Boat questions for fellow Floridians

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Boat questions for fellow Floridians

Postby Ajaxian » Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:44 pm

Hi guys, I'm in the market for a new boat to duck hunt and fish out of. I'm looking for as versatile a boat as possible, my main questions is of the size of the boat and stability. I will mostly hunt with two people + dog, but may on occasion hunt a third man. Is a 14ft jon boat with an open layout big enough to hunt three men? I will mostly hunt divers with the boat pulled into a reed head with a palm frond blind. Is a 14ft boat big enough to take to the coat and chase reds on the flats on a nice day? I'm in the Tallahassee area would going with a regular outboard vs. a mudmotor cripple me? any .02 greatly appreciated.

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Re: Boat questions for fellow Floridians

Postby dogyak » Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:56 pm

the boat is ok . Would like to see what the others say bout the motor myself .
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Re: Boat questions for fellow Floridians

Postby whaknstak » Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:06 pm

In Tallahassee, if you want to duck hunt, you need a mud motor. Period. As far as versatile, a mud motor will go anywhere an outboard can, but an outboard can go about 1/4 the places an air cooled mm can go. I don't like being in a Jon boat on the coast, but I have done it, caught fish, and lived to tell about it. Unless you go big, say a 1648 with an 18 copperhead with all exposed metal powder coated or an 1860 with 35 mud buddy big, with all metal powder coated for rust, you really won't find a do all saltwater and duck boat, imo. A good small duck rig isn't fun at the coast, and a typical inshore boat with outboard will simply not work in the marsh. I have hunted three in a 1442 and cant say I enjoyed it. I enjoy it much more with two. I now run a 14' widgeon and absolutely love it. Hand made in Leon county by Cody Reese. some of the best duck boats on the market. he is also a copperhead dealer.

Just some things to think about, but whatever you do, I wouldn't entertain the idea of using an outboard in this area for ducks at all. You will regret it, I promise.
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Re: Boat questions for fellow Floridians

Postby Ajaxian » Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:59 pm

I think part of my problem is I'm stuck in the central florida mindset with big lakes and big boats with 60+hp and running from the ramp 8+ miles. I really appreciate the input. I hunted some spots on the coast in the salt marsh last year out of a 15ft Jon and never really felt uncomfortable the boat basically just took us to our spot, we always dropped it in a local lake and ran the motor and hosed her down after the hunt. I think you have sold me on the MM portion though especially if I decide to brave the zoo and hunt some of the areas close to town...
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Re: Boat questions for fellow Floridians

Postby quackhunter99 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:19 pm

While plenty of kids are hunting the coast in smaller boats, it's really not a good idea. The weather can change in a heartbeat, fog can roll in and you can get turned around. Hunting down there can be pretty dangerous. I've taken waves over the front of my 16x56 coming back when it was glass calm going out.
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Re: Boat questions for fellow Floridians

Postby bulldawgsierra » Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:46 pm

I also live and hunt in the Tallahassee area. If you can swing it I would highly recommend two different rigs. I run a small Jon boat with my lt on it for hunting which lets me go on some of the smaller lakes with hp limits and in some of the smaller rivers. Then I have my 18 ft key west for fishing the flats and all. In all honesty neither one are too notch rigs but def are pieces of junk and both get the job done. I have less money in both than alot of guys have in one rig. Look around and shop for deals they are out there to be found. Just my opinion hope it helps.
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Re: Boat questions for fellow Floridians

Postby tmclaimerFL » Tue Aug 20, 2013 7:45 am

whaknstak wrote:In Tallahassee, if you want to duck hunt, you need a mud motor. Period. As far as versatile, a mud motor will go anywhere an outboard can, but an outboard can go about 1/4 the places an air cooled mm can go. I don't like being in a Jon boat on the coast, but I have done it, caught fish, and lived to tell about it. Unless you go big, say a 1648 with an 18 copperhead with all exposed metal powder coated or an 1860 with 35 mud buddy big, with all metal powder coated for rust, you really won't find a do all saltwater and duck boat, imo. A good small duck rig isn't fun at the coast, and a typical inshore boat with outboard will simply not work in the marsh. I have hunted three in a 1442 and cant say I enjoyed it. I enjoy it much more with two. I now run a 14' widgeon and absolutely love it. Hand made in Leon county by Cody Reese. some of the best duck boats on the market. he is also a copperhead dealer.

