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Discussion Starter #1
I've owned some nice Triton aluminum bass boats in the past but I'm thinking of buying a 14' or 15' War Eagle or a Duracraft for fishing since I primarily fish alone now on small rivers, larger creeks and in stretches of shallow water during spawns. I like to slip along and doodle sock and I also fish with a fly rod.

I like 1446 up to 1542 FLD style boats because I'm in my mid 60s and I can launch and recover them without help, but I'm not sure about what to power either with. I think I'd be fine with a 20-25 hp motor but I wonder if boats in that size are going to porpoise and if they do, what can be done, other than buying a motor with T/T, to prevent or control that.

Any suggestions on what a guy might to do put together a light fishing boat along these lines? thanks
 

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If I was running alone a lot I'd 10Xs rather have a modest sized wider semi-V console boat vs a 14-15' tiller steer flat bottom.

The advantages of a tiller steer don't help the lone fisherman much IMO.
 

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What do you mean by "I'd 10Xs". I grew up fishing out of flat bottoms on Ross Barnett and the Pearl river in Jackson, MS and along the brackish water marshes of the coast. I like them because a good deal of the time when I'm fishing I sit on the forward seat and scull along with a paddle. And, for the kind of fishing I prefer, I like an open boat rather than a console. In those cases I don't mind being somewhat closer to the water than I'd be if I were in a semi-V console boat.

My concern is, that I don't know what causes a flat bottom boat like a WE or DC to porpoise. So, I need to know if I purchase a flat bottom, am I going to have problems with porpoising with a tiller motor up to 25 hp on a 14-15 foot boat? And if my boat is going to porpoise, can it be managed without a tilt and trim control on the motor?

The reason I'm asking these questions on this forum is that I was recently talking to a WE guy at a boat show in Oklahoma and he "assured" me that porpoising won't occur. From some of the comments I've read on these forums, he may not be playing honest ***** with me and I'd like a variety of opinions from guys who know.
 

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I'd ten times rather fool with a console boat alone vs loading/unloading/running a tiller alone....... to me a small tiller boat is a major pain to deal with alone.

If you want to scull and sit on the front seat old style you'll hafta run a small flat bottom. Our little flat bottom monark never porpoises but it's slow and has plenty of weight up front.
 

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I'd rather have a tiller on a small river any day. More control of the boat, be a lot lighter weight and 25 would be a good motor for it.
 

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All you have to do to keep it from porpoising is lower the motor down a notch with the tilt pin till it stops. It can be done without power trim. I've been using boats like you are talking about since I was 8 or 9 years old. And I have never had power trim on an aluminum boat. And I too like a tiller motor for it's quick and precise handling in a river full of obstacles.
 

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65year old fishing alone?

Get factory tilt/trim. Just going in/out of shallow water drive and setting the transom saver would be worth it IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Oh yeah, 64 and I still love it and still hack it even alone, but I move slower and don't take chances like I did as a kid. With crappie and sand bass season right around the corner I can hardly wait to get this boat and motor selection thing settled. Thanks for the advice.
 

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I've got a 1436 Duracraft with a 83 25 evinrude on the back. It runs smooth. It wants to blow out in tight turns but I'm not messing with it because of how well it rides. It runs about 29-30 wot but it could use a little tune.

Coast guard calls for 20 hp max on this hull. Will I have to pay some sort of fine if I get checked by an officer?

Edit: I've never had it porpoise on me.
 

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I fish nearly the exact same circumstances, on different rivers and lakes.

Had a small glass bass boat, and while it was fun and easy to run, it drafted too deep. Sold it, bought a Grumman 1542 (for the motor more than anything), sold that boat & trailer for what I paid for the whole rig, kept the motor, and put it on a 1548. I launch, fish, and recover it 99.9% of the time by myself and it's easy. Tiller steer Yamaha 25 4 stroke.

