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Thread: Best row/sail boat for fishing guide on lakes?

  1. #1

    Question Best row/sail boat for fishing guide on lakes?

    OK.... Here's a crazy idea and I need your help!
    I'm thinking of building a boat I could use to guide clients on lakes in the Midwest on Half-day and full-day fishing trips WITHOUT dual 150 HP Merc engines. I'm thinking of creating a quiet experience (no engines) that is unique, peaceful, enjoyable and maybe even catch a few fish. If the wind is right we would sail to the fishing grounds and if not, row. The idea is not to see how many fish can be landed in four hours, plenty of other guys doing that, but to create a "very interesting and enjoyable experience".

    Criteria:
    -row and sail
    -three adults, myself and two sports
    -trailerable
    -reasonable fast (or at least the impression of speed!)
    -pleasing lines
    -fishable, standing, maybe a casting station as on a drift boat
    -easy sail rig

    Love to hear your recommendations. Thanks in adavance!

    BTW- Feel free to tell me this IS a crazy idea and that I should take up bowling.....
    Last edited by Roger Kugler; 06-16-2017 at 06:16 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Best row/sail boat for fishing guide on lakes?

    The Adirondack Guide Boat is great for one guide and one sport. It's a row boat and does not really sail that well.

    The St. Lawrence River Skiff sometimes comes a bit bigger and probably could be modified for a guide and two sports. It's still really a row boat that sports a sail. The real fun sailing these is for a solo sailor as they are run with no rudder so steering, tacking and gybing are all done with sail trim and weight movement. When laden, you could hang an oar for steering.

    Whatever you pick, I'd say think first of easy efficient rowing and a snug rig that can very easily be set or struck and when struck stows long along one side so's not to interfere with fishing. Sailing would be mostly downwind so don't clutter the boat with a centerboard or leeboards.

    In traditional boats, the sports stand in the boat, not on any sort of raised deck. Any boat thin enough to row well will be seriously tippy if you try to stand on a deck at gunnel height.

    Guide boat oars are pinned in the oarlocks so that the guide can let go of the oars and assist the sport, netting the fish or whatever. I personally hate rowing any distance with pinned oars and guide boat oars run a tad short for my taste anyway. Were I trying such a rig, I'd have a second, longer, set of oars with open top oarlocks so that I could row with a proper stroke when getting from hither to yon.

    I'll bet that around the Upper Peninsula there are builder/designers who could work up your requirements into something in the just under twenty foot range, maximum four foot beam, firm bilges amidships, and fine ends. Could be really fun.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Best row/sail boat for fishing guide on lakes?

    Another style of boat designed for taking clients fishing on lakes is the Rangely boat, but its length of just over 16' might need to be stretched a bit to accommodate two clients. They have the relatively firm bilges amidships and fine ends that Ian talks about and I think people used to stand up in them to fish.

    In their double ended form they strike me as somewhat similar to the St. Lawrence river skiffs but there is a transomed version also that can take a small motor and yet is almost double ended on the waterline and easy to row. I've never seen a picture of one being sailed but see no reason why that couldn't be done. You would need to get a sailing rig designed though.

    Were you looking for an "easy to build design" (plywood or stripper) or something more traditional? That may influence the number of choices available to you. Also, would you expect that the sports pitch in with the rowing?

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    Default Re: Best row/sail boat for fishing guide on lakes?

    I admire your idea, but I will add chill to the other comments: Standing up and casting in a small sailboat is tough for one, never mind three or four. Putting stability aside, the mast(s), boom(s) and any rigging make swinging a rod tedious.

    Still-fishing with bait, vertical jigging or trolling would be more doable methods of fishing from a small sailboat with a party of anglers, IMHO.

    Good Luck!

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

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    Default Re: Best row/sail boat for fishing guide on lakes?

    Depending on how "unique" you want to make the experience you could consider a outrigger canoe/ proa type boat.
    Im in the process of designing and brainstorming just that for myself.

    maybe consider a Wa'apa and use a bit larger ama to carry more weight , deck over the aka and essentially you would have the fastest style easily built sailboat there is with the added benefit of being a huge ass floating fishing dock that is easily paddled.

    http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/garyd/wa_apa.html

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    Default Re: Best row/sail boat for fishing guide on lakes?

