Small Boats (Why does size matter)

NukeDawg

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Mar 27, 2008
282
239
San Diego, CA
Name
dub-dub-dub
Boat
17' Arima Sea Angler
I was at the fred hall show this weekend @ del mar, and was tempted to purchase my first boat. Because of storage concerns, i was considering the boston whaler 15' montauk. This would fit both my budget and garage (important). I really want to understand what i should expect when it comes to a small boat and the big pacific ocean outside san diego. Can anyone provide feedback on some of the limitations, expectations, or suggestions for a small boat owner looking to fish. Beyond the range limits due to fuel supply, what is the practical range (safely) i could fish?

thanks
 

Mr. Len

Chop 'em if ya got 'em
Dec 1, 2003
2,144
56
61
Vista
Name
Leonard
Boat
Boatho
I was at the fred hall show this weekend @ del mar, and was tempted to purchase my first boat. Because of storage concerns, i was considering the boston whaler 15' montauk. This would fit both my budget and garage (important). I really want to understand what i should expect when it comes to a small boat and the big pacific ocean outside san diego. Can anyone provide feedback on some of the limitations, expectations, or suggestions for a small boat owner looking to fish. Beyond the range limits due to fuel supply, what is the practical range (safely) i could fish?

thanks
with a small boat you become expert at picking the days you go long...i took an 18fter to the 43 once...just once
 

Duramax

Captain
Dec 29, 2006
1,225
0
Torrance, Ca.
Name
Rene`
Boat
Cabo 216, "Goju Shiho Sho"
it's realy simple, small boat: stay inside the bay.
Big boat: go anywhere you want.
Small boat: great for lobster hooping in the shallow.
Big boat : Go anywhere you want.
Small boat: easy to clean.
Big boat: Go anywhere you want.
Small boat: Cheap on fuel
Big boat: Save up for your trip.............................
 

sandiegosteve

Fish nerd
Feb 5, 2007
406
31
San Diego
Name
Steve
Boat
Lil' Defiance Pilothouse
I think you get the picture from other posts. Smaller boats are lighter and thus are thrown around by waves more. The waves that suck the most here are the ones from the wind in the afternoon. It is hard to predict those like the swell. wind chop will beat the hell out of you in a little boat. Particularly a little stiff one.

For your first boat, a small one that fits in the garage is a great idea. There is a big learning curve with boats. Smaller is easier to learn with and cheaper too.

A boat like that 15' would be great in the bay, great on lakes and ok in the kelp on calmer days. It would be good for the family, skiing and the beach.
 

MATTY J

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jul 10, 2004
440
0
CARDIFF
Name
Matt
Boat
21' CC PAINFULLY SOLD
If you are looking at going small, I'd highly recommend looking into the Arima 15, 17'ers Rangers or Sea Chaser. They fit in garages (even 17' in most). They are built in WA and built for rough northern waters. I am not saying that a 15 or 17'er is ready for offshore days, but the 17 should get you to the Islands, 9 mile and maybe even the 302 on decent days. I keep looking at the 17 if I need to down size. They are designed to operate on a smaller motor, 50-90 hp, and I hear that they are good on gas. Most are walkarounds so you should stay dry. Forget buying one new, they are pricey, but look into a used one. I hear they are very well built. Check CL in Northern Ca, Oregon and WA (they are built in WA).
 

marlyn

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Dec 18, 2005
9,263
4,737
oak hills
Name
mark
Boat
21' skiff and 12' portabote recycled from milk jugs
a small triumph skiff would be worth taking a look at also.as far as range you are limited by fuel and conditions on the water,on a good day you could take an aluminum to catalina but remember things change very fast out there.
 

shinerunner

BARKING MOONBAT
Apr 25, 2003
3,456
2
61
loafers glory
Visit site
Name
Jim
Boat
none
Boats ride on the ocean not in garages. I understand your delima, just try and keep your priorities based upon where you might want to fish not where you store the thing. Been there done that.
my 2cents
 

johnnylite

Never too late to change.
Sep 19, 2006
3,791
17
Camarillo
Name
John
Boat
Triumph 210cc
Now that the show is over go hit some dealers and look at them again. Couple of tips. The amount of gas pretty much limits where you will go. Going offshore is not an everyday necessity. Lot's of fish near shore, in the bays and off Long Beach, Newport and lakes. Key to size is take what you think you would go fishing with as far as people and equipment and at least with the people get on a boat. See if you feel crowded or if you can fish freely. Is there somewhere for everyone to sit? If you have kids could they stretch out for a nap? Lot's of things to consider. We have a 21' and three of us fish well without bumping into each other. Four is not bad but five is a pain.
 