If I were just crappie fishing and didn't want to get out of the rear seat, I'd probably look a little closer at a stick steer setup. But I have never been able to get used to stick steering, and the rig that I currently have works great for what I do. Sometimes the GF goes with me. She isn't much help other than holding the boat if we launch on the White (about 5 times in 2 years), and running the dip net when I hook a decent fish. Great company when I am fishing though. Most of the time I'm alone fishing and she stays at the house, and I never have much problem launching or loading.

A major problem nowdays if you're thinking about a new motor is weight. They're all heavy. IMO, too heavy for a 1542. The suzuki looks good at just about 150 lbs, ETEC is somewhat light as well. The rest of them are all heavy. Yamaha has tilt assist which is sweet but nothing like power tilt/trim. There is a new Yamaha 25 coming out (hopefully before duck season 2014) that, from what I understand, will change the 4 stroke 25 hp game. I don't have any detail but I'm told it's gonna be popular. The current Yamaha 25 hp is around 180 lbs (long shaft electric start) which is entirely too heavy for a 1542, in my opinion. That's why I would suggest a 1548 over a 1542. Also the 1548 has a little shallower draft than a 1542 does even though it's a little heavier overall. Love mine and glad I didn't get an Edge, which I also looked at, but was not pleased with them as far as being a fishing boat.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks JYW, your comments are really helpful. I am considering a 1548 and trying to figure just how this mix of width and HP will affect the performance of the boat. There is a sweet spot in all of this for me, I just haven't decided where it is yet.

I don't know if I can interest my wife in fishing with me. I had a nice little electric style boat called a Bobcat B-III that I used for several years and my wife fished with me on a pair of occasions but she stayed tangled up more than she fished. Doodle socking wasn't in her bag of skills and I think that by now she's more interested in hanging out in the pool with her girl friends than she is poking around the stumps with me. With that being said I'm probably going to lean toward something light that is ideally a one man operation.
 

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If I was an older guy fishing alone a good bit that's about the boat I'd want...... 1548ish console low deck with a factory trim 40ish motor..... throw on a quiet TM and your good to go..... get a good trailer with big steps for ingress/egress from the boat.

That boat will go anywhere from the saline to bull shoals.

JYW's advice on the motor is sound....... muscling up a long shaft 25 a handful to a dozen times a trip requires a certain amount of physicality...... Short shaft 15HP isn't so bad but a 25 you've got to pull on pretty good to move around.
 

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Porpoising can be causeed by a few things. The most common cause of porpoising is that when you set the motor at a certain trim angle (no T&T) or trim the motor to a certain angle, the bow will rise to a point that can't be maintained. Once it reaches that point, the bow will fall, the trim, prop, motor, whatever you want to say does it, will raise the bow again to this non-maintainable level and the cycle repeats until the motor is trimmed to a position that lowers the bow to height that can be maintained by the prop, horsepower of the motor, and the air underneath the boat (not much of a factor until you get into the upper 40's.)

The problem is made worse with the more weight that you put in the back of the boat.

Depending on your goals for the boat it can be easy to fix or a little more difficult. If you just want the boat not to porpoise and are not concerned about speed, just trim down to the point at which the boat doesn't porpoise. If you are performance minded and speed is a concern, you can hook the hull, increase the height of the weld that attaches the bottom of the boat to the transom, or add trim tabs. All of those things add sternlift and will result the boat being able to maintain a higher bow with more trim.
 

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I've seen that term "hook the hull" used on this site. What does that mean?
"Hook": dent in the bottom of the hull
"hook the hull": intentionally putting a dent in the bottom of the boat hull where the transom meets the bottom.

There is a fine art to doing this, so be careful. What it does is creates some drag but lifts the backend of the boat slightly. Which in turn pushes the bow down, making the boat run level on plane. The way it works is as the water travels down the bottom of the boat under way it hits the concave of the dent and then is directed downward causing the rear of the boat to lift up. The same results can be accomplished by welding a heavy bead on the bottom end of the transom, welding on wedges, or adding trim tabs to the transom. Most people who run smaller aluminum boats do not add external trim tabs because of the added weight, lack of space and they get caught up on brush. But those who run bigger boats on clean water use them.

[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGQM7-Y6jus[/ame]

This video does a good job of explaining the physics behind the concept.
 
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