    Quote Originally Posted by jfraymond View Post
    Depending on how "unique" you want to make the experience you could consider a outrigger canoe/ proa type boat.
    Im in the process of designing and brainstorming just that for myself.

    maybe consider a Wa'apa and use a bit larger ama to carry more weight , deck over the aka and essentially you would have the fastest style easily built sailboat there is with the added benefit of being a huge ass floating fishing dock that is easily paddled.

    http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/garyd/wa_apa.html
    This is sorta the direction my mind went. Some sort of catamaran. Think Hobie Cat 16 - but optimized a bit more for rowing than sailing. A 'cataraft' of sorts. Seems like I've seen such critters, but I don't remember which designer at the moment.
    David G
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    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

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    Default Re: Best row/sail boat for fishing guide on lakes?

    I like to fish and also like sailing small boats. However, trying to combine them on the same trip in the same boat sounds like an incredible pain in the butt. It's even worse when you toss in a couple of inexperienced clients. I'd row, or row-troll and skip the whole idea of sailing. The rowboat that I would choose would be a Rhinelander Guide Boat. They're more similar to a skiff than an Adirondack Guide Boat with more capacity and stability and they have a small transom on their sterns. They were developed for rowed, guided fishing trips in the upper Midwest, especially musky fishing in the north woods. We're up that way quite a bit and I've often thought about how magical some of those big lakes would be without the motor boats, jet skis and constant wakes.

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    Default Best row/sail boat for fishing guide on lakes?

    Oh ye of little faith. Having built and fished out of a Iain Oughtred Caledonia Yawl, I know it's a boat that can handle this job. No it sure isn't cartopable but it can take five or six people sailing fishing and rowing without straining a bit and carry their gear too! While no great pleasure to row, she will row effectively especially with someone helping out at the stern with a five foot ash paddle. She's stable enough for one person to stand up in and cast a bait net or whatever. You might want to simplify her rig for fishing with maybe a single sail but she will do everything you want her to do and look mighty fine while doing it.


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    Last edited by kenjamin; 06-17-2017 at 08:34 AM.

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    Default Re: Best row/sail boat for fishing guide on lakes?

    How about a 18' modified Sharpie? Aka Chesapeake crabing Skiff. Plans are found in Books from Rauel Parker, Harry Sucher or Chapelle.
    Search for "Tempo " on youtube.
    Great Boat for your Intention.

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    Default Re: Best row/sail boat for fishing guide on lakes?

    anyone fly fishing?

    A mast and sail might interfere with the back cast.
    Someday, I'm going to settle down and be a grumpy old man.

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    Default Re: Best row/sail boat for fishing guide on lakes?

    Never mind, put a crow's nest on Mast top and cast your flies :-)

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    Default Re: Best row/sail boat for fishing guide on lakes?

    Point is, there are plenty of good row boats for this project where at least one person at a time can stand to fly cast. But unless both are women (who in general are smoother at fly casting) I'd expect some problems with conflicting motions translating to tangled lines. But no problems with spin casting or any other form of fishing.

    Just, as has been repeated, consider it a rowboat first with a snug easily struck rig for going down wind.

    As I mentioned, the normal Adirondack guide boat is a bit small for one guide and two sports. But other boats would do nicely.


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    Default Re: Best row/sail boat for fishing guide on lakes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    Point is, there are plenty of good row boats for this project where at least one person at a time can stand to fly cast. But unless both are women (who in general are smoother at fly casting) I'd expect some problems with conflicting motions translating to tangled lines. But no problems with spin casting or any other form of fishing.

    Just, as has been repeated, consider it a rowboat first with a snug easily struck rig for going down wind.

    As I mentioned, the normal Adirondack guide boat is a bit small for one guide and two sports. But other boats would do nicely.

