Which Long Range Boat and why?

hucklongfin

Deep release specialist
Jul 3, 2003
8,520
5,700
64
Mission Viejo
Name
MarkT
Boat
Blazer Bay 1860
My longest trip had been a 3 day and then in 2014 I did a 5 day on the SoA, a fly-down trip to Cedros and a fall 10 day on the Excel. I've done at least one fall 10 day every year since. No need to ease into longer trips, just go!
 
Last edited:

Steve K

Hey, I'm gettin' bit...
Jan 2, 2005
11,174
6,506
Bishop
Name
Steve
Boat
18' Bayrunner, but I like the American Angler and the Red Rooster III
8-10 day variety trips are loads of fun. With offshore options, and destinations, the tackle can be pretty extensive even if you’re not a tackle whore. :) 25 and 30 lb outfits are great for those smaller school size Yellowfin or even Bluefin. Then, 40 lb on both flyline and surface iron, 50 lb for flyline, YoYo and Wahoo. For me that’s only eight outfits, I’m sure others would bring more. Anything over that you can usually borrow or rent in case you get into a FlatFall deal on those trophy Bluefin. Have made numerous fall trips to hit spots like Guadalupe, Alijos Rocks, the Ridge offshore everywhere in between and of course the shot at those Bluefin, wherever they might be found. Good luck!
 
  • Like
Reactions: FishRock

IronMikeAC

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Aug 2, 2013
547
575
torrance, ca
Name
Mike
Boat
Vagabond
Which boat is most stable and fast? I suffer from seasickness and use a patch. It works great on center consoles running 50 to 60 miles and catamarans in AK but on the Constitution and Outer Limits I still got sick. Would like to fish San Diego on 2.5 days or longer. Willing to pay extra for limited loads.
Independence
 
  • Like
Reactions: Yolo and Big carp

RandyPotts

Newbie
Mar 8, 2012
11
12
Santa Barbara
Name
Randy Potts
Boat
Vagabond
Mike Lackey and the Vagabond team has been my choice for years. I have fished several boats and they all have loyal followers. I like the way Mike and his crew takes care of business, works hard to provide his customers to the best experience possible. The crew is always helpful and willing to help first timers. Hopefully the current chaos ends and we can get back to fishing with our favorite boat and crew.
 

perrorace

Member
Dec 28, 2011
40
45
loreto
Name
dan
Boat
perro
Spirit of Adventure! Never has to advertise! Nobody works harder than Mike Keating or Bryan.. But there are other great boats. No special order …… AAangler.. Vagabond...….Royal Star.. In Long Range Bigger is not always better.. Fewer angelers fewer tangels…. don't forget Art on the Searcher
 

tunachris

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Oct 16, 2005
547
225
Azusa, CA
Name
Chris Lomax
Boat
none
I fish the Star, mainly because I followed Randy T. from the 105, to the Excel, to the Star. That said, I like to fish the Fly Down/Back 16 day trips. Brian and Tim run the trips these days, and in 17 years I think Randy has run maybe 3 of the trips I have made.

All of the boats are very professional, and the long range experience is at a whole level above local day boats. Not saying there aren’t some great local boats, just a different atmosphere on the long trips.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Noah & Scoot

heman

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 23, 2008
125
57
Anaheim, CA
Name
heman
Boat
\___/
Loving this thread and info.. now I’m considering popping my long range cherry.
i did notice RR3 advertised they provided wifi on the boat?!?Can anyone comment which other boats have this available? Might be able to work enough on the ride down or back (i do remote work and hours are flexible to a certain degree)
 

FishRock

Still trying to figure it all out
Mar 27, 2013
1,778
2,345
Alaska
Name
JAM
Boat
Thunnus - 22' Koffler BayBee (1990)
I did notice RR3 advertised they provided wifi on the boat?!?Can anyone comment which other boats have this available?
All the LR boats have WIFI. Just some works better than others. Seems like the Excel and Intrepid might have the most reliable setups. But everyone has it.

All of the boats are very professional, and the long range experience is at a whole level above local day boats. Not saying there aren’t some great local boats, just a different atmosphere on the long trips.
I think the biggest difference between the local/day boats and the LR boats is the passenger load. Fishing with much more than 20 anglers on a boat starts to make the back deck feel small and I cannot even imagine the circus of 30 anglers or more.
 

