS14 or GV13 would be the best match for what you describe. I would not worry about the 7.5 hp limit unless the fee is really high. I would not let a registration fee get in the way of building the boat I really wanted.

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Re: Fishing Chesapeake Bay and Tributaries

Post by MadRus » Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:27 pm

I have to say, if they had had the FS14 at the time I built my GV13, I would have built it instead. In one instance, I had someone quite heavy in the front of the GV13, another two passengers, and a considerable chop. When we'd drop off a rise and nose in, the flat front transom would create quite a bit of spray on the person in the bow seat. I think that would be minimized on the FS14 because of the fine entry. Chesapeake Bay is big, and I'm sure it gets choppy. I'd consider this point in your calculations.

And actually, after reading your description of your program, I'd probably look hard at the FS17 too. That's not a lot more money for a much bigger boat. You can still slap a small motor on it, if speed isn't your objective anyway.

-Dave

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Re: Fishing Chesapeake Bay and Tributaries

Post by TomW » Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:42 pm

Interesting set of conditions you set up for us. New motors come in 6HP and 8HP you'd have to find an older used 7.5HP, I know Evinrude used to make one. All of the small boats use the center seats as a structural part of the boat. You can cut down the frames to 3", but you still have to keep them. Some guys insulate the seat and keep them as a cooler or baitwell. With the weight you want to carry and your HP limitation the GF12 would be your best choice. You might be able to get up on plane though it will be very close with the 6HP at full throttle.

I recommend the GF12 as it can carry the most weight with the least HP and has a good size to it at 5' wide. It's disadvantage is it is flat bottomed so you will have to slow down in a chop but it will be a good overall boat for you otherwise it is also easy to build for a first boat. If you were able to go up in HP you would have a lot more selection and could go to a v-hull such as the FS14 or even the FS17. The FS14 will go okay with a tiller 15 or some put a 25 on her. The FS17 likes a 25- 30 tiller.

Take a look it's your decision and I'm sure others will give you their opinions. I really wouldn't let a fee get in the way of your best choice.

Tom
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C17ccx, Mirror Dinghy

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Re: Fishing Chesapeake Bay and Tributaries

Post by keithareilly » Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:59 pm

Tom,

I am flexible on the horse power.

While I would prefer not to have to pay the fee for over 7.5 HP, as it is an ongoing cost, I don't want that to interfere with selecting the right boat for the job.

My real concerns is being able to handle the wind and chop so that I can get at shores and piers not currently accessable with the Jon Boat. I don't want to get thrown around alot as I get motion sick pretty easily, one of the reasons I am looking for a boat to get me from one river to another instead fishing in the chop.

I have looked at the FS14 and 17. Nice. But can I build the boat without seats, and without a console taking up space in the interior. If I should go with a larger outboard, one other than a tiller model, I would like to be able to control the boat from side mounted controls instead of console mounted controls. I prefer the open space in the boats.

Yea, seats being part of the structure presents a problem with openess. I am definately looking for a boat that is clear of seating and consoles.

Feel free to recomend a motor with the boat.

Keith

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Re: Fishing Chesapeake Bay and Tributaries

Post by TomW » Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:35 pm

Keith if motion sickness is a concern then the FS17 is the boat for you. The basic boat with a 25hp motor is a good solid work boat for crabbing and fishing. Or build it and put seats where you want. But I would build the basice boat first and then add what I want in the way of casting decks. Each 200lbs you add you'll need about 5 more HP to maintain the same speed. The 25 will give you a cruise in the low 20's and max in the hi 20's for the basic FS17. It will require the same amount of plywood if you build in seats as the FS14 according to the bill of materials.

Take a look and see what you think but Shine also listed it as a good choice and he has built a modified one.

Here is one just finished in England with the raised sheer and all the bells and whistles:
Image

And another without the raised sheer down in Florida again with all the bells and whistles:
Image
The FS14 is in front of the bow of the Driftwood(FS17)

Tom
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C17ccx, Mirror Dinghy

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Re: Fishing Chesapeake Bay and Tributaries

Post by keithareilly » Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:27 pm

Tom,

Pretty boats.


With the FS17, once we reach our destination and start fishing the piers, are we going to use the motor to move us about or can we still use ores to move from pier to pier. The piers are close together as their are many developments along the Chesapeake Bay and we want to be quiet. Will the FS17 handle a double set of ores or is it too big to consider rowing?

keith

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Re: Fishing Chesapeake Bay and Tributaries

Post by tech_support » Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:18 pm

FS17 could be rowed, no problem. I pole mine along the flats with ease.

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Re: Fishing Chesapeake Bay and Tributaries

Post by TomW » Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:32 pm

Keith I forgot to show you Shine's tiller boat. His has casting decks for and aft and a cooler in the center with a grabbar. He also cut it down a few inches for flats fishing.
Image

That's Shine in the red hat in his light blue boat. The boat next to his is Driftwood.

Tom
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Re: Fishing Chesapeake Bay and Tributaries

Post by keithareilly » Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:14 pm

Tom,

Very Nice boats.

The pictures show a pretty short distance between the top of the sides and the water level. Do you think I will need to raise the sides for chop in the Chesepeake Bay? I anticipate 3 to 4 foot chop. If so are there instructions on how to calculate how high it should be? I also like the looks of the higher bow sweeping back to a lower stern. Does that configuration make sense for what I am using the boat? If so, are there instructoins on how to build it?

Thanks,

Keith

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