    That is a really pretty picture - and very very dangerously misleading, sure an experienced guy can stand up in a narrow beam craft - but when a beginner tries it on open water things can get really really ugly - fast.

    Here's an example - one beginner stood up and three people died.
    http://www.scotsman.com/news/i-knew-...ound-1-2542574
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    Default Re: Best row/sail boat for fishing guide on lakes?

    New Jersey Garvey, about 18-19 feet. A somewhat undersized leg-o-mutton with a sprit boom rig that you can throw down into the boat. Big seine skiff oars. It'd be only alright at best for rowing upwind or in light conditions, and about the same for reaching/downwind sailing, but a great fishing platform once you got there. Plenty safe. You could also put a Honda 2 on it if you felt like it.

    I've seen one in the wild. Worked great.

    Here's an example of a garvey used for slightly different purposes ... http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...rvey-Houseboat

    Last edited by Yeadon; 06-17-2017 at 02:56 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

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    Default Re: Best row/sail boat for fishing guide on lakes?

    P.I. raises an important design point in #13. The Adirondack guide boat is actually quite easy to stand in because while narrow, she has a bit of draft and your feet are a few inches below the waterline. It can be done with a narrow flattie, by the way:



    This boat is from http://www.nexusmarine.com/flyfisher.html. One might consult with them as to just how well something large enough for three - guide and two sports - might work.

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    Default

    The Caledonia Yawl may be a bit of overkill for lake work with its high freeboard, but for hauling lots of people and their gear, it's like the Ford 150 of the sail and oar boats. And I'm pretty sure that with the right rig she will go to windward just fine even completely loaded down. Yep, she's a bear to row when loaded down, but row she will. In a Caledonia Yawl if you've got any wind at all, there's no need to row - just set sail. A boat that can give you a good workout, take you sailing and fishing and maybe make you some money too? That's a good boat!


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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Best row/sail boat for fishing guide on lakes?

    Yes. And lots of other small traditional craft. Almost all working boats were meant to be stood up in at some point in the work, but their modern 'yachterized' descendants not so much.

    Most people can be taught how to stand in one while casting in a few minutes if the physics are demonstrated clearly. It will feel tippy and unstable if you stand on it like a sidewalk. Wearing a PFD as illustrated in the pic is a good idea.

    And while I'd have no hesitation about standing to cast, there are plenty of spirited fish that might be more safely played sitting down.

    Finally, one guide and one sport is pretty easy but two people standing to cast at the same time could awkward.

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    Francois Vivier's ILUR--flat floors, extremely stable:





    With a boomless lug (not the yawl pictured here) set up with a brailing line to quickly get the sail up and out of the way, you could sail up to a fishing spot, brail up, and the guide could do fine maneuvering with oars from the front thwart while the sport(s) cast from the after sections (the aft thwart is removable, and opens up acres of floor space).....


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    Default Re: Best row/sail boat for fishing guide on lakes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Kugler View Post
    OK.... Here's a crazy idea and I need your help!
    My crazy suggestion is fit outriggers temporarily while fishing.

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    Default Re: Best row/sail boat for fishing guide on lakes?

    People used to stand just fine:



    This is a St. Lawrence River Skiff. For fishing and travel with three, they did not bring along the sailing rig. Outriggers are really in the way for fishing.

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    Default Re: Best row/sail boat for fishing guide on lakes?

    My method for spincast guiding my friends on the Rio Grande has been to take my 16' by 35" plastic canoe. The sport sits on the bottom just forward of center. I stand 3/5ths to the stern with a SUP paddle. I can maneuver us around with ease, set up the boat in ideal locations, and see ahead to plan our way through rocks and the melow rapids still standing. It's quite fun and a good challenge. It's a bit of Venice meets the Wild West. The better fisherman do quite well. So yeah there is a big range of what you can stand up in.

    For what you are talking about I picture a good row boat. Maybe one of Atkin's. That are designed to sail also. But like has been said above maybe just down wind sailing when the conditions are right, than you can eliminate the centerboard. But you could sail to the fishing ground for sure, maybe an unstated Marconi rig where you spin the mast to furl it up. I have also heard from people that rowing while trolling creates a good more natural twitch for the lurer. Can't totally speak to that myself.