sdfishkiller

Cod Smuggler
Mar 13, 2005
5,081
538
Point Loma
Name
Todd Victor Mora
Boat
19' Whaler: EL SUPER LIZARDFISH
Alright, I've taken a 15 foot bayrunner to the islands on many days. warm clothes, foul weather gear. your set. that same bayrunner has taken us to the 9. I feel that a 17 foot fiberglass boat would go much farther. any of the local offshore banks within 30 miles, no problem.

We have an 18'10" whaler and the local banks are just a pop, skip and jump away, piece o cake.

Make sue you find a little skiff that has the highest HP/weight limit on it. you'll need the power

T-top with eisenglass enclosure, go for it!

Here is a link for the new 17' Twin-Vee classic cat

17' Classic

Here are some cool pics. 17' Mako, The Bayrunner my buddy used to own that could go anywhere! and a 17'10" Grady White

mako.jpg GW.jpg bayrunner.jpg
 

Babu

Dork
Aug 27, 2004
1,698
10
60
Oceanside
Name
Dr. Kermit Fang
Boat
17ft whaler "Marie-Marie"
You’re looking at exactly what I had to face. I ended up with a 17” Montauk and put a 70 4 stroke. Done the 181 182 all around there and even the 302 from Oceanside. But on the down side. Can get wet, rough and very tiring. Patty spotting hard with the low profile. Also radio starts to bounce signals all over the place. The chine (sp) on the older Whaler down swell is a trip. Just ask the Masseuses. Up side CHEAP really CHEAP! 6-miles to the gallon 27 gallon fuel tank. Check also the height of the rail and Motor(in the up position) to the garage door. I know it sounds stupid but mine only clears by a inch or two. If I had to do it all over again I would probably go with the 17” Twin Vee. If you want you go with me this season and see for yourself.
Here’s a pic of Corky and myself shy of the 181 on a good day. Next is Corky and I just off the beach on a BAD day. Kinda get the weather point?

Marie-Marie.jpg 11_27_5.jpg
 

size matters

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 3, 2006
351
10
53
oc
Name
kraven Morehead
Boat
32 center console( century)
did someone say size matters
 

Harrington89

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 5, 2007
753
23
Mission Beach, CA
Name
Kent
Boat
285 Boston Whaler conquest "Sin or Swim"
I have a 18' wellcraft cc and that thing is great on the water... But i think a 15' is going to be way to small way way to small you want something where you can be comfortable on it. I took a year to finally find what boat i wanted, Take your time, See if anyone needs a HOE that has a boat like what your looking for, and you can see how it works... Try anything from what you want to a 20' Remember go Used so you can get more bang for your buck.
 

5150dude

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Nov 12, 2006
1,227
2
Dana Point, Cali
Name
Dave
Boat
Parker 2320 "Nostrovia!" (to you're health!"), 12' Livingston cat
Do you homework and match your budget with your needs.
  1. Talk to as many owners as you can.
  2. Get as big as you can afford. Cheaper in the long run and you'll be happier.
  3. Most important, do a SEA TRIAL hopefully on a sloppy day.
Good luck. It will be a relief after you make your decision.
I've always liked those little Boston Whalers. I've seen 17 footers at Catalina all the time and I don't think they live there. A 15 foot? I'd stay near shore and still have all the safety equipment like EPIRB, two good VHF's, Vessel Assist, open water PFDs, etc.
Dave
 

Ragin' Cajun

LSU Sux!!!
Jul 25, 2006
401
0
51
San Diego
Name
Chris Thibodeaux
Boat
1851 Seaswirl Striper WA "Ragin Cajun"
I like my Striper 1851 WA. Bigger than you were thinking but with the top up and Isenglass zipped in it makes for a comfortable dry ride. And on smooth days you go as far as the gas lets you.

