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I will weigh in here as I was the person that Brandon referenced in his response

First Thanks again to Brandon for a very thorough and helpful outline of considerations

I "downsized" @ 4 years ago from a Grady to a 18 Jones Brothers .I found I was doing mostly fly rodding and light tackle and wanted the nimbleness and clean deck of the center console and wanted a single axle trailer .Basically I wanted smaller !!!
The JB 18 was exactly what I wanted and was going to be my last boat !!!

I looked hard at Parkers also,they are great boats and made the decision with my" gut" to go JB. In my opinion the two were both exceptional boats ,quality construction and backed by highly reputable owners
As I fish more and have the time to travel I want the comfort (I am 57 y/o)of a larger boat to handle the CBBT,Harkers,Montauk. My 18 JB gets me there now with no safety issues in my opinion (safety is a function of the captian and proper discretion )and while I Still love my boat I am looking to move up and that will be a JB23 .Now I want larger!!
I have met and discused JB with Donnie Jones and feel a part of the JB family
The Parker 21 is a great boat and will allow you to power with a 150 the 23 is a BIG 23and give you the most opprotunity for fishing multiple locations

Cost is a clear issue as is the ability to pinpoint what type of fishing and where you will be doing your fishing

A 18 JB ,Parker or another quality boat may be more than adaquate based on needs and age!!

Ther are other quailty boats and many valid points have been added so enjoy your search accept as much info as you can accumulate and make your final decision based on your own "gut instincts"

The double axle trailer does weigh and cost more ,but it is necessary with a larger boat and quite frankly tracks better while towing and does offer some safety in the second wheel

One other observation @safety any boater who expects to do any bay or inshore ocean time should invest in quality commercial grade PFD's and a commercial grade throwable device as well as wearing the suspender pfd's To often I see a great boat with the dime store pfd's and no visable thrwowable Just my two cents
I really enjoy the comments and suggestions I get more from this board and learn more than I contribute

PS with no spell check I am dead
 

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maycraft

I keep coming back to Maycraft but people say the ride is ruff and the hull is light. I really like the looks of the boat I guess I need a sea trial....this winter needs to leave soon
As a 19' MayCraft owner I feel compelled to reply. I added trim tabs to help pull the bow down and it can run into chop as well as any other boat its size and many larger. The aggressive bow chops through the waves well and you can't even tell you are on a light boat. That being said I am definitely biased as I have a MayCraft. BTW - trim tabs cause problems when used on the light boat while quartering into or away from chop.

Drifting - the boat always drifts sideways. I am not sure if the hull design causes this or the T-Top I added.
 

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What Jamie said........ and a 23SE is not too much for one person to handle.
I agree. I often take out my Parker 23 SE by myself. It offers a huge amount of deck space, decent ride, good stability. When I bought my Parker, I had gone to the Timonium boat show in Jan 2002 looking at new 20-21 ft center consoles to upgrade from my 17 ft Scout. I happened to find a one-year old Parker that completly outclassed the other boats I was looking at, but it was at the same price. I bought it on the spot, and have not regretted it after 5 years of use. If you are looking for a well-made and durable boat that performs well and holds it's value, take a look at the 21 SE or the 23 SE.
 

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Dang it son, just buy which ever boat you like the best. Asking for recommendations is like asking .... well you know what I mean.

Being on the water in a Porta-Bote is better then sitting on the shore wishin!

- Dae
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
I've looked at the cats and really like them but they seem to be out of my price range....15,000-20,000 used. I cant wait for this cold weather to go so I can do some sea trials, I have gotten so many good suggestions on boats. I really like the looks of the 19 kencrafts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
What about the parker 18's? Is that boat a big enough for some LTG and trolling in the lower potomac? I am trying to get the smallest boat to do all that I want since I go out by myself a lot.
 

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to answer the question that you actually asked... i see where your price range is, which i can relate to. as a few here have said, you ought to stay with a , good, low houred used rig, 19 foot or below.. parker, grady jb all great rigs, but you will sweat bullets to find a used one in your price range.
i personally think that you are looking at EXACTLY what you should be...a maycraft.
these also will be hard to find used, but a used one will most definately fall within your price range.
i do not own a maycraft, but a 22 grady, which is strictly out of the price range, and is not a utilitarian boat .maycraft, in my estimation, fits your bill like a glove.would love to own same meseff!
if you possibly could, i would spring for the 19, but brand new, with a 115 or 150 four stroke engine on it. seen them for less than 20 grand, total rig.
good luck with your choice, and hope to see some good reports from you this coming season!!
 

