Boat buying advice
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Thread: Boat buying advice

  1. #1
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    Default Boat buying advice

    We have a home in "Little' Washington and now that I'm retired, I'll have a lot more time to spend fishing the inner banks. I am primarily a fly fisherman and chase tarpon, reds, specks and whatever else I can find near shore.

    I am looking to buy a new boat and wanted to get y'all's thoughts on two models I'm considering;

    First choice is the Shearwater 23TE, shown below. What do you know about it? I'd probably match it with a Yammy 250 SHO, add a power pole, a Minn-Kota Terrova with i-Pilot and some other goodies.



    The back-up choice is a Sportsman 234 Bay Boat, shown below but without the t-top, with the same goodies added.



    I'll not only use it in Eastern NC but also in the Apalachicola, FL area, the SC coast, GA coast, etc.

    OK, what experience do you have with these two?

    Many Thanks.
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  3. #2
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    Lots of boats in this category, best thing to do is to find a guide with the boats you are interested in and book a trip. The Shearwater has lower gunnels than the Sportsman, so all depends on how you plan to use it. Both the boats are well built and you would satisfied with either. A Pathfinder 23 HPS would be right in between those two.
    Coastal Mountaineer likes this.

    2015 Pathfinder 2200 TE, Yamaha VF200 SHO, Carolina Blue
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  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by NCTribute View Post
    Lots of boats in this category, best thing to do is to find a guide with the boats you are interested in and book a trip. The Shearwater has lower gunnels than the Sportsman, so all depends on how you plan to use it. Both the boats are well built and you would satisfied with either. A Pathfinder 23 HPS would be right in between those two.
    Thanks for the input. The Pathfinder is also a good-looking boat. How would the lower gunnels on the Shearwater impact its use on rivers and bays? Not really planning to go offshore at all. Maybe, at most, a quick run over to Okracoke, but only on perfect weather days.

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  6. #4
    trigger22's Avatar
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    For fishing the Pamlico Sound on a regular basis, I would personally take the low gunneled Shearwater out of consideration and stick to the Sportsman, and Pathfinder. I would also put a Key West 23 Bayreef and Bayrider 23 Bay on my list.

    The Pamlico has a tendency to get real nasty real quick and the fact that you’re considering runs across the sound to Ocracoke I would want the higher gunnels.

    Of the four boats I mentioned (without looking at specs) I would assume the Key West has the highest draft, followed by the sportsman. The Bayrider and Pathfinder are probably really close to one another.
    Coastal Mountaineer, and NCTribute like this.


  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by trigger22 View Post
    For fishing the Pamlico Sound on a regular basis, I would personally take the low gunneled Shearwater out of consideration and stick to the Sportsman, and Pathfinder. I would also put a Key West 23 Bayreef and Bayrider 23 Bay on my list.

    The Pamlico has a tendency to get real nasty real quick and the fact that you’re considering runs across the sound to Ocracoke I would want the higher gunnels.

    Of the four boats I mentioned (without looking at specs) I would assume the Key West has the highest draft, followed by the sportsman. The Bayrider and Pathfinder are probably really close to one another.

    Good info to know! I liked the Shearwater for the expansive forward deck and lockable rod storage. A lot of bay boats don't offer horizontal rod storage under the gunwale for fly rods. I've been out on the Sound when the weather started getting ugly but never really paid much attention to the boat designs and how they handled the rough water. I'll take a look at the KW and the Bayrider. Thanks!

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