    Here is a round bottom and a flat. And one just for rowing but it should downwind sail also.

    http://www.atkinboatplans.com/Sail/LittleScout.html

    http://www.atkinboatplans.com/Sail/Erika.html

    http://www.atkinboatplans.com/Oar/George.html
    Last edited by Matt young; 06-18-2017 at 04:01 PM.

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    Default Re: Best row/sail boat for fishing guide on lakes?


  23. #23

    Default Re: Best row/sail boat for fishing guide on lakes?

    WOW!!! Thanks everyone! Great ideas and suggestions!

    So here's what I've distilled:
    -Love the idea of putting the priority on rowing and only using the sail for downwind. The rig should be single mast (one exception) roll furled, easily stored and stowed by one person, no center, dagger or lee boards. The sail idea is more for the benefit of the client than me. How many Ranger bass boats have you SAILED on? Yes, the rig would be stowed while fishing. No reason to get your backcasting tangled up in a backstay!
    -Standing up to fish. Good point. I stand in a 13' Sawyer Classic canoe but not everyone can. This would have to be approached carefully with the client. Some will be able to do handstands on the gunnel (nice pic!) while others would be better at ...... ballast. Lets say "as situation warrants".
    -One client vs. two. Like the concept, more personable, exclusive, lower risk of mutiny.... Maybe one fisherman, one passenger (their wife/girlfriend?).
    -So we have Adirondack Guide Boat (actually have one), St. Lawerance River Skiff (have rowed) , Rangely Guide Boat (read about), Rhinelander Guide Boat (not familiar with, will research), Iain Oughtred Caledonia Yawl (hhhmmmm...ohhhhhh), Chesapeake Crabbing Skiff (love sharpies!) , New Jersey Garvey (thought these were only powerboats... will check out), 16' Flyfisher (will investigate), Vermont Dory (love dories!), Francois Vivier's ILUR (ohhhhhhhhh!), anything Atkins (ya- definitely check out!) Hope I haven't missed anything.
    -I'm just not a multi hull guy, sorry. Thanks for the suggestion.
    -Boomless lug set up with a brailing line - don't know what these words mean but I LIKE IT! And will investigate!
    -No crowsnest or horse standing!
    -Perhaps I should reconsider this whole idea? perhaps I should ask "Best row/sail BOATS for fishing guide on lakes?
    -Construction- plywood would be fine, not afraid of lapstrake. Good boatbuilding materials not readily available in Southern Indiana.
    -Anyone know about the boats used in Scotland for salmon fishing in the lockes?

    Thanks to everyone, again. Please continue the discussion. Very surprised and pleased with the post. My first time posting here.

    -Scottish Cobles (17-19' with bar stool!) I LOVE the Scots!
    Last edited by Roger Kugler; 06-19-2017 at 08:34 AM.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Best row/sail boat for fishing guide on lakes?

    The salmon and trout fishing boats on Scottish lochs are known as cobles seventeen to nineteen feet long lapstrake small transom an take usually a single fisherman for the river craft though two on lochs is common.

    Many of the river craft have a thing like a bar stool so that the angler perches with his backside static preventing the idiot capsizing the boat


    Loch craft are usually rowed or motored upwind and fished on a downwind drift, a sail would be counter productive, often a plank is used to span the gunnels as a casting seat.
    Last edited by P.I. Stazzer-Newt; 06-19-2017 at 08:26 AM.
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  25. #25

    Default Re: Best row/sail boat for fishing guide on lakes?

    I like it! Advertising a bar stool will be great marketing! Thanks!

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Best row/sail boat for fishing guide on lakes?

    Someday, I'm going to settle down and be a grumpy old man.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Best row/sail boat for fishing guide on lakes?

    Some sort of sharpie would be ideal I think
    If he ever drinks the brew of 10 tanna leaves, he will become a monster the likes of which the world has never seen



  28. #28
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    Default Re: Best row/sail boat for fishing guide on lakes?

