One school of thought from skilled mariners actually considers a smaller hull advantageous in large swells. In the right hands, a small boat does have an element of safety that much larger hulls lose: responsiveness. He recounts involvement in cases where small boaters perished before the Coast Guard could reach them, cases where knowing their boat and having the right equipment could have saved them.
If you're looking for a good boat of 15 to 18 feet for fishing bays, channels or flats, you'll find scores of them. Still, there can be no doubt that with the specialized demands of offshore fishing, not all small hulls are created equal.
A modified rather than deep vee comes in as the top choice among experts looking for the optimal small planing hull for big water. One other essential element of small boat construction that becomes particularly important offshore is flotation.
A small boat's likely to end up taking on spray and, on rough days, some green water as well. Potter says that transom height is another critical aspect for any small hull that will see offshore use.
A small outboard boat offshore faces trouble fast once enough water gets into the boat to run to one side or the other in the seas, Potter says.
No hull, however seaworthy and stable it may be, belongs offshore — ever — if it's not properly equipped. For an amount of horses similar to a single engine, twins add weight, and smart offshore small boaters make an effort to keep their transoms as high as possible. Since small boats like mine lack towers and since VHF is limited to line-of-sight distance, I stick to a tall (8-foot) whip antenna rather than opt for a shorter, less obtrusive one.
Compass — With a good nautical chart, this will keep you headed in the right direction if your GPS fails. Extra Battery — With space limited and weight critical, I carry a compact, high-quality motorcycle battery and keep it charged up. EPIRB — Again, I go small: A mini-EPIRB will set you back $200 or so, but that's cheap insurance in a real emergency. Emergency Kit — including flare gun and flares, cyalume sticks and waterproof strobe lights. Emergency Food and Water — At least a half-gallon of water8 some granola bars and beef jerky or canned meat can get you through a day or two. Anchor and Lots of Rope — Even if you don't anchor to fish, you may find an anchor valuable, and plenty of heavy rope's a must if you need to be towed. Sea Anchor — Space may preclude stowing a small sea anchor, but make sure you have at least a bucket or, in a pinch, even a spare life vest. Starting out the morning in a 3-foot sea is a mere irritant to a 25-footer, but for the mini-boater who has his head screwed on right, it means a canceled trip. Look for periods between frontal systems, particularly fall, winter and spring when dead-calm days sneak in between blows. The Tuckasegee River has been producing some nice smallmouth action as well as some fantastic trout action over the first couple of weeks of summer. The nearby Oconaluftee River flows out of the Smoky Mountains National Park through beautiful historic Cherokee N.
Once outside the park, the “Luftee” as us locals refer to it, flows inside the Qualla Boundary where it’s waters are stocked with numerous healthy Rainbow, Brook, and Brown Trout. Use the convenient form below to book a trip or inquire about our services and one of our employees will contact you in less than 24 hours to confirm the trip.  In the message line list the type of trip, length, number of anglers and the date of the trip.

