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I am thinking of downsizing to a large carolina skiff and was wondering if any of you guys fish or have ever fished on one? I am looking into getting a 23 foot DLV skiff with a 150 four stroke on it. I am planning on only fishing in the Chesapeake bay and only going to the bay bridge on nice days. any opinions or stories? I am thinking of stepping down from a 26 ft hydrasport CC with twin 200s. My buddy has a larger boat that we go offshore in now so am trying to free up some money and save a but load on fuel!
 

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I have a 19ft Carolina Skiff DLV and fish the Chesapeake Bay bridge tunnel area during the sping and summer, I also troll the upper bay in the fall for stripers. I really like the versitility of the Skiffs. We go in the shallows as well as the deeper water. One thing you will enjoy is the fuel economy of the skiff. The more i fish the bridge the more Skiffs I see. I also have a friend with a 25ft DLV. He fishes the lower bay also. His boat is more stable than mine. He has a 200hp and gets execelent fuel. If I ever get a bigger boat it will also be Skiff.
 

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I have the 21 ft dlv with a 115 Yamaha 4 stroke. I love this boat. I fish shallow water and the main bay. I have been 12 miles offshore and no problems. The boat has a ton of room and is extremely fuel efficient.

Last summer we were 9 miles out from wachapreague Va. A nasty strong wind popped up and we had to haul in fast. The boat was stable in a steep 6 ft sea. It was so windy, that we started running in fast a forgot to lay down our bimini top. The wind bent the frame of the top. Later I found out it was a sustained wind of 50 knts and gusts to 70. Point is, the boat got us in, safe and sound.
 

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I don't really comapre to what you are considering, but I have a 1765 DLX with a 60 HP 4 stroke Yamaha. Talk about fuel economy........I have had it in 3 foot seas with no problem, but prefer 1 footers. I fish the rivers and venture out in the bay on good days. IMO there are more pros than cons to a CS. I have had no trouble with the boat other than I broke the seat and they replaced it at no charge. If possible try to get a ride in one and that will tell you a lot. Good luck in your search.
 

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As Capt. Max King stated, check out the Kencraft line up. Huge difference in ride,quality and dealer support. Also, the price point makes the Bayrider an excellent value. Questions,call me anytime.757-288-9149
David
 

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I have fished on my brothers CS DLV 19ft for the past couple of years, pros: stable at drift, good fuel economy, doesn't require tons of horsepower to make them move, overall a well built boat. Cons: my bigest complaint is the ride, even with the dlv model it has a tendency to sneeze/spray water on you in anything over 2ft and just beats you pretty hard. Of course this opinion is coming from an owner of a parker deep vee, just my opinion based on my experience with the boat.
 

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You won't get an unbiased answer as to whether a CS is a good boat, but if you want to start comparing skiff models and get input from those who have experience on them try logging onto carolinaskiffowners.com.
 

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I currently fish a 21ft DLX with a 75 4 stroke Yamaha. I love it for fishing in the river and fishing the flats. Only draws about 4-6" of water. But as stated above going from a 26 Hydra sports will be a dramatic difference in ride. If you are looking for fuel efficiency and a stable boat it can't be beat. That being said, it will beat your eye teeth out in a 1.5'+ chop. And you will get sprayed. Just depends what you deem as important in your boat. I love mine for what I use it for. Pick and choose your days and trips to the CBBT or CLT are certainly not out of the question. That is my opinion.

Shayne
 

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I had a 2007 218 DLV with a 115 Yamaha. When I bought it I was primarily fishing the Potomac and James Rivers for catfish and it was the perfect boat for that application - anchored up, bottom fishing. In 2007 I moved near the Bay and shifted to Rockfish. I was able to fish the Mid Bay down to Solomons on good days, <10 mph winds. Anything worse and I stayed in due to the pounding I got at anything above 15-20 mph.

Overall I liked the boat, but they are what they are; rugged work type boats with little attention paid to fit and finish. I purchased mine from Eds Marine and had to have it completely rewired by Tri-State within a year - not sure if that was Carolina Skiffs fault or Eds but the wiring was a mess.

