I have been using a 16' Sturdy w/a 25 merc (manual start-the more electric, the more to go wrong)) for the past 10 years. With both forward seats removed this flat bottom skill provides an excellent and stable casting platform for any kind of bay or flats fishing. The high sides and good chine provide ample protection in a fair chop.
When new, the boat cost $1,700. The motor and trailer were boat show specials at $1,400 and $250 respectively. We consistently catch well over 300 fish per season out of this skiff from the Kennebec to Chatham/Pleasant Bay. The only recent investments were a wide eye fish finder and custom made (by me)floor boards to give better standing on the deck.
Yeah, I don't have a platform and pole, nor the elevated casting deck forward to stand on common to "flats" boats, however the fish don't seem to mind. I suppose that for many guides and given the competition for customers, that having a flats boat may preovide some sort of competitive edge...hell maybe some customers don't feel like its the real thing unless their guide is driving one of these expensive specialty boats (and I don't hold that against them). For professional guides perhaps having a specialty boat is an imperative, but for the rest of us I think it its more hype than necessity.
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