I'm looking at a 18'6" Explorer Flats Master. I have heard the quality of Explorer has gotten better. I can get an Explorer scooter alot cheaper than a Shallow Sport scooter. What are y'alls thoughts on Explorer boats?
I have one with a TRP with 19 inch dia cupped props, a raised console, jackplate, copilot trolling motor, a large livewell, ice boxes, 50+ gal fuel tank, etc... Floats level in 7-8 inches and is up in 12 inches in hard sand. Top speed is 42-44 mph and the large tunnel really lets you get up in shallow water without a bottom trenching effort.
Believe the 1850 FlatsMaster is heavier than the Shallow Sport, but the added weight is not all bad in rougher water.
If you would like more info, suggest you PM me with contact info.
I had a lot of sucess in dealing with the company they are A++++ to deal with...Unfortantly, I am not versed to say in which tunnel is better or which rides shallower....I just havent run in that many boats.
I can speak to the construction and the owners as to being excellent if you need anything.
I had Glenn @ Explorer custom build my Flatsmaster over 3yrs ago. Rigged with a Yamaha 130, it rips 4 people out of the water running 36mph WOT. I'd be more than willing to play "follow the leader". As Fishsmart stated, they are heavier which aids in rough water. It also has no bow lift. Mine floats very well and rides smoother and drier than my buddies SS. I originally wanted SS to build my rig, but they didn't offer it at the time. I prefered the old style tunnel with the deep key-slot transom. I believe SS squared the sides of their new tunnel a little so it would turn better. I can't tell much of a difference in the ones I've ridin in. As for the design being slow, most tunnel v's top out at 35mph WOT. Whats the difference. If you want a fast boat, buy a SCB. If you want a shallow, no sides, well priced scooter, buy a Flatsmaster.
I never thought I'd be in an Explorer. (Never) However, after I blew my motor earlier this year, Rick Bailey with Saylor Marine in Pharr said, "here, use mine until you make a decision". It was the 25' Explorer Flatsmaster with a 225 Yamy HPDI. It just took two trips to make that decision.
After 5 months of hard running, I am proud to say this is a totally different animal, and for what I'm doing, I couldn't ask for better performance.
It drafts a legitimate 8.5 inches, runs in a legitimate 5 or 6 (ask our people!) and will get up in 10" hard sand...better of course in a softer bottom. Top end has seen 53 mph, and the fuel economy is better than my old boat with a 150. It's propped so well that at 3800 rpm I'm doing 38 mph...one heck of an easy cruise speed. We don't get wet, and seriously, where we needed kidney belts before we can now drink a cup of coffee. That 25 feet spans nasty chop and tames ugly seas very well.
I don't know anything about their other boats nor have ever met Glen, seen their shop, nor have any affiliation with them whatsoever. However, with my current application, I am done.