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Catboats revisited....

5610 Views 21 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  mudd_catt
I Know we had a pretty awesome thread on boats a while ago, and I wanted to start another one with a twist....

If you were going to go out TODAY and buy a brand new catboat, with the knowledge and experience of boats you have accumulated, what would you buy? This isn't supposed to be "If you won the lottery what boat would you buy" but what features, size, motor, hull design, hull material, etc... would you want a bass-style boat, aluminum or fiberglass, two-stroke VS four-stroke, outboard VS inboard/outboard... that kind of thing.

Here's my agenda, since there's always an agenda.... I think my old boat is never going to run right unless I repower it... something I don't want to do... so I'm starting to look at NEW boats... I'm in a fairly unique situation, I suppose. I have the James River, Chesapeake Bay, Atlantic Ocean and several large lakes within an hour and a half of where I live, and I want to fish them all... so I'm searching for that perfect boat design to allow me to take advantage of all of the fishing opportunities I have open to me.... I will most often be fishing alone or with one other person, but I need ROOM to be able to to take my entire family (which may not be possible within my budget). I'm leaning toward a cuddy cabin boat, but haven't made my mind up yet....

I've looked hard at the Carolina Skiff as the most affordable, good quality boat in my area....

Let's hear what you all think of the "perfect" big water Catboat.........

Thanks.......

TT<><
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Yes the skiff is awsome boat,I have the 18 ft sea ark and it is great. If i can figure out how to post a pic of it i will and the jugs i have made also. But i have not figured out how to insert pics.
These are the two models I'm currently looking at:
2380V comes with 90hp Yamaha (pictured with a Honda)
http://www.carolinaskiff.com/images/238honda2.JPG
2480DLX comes with 90hp Yamaha
http://www.carolinaskiff.com/images/2480%20dlx%20cc%20b.JPG
I can get either boat, motor and a trailer (pre-rigged versions) for $14,000 and I don't know if that's a really good deal or not, but I haven't seen anyone else offering a 23' or 24' boat, motor & trailer for anywhere near that price... these are new, never titled boats....

I'd have to add on a bimini top to keep the sun off the kids... The standard fuel tank is 18 gallons, so I might want to upgrade to the 27 gallon tank to increase range a little, but I don't know about that yet. According to the performance charts on the Carolina Skiff home page, both boats will get about 5 mpg running at 25mph which gives me a range of about 90 miles on 18 gallons of fuel or 135 miles on 27 gallons. Not too shabby. I'm considering an engine upgrade to 115hp too, which should give me a few more options for speed and capacity if needed. The difference between the standard 90hp and the 115 is only about 500$ and I think it's worth it...

So, I figure I can get either boat for about $16,000 set up the way I want it.. larger fuel tank, soft top and bigger motor... any thoughts?

TT<><
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31' contender with three Yamaha 250 4-strokes. with a 90 yamaha 4-stroke kicker.


j/k...................................... For a catboat I would take a 18' flat aluminum alumicraft with the pontons on the back, hydrolic jack plate, center console, Minn Kota 80# trollin motor, with a 90 E-Tec. on a Magnum or Tech-Sun trailer.
Hawkeye said:
These are the two models I'm currently looking at:
2380V comes with 90hp Yamaha (pictured with a Honda)
http://www.carolinaskiff.com/images/238honda2.JPG
2480DLX comes with 90hp Yamaha
http://www.carolinaskiff.com/images/2480%20dlx%20cc%20b.JPG
I can get either boat, motor and a trailer (pre-rigged versions) for $14,000 and I don't know if that's a really good deal or not, but I haven't seen anyone else offering a 23' or 24' boat, motor & trailer for anywhere near that price... these are new, never titled boats....

I'd have to add on a bimini top to keep the sun off the kids... The standard fuel tank is 18 gallons, so I might want to upgrade to the 27 gallon tank to increase range a little, but I don't know about that yet. According to the performance charts on the Carolina Skiff home page, both boats will get about 5 mpg running at 25mph which gives me a range of about 90 miles on 18 gallons of fuel or 135 miles on 27 gallons. Not too shabby. I'm considering an engine upgrade to 115hp too, which should give me a few more options for speed and capacity if needed. The difference between the standard 90hp and the 115 is only about 500$ and I think it's worth it...

So, I figure I can get either boat for about $16,000 set up the way I want it.. larger fuel tank, soft top and bigger motor... any thoughts?

TT<><
2-stroke Yammie would be perfect or a 4-stroke if you like them. Hondas are too heavy. I see that the 2380 is rated for a 150. get the 150 and the 2480 is rated for a 130, take a 130 or 125. get all the ponys you an get. you won't regret under powerin your rig when you have the boat loaded down with trophy cats and 5 people. take the biggest fuel cell you can get...............JJ
JettyJumper said:
2-stroke Yammie would be perfect or a 4-stroke if you like them. Hondas are too heavy. I see that the 2380 is rated for a 150. get the 150 and the 2480 is rated for a 130, take a 130 or 125. get all the ponys you an get. you won't regret under powerin your rig when you have the boat loaded down with trophy cats and 5 people. take the biggest fuel cell you can get...............JJ
I definitely agree on the HP thing. More is always better. It's like hunting Polar Bears... bring more gun than you need... When comparing performance it's easy to see that there isn't a single example of where the engine performed most efficiently at WOT(wide open throttle), and that most engines tested ran at their best efficiency at about 4000 rpms.... a 130 will generate more horses at 4000 than a 90 for sure.... and probably burn the same amount of gas.

