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Author Topic: 17.5 foot boat with 90hp on st. Clair  (Read 1537 times)

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FSU Basser

17.5 foot boat with 90hp on st. Clair
« on: August 26, 2014, 09:58:33 AM »

Looking to start fishing some BFL's next year and I know most of them are on st. Clair or Erie. I'm looking for an honest option on if a 17.5 nitro with a 90hp tracker is too small of a boat to get out there and fish safely but still competitively. Thanks
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TimH

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Re: 17.5 foot boat with 90hp on st. Clair
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2014, 12:59:12 PM »

I have an 18' javelin with a 90 HP and fish st. Clair all the time, even a few tournaments.  I haven't fished Erie, so I can't speak to that.  As for whether or not the boat is safe, I would say yes in most conditions.  You have to be smart though. No tournament is worth your life or even an expensive repair bill, so as long as you handle your boat appropriately and as conditions dictate, you will be fine.  I have fished some tournaments out of Harley Ensign and due to calm waters ran down to a few spots I have on the Detroit river.  There have been other days where I stayed in the bay and didn't venture much further than Lake St. Clair Metro Park, because conditions and weather were brutal.
As for the 90HP, please consider this. On my boat, with two guys and a tournament load, I can hit 45MPH tops.  By myself and with limited gear i have just touched 50MPH when its glass flat.  It is humbling to have a guy with a 250 blow by you.  Especially when you drew blast off number three and he was 29, but as long as you don't let that type of thing play mind games with you, you should be alright.
With a smaller boat, you start the tournament a little more behind the eight ball than a guy with a 21' and a 250.  You take longer to get to your spot, you have to be more aware of the conditions, you need to allow ample time to run back to the weigh in, etc.  But even then, a boat can only give you an advantage and doesn't make you a better fisherman.
I honestly wouldn't trade my boat for anything.  It fits in my garage good, tows easy, is much better on gas that a 250, cheaper to maintain, insure, and operate than a 21' with a 250.  It does what I need it to do and sure beats my old tin boat with a 30HP.
Granted I don't have a Nitro, but I will make you this offer.  If you want to experience Lake St. Clair in a 18' boat with a 90 HP, let me know and I will gladly take you out in mine so you can see for yourself before you buy.
Message me if you are interested and we can maybe sent something up for this weekend.
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Mojo

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Re: 17.5 foot boat with 90hp on st. Clair
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2014, 11:22:30 PM »

Gently speaking, and I'll make it short.: NOPE.

 You need 19 ft with a 150 min. The reasoning, when winds and waves get big and strong, the beating you'll take will wear your body, snap your neck, hurt your back. You'll break equipment, nick your rods, and be reduced to running 10 mph in the 3 ft waves while those 19 -21 ft boats will be riding caps at 30 mph.

  You'll struggle crossing the lake, needing to know the weather on both sides of the lake, possibly reduced to going out only when weather permits, and you'll have to hold your tx money until the night before, possibly wasting $100s on practice days only to find out it was too rough on tx day..

Only get it if you don't plan to do more than 2-3 tx a year.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2014, 11:24:21 AM by Mojo »
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UAWBigDog

Re: 17.5 foot boat with 90hp on st. Clair
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2014, 10:35:52 AM »

Gently speaking, and I'll make it short.: NOPE.

 You need 19 ft with a 150 min. The reasoning, when winds and waves get big and strong, the beating you'll take will wear your body, snap your neck, hurt your back. You'll break equipment, nick your rods, and be reduced to running 10 mph while those 19 -21 ft boats will be riding caps at 30 mph.

  You'll struggle crossing the lake, needing to know the weather on both sides of the lake, possibly reduced to going out only when weather permits, and you'll have to hold your tx money until the night before, possibly wasting $100s on practice days only to find out it was too rough on tx day..

Only get it if you don't plan to do more than 2-3 tx a year.


Mojo makes some very good points here.  My boat is 19 feet and that's about as small as you'll want to go if you want to be competitive.  However, I still need bigger because my gas tank is too small.  It limits how far I can go.  If I really want to be competitive, a 20 footer with a 90 gallon tank is what's needed.  I hope to be in one in the next few years.  In the meantime, I'll stick to my 19 foot Champion.  It's paid for and my only expenses are gas, oil, tackle, and any repairs as needed.  But I can still get out there on the rough days.  I can ride the caps at 30mph.  Plus Erie is an option.


BD                              ;D
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Mojo

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Re: 17.5 foot boat with 90hp on st. Clair
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2014, 11:26:57 AM »

With the captain of that Champion, the Txs are lucky you aren't out there. You sell yourself short UAW. You'd make a killing, and I'd be glad to be your partner in that Champion. That's a goood boat you got there.
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Thanks Dan for bringing year round Catch and Release to Michigan

UAWBigDog

Re: 17.5 foot boat with 90hp on st. Clair
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2014, 11:53:31 AM »

Thanks for that vote of confidence Mojo. You're too kind. However, this body is 55 years old and I can't take the beating that I once was able to.  It is a good boat. It's the second Champ I've owned. I wish they still made them. And yes, you could be right about them being happy I'm not out there. I grew up fishing LSC. Been out there since LSC was considered a largemouth lake and that was in the 1960's. Watched the lake transcend into the worlds best smallmouth lake. I've spent a lot of time out there. Spent a ton of time on Erie and the lower Detroit.

BD.                       ;D
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