Installed a drain plug on my skiff, I knew that I would forget the drain plug pretty often so I used a section of wire leader and swivel so now if I forget to put the plug in it's at least attached to my boat (yeah yeah I know one screw is phillips and the others are straight). Finally to make a cheap push pole I got a section of 10' closet down, used another RC airplane nosecone (I used to fly RC a lot) epoxied to one end and a T-fitting on the other end. Many cite the unique satisfaction of taking on the ocean to fish it on their own terms, knowing they have the boat, the knowledge and the ability to get out there, catch some good fish and get back. Tom King, a professional mate in Massachusetts, for years made the 20-plus-mile run to fish Stellwagen Bank from his 19-foot Midland ("a Nova Scotia-style hull," he says, with a very high bow and very low freeboard).
Start comparing costs of purchase, insurance, moorage or storage, maintenance and so on for a 25-foot center-console with those of a 17-footer.
Rather, he focuses on knowing your small boat, recognizing when to go or not, and with what gear and preparation. But if you plan to run offshore any chance you get, you'll find that blue-water mighty mites don't come easy when you start figuring the kind of construction, quality and design needed. When it comes to hull design, opinions vary — suggesting competent small hulls may come in more than one style. While the deeper vee of 21 to 26 degrees at the transom offers the softest ride through waves, "I would opt for a modified vee in the 17- to 20-degree range — for the stability.
On the minus side: Many small boats have small built-in tanks and some provide space only for portables.
As boat designer Peter Van Lancker, responsible for many classic Whaler hulls, points out, "Our batteries are up in consoles, not in the transom and low where they can get wet." Keeping the battery astern and belowdecks in a little hull is asking for trouble. Positive flotation is required by the National Marine Manufacturers Association in boats less than 20 feet, but the best hulls are fully filled with foam, and the reasons should be obvious. When feasible, a kicker is a great addition since it can get you home in a pinch — but, again, it may not be worth the additional weight on the stern of a 16- or 17-footer. Separate units are fine, but I prefer a single unit (capable of showing both chart plotter and sounder reading on screen simultaneously) to maximize limited space on small consoles.
Amazingly, some small boaters venture far offshore with neither radio nor compass, according to the Coast Guard. If my main battery goes out, I can pull-start my small outboard and save the smaller battery to power my VHF, lights and electronics for many hours.
When activated, this cigarette-size homing device sends out signals at frequencies reserved and monitored for distress calls. And nowhere can the small boater better demonstrate that than by reading the weather before and during a trip. Many mornings I've arisen to find the small-boat forecast revised from the previous evening's 5- to 10-knot wind forecast to one of 10 to 20 knots. During the summer, high pressure systems often bring many successive days of calm weather, particularly in the morning.
When the forecast calls for light breezes all day and into the night, small boaters can usually venture forth with peace of mind.
For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser. The Cherokee Indians are long know for taking care of their natural resources, and the Oconoluftee is no exception. Whether you're researching a new boat, or are a seasoned Captain, you'll find The Hull Truth Boating & Fishing Message Forum contains a wealth of information from Boaters and Sportfishermen around the world. Still tie like line when you want to but it makes at a lot faster and easier to tie in different situations where you need to tie to a rail or something unconventional quickly. My father uses polyethylene black flexible pipes to create a quick strong boat cover frame.

That way you still get some damping effect from the vee but also get some benefit of side-to-side stability," says veteran boating writer, Joe Skorupa. On the plus side: Light boats with small outboards can go all day on amazingly little fuel. Your odds of staying afloat when broken down and adrift go up by a big chunk if you can keep the bow into the waves, and any sort of sea anchor will help accomplish this.
Anyone hoping to go offshore in a 16-footer has to realize his fishing days will be limited.
The run home in many regions may mean a moderate but manageable following chop thanks to afternoon sea breezes.
The Tribe stocks the Oconoluftee River and other streams located on the Qualla Boundary twice a week, so there is no shortage on trout in the waters of the Oconoluftee.
A day fishing a brutally seaworthy 25 with twin 175s can easily set you back a figure topping three digits — and that's not counting oil.
As a Coast Guard chopper pilot for 26 years, he's had plenty of experience plucking boaters from harm's way offshore. Case in point: My Hobie 15 with a Yamaha 50 (two-stroke) can run far offshore, troll all day and return with plenty of fuel to spare in the two 6-gallon portables under the console.
A light hull gains little weight (always a factor) but considerable strength and rigidity from foam. However, adding a second engine for the small boater may be either cost- or weight-prohibitive. But McCormack warns not to assume these can substitute for VHF in a pinch since, he says, users may not find coverage in all areas offshore. The Tuckasegee boasts a nice long Delayed Harvest section that is very popular among fly fishers for its high fish counts, willing and very large trout. The Oconaluftee River is a freestone river that begins life high up in the Smoky Mountains National Park. The Tribe does offer fishing permits, and the daily creel limit is 10 fish with no size restriction.
I was worried that rough seas would make it sway too bad but it doesn't affect it the least bit.
Rainbow, Brown and Brook trout are all part of the stocking program, and it’s not uncommon to catch a Rainbow or Brook over 20 inches. Many small feeder streams make up this beautiful river, to form one of the largest rivers that flows inside park boundaries. The previous North Carolina State Record Brown Trout came from the waters of the Luftee weighing in at 15 lbs 9oz! Since I also throw things on top of the console all the time, I wanted a dark no slip surface. Holds a small bait cooler with cutting board on top and a slot for my knife as well as cups for weights.
The “Tuck” as it is referred to, has probably as many trout per mile as any of the western rivers of Montana and Idaho.
The Tuck is very user friendly, access is great along the Delayed Harvest section with the water remaining wadeable most of the time. If you really want the ultimate experience in fly fishing this watershed, then a float trip is definitely the best bet.

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