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I'm in the market myself for a small center console, but it will need to haul some pots for me when I get my LCC this summer. I like the deck space on the Carolina Skiff. I guess it all depends on what you use it for. I have heard alot of good things in this thread about some center consoles. Can any one elaborate on how these others would do hauling crab pots? deck space??
Thanks,
Tom
 

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A lot of the guides use 21 and 23 Parkers. I've been on Walleye Pete's 21 Parker several times, and can attest to the fact that it handles bigger water than I ever dreamed of...rode well too. There are some Parkers for sale over on www.ClassicParker.com Can't remember off hand what the asking price was, but a couple were fairly reasonable.
 

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While May-crafts dont have the fit and finish of the Parker or Jones bros they do have a few things in their favor aside from price. The 23 has an enclosed head and Not sure of the smaller May-crafts but the larger ones have a more aggressive variable degree hull than the others and closer to a 3:1 length to weight ratio which may help ride a bit in a chop. The 23 is also available with a full transom and a bracket. I think they would appeal more to fly fisherman if they didnt have the forward boxes in the bow like the Paker SE, but many will view the extra storage as an advantage. May-crafts are 3 piece tough commercial hulls and up to the task of handling the punishment of avid fisherman. The commercial fisherman who owns my marina swears by them. He runs a 2550xl and 22 c-hawk (which is Ken May's previous company) and punishes them regularly netting L-Y and commercial hook and line fishing for stripers. Both boats are holding up very well. He claims the 2001 2550 doesnt have a stress crack on it.

Check out boattraderonline.com for some used ones to be had at good deals. (be sure to search both "maycraft" and "may-craft" to view all the boats for sale as some have been enter with each spelling)
 

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Whatever you get seatrial it first preferably on a snotty day. This is your best way to head off buyer's remorse. You wouldn't buy a car without a test drive right? It's all about one opinion, your's. For instance this board loves Parkers. I've only been in one and it was a snotty day and the ride was terrible. I decided that day I would never own one. But that is only my opinion and should have no bearing on what you buy. Get on a lot of different boats and figure out what your wants and needs are for size and style them find one in your price range. Two other names that I would put on par with Maycraft would be Seaswirl and Sea Hunt. They don't have the fit and finish of the Parker or Grady but are solid reliable boats. Good luck
 

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It's all about who's behind the wheel. When it's snotty, the 21SE will hold plane at 15mph with the tabs down. It just kinda hobby-horses along and the sharp bow cushions the waves.

I pushed mine hard on January 8th (30 knots Westerly and steep, square chop at Cape Henry.) And we paid the price over 15 knots. At 15 knots it was was comfortable and dry.

But the benefit was the nice stable platform for 95% of the day while we were drifting and catching fish. Quite a contrast between the motion of the 21SE and the various deep vees around us. The JB and the Maycraft handle similar to the Parker.

And that basically tells the tale of deadrise. Are you spending most of your time in running in rough water? Or drifting/anchored and catching fish?

I think Maycrafts are really nice too. I'd look closely at them if I was in the market. But if you're in the area, I'd be happy to take you out for a run on my Parker this spring (Solomons Island area).
 

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I have only been on 1 boat that we haven't found the limitations yet and that's Hanks 26' Southport...but that's a little different price range....that boat can handle anything.....

But I agree with Pax, it all depends on who's behind the wheel........
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
I think I am gonna go to Guy Brothers marine and checkout the Maycraft 20 layout. Ive seen the layouts and seatrialed parker and like them but I still am hesitant about the price... same with kencraft. I guess I just need to seatrial the maycraft and see if the price difference shows up in the ride.
 

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I love my new Parker 23SE- I will say it is a little shy on the "storage" department. Mine had an aftermarket TTOP installed, I have heard some say the factory TTOP's leave something to be desired. I personally love having a ttop. Since you asked about the Bay, not the Ocean, I assume, like most here, you will be doing more drifting, slow trolling, anchoring, etc. and than hard running, so whatever you get won't need a deep vee.

I don't find the lack of a small box to crawl into, i.e.: a head, to be a big deal. My friend's regulator has one, but it pitches so much in the smallest chop that I don't know how you would use it. You'd almost be better using the head while the boat is up on plane!

Anyway, if you're looking at a Maycraft, I think that Goatee's (sp?) in Church Creek/Golden Hill is a pretty good outfit, price and service-wise. They're on the Web and worth a look.
 
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