Just some things to think about, but whatever you do, I wouldn't entertain the idea of using an outboard in this area for ducks at all. You will regret it, I promise.

Hey Jack, don't be hatin the jonny. She caught you fish in rough weather. Mud motor guys, they are all the same. I run a 14ft with a 9.9 outboard and I've hunted everywhere in Tally with it along with fishing the coast. Where there's a will there's a way. I may be more of a risk taker than most though.
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Re: Boat questions for fellow Floridians

Postby whaknstak » Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:01 am

I'm not hatin. We never left the river though. If we had hit the gulf with that wind, chances are we would have been in trouble. Still caught fish, but a little bigger boat wouldn't have been a bad thing.

A 9.9 on a big open water lake and a 9.9 on a certain lake with a drought and a sink hole are two different beasts. If he's looking for a duck boat to setup, an outboard should be the last option, just ahead of oars. They simply don't work half as well as a mm. If you want to grass the motor every fifty feet, and get out and push when the water gets muddy and skinny, then an outboard will work. I know as I have done it with a 9 Johnson before I had a longtail. A buddy and I used to hit the CG on plane with me riding on the bow to keep the foot high enough to run. Once we set it down, we had to drag it out. He could avoid all of that by simply buying a mm the first time.

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Re: Boat questions for fellow Floridians

Postby tmclaimerFL » Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:17 am

whaknstak wrote:an outboard should be the last option, just ahead of oars.

This made me chuckle. I agree with you I was just yanking your leg Mitch. If you were to hunt other certain areas then an outboard will do just as good as a MM. However, other areas will definitely require a MM. I would still prefer an outboard on the coast, but that's just me. Of be too worried about saltwater ruining something on a motor that cost more than my truck.
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Re: Boat questions for fellow Floridians

Postby whaknstak » Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:27 am

tmclaimerFL wrote:
whaknstak wrote:an outboard should be the last option, just ahead of oars.

This made me chuckle. I agree with you I was just yanking your leg Mitch. If you were to hunt other certain areas then an outboard will do just as good as a MM. However, other areas will definitely require a MM. I would still prefer an outboard on the coast, but that's just me. Of be too worried about saltwater ruining something on a motor that cost more than my truck.


I heard that. still paying on mine for another couple months lol. But I sure love running it :grin:
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Re: Boat questions for fellow Floridians

Postby Ajaxian » Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:52 am

Well I think it's said and done... I'm going to keep an eye on Craiglist for a surface drive or Long tail that's within my budget and 600 miles of Tallahassee I suppose. Guess the salt water will have to wait until I can afford to get a little fiber glass flats boat. I appreciate all the input. Hunting comes first fishing second in this situation...
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Re: Boat questions for fellow Floridians

Postby quackhunter99 » Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:05 pm

Watch the classifieds on MMT. More rigs come up for sale on there then anywhere else
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Re: Boat questions for fellow Floridians

Postby Ajaxian » Thu Aug 22, 2013 8:51 am

Any idea what the minimum long tail you could get away with on a 15ft jon boat?
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Re: Boat questions for fellow Floridians

Postby tmclaimerFL » Thu Aug 22, 2013 8:54 am

Ajaxian wrote:Any idea what the minimum long tail you could get away with on a 15ft jon boat?

Go big or go home
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Re: Boat questions for fellow Floridians

Postby Ajaxian » Thu Aug 22, 2013 8:59 am

My budget says go small or live in a box haha.
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Re: Boat questions for fellow Floridians

Postby FlaWoodie » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:15 pm

tmclaimerFL wrote:
Ajaxian wrote:Any idea what the minimum long tail you could get away with on a 15ft jon boat?

