While the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is known for its big (sometimes very big, as in mega-big) yachts, docked at the Bahia Mar, those who attended the show wanting to see bay boats and skiffs weren’t disappointed. The convention center housed a sprinkling of these inshore/nearshore fishing boats. Here’s a look at nine of them.
A generous foredeck offers a great, open casting platform for calm waters. The 270Z is 27 feet long with a 9-foot, 1-inch beam, weighing 3,000 pounds. With 17 degrees of deadrise, it has the size and configuration to take on the heaviest bay chop or head offshore.
A view of the boat’s interesting integrated bracket, which allows the engine to be mounted higher. Also unusual for most bay boats, the 270 has a twin-stepped hull.
Wellcraft 221 and 241 Fisherman
The 221, foreground, drafts 14 inches with engine up. That engine can be up to a 250 hp. The boat, which weighs 3400 pounds, has a 15-degree deadrise.
While the GoPro Hero5’s wide-angle perspective of the previous image makes for an interesting shot, this shot offers a better idea of the boats’ hull shape.
Barker Boatworks 26 Calibogue Bay
This Barker Boatworks 26 Calibogue Bay shows its striking lines. The 25-6 boat sports a 9-3 beam, the hull drafting only 14 inches but offering 18 degrees of deadrise. The 4,500-pound, 100-percent vinyl ester/composite-cored hull can take up to a Seven Marine 627 outboard.
The generous console has loads of space for storage.
Jupiter Marine 25 Bay
Jupiter Marine’s new bay boat sports a modest 14-inch draft but offers rough-water capability. With a maximum 300 hp, look for speeds up to 55 mpg.
The Jupiter Bay has somewhat higher gunwales than traditional bay boats to augment its performance in heavier seas.
Yellowfin 26 Hybrid
This 26-footer (8-8 beam) drafts 16 inches. It weighs 5,000 pounds with up to 400 hp and options include a second-station T-top.
Aft seating offers a comfortable spot for three; when not in use, the seat back folds down for a flush deck extension. Several leaning-post configurations are available including the rocket-launcher version shown.
Sea Hunt BX 24 BR
This 24 ½-footer, with an 8-7 beam, weighs in at 2,700 pounds and is good for up to 300 hp. Its 50-degree entry deadrise flattens to a moderate 15 at the transom. Draft is 15 inches.
Robalo 246 Cayman
A wide forward casting deck offers plenty of elbow room on the relatively beamy 24 ½-foot Cayman. The 3,700-pounder is rated for 300 horses. Its 16-degree-deadrise hull is rated at 12 inches draft.
Hell’s Bay Professional
Touted by the manufacturer as a particularly versatile flats skiff, the 17 ½-foot Professional drafts 4.5 inches with engine and fuel. With a beam just under 6 feet, it’s rated for up to 90 hp. The hull weighs in at a modest 550 pounds.
Built in South Carolina, this 26-foot bay boat with 15 degree of deadrise drafts 16 inches. It weighs 3,100 pounds and is rated for up to 400 hp.