I am exploring the possibility of commercial fishing wherein the model would attempt to downsize all aspects of the operatiopnin a similar fashion to modern small-scale farming. Make everything smaller than in more common commercial fishing: smaller boat, smaller motor, less fuel, less crew, less overhead. The idea would be for one fisherman working inshore in tidal creeks, ponds, and flats with some work along inlets into the ocean where there can be a substantial chop. No actual ocean work. Work over the side would be quite common. The fisherman might be going after clams, oysters, shrimp as well as flounder and redfish. Blue crabs, which are my favorite type of fishing, are a possibility, though a remote one as the only licenses available here in Florida are transferable and cost at least $9,000 when available (and that's rarely). The license, if attainable, represents the only equipment in such a venture that could probably be sold for the original purchase price so it is a consideration, but still represents a significant investment.
I'm thinking dory or skiff, 16'-20'. Extremely shallow draft is important here as there are a number of good flats spots that aren't accessible to other boats, but the boat really does have to float in 12'' of water. The boat should be relatively light and easily trailerable as I think you'd be better off putting in at various locations, fishing a while, then moving on. Propulsion would be small outboard (10-20 hp) with regular rowing or poling if that is more efficient. There are spots where motorless boats have access to some pretty good grounds so rowing is important. Ideally, it would be a boat that could plane and still row well. If a planing hull would be too much of a dog to row, then a displacement type hull would be preferable.
It may be, as with so many small business ideas, that the numbers simply don't work out. I am quite sure I'd be better off trying to charter some tourist fishermen, but that idea is far less appealing.
I'm not looking to design something new. I'm looking for existing, proven design ideas. Thanks- Aaron