SEVEN HY­BRID BAY BOATS

Hulls that Truly Fish In­shore Bays and Blue Wa­ter

Sport Fishing - - SF BOATS - BY CHRIS WOOD­WARD

FLATS SKIFFS INI­TIALLY spawned the bay boat, a slightly larger al­ter­na­tive ves­sel that floats fairly skinny and ac­cen­tu­ates cast­ing fore and aft while pro­vid­ing a com­fort­able ride in chop. Now it seems blue­wa­ter boats have been bred for diminu­tive size, shrink­ing the off­shore cen­ter con­sole to fit the bays and back­wa­ters.

Bay boats now range from com­pact, light­weight 22-foot tech­ni­cal tour­na­ment skiffs to 26-plus-foot hy­brid in­shore/off­shore ves­sels with greater cock­pit depth and slightly sharper dead­rise. To ex­plore this cross­over mar­ket fur­ther, we iden­ti­fied al­most a dozen branded bay boats with cock­pits mea­sur­ing at least 19 inches from deck to gun­wale cap. Seven builders re­sponded by our dead­line and pro­vided more in­for­ma­tion about th­ese de­signs. (Boats are or­dered from short­est to long­est.)

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