I've not made up my mind, but I'm close enough to a Carolina Skiff that I'm going to go look at some today.
My choice

20' 70" bottom all welded Triton aluminum boat Standard Equipment:


  • Aerated Live Well
  • Two Pedestal Seats
  • 115 Mercury 2 stroke engine (Maximum HP)
  • Cranking battery
  • Two Deep Cycle trolling batteries
Options (included):

  • Bench Seat with dry storage under the seat
  • Rod Box with cushion
  • 5 extra Pedestal seat mounts
  • Brakes for trailer
  • X91 Lowrance Deptfinder
  • 82 LB thrust Motor Guide tiller handle trolling motor variable speed
  • Mossy Oak Break Up paint

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Oh Yeah!

This is a subject dear to my heart, and VERY far from the wallet right now. My advice? Go with the BIGGEST boat you can afford, but make sure that it has enough room to move around in. Most [email protected]$$ boats on the market are geared toward have platform fishing space, but I beleive in having floor space, especially when ole man Wind starts kicking up. (high walls=less water in the boat). Also get the most horsies that you can afford. You WILL regret it if you underpower it! I can promise you this. A boat that planes off and runs fine empty with two people and an empty livewell and little gas will act like a totally different boat with 3 or 4 people, a livewell full of water, a full tank of gas and a full cooler. Totally different!

I personally like a center console boat.

I have a friend that has just what you need. An 18.5 ft center console fiberglass with rails around the bow, 120 HP force, and bimini top, self bailing floor, and integral rod holders. $6k. and looks like a brand new one. (and for an extra $1000 I will swap the force out with a 140 Evinrude) LOL
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An X-press V-hull 20 footer. A 115 Yammie 4-stroke would do the trick
Some pics of the Fat Cats Ark

Well Im Haveing trouble posting these pics
http://www.2coolfishing.net/ttmbforum/attachment.php?attachmentid=1582&stc=1

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The two rivers I fish can get low so I am getting a Sundance Skiff 16ft next year. Probably just a 40 on the back but that is plenty for here. I looked at the Carolina's and they are great boats also. Lots of guys that crab and guide use them down here. I just like the way the smaller sundance's cut the water better than the J-16 Carolina's. I like the fact that the floatation material is in the bottom of the boat so there is more room to move around while fishing.
I Will be posting pics of the jugs i have made if interested just holler at me. If you look at my catboat you can see 2 of them there and yep i put flags on them just because i guess.
Catboats...

Hawkeye,
If you are doin catfishin',on lakes,the Carolina Skiff is an excellent choice.Prolly what the next thing to tie up to my dock will be.But...if'n ya goin' to fish the bay and the James pick your days CARELULLY.The larger vessel(EXAMPLE:22'BAYLINER-cuddy)would be perfect for that(family style).Your versatility and towing would be issues to consider there.That and your draught would be limited.
NightTrain said:
Hawkeye,
If you are doin catfishin',on lakes,the Carolina Skiff is an excellent choice.Prolly what the next thing to tie up to my dock will be.But...if'n ya goin' to fish the bay and the James pick your days CARELULLY.The larger vessel(EXAMPLE:22'BAYLINER-cuddy)would be perfect for that(family style).Your versatility and towing would be issues to consider there.That and your draught would be limited.
The Bayliner is about two times the $ as the Skiff, and I already have a ride out on a 24' Trophy about anytime I want to fish "blue" water... I hear what you're saying, and I am not going to jump to far into this thing until I've had an opportunity to have a really good look at a bunch more boats... I'm just thinking that the Carolina Skiff has about everything I'm looking for in a boat (except a place for the girls to pee) and at a darn good price...
Yeah,a 5 gallon bucket and a beach towel is a money concious solution to that problem.:rotfl:
NightTrain said:
Yeah,a 5 gallon bucket and a beach towel is a money concious solution to that problem.:rotfl:
Somebody told me that there's a porta pot with a curtain around it made. You step into the curtain thing and pull it up and it blocks everyone's view of you while you do your business... and then the curtain folds back down again... never seen one, but it sounds good... and protects the women folks better'n a beach towel.... I just pee in a bucket and I always try to do my serious business at home before I go out on the boat... no magazine rack in the boat.
Has anyone ever done the pontoon boat thing? The majority of the freshwater fishing here in Texas is mainly lakes. They can hold a family, even a large one. I have always had an eye on them, something like the bass buggy by tracker.
Yes i have done the pontoon thing. I had a 22ft crest and it was awsome the only problem was holding bottom on the river and the other was hawling it,cleaning it covering it. It was like another house to clean and wore me out so i sold it and bought me the sea ark.
For your saltwater/catboat I would get a fiberglass Carolina skiff, as big as you can afford with the biggest engine you can afford and the biggest fuel cell you can afford. I would go ahead and get the four stroke engine, too. Quiet operation and fuel efficient.
NightTrain said:
Yeah,a 5 gallon bucket and a beach towel is a money concious solution to that problem.:rotfl:
LOL....hang it over the splash guard on the transom darlin! - ain't nobody watching anyways
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