Tar Pit

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Mar 7, 2006
1,219
653
Reno NV
Name
Friend of Bucko Shaw
Boat
None.
I fished the Searcher on a 3-day trip years ago. Boat and crew were fine but the tackle storage sucked. Maybe with a light load it works better than my full load trip.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Cubeye

pgangler

12Wt
Jul 25, 2012
428
426
Pacific Grove, Calif
Name
Ron
Boat
Was Cabo35, now RR3
All the wifi on these boats is satellite-based. So there's limited upload/download bandwidth, and they really only want you to use it for checking email - not for streaming vids or pics. And if lots of people are on at the same time, it gets really slow. So usually, most anglers will disconnect the wifi on their phones until they need to check email - otherwise, they're all pinging the wifi at the same time.
 

heman

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 23, 2008
125
57
Anaheim, CA
Name
heman
Boat
\___/
All the wifi on these boats is satellite-based. So there's limited upload/download bandwidth, and they really only want you to use it for checking email - not for streaming vids or pics. And if lots of people are on at the same time, it gets really slow. So usually, most anglers will disconnect the wifi on their phones until they need to check email - otherwise, they're all pinging the wifi at the same time.
yeah kinda figured they'd all be Sat based and fairly limited on bandwith. But even just having it is pretty nice. Thanks for the reply
 
  • Like
Reactions: Olddog8

TanstaaflSD

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Dec 3, 2013
456
283
San Diego, CA, USA
Name
Tanstaafl
Boat
n/a
Which boat is most stable and fast? I suffer from seasickness and use a patch. It works great on center consoles running 50 to 60 miles and catamarans in AK but on the Constitution and Outer Limits I still got sick. Would like to fish San Diego on 2.5 days or longer. Willing to pay extra for limited loads.
look at boat lengths and weight and width .... I love the Independence and the Excel has a great rep

Then get a bunk near the meta center - the left right rolls / up down bow stern movement. -- the 4-way pivot point of the boat.

And DON'T TAKE A WAAAY FORWARD BUNK.
LR runs back to San Diego are "up hill" against waves from the the North. --- the forward bunks will get slapped up and down on the 'must travel' return run..

I like any main deck lower bunk or lower bunk Room D on the Indy -- Independence's lower bunk, room D lets you sleep with your head near the center line and perpendicular to the fore/aft line, where. you can sleep with your back against the bulkhead and not move much in the occasional rough weather .... and the Indy's skippers are safety conscious.

Enjoy the BIG BOATS

TIGHT LINES
 
  • Like
Reactions: Almud

Yellowtail Dan

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 10, 2006
3,025
2,929
52
Roseville Ca
Name
Dan
Boat
Excel, American Angler
look at boat lengths and weight and width .... I love the Independence and the Excel has a great rep

Then get a bunk near the meta center - the left right rolls / up down bow stern movement. -- the 4-way pivot point of the boat.

And DON'T TAKE A WAAAY FORWARD BUNK.
LR runs back to San Diego are "up hill" against waves from the the North. --- the forward bunks will get slapped up and down on the 'must travel' return run..

I like any main deck lower bunk or lower bunk Room D on the Indy -- Independence's lower bunk, room D lets you sleep with your head near the center line and perpendicular to the fore/aft line, where. you can sleep with your back against the bulkhead and not move much in the occasional rough weather .... and the Indy's skippers are safety conscious.

Enjoy the BIG BOATS

TIGHT LINES
That’s funny, I always ask for the room up on the Bow on the AA. Never had an issue with it and we got our asses kicked coming home in Dec two years ago
 

Roadrunner

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Oct 3, 2004
281
205
61
San Diego
Name
John Gleaves
Boat
20 foot, Westcoaster, Roadrunner
Cody, here's my two cents. As you realized you are getting a lot of opinions that most likely are not helping your decision. In my opinion all the LR boat have great crews, captains and accommodations. They are in competition with each other for passengers. So as one upgrades the food, so goes the fleet, etc. The newer and longer boats ride a bit nicer.

Then there are the regular passengers on the trip. The group really makes a big difference. Your personality has to fit the group. We all have our opinions on equipment, knots, bait hooking, etc. You need to determine which works best for you since most all are equal. Many of the regulars are more than willing to help each other and a newbie and give their two cents. Remember it is there opinion and find what works for you. So ASK.

And as said, find your date and consider your economics. Ask if anyone local to you is a regular and go have a cup of coffee with them. Make a new friend. As said, try different boats and find your new home.

This is your vacation and you want to come home relaxed, with new friends.

Oh and keep asking questions.

Welcome to our addiction.
"Keep asking questions" & "The group really makes a big difference"

Once you narrow down your choices, ask the captains about the trips you
ARE ABLE TO JOIN. Many trips are closed charters where a person has booked the whole boat and the group has been going many years together. It is hard to get into a trip like this. One must be invited to come IF there is an opening.

Other trips are are open charters or charters that need spots filled. Different groups like different things. I have been on longer trips where drinking took precedent over fishing. Last night of trip, just 2 of us fishing for BFT, the rest were shit faced and giving us a hard time for fishing. They picked more on the other guy who ended up landing the jackpot BFT that night.

So tell the captain the type of person you are and fishing you like and ask if this would fit in with a particular group or a trip. I have been told "don't go on this trip" by a captain as he knows what I like( know him 15+ years) and as I
was starting to increase my yearly long range trips I take.

