In my opinion, all the LONG RANGE boats are good! It seems that some get mentioned more on this and other sites because of the people who ride them, or are the charter-masters on them, or have some other connection with the boat. That's fine with me. Everyone has a favorite boat they like to ride and fish on. It is kind of like going to your favorite watering hole. After a few trips, you learn the boat routine, and the crew recognizes you from past trips. Some like to try all the different boats each time they go, but they usually settle on a favorite.
Myself, I like the QUALIFIER 105. I have fished it for MANY years, and I am happy with it. But they are all good.
You can't go wrong on any of the long range boats. The Independence is my favorite. Comfortable ride, I don't think there is a bad cabin. As with all the long range fleet the food is excellent (bring loose fitting pants, they will be tight by the time you get home). The captain and crew are excellent and will put you on the fish.
The last 10 day trip that I took was on the Indy. Jeff was the skipper and Paul was on the boat as well. They are true professionals. Jeff did his absolute best to put us on the fish. Paul introduced himself to everyone and helped out everywhere. The food was topnotch. I have been on 6 different long range boats with different opinions in regards to the boat itself, ride, layout, ect. They are all very good. But the Indy was really special. The only better ride is the Q105.
I had a totally different experience than everyone else in this thread.
I loved the boat, not the crew. There was only one crew member on the trip that I went on that was extraordinary in my opinion.
I also didn't get a warm feeling from the other passengers either. I filled the last spot of a charter that didn't fill the boat on their own so they all knew each other and were generally not very friendly towards others!
I have been going on the RP ever since and will continue to because I think their crews are the most personable and skilled that I have had the pleasure to fish with.
Looks like a classic Trip Advisor 4.75 Star. Whenever I find a restaurant on Trip Advisor with 14 good reviews and 1 person who had not-so-good experience, I tag the place as a real winner and look forward to spending my money there.
There is no perfect operation. The Indy is apparently a VERY good one.
+1 for the Indy. I have ridden other LR boats and will never stray from the Independence again. They set the baseline. True focus on Customer Service, talk to them at the Fred Hall Shows, ask them questions, food and accomodations are great. Boat you want to be on in rough weather. I ride this boat at least once a year and will do so from now on.
My brother and I are going on a 6 day the first week of June. I talked to Judy and she said that they are going to bring the boat up to the Fred Hall show in Long Beach and you can go on the boat and check out the staterooms etc. I haven't been on the boat before and we picked out a room that we thought would be good but I'm looking forward to checking things out at the FHS.
The Qualifier is leaving 10/30 for 10 days.....if you go to the Sacto boat show this weekend they are there and if you sign up then, instead of 2595 for the trip it is only 2395. Have made 13-14 trips on the Q.....and I love it.........