Five Tips to Make Your Skiff Lose Weight

Lighten the load to improve performance.
Skiff running fast over flats
Dropping excess weight can help your boat get faster and skinnier. Courtesy Maverick Boat Company

Why would you want to lighten up your flats skiff? Plenty of reasons, to be honest. Maybe you no longer have that big truck to pull the boat. Or maybe you want to run and float in even shallower water. Whatever the reason, consider these options.

Don’t Go Crazy With Horsepower

Choose the right powerplant. Sure, we all want to go faster, but bigger motors come with a cost. Not money, silly—weight. For example, a boat such as the Xplor X7 can see draft variance by up to 2.5 inches depending on which outboard you choose, and it’s no slouch in the performance department no matter what you rig it with.

Don’t Bring Your Entire Tackle Collection

Check yourself on your tackle. If your shoulder stretches when you pick up your tackle box, consider ditching some of the lead or, better yet, consolidate into one small box that you can tweak for your target du jour.

Go Light on the Boat Anchor

Switch to an aluminum anchor. An 11-inch aluminum fluke anchor is large enough for most flats skiffs and weighs just 2.5 pounds, about a third of the weight of a common Danforth.

Consider a Plastic Emergency Prop

Get a plastic emergency prop (and the right adapter to fit your hub). Many of us like having a spare prop aboard just in case we get a bit too skinny at some point. While the plastic ones might not perform incredibly well, they weigh next to nothing and will get you home in a pinch.

Update to a Lightweight Battery

Get a lighter battery. With a modern LiFePO4 starter battery, you can get 1,000 cold-cranking amps at a mere 16.5 pounds. And you guys who run trolling motors? As a general rule, you can cut your battery weight by half.