"Keep asking questions" & "The group really makes a big difference"
 

hagridfish

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Oct 21, 2008
1,089
553
Aurora Colorado
Name
Kevin
Boat
None
That’s funny, I always ask for the room up on the Bow on the AA. Never had an issue with it and we got our asses kicked coming home in Dec two years ago
As I've stated before, I'm a "little guy. (6'4" and about 280lbs) I was in the up front state room with the A/C unit in the room. Got up in the middle of the night to take care of business, and got stuck! Couldn't get my legs up far enough to get around the A/C unit! I never lived that down. Getting stuck in the rack. LMAOROFL!
 

SCHeadhunter

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 22, 2006
729
1,185
san clemente
Name
Tom
Boat
Sold to the man with $$$
As I've stated before, I'm a "little guy. (6'4" and about 280lbs) I was in the up front state room with the A/C unit in the room. Got up in the middle of the night to take care of business, and got stuck! Couldn't get my legs up far enough to get around the A/C unit! I never lived that down. Getting stuck in the rack. LMAOROFL!
There’s a couple of extra long big bunks on the Polaris Supreme built for big men.
I’m impressed with the safety protocols the boat is integrating into their program. I believe we can actually fish safely and significantly reduce the chance of Covid transmission.
I have a 1.5 departing tomorrow evening. Everybody on the trip has signed a waiver that includes an agreement to wear facemask on the interior of the boat in the common areas specifically Around the coffee and snack station, bar, ice maker , snack area.
Hopefully no one will have an issue. Everyone has already agreed. Meals will be served 4 at a table.
Hand sanitizer stations in numerous locations including next to the ice maker and beer/ pop cooler.
Crew is wiping down regularly with disinfectant.
Minor inconveniences for the opportunity to catch hundred pound bluefin.
As long as people are mindful and no one is walking around hacking on other people I think it’s going to be just fine. Hopefully the bluefin cooperate. The weather is looking cherry
 
  • Like
Reactions: RichG

gb58

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Nov 10, 2006
145
100
vista,ca
Name
greg braun
Boat
none
I’m an Indy fishie Dude por vida. 112 feet by 33 feet fishing platform with new Mitsubishi engines and the best chef on the Ocean Ed Lacombe and his ASSSSISTANCE ROLLO Ritman, Capt Matt Kaullen and the rest of the crew it doesn’t get any better

View attachment 1150201

View attachment 1150202

View attachment 1150203

View attachment 1150204

View attachment 1150205
i would agree with the food put out by Ed. Exceptional. the boat is the best fishing platform i have experienced
 

Tom Honaker

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 27, 2015
899
1,403
61
Hotchkiss Colorado
Name
Tom Honaker
Boat
Royal Star
i would agree with the food put out by Ed. Exceptional. the boat is the best fishing platform i have experienced
I'm really liking that we are getting back, to talking about our favorite boats, Chefs, and fishing experiences! Stuff that brings us closer together as a long range fishing community! Good stuff! Good stuff indeed!
 

Cubeye

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jan 26, 2007
3,260
2,242
Los Angeles
Name
Kub
Boat
17' Gregor
That’s funny, I always ask for the room up on the Bow on the AA. Never had an issue with it and we got our asses kicked coming home in Dec two years ago
Some like it, some don't. Some get sea sick when it gets rough.

I prefer not to get launched off of my bunk when going down a high swell, and slammed into the bunk at the bottom of the trough. Hard to sleep when that happens.

It's the center of the boat and aft (down stairs) for me
 
  • Like
Reactions: stephen campbell

findtuna

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Nov 23, 2011
280
167
OC
Name
James
Boat
Blackman 20' pilot house
I was in your exact shoes just last year, so I'm not too far ahead of you or do I have years and years of LR experience to share. But, I have been on these 3 boats so far and I would rank them as below. Criteria and the ranking considerations included food, accommodations, cleaniness, service, crew's demeanor/attitude, fellow angler's maturity, bait conditions, and safety. Fishing and catching is not included since that is not something that can be controlled. Just get out there and you will NOT regret it.

1. Royal Star
2. Shogun
3. Royal Polaris
 

Skipjacker707

Member
Dec 5, 2011
43
17
Nor cal
Name
AJ
Boat
Excel
Plus 1 for the Vagabond - great captains, deckhands, and galley crew. Mike Lackey understands that long range fishing is being in the hospitality business and that policy permeates the crew. I can't wait to get back on board - I'm hoping that my 7 day at the end of June is a go...
Looks like you guys had some good fishing on the 7 day!
 

potuna

Unknown member
Jul 23, 2011
780
528
San Diego Ca. USA
Name
Pete
Boat
Royal Star, Excel, Royal Polaris, Red Rooster, Shogun and somebody else's.
Started out on the q105 it’s in Alaska now,
Excel
Royal Star
Red Rooster
Shogun
Royal Polaris
I’ve had great trips on all these boats, Captains and crew are excellent, trips ranging fro 3-18 days. These days I go on limited load trips, they’re worth the extra money to me.
Good luck
 
  • Like
Reactions: Steve K