Mine was not an "Elite" and just by looking at them they seem to be finished a little nicer.

One of the biggest reasons I sold it was that it didn't have any splashwell around the motor and the scupper plugs had to be left it to keep the water out - I don't care what you read, the boats are not self bailing. The batteries were also located all the way aft at the transom and I was always in fear of taking a wave over the stern, swamping and losing power.

If you plan to troll, mounting rod holders on the gunnels becomes an issue due to the rolled gunnel design. I over came it with the Cannon Track based rod holders - they worked great but were pricey.

Bottom line; solid, no thrills boat but rough on the body when it gets windy - had I kept it I would have figured out a way to build a splashwell, but then again where else can you get a 21-23 ft CC with a T-Top on Trailer for under $30,000.

Google "Carolina Skiff Owners". It is a CS forum with a lot of good info on it.

One of the attached pictures shows the transom configuration I'm talking about.
 

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Going from a big Hydrasport is a tough call. I fished a 23ft CS down here on a day when there were 3 fter's, beat me to death and I was smart enough to bring my frog togs. It's an ok no frills boat that would be fine inshore or in the rivers. On the bay in 15kt wind it may be a stretch, get to know a good chiropractor.
 

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I have an 03 CS 198 DLV with a 4 stroke 90 HP outboard & love this boat. Granted you will get wet on those windy days but the overall enjoyment, versatility & fuel economy outweighs all the rest. I had the 24 foot cuddy cabin Chapparral with 200 yamaha very costly, I dropped down to the 20 foot Pro-line with the 150 Mercury which was a very nice boat overall, it handled great but I was still not happy with the fuel consumption, and I was still limited to deep water.
I highly recommend the CS I have never been happier, I can pretty much fish where I want to, and on those windy days I can go in the inlets around the grass beds & still fish. I will always have this boat or one like it.
 

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I bought a 22' Sundance B 22 Skiff w/ a 115 Yama. Rated for 16 passengers, wide & steady. Great in the skinny water, doable in the bay on the right days. It's like a Carolina Skiff on Steroids. Has a cap over the gunnels so you can install rod holders ect. Good luck in your search .....
 

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I think if I were going to go down in size in that type boat it would be to a 19ft twin vee. Though you could get a nice used 18ft Grady for less than a new twin vee.
 

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I stepped down from a 29' cruiser to a 2006 198 dlv. Overall a good boat no frills plenty of room very steady. The biggest thing you will notice is how much room is actually in one of these things because of the square front. And there very fuel efficient
 

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I ran a friend's 2006 23 DLV with 150 Yammy for two years. It was roomy, stabile, easy to tow, economical to run and fast (50mph +). Those are the plusses. On the minus side, the sides really flex in rough water, it pounds hard in a chop and gets you wet. I look at them as calm water boats.

I loved fishing in the Susky Flats with it because of the plus features. All the other places I fish which include the CBBT, Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, Montauk, Oregon Inlet and Harkers Island, I would not want it. If money were the issue I would rather have a good used 23 CC that will take the water better. There are loads of these on the market right now.

I put fly rod holders on each side of his skiff.





 

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we got a 19' J when they first came out--perfectly flat bottom. Use it for fishing and hauling gear on the seaside. Great boat. A 50 will run it.
 

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I've got a 198 Elite that I bought 3 years ago. Love it.
Can run from Lynhaven to 3rd/4th and flounder fish all day on about
8 gallons. Very stable ride. You will get wet from time to time, and
it will beat you some when seas get up to about 3', but very economical,
stable ride for fishing the bay. Just got to pick your days when you go.
Mine has a 115 pushing it, and I added a T top. Am very pleased with it.
 

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Running a 218DLV with a 140 Suzuki. We went out of Owl's Creek to the Carolina line on Monday with some pretty brisk SW winds. Stayed close to the beach and it was quite tolerable. I came out of a couple center consoles as well for the same reason. It is what it is but I love this thing on the Eastern Shore in warm weather and it has a great capacity. Spend a little of your gas savings on foul weather gear and you will be fine. For what it's worth I have the 42 gallon tank and didn't see it move much on the last outing.
 
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