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Help for amateur boater
July 1, 2013
11:42 pm
Lowfreq73
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Hi all, I'm a recent grad of the 2013 Muskie School. No luck that day, but thanks to all the volunteers; I had a great time and will have to get my butt to a meeting to try to participate a bit! Recently bought my first bait-caster too.

So I definitely got the itch, and shore fishing Marsh Creek isn't doing it for me. In preparation for the Fall season, I aim to get a truck again, as I have a small sedan, and try to get on the water this Fall or next Spring. I just tried a 17' canoe that I car-topped with my friend, who is also big and tall, and it was an epic fail. Two tries on Chambers Lake, and flipped two times. If someone had taped, we would be the next viral video. Ain't nobody got time for that.

So I figured this was my best place for advice on what kind of watercraft will fit my needs when I'm ready to buy. I'm willing to bet this isn't the first time this has all been asked.

Where: Will fish Marsh Creek and other small lakes in the Chester County area. Not looking to hit the rivers or anything at this point.

Weight: I'm a big boy and so is the guy I usually fish with. We're both about 6'4" and 340 lbs. So figure 700lbs of man-meat and all the stuff like motor, battery, tackle, etc.

Situation: I live in a town-home community with two parking spots and with very limited outside storage-just enough space to put a 17' canoe in on its side. Even if I had an extra parking spot, I can't have a trailer here. Obviously, storage rentals are very over-priced and if you have ever looked into it, you understand. So something that could be racked or bedded in a pick-up is a big plus. It's a pain, but I think I could live with the work-out. At this point, I expect that I will also fish with a buddy.

Simplicity: I have very little boating and almost no trailer experience. The more fool-proof the better.

Wife: Any advice on how to convince her what a great idea this all is, is worth hearing too!

July 2, 2013
12:37 am
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Peacock1974
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Ted, I told you the damn canoe was a bad idea, lol. Trouble with most boats you can carry is that they aren't much more stable. You'll figure it out. Don't rush into anything.

220...., 221...., Whatever it takes.

July 2, 2013
2:46 am
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EsoxProV
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Hey Ted,

Welcome to the board and thank you for your question. We've all started somewhere and I'm sure guys will chime in with their opinions. Long story short, there's no perfect boat. Everyone has different needs, storage considerations, waters fished and load weight.

Regarding your canoe, I agree with Peacock and these can be tough platforms to fish out of but they do work great when storage is an issue. If you've already invested in a canoe, you might want to look into clamp on stabilizers. Kinda like training wheels for a boat. I've used a set when I fished ponds with my son when he was younger and they really worked well. You can find these at Cabelas. Also take note of the weight capacity on the canoe, I just checked mine in the basement and its rated at 715 which includes up to 4 people, gear and motor up to 5 hp (sport canoe with transom).

If you're still boat shopping, my two cents would be a min of a 16' boat which puts you into that trailer category so you might have be flexible with the storage issue. I'd hunt for a 16' boat with a wide beam (width) and higher gunnels (sides). This will give you some extra stability and comfort. Comfort being a key word when writing a boat proposal for your wife. :-*

Once you start narrowing down list keep us posted if you need feedback. Also if you have a budget in mind, let me know and I can keep my eyes open for you.

Cheers!

Chad T

July 2, 2013
4:51 am
Lowfreq73
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Peacock: you were dead-on. Canoes seem to be really bad ideas for guys of my build, but I'm hard-headed and had to learn for myself! Darn you, kill-joy! ::)

Thanks Chad, If there are no more ideas, I may have to bite the storage bullet. Thankfully, the canoe was free, so there is no real loss. But for 16', would a Jon, V, or some other hull be more advisable for where I want to be?

Aside from all that, what is the brand and model of Peacock's boat I fished from. If a traditional 16' Jon isn't "right," that seems like a good start. I want as simple and easy as I can possibly get (for on water and trailering). Yes, it shouldn't matter, but I really don't want to look like a total tool-box at the lake next time. Heck, as mild mannered as I am, I came darn close to punching a old-head that had sarcastic "words of wisdom" while I was there. It Would make sense, as I bought Peacock's rod and reel set-up.

July 2, 2013
4:58 am
BushkillTom
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Ted sounds like u have Musky fever. 16/18' the wider the better craigslist should be helpful good luck. I'll take you out once it cools down. Send pm good luck

July 2, 2013
10:44 am
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Peacock1974
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Ted, sign up for epfr.net, free of course. You can watch the for sale section there for ideas and deals. Boat we fished in was a 16' fisher.

220...., 221...., Whatever it takes.

July 2, 2013
1:25 pm
Lowfreq73
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Thanks all! Looks like I will have quite a shopping list in the future and it's sounding like Spring 2014 is more likely. Will work on the wheels this summer, and then go from there. Since I'm such a great son, maybe my dad will let me park it at his place. He gave up fishing because he has a koi pond now :'( Truth is truly stranger than fiction.

July 2, 2013
3:07 pm
BCS22
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Ted,
The worst thing you can do is worry about what someone else is thinking of you, theyve made mistakes also. We all made mistakes and we all started somewhere with no boat or trailer experience. Take your rig out to the ramp and practice with it. Nothing will make you better than putting in your time on the water. You've got plenty of knowledgeable help here waiting for you, you will do fine. Good luck

July 2, 2013
4:39 pm
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Mike D
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BCS22 wrote:
Ted,
The worst thing you can do is worry about what someone else is thinking of you, theyve made mistakes also. We all made mistakes and we all started somewhere with no boat or trailer experience. Take your rig out to the ramp and practice with it. Nothing will make you better than putting in your time on the water. You've got plenty of knowledgeable help here waiting for you, you will do fine. Good luck

I agree with Brian. I started out wading or fished from a kayak for almost 2 years before getting a boat. It wasnt easy but I caught a few. Take your time and go with what works for you. Don't worry about anyone else. Good luck.

July 18, 2013
5:30 am
cdnordquist
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When I lived in PA, I had a storage situation similar to yours, so I got a 12 foot Porta-Bote, and have now had it for about 15 years. I have a 16 foot Al deep-V now, but still get the Porta-Bote out when launching conditions are poor. It leaks a bit now, probably because the seals have dried out from infrequent use, but it still works fine.

Two 200 pound guys can stand up and fish out of the 12 footer with no problem, but for a set of 350 pounders, the 14 footer may be barely adequate. It was surprisingly stable for something that you fold up and put on the roof of your car, and it took alot of abuse bouncing over rocks on those shallow rivers.

For your needs, it may be only slightly better than a canoe, and they have gotten pretty pricey since then, but I'll throw it out there.

Also, the guy that won our NM Chapter's spring outing was fishing from a kayak, outfished me again a few weeks later, and has also landed a 44 incher in this kayak. So it can be done, but I'd much rather have the big stable casting platform of a deep-V.

Regarding the wife, after we rented a deep-V on vacation, the wife was on board with getting one after years of riding around in smaller things with bench seats.

Chris

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