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I'd appreciate advice on a tricky situation -- I'd like to get a small motor boat for day use on the Chesapeake Bay. The problem is that the boat will be kept on a small beach, and the boat and motor need to be pulled up about 10 yards on the beach and then manually lifted onto a rack for storing -- so weight is a huge problem. I've been thinking along the lines of a 14 foot aluminum V-hull (4 person capacity would be ideal), but then the weight of an appropriate motor might be too much to handle. I currently have a 5 hp that is OK in terms of weight and carrying, but I don't think it will do too well pushing a 14 foot boat. I may be wishing for the impossible. Any advice on this one?
The storms can whip up the waves pretty quick on the bay and when you start getting white caps, I wouldn't want to be too far out in a 14' boat. The newer boats have higher sides and are more sea worthy but there lies the problem of weight. A hand winch can be mounted on one end of the rack to help pull the bow up and then the stern can be lifted and pushed onto the rack the rest of the way. I have a 9.9 Johnson on my 14' Lowe but she has a 15 hp carb and she runs like greased lightning through the water. Depending on where you live, there should be plenty of dealers that should help you decide but error on the side of caution when it comes to the Chesapeake. I have been scared senseless on an 18' during a storm.
You're absolutely right about storms on the Bay -- this boat is for close-shore running about only. What is the weight of your 15 HP? Would a stock 15 HP be big enough to plane a 14 foot v-hull?
Thanks very much for the postings -- I think I'm leaning toward more horsepower and trying to work something out with a winch. All the comments were extremely helpful, and I appreciate the help.
Yes, a 15 hp will get a 14' boat on plane easily, and even if it's loaded with gear. I have all my tackle, 6 gallons of fuel and both my daughters ages 12 and 6 and we still get up to 25 mph according to my GPS. That boat runs like a scalded dog with a 15 hp but it's a semi-vee and weighs around 175 lb. I wouldn't be afraid to take it on the rivers or the upper bay but like you said, staying close to shore.
I have a 9.9 which weighs about the same as a 15. A bathroom scale put it at 80 lbs. when I figured out the person capacity for my boat. That Dory is way overpriced in my opinion. Sandy Point State Park used to have those boats by the dozzen for rent back in the 70's. They were made by a company called Beal Boat Company. Imperial Marine on the west shore along RT. 40 has Lowe deep vee's and semi vee's for about $1,700 and $1,500. The motor is going to cost you close to double that. I would sooner swim then go into the bay with a flat bottom boat. Most people who have sailed the Chesapeake should already know how hard it would be to navigate in the bay with a jon boat. They are back-water and lake boats at best.
My opine is to go to a flat bottomed 14' skiff in the tradition of the Chesapeake... The flat bottom would get you on a plane sooner with a load, and 15 hp. outboard (mid '80's Evinrude or Johnson 85lbs. Or how about that 20 hp Honda at a 100 lbs.?). The boat would be easier to drag up the beach with a winch or a 2 or 3 purchase 'handy billy' (blocks and tackle). Look at Polyform Fenders HTM2s (hole in the middle), they are 8 X 20, and with 2 or 4 of these placed under the flat bottomed boat -- up the beach she goes.
If the boat is a 14 Amsbury skiff, it would have most of the carrying capacity you are looking for, with its 5 5 beam and high 22 dory sides. Note how the sides of this boat curve a bit to the rather narrow bottom, important for not too rough a ride in a chop at speed. When the water gets too lumpy it will not matter as to the bottom shape, for safety sake you will have to cut back on the throttle and go with the weather.
V bottom in a small boat does not soften the ride. The V is too shallow to be of much good (let alone trying to drag the boat on its 'pointy' V keel up the beach). The shallow V does, however, take more power to get on a plane with or without a load and 25hp is needed with 3 people aboard. You can do the rough math: Each 25lbs of weight (not displacement) needs about 1 hp. to get the boat on a plane actually this refers to the weight on the water plane area, so a flat bottom boat buys a bit of insurance for this formula.
Hope this helps.
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