Go big or go home



Unless you hunt around tally, then go small or stay home....
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Re: Boat questions for fellow Floridians

Postby whaknstak » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:26 pm

FlaWoodie wrote:
tmclaimerFL wrote:
Ajaxian wrote:Any idea what the minimum long tail you could get away with on a 15ft jon boat?

Go big or go home



Unless you hunt around tally, then go small or stay home....


Or hunt Jackson lol
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Re: Boat questions for fellow Floridians

Postby whaknstak » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:28 pm

In all seriousness Ajax, a ton of guys run 9-13 horse motors in Leon. None of the lakes are big enough to need any more than that.
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Re: Boat questions for fellow Floridians

Postby DUCK-DAWG » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:45 pm

Yep, a 13 is as large as I would be willing to risk on Micc. I've heard from several sources that they're going to be cracking down and enforcing the "10hp limit" more strictly this year, and you really don't need anything larger for the other lakes around Tally.

Lightweight is the name of the game with small HP mudmotors, which in my opinion equates to fiberglass. As others have already mentioned, Cody Reese's Wigeon boats are hard to beat, as are Gheenoes, River Hawks and any of the similar fiberglass "skiffs". In general, any of these boats are also more stable than a jon boat of similar size, and hide exceptionally well due to their low profile.
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Re: Boat questions for fellow Floridians

Postby whaknstak » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:48 pm

DUCK-DAWG wrote:Yep, a 13 is as large as I would be willing to risk on Micc. I've heard from several sources that they're going to be cracking down and enforcing the "10hp limit" more strictly this year, and you really don't need anything larger for the other lakes around Tally.

Lightweight is the name of the game with small HP mudmotors, which in my opinion equates to fiberglass. As others have already mentioned, Cody Reese's Wigeon boats are hard to beat, as are Gheenoes, River Hawks and any of the similar fiberglass "skiffs". In general, any of these boats are also more stable than a jon boat of similar size, and hide exceptionally well due to their low profile.


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Re: Boat questions for fellow Floridians

Postby MiccosukeeMeatDog » Fri Aug 23, 2013 5:17 am

Ajaxian wrote:Any idea what the minimum long tail you could get away with on a 15ft jon boat?



That's gonna depend on how heavy duty of a boat you're runnin. T much motor and you'll rip the transom off.
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Re: Boat questions for fellow Floridians

Postby Ajaxian » Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:37 am

I appreciate all the input. I think I'm going to take a stab at building my own motor using a 420cc predator and a swamp runner kit.
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Re: Boat questions for fellow Floridians

Postby quackhunter99 » Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:45 am

Ajaxian wrote:I appreciate all the input. I think I'm going to take a stab at building my own motor using a 420cc predator and a swamp runner kit.

Honestly, you're better off spending the money and getting a big name long tail...
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Re: Boat questions for fellow Floridians

Postby Ajaxian » Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:57 am

I Keep getting mixed reviews... from the research I have done the kit isnt to hard to build, and reviews for the predator engines on amazon seem pretty positive although msot seemed to be used for go karts.
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Re: Boat questions for fellow Floridians

Postby DUCK-DAWG » Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:56 am

To each his own...Those thai longtails seem to be decent for getting around, but they're not going to provide you with the same performance and capabilities as a regular mudmotor-longtail or surface drive. The benefit of those longtail kits is that they're cheap and made with cheap components, and when something breaks, you can usually be back up and running after a quick trip to Lowes or HD. The downside of those thai longtails is that they're cheap, and made with cheap components...WHEN you get stuck, don't expect to be able to slam that shaft down in the mud and vegetation and dig yourself out as if it were a regular longtail or surface drive. Also, be prepared to take wide, slow turns, especially when not on plane.
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