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I am looking to buy a new first boat in the near future. I am looking at Explorer and Darger 21 with either 150 yamaha vmax or 150 mercury optimax (also looking at 4 stroke yamaha). Any advice is greatly appreciated. I mainly fish South Texas (Port Mansfield).

Thanks in Advance,
-KarateCowboy
 

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I've fished out of South Padre a few times in my 19' Explorer, and it drafts too much to fish down there in my opinion. I was really wishing I had my dad's old 18' Shallowsport, there were just too many places I couldn't go or couldn't stop to fish.

Jeff
 

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Shallowsport and dargel are both designed to fish that area of the coast. I would go with either one. Dargel is made over in Mission I believe and Shallowsport is made in Port Isabel. Shoalwater is similar to shollowsport. You want 6" draft area
 

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Shrimpzilla said:
I've fished out of South Padre a few times in my 19' Explorer, and it drafts too much to fish down there in my opinion. I was really wishing I had my dad's old 18' Shallowsport, there were just too many places I couldn't go or couldn't stop to fish.

Jeff
I grew up fishing PI/SPI and your right about not being able to fish alot of spots. I started fishing there when i was 13 all the way up untill i turned 23 and moved to houston. You can fish that area with a boat that draws 8-10" pretty easy. The trick is setting up your drifts where you can run back into the shallows and drift out. I ran a 17' El Jefe, it had a 115 rude on it that was designed from a glastron ski boat. They decked it out, put a center console on it, and a tunnel. It took 10-18" of water to get up in depending on the bottom. I allways had to roll the boat over on it's side doing a counter clockwise donut to get up. The only spots i couldn't fish were back behind cullens, horseshoe cove, and way back on the east side of 3 islands in the sandy spots. The boat would run thru those areas no problem. I could set down in it, but taking back off again was a PITA.
Both the dargel and SS would have no problems down there. I like the SS more so than the Dargel scooter because it rides smoother and isn't as wet. The dargel i fished out of was an 18 footer and it would float in less water than water than the 18' SS. I think it may have been lighter too. The SS Handeled alot better that the Dargel did. Less sliding in turns and better ride in chop. The best part about being able to run skinny is the fact that you can fish when the wind is blowing 20+. The shore lines are shallow and make for a nice ride home after the wind kicks up. Depending on which area you launch out of. If you launch from PI then you can run the west shoreline all the way to laguna vista and across laguna heights. If you launch from the island you can fish the east side of 3 islands and run the island back home.
If i had to chose i'd go for atleast a 20' SS with sides ( i've lost many fish that flopped overboard) lol. 18 footers will cut it but the 20 will reach across the wave tops better and allow you to fish more than 2-3 people if need be.
Later, Hop
 
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I think you mean TRP is more popular for flats boats than HPDI. Both are VMAXs.

TRP has a twin rotating prop, which generates a heckuva holeshot and for very skinny water boats, most of which are tunnel hulls or use some other hull design to funnel the water to the prop, the TRP generates more power with less water.

The HPDI is a lot more effecient on V hull boats. It is a four stroke fuel injected engine which is a good balance between speed and effeciency. I have a 200 HPDI on my pathfinder 2200V and it is a great combo. Basically I get around 5 mpg, and I can hit high 56-58 with it. With a Mercury Optimax 225 I could probably get in the 70s, but I would also not get nearly as good gas mileage--which is far more important to me.

If I had a Shallow Sport or a Majek RFL, my only choice for a motor would be the 150 TRP.
 

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I heard on if you go with a TRP on the ShallowSport it doesn't require the shallowblaster plate, but anything else does. Is that true?
 

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The vmax gray/black hood and says VMAX is big read letters on it which is why i said that. the HPDI is gray hood with just high pressure direct injection written on it which is why i said that also. Didnt they discontinue the TRP design this year?
 

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Dargel is a LOT cheaper than SS. Don't know if cost is a factor or not, but for me a boat is really nothing more than a taxi most of the time, so I like to get there cheaply...don't need a 30K taxi when a 20K taxi will get me to the same spot in the same time.
 
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Oh I understand you now Argo,

2004s all had the black case with the gray hood.

2005s they made all the HPDIs have a gray case.

They used to all be called vMax as far as I recall.

My HPDI has Vmax on the side in big red letters.

They didn't discontinue the TRP from what I've heard.
 

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One excellent choice is a Tran boat from Tran Fiberglass in Palacios, Texas. I have a 21' Tran Cat with a 150 Yamaha TRP and it can go many places other boats can only dream of going. It drafts 6" and will truck across 5"-6" of water. It handles the chop a little better than a Shallow Sport. I've had it a year, put 1858 hours on it and it has served me well.
 

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If you do fish mainly out of Mansfield, then the explorer isn't a bad route to go. All do respect to shrimpzilla I know what he's talking about his boat being a little deep for SPI, but the Mansfield local crowd is gravitating toward tunnel vee for a reason; that Y can get plenty rough. I fish there exclusively and my next boat will be a tunnel v.
 

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texasflyfisher,

What sort of holeshot does your trancat have? I am very curious about these boats, but I am having a hard time getting good info on them. I've heard conflicting reports on bottom depth required to get them up (anywhere from 6"-18"), can you provide any info? Also, can you comment on what the boat drafts at rest? thanks in advance.


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texasflyfisher said:
One excellent choice is a Tran boat from Tran Fiberglass in Palacios, Texas. I have a 21' Tran Cat with a 150 Yamaha TRP and it can go many places other boats can only dream of going. It drafts 6" and will truck across 5"-6" of water. It handles the chop a little better than a Shallow Sport. I've had it a year, put 1858 hours on it and it has served me well.
1858 hours in a year! Man that is some serious time. If you don't mind me asking, how do you find so much time to fish?
 
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