I'm a first-time boater interested in purchasing a boat for trailer use in
the Pacific Northwest (Portland, Oregon). We are a family of 5, and use the
boat for fishing and light recreational boating. Fishing interests include
Salmon and Sturgeon fishing on the Columbia and Willamette Rivers (Large
rivers, ocean going freighter traffic), perhaps some fishing and crabbing in
the Puget Sound and some Oregon bays, lake fishing in Oregon mountain lakes.
We're not interested in waterskiing, but it would be fun to pull the kids on
a tube or wake board on a hot August day. We're not likely to use the boat
more than 10 weekends a year. A friend suggested that we purchase a "16-18
foot aluminum deep-v skiff" with a "tiller control 25 horse four stroke
outboard". He suggested it would be possible to get such a boat with a
canvas top, trailer, accessories for under $7500 that "will last a
lifetime." Does this sound right? Any suggestions on boat/engine brands to
-Too small for your family of five and too small for some of the waters
on your list.
-Suggest you get a copy of "Outboard Boater's Handbook" edited by David R.Getchell
and available through Amazon.com. (approximately $20.) It's a very practical and
complete discussion of small boats with excellect analysis of the capabilities of
aluminum skiffs (sizing, powering, maintaining,...)
-I would use 18' as a minimum, and look for something in more of a high-sided
Deep V. It will be safer, dryer, and probably more comfortably configured. I
have a 19' welded aluminum Deep V I use in rivers, large lakes, the
intercoastal, and occasionally the gulf. Last Forever? Mine's a '68, used in
salt water all its life, and solid as a rock.