But there have been days with a mixed 4 ft swell at short intervals just off LJ when I dreaded the ride back south!!!
 

sharkbait

Sharkbait
May 12, 2003
91
2
71
wife says its Bay Park !?!?!
Visit site
Name
John
Boat
Sharkbait
If you're a fool, anything will work. When I was a little kid I used to skip school and ride my bike to quivera and take my folks dingy clear out to La Jolla, but I was WAY dumb and YOUNG (Like 13 yrs old). If you get a small skiff make sure you get one with the most freeboard possible. Something that you can lean your knees into. This makes a big difference in your safety as small boats rock all over the place. Be ready to get wet unless you get a windshield dash type boat ( runabout ). Small boats are great though, you can really fish up the inside kelp, but keep a weather eye at all times. And if its a CC get a bunny suite.
 

Afry

Capitán
Jul 5, 2005
4,370
24
Ramona, Ca
Name
Arnie
Boat
38 Mediterranean, 23 Key West
15' or 16' belongs inshore, no further then the nados on a flat day with good forcasts.

The 17 Twin Vee has a 12 gal fuel tank which is not enough. There is almost no comparision between a small mono hull boat and a small cat. The cat rides like a boat 2-3 feet bigger then it is.

I used to take my 18' Sea Cat on the 100 mile tour - 101/425/371/230/302 on a weekly basis. Pros are very little fuel and easy cleanup plus small boats are just fun to fish. Cons are you and the bait get beat up a bit if the waves are up and you have to plan your storage - gear/ice/rods/tackle/food etc.

I have been know to lose insanity and cruise it out to the Condom bank/West Fly or the 1010/60 mile but it has a 52 gal fuel tank and gets 5+ nmpg.

Small boats are fun!

 

fishstick-er

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jan 26, 2006
684
0
Ramona
Name
Robert
Boat
6 foot inflatable
Where is the pic of the laundry hanging off the rocket launchers? That was a fun trip. I also feel that the small boat should be closer to 20 than to 15 for the offshore trip. Fuel tank size is a big consideration. Just pick your days and the fuel tank will determine your trip itinerary. Arnie might make you a deal on that SeaCat right there. It is a good small boat at a reasonable price.
 

Customboatguy

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 11, 2005
1,353
1
Inland SD
www.customboatpainting.com
Name
Skip
Boat
Grady White 248 Voyager - Twin Suzuki's
Judging by the look on your face in the pic., there is egg-nog on board?:D











15' or 16' belongs inshore, no further then the nados on a flat day with good forcasts.

The 17 Twin Vee has a 12 gal fuel tank which is not enough. There is almost no comparision between a small mono hull boat and a small cat. The cat rides like a boat 2-3 feet bigger then it is.

I used to take my 18' Sea Cat on the 100 mile tour - 101/425/371/230/302 on a weekly basis. Pros are very little fuel and easy cleanup plus small boats are just fun to fish. Cons are you and the bait get beat up a bit if the waves are up and you have to plan your storage - gear/ice/rods/tackle/food etc.

I have been know to lose insanity and cruise it out to the Condom bank/West Fly or the 1010/60 mile but it has a 52 gal fuel tank and gets 5+ nmpg.

Small boats are fun!

 

Afry

Capitán
Jul 5, 2005
4,370
24
Ramona, Ca
Name
Arnie
Boat
38 Mediterranean, 23 Key West
Oh yeah and make sure you have PYT install a hoodie hanger installed on your t-top. I'm from Ramona - what can I say?

This cat is for sale, asking $19,995



Funny Skipper...funny...
 

Ali

Master of Nothing
Admin
Apr 24, 2003
22,605
7,078
10
San Diego
Name
That Guy
Boat
31' Innovator
See cat above.

10x the boat of that Whaler.

If you buy a new boat in this buyers market you are crazy IMO.

Too many GREAT deals out there.
 

Bottom Line

Village idiot
Jul 9, 2006
6,597
2,020
Warner Springs
Name
Steve
Boat
Invader CC - Bottom Line
I rountinely take my 17' Invader 30+ miles out - watch the weather and don't get so drunk that stupid stuff happens.
The small boat does take a helluva toll on this old body though!
 

alien4fish

I fish there for I am
Nov 19, 2006
702
0
N.33.1236 W.117.0989
www.kevinhsellshomes.com
Name
Kevin
Boat
245 Sea Ray REEL CRAZY
if you can park it in your drive way, get a 21 -24 walkaround. they are out there , so take your time. You can get out of the sun with the small cuddyplenty of fishing deck and good range. you dont have to get all crazy and shit with the money just shop smart