    Have you checked out the Rob White and Grumman sport boats? I have no personal experience, but I see one in my future. They are supposed to row pretty well, and they plane with a small outboard. In a small boat with several people and a lot of fishing gear, I'd say that a sailing rig is going to add too much unnecessary clutter. I know you didn't want a motor, but there's a lot of difference between a sport boat with a couple hp and a bass boat with 150hp.

    You really can cover a lot of ground in a good rowboat. Depending on the size of the lake, maybe oars are the only power you need. When I fish the run behind my house, I cover several miles under oar, no problem. And that's heading upstream. i don't know how much experience you have rowing, so foregive me if you already know this.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Best row/sail boat for fishing guide on lakes?

    Here's an example - one beginner stood up and three people died.
    http://www.scotsman.com/news/i-knew-...ound-1-2542574
    Standing up wasn't the only mistake they made. It is interesting that the 2 who survived, did NOT stay with the boat. PFD's all around and not just for the kids, understanding the boat's limitations, and knowing how to slosh the water out of the canoe would have made a huge difference (it was flat calm, this would have worked). Also, knowing cold-water survival techniques would have helped (kids huddle in a circle while adults dewater the canoe). If they had known all that, they would have been competent enough to know not to stand, or to stand and get away with it. No matter what kind of boat, it is dangerous if you don't know how to use it. Which goes for the kind of boat the OP is looking for, as well.

    Having read his response, I think he knows this, has plenty of skill and knowledge to start with, and won't probably put any one in too much danger.
    Last edited by robm; 06-20-2017 at 05:43 PM.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Best row/sail boat for fishing guide on lakes?

    It is interesting that the 2 who survived, did NOT stay with the boat
    What boat? The boat sank.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Best row/sail boat for fishing guide on lakes?

    Most canoes have insufficient buoyancy to be self rescued in anything but a flat calm. They float, sort of, but aren't much use, as they are mostly full of water. I understood that to be the case here. It is possible the buoyancy failed with time, as air tanks gradually filled with water - which can be prevented if you make sure the tanks are sound.. Like I said, they made a lot of mistakes, and not all of them were on the water in the actual incident.

  32. #32

    Default Re: Best row/sail boat for fishing guide on lakes?

    Quote Originally Posted by OldDominionWB View Post
    Have you checked out the Rob White and Grumman sport boats? I have no personal experience, but I see one in my future. They are supposed to row pretty well, and they plane with a small outboard. In a small boat with several people and a lot of fishing gear, I'd say that a sailing rig is going to add too much unnecessary clutter. I know you didn't want a motor, but there's a lot of difference between a sport boat with a couple hp and a bass boat with 150hp.

    You really can cover a lot of ground in a good rowboat. Depending on the size of the lake, maybe oars are the only power you need. When I fish the run behind my house, I cover several miles under oar, no problem. And that's heading upstream. i don't know how much experience you have rowing, so foregive me if you already know this.
    Ya, this looks like a nice little boat. I have rowed but would never claim to be a rower. You're right... maybe to have a boat with engine capacity would not be a bad idea when I get old or less enthusiastic...

  33. #33

    Default Re: Best row/sail boat for fishing guide on lakes?

    What about the Chesapeake Light Craft Northeastern Dory? I like the hull weight, load capacity, initial stablity and general good looks. Shown with a lug rig (loss the boom). Not wild about a kit boat. Maybe there are plans for a similiar boat?????

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Best row/sail boat for fishing guide on lakes?

    CLC is a good company. That boat looks a bit small to me but maybe it's fine. 100 pounds is light for sure. If you are trailering though some extra weight sometimes is good. Helps to not get thrown around. Especially if you are open to a motor, like a mid sized electric one and not just rowing. If you haven't looked at Paul Fisher's site check out his dayboats page. Lots of options and some really nice looking traditional ones too.

    http://www.selway-fisher.com/OtherDB.htm


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    Default Re: Best row/sail boat for fishing guide on lakes?


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