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Author Topic:   Outrage in Skinny Water
RicoMagnifico posted 05-04-2015 01:10 PM ET (US)   Profile for RicoMagnifico   Send Email to RicoMagnifico  
Hi guys, I presently own a 15 CC Whaler and am spoiled by being able to operate in very shallow water. I love to fish the flats in this boat, but I've realistically outgrown it. I can only keep one boat, and so am looking at a 19ft Outrage, but am concerned with the ability to fish the flats in the boat. How shallow will one of these boats run? Thanks!


jcdawg83 posted 05-04-2015 02:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for jcdawg83    
I have a classic Montauk and I can tell you it's not a great "flats" boat. It draws about a foot and a few inches minimum with the motor up. I know an Outrage draws more than that, I would guess close to 2 feet for all practical purposes. While that might be shallow enough for most flats fishing, getting off of the flat might make for some time you didn't plan on spending in the boat.

The Outrage hull wasn't designed to be a skinny water boat, pretty much the opposite. If you want to fish legitimately "skinny" water in an 18-19' boat, Whaler might not be your best option.

mkelly posted 05-04-2015 07:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for mkelly  Send Email to mkelly     
I own a 1994 Outrage II, specs say it draws 10", but I would figure 1'. Motor down & getting out of the hole I would guess it needs at least 3', maybe 4' as the engine is thrust downward while planning. Just my estimation....
Hoosier posted 05-04-2015 08:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
I have a 1978 Outrage V20 that I just used for a month in St. Joe Bay, in the flats. The V20 was Whaler's first "V" hull but it is a very shallow "V" and at the stern it's almost flat. I've gotten into some very skinny water, both in your area and up in the Great Lakes. If you can find one it'd be a pretty good inshore boat for the bays and the Intercoastal. One thing to keep in mind is to get the lightest engine you can find at the HP you want so you don't weigh down the stern. Look this article over:

contender posted 05-04-2015 08:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
The smallest whaler you can use for flats (skinny water) would be the old 16'7" and that would be pushing it. The bigger whalers after this size just start to draw to much water.
jcdawg83 posted 05-05-2015 10:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for jcdawg83    
Take the factory specs for draft with a grain of salt. Most of the time, those are for the hull only, unloaded. Adding an engine, fuel, occupants, ice, bait, equipment, etc greatly increases the draft.
Powergroove803 posted 05-05-2015 10:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for Powergroove803  Send Email to Powergroove803     
2 ft is reasonable in my 1977 19 Outrage(not at speed), but somewhere below that you will be digging with your prop. I learned the hard way in the Keys at low tide. I was showing 1' on my depth sounder and although the boat was not on the ground, the motor was not real effective. I did manage to get out of there but just barely.
"brown, brown run aground"
Jefecinco posted 05-05-2015 10:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     
For flats fishing a strong electric trolling motor powered by it's own pair of stout batteries can be very useful when the water is too deep for the outboard to be effective. I've also seen boats in shallow water get up on plane by turning the wheel all the way to the side before applying full throttle. I'm guessing the extreme turn causes the lower unit of the outboard to be at such an angle that it's able to clear the bottom while allowing the propeller a good bite of the water. this method is probably best practiced in deeper water before trying it in the shallows.

Davids experience with his V-20 is informative.


jimh posted 05-05-2015 11:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I don't think the operation of a boat with an outboard engine in very shallow water is completely determined by the hull draft. The type of hull and the arrangement of the engine are more important. Classic Boston Whaler OUTRAGE boats are V-hull boats, and their outboard engines extend well below the keel of the V-hull. The draft of the outboard engine is the limiting factor, not the hull draft.

Boats intended for operation in 1-foot of water will usually have a hull design to permit the outboard engine gear case to be located in a pocket in the hull or between the main sponsons of the hull, so that the draft needed is not entirely determined by the outboard engine gear case projecting below the keel.

Any V-hull boat with a single engine will require more draft to operate the engine than is drawn by just the hull.

Hoosier posted 05-05-2015 12:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
One thing I noticed down at Port St. Joe was several "Flats Boats" had hydraulic jack plates on them to raise their engines without tilting them out of the water.

Spuds posted 05-06-2015 03:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Spuds    
I had a hydraulic jack plate installed on my Outrage 18. I don't generally use it on plane through shallow water, but it helps me idle in and out of skinny places. As someone previously said, tilting the motor up, actually pushes the stern downward and deeper. Being able to lift the motor vertically with a jack plate helps alleviate that problem.
PeteB88 posted 05-07-2015 11:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
SKINNY water - that's why I kept my 13. Outrage has limits in my case, my 95 Johnson 115, great motor, low hours, hates anything but absolutely clear water entering cooling system and plugs up way too easy for my liking. My 94 Yamaha 40 never ever a problem in gunky water, sand or muck. Lower unit works great as muck anchor. (stretching that a bit but no worries)
russellbailey posted 05-08-2015 12:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for russellbailey  Send Email to russellbailey     
I've pushed my twin Optimax 150s through more than a little sand exploring the shallows near Morehead City NC in our 1984 Outrage 25. I even added a through hull transducer to better read depth in the really shallow water as I was not getting good readings with the transom mount in less than 5' of water, and in many places there 5' is the channel.

RicoMagnifico, how shallow is very shallow for you? In our 15' with jack plate we could be fine in 18". In the Outrage 25 I need more like 30" to run the motors reasonably, though I can squeak by a bit shallower (they are on jackplates also).

It made me nervous at first running the big boat so shallow but I've gotten more used to it with time. The bottom is all sand so not a big deal to touch occasionally.

Note there are two 19' Outrages - the 1970s style and later styles. I suspect the 1970s style Outrage 19 could run nearly as shallow as your 15'. Twins will also let you run shallower since the motors are off to the side where the hulls is less deep.

RicoMagnifico posted 05-16-2015 05:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for RicoMagnifico  Send Email to RicoMagnifico     
Thanks for all the replies!

From what I'm hearing, I'm more then likely looking at getting a trolling motor or a jackplate for the outboard.

I would love nothing more than to keep the 15 (which does fine in 18 inches of water depending on passenger/cargo load), but in my present circumstances, one boat is all I can do.

The Outrage will obviously not go into some of the places my 15 gets into, but if I can get in and out of 2 feet of water without digging a ditch with the foot of the motor, I think I would be happy. I really wish I knew someone local who had one. There aren't as many Whaler enthusiasts here in the redneck Riviera as in some of the larger markets ;-)

I really appreciate the input!


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