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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright.. so. I've been fishing a lot since I got stationed here and I finally gave in and rented a 16' skiff to go out on Tuesday. Not my first time on a boat.. but it'll be my first time operating a boat on my own, and my first time on a boat out here in NC. I've done the boaters safety course and everything, I'm renting from the air station marina, so everything should be in working order and legal - they include life vests, a fish finder, a trolling motor and a CB radio. Then I'm assuming all the appropriate lights will be on it for operating after dark.

As unprepared as I may sound, I'm really good at figuring things out on the fly as long as I do enough homework beforehand! Hence why I'm here. :D I have a bunch of newbie questions though, stuff I didn't learn from the online course.

It's a 16 foot skiff with a 15hp motor, center console.

What type of gas is best? How many gallons is the tank? How many miles can you go on a gallon?

How is it operating at night? What are things I need to be aware of if I'm fishing after dark?

What tips do you have for putting it in at the ramp?

Where should I put in at?

Is a 16' skiff safe enough that I could take my 2 and 5 year olds with me? Obviously with appropriate life vests.

Any other tips and advice?

I haven't seen the boat yet, I reserved it over the phone. I'm pretty pumped. I work 7 days a week and Tuesday is my first day off in a long time.
 

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What type of gas is best? How many gallons is the tank? How many miles can you go on a gallon?

Ask the MWR folks where you are renting it. I am pretty certain you will have to fill it up with gas upon returning it and they do that at the Marina with non-ethanol fuel.

How is it operating at night? What are things I need to be aware of if I'm fishing after dark?

Not everything in the river has lights on it and it is easier to run aground if you are not familiar with the river in the day time.

What tips do you have for putting it in at the ramp?

Have your stuff in the boat before you get to the ramp so you are not holding other people up if they are in line.

Where should I put in at?

Use the air station ramp. It isn't crowded, the docks have bumpers all around them and you don't have to tow it far.

Is a 16' skiff safe enough that I could take my 2 and 5 year olds with me? Obviously with appropriate life vests.

If it isn't windy yes. If the wind blows hard the NR can be nasty and I have even turned a 21 foot boat around because of the wind in the river. Go slow and if the wind is bad just head up Southwest creek for a nice easy drive.

Two year olds hate life jackets so if the toddler freaks out it is normal. My daughter is terrible about hers but she doesn't leave land without it on and it stays on until she is in her carseat.

Any other tips and advice?

Have fun and if you see the little white crab pot bouys with no exposed cage the water is at least 2ft deep (most of the time). The upper part of NR is easy to run compared to the White Oak or other places.

I haven't seen the boat yet, I reserved it over the phone. I'm pretty pumped. I work 7 days a week and Tuesday is my first day off in a long time.

See above and be safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Haha too late, just got home. Stayed out about 2 hours in the evening and an hour after dark to get the feel for doing both. Honestly it's not as complicated as I imagined... I put the boat in myself in about 5-10 minutes and rode around southwest creek for about 3 hours, 1 of which was after dark. I didn't really fish much, just here and there when I saw a cool spot - spent the majority of the time getting familiar with everything. Got the boat back on the trailer in about 5 minutes by myself while it was dark. Luckily the air station marina was well lit (I thought so at least, I have nothing to compare it to) and I didn't even need a flashlight. Great first time ever piloting a boat myself, all the knowledge from the NC boaters safety course was fresh so I felt confident out there. Feeling good about taking the kiddos out in the morning.
 
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