View Full Version : Headwater 18- worth the time??
01-09-2006, 10:29 PM
OK, I've bought the plans, done the research, bought the epoxy and glass, but now found this website where reviews of the Headwater 16 have not been that hot.
Q. Is the HD-18 a dory worth building? Would the Predator-20 or Tolman standard be better.
What I'm looking for is an 18ft stitch/glue skiff that is light enough to tow with my Toyota Tocoma prerunner V-6 (245hp) and has the suitable freeboard and ride to fish the open water of the Pacific. Plan on powering it with a Yamaha 50hp. All ideas appreciated.
Have you had a look at Glen-L? They have a whack of Pacific dories including an 18 footer. They are framed, not quite S&G
Edited to add: And the hull can be extended or shortened by up to three feet by re-spacing the frames. The motor is in a well.
[ 01-09-2006, 11:42 PM: Message edited by: JimD ]
That Tracy Obrien "Predator" is a serious boat...and stitch and glue.
01-10-2006, 03:29 AM
I have also thought carefully about building a Tolman/Predator and reckon they're probably both excellent boats. You might also want to consider the building method, are you sure you want to build in stitch and goo, if not the 18' Simmons might be a good option? I have a set of Predator plans (did you know it can be built 18'long by cutting 2' off the stern; Tracy includes a sheet about this). I wanted to go one step further and asked Tracy about scaling down the 18' boat by 10% (to 16')and he seemed to think it would be fine (a good idea even)and suggested that the boat could then be built with thinner ply. I considered this as I want to beach launch (singlehanded if needed)and keep the power requirements down (25hp)while still having a strong safe seaworthy boat. I am currently leaning towards the Simmons due to its obvious pedigree, light weight and building method and the fact that a 16'Predator would be a relative unknown. Something to consider though and Tracy O'Brien is very approachable if you decide to go down this route.
I know of one Predator that is plying the waters off Tasmania, serious water indeed. Let me know if you want more info. on the Predator as there is an excellent website of one being built, I just can't remember it at the moment!
01-10-2006, 09:24 AM
There seems to be lot more activity in the Tolman area than Headwater or Predator. I have not seen any reports on the headwater boats...but flat bottom boats generally have some performace problems. If you plan on taking your boat in any chop, a vee bottom will have an advantage. This tips the scale towards the tolman.
01-10-2006, 08:44 PM
Tolmans certainly seem popular, you might want to check out the Tolman Skiff group at Yahoo groups and Renn's book is also a very good read. There is also a website that has plenty of Tolman info. at http://www.fishyfish.com The Predator is also a semi- V design, not flat bottomed like the Headwater. The Predator website is: http://mysite.verizon.net/res1frj8/index.html
I'd be interested to know which boat you choose and why, it might help me make up my mind!
01-10-2006, 09:53 PM
Mike.The Headwater l6 is not a bad boat. I've used one for about 6 years now. The narrow bottom makes it a little tender but the flare in the sides causes it to harden up quickly. The 18 's bottom is 6 inches wider and this should help.
The boat actually handles chop pretty well for a flat bottom. If you shift your weight so that the boat leans into the sea the sharp chine cuts the chop, and it is very dry because the flared sides deflect any spray downward. I have plans for and have scale models for the Predator and the Headwater 24 but can't decide what to build next.
The Simmons 20 is a contender too,but I need extreme shallow draft so I an leaning to the Headwater 24.
01-11-2006, 11:02 PM
Thanks to all for the ideas and advice. The construction website for the "Done Deal" finalized the decision to build the Headwater 18 and not the Predator 20. Basically, 1/2 the weight, 1/2 the power, 1/2 the time and materials, etc. (and, yes, maybe 1/2 the boat). The skiff is going to be used for towing to Baja behind my Toyota P/U, so the weight and power requirements of the HD-18 fit the bill perfectly.
Thanks for the advice.
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