After a great run of 8 years, I decided to upgrade my ride. I ordered a new boat, a Young Gulfshore 20, which is a custom-made boat made by Robb Young of Inglis, Florida. My trusty Action Craft has been a great flats boat, but I wanted something a little more roomy that could comfortably fish more than two without losing the shallow-water performance that is necessary for the kind of fishing I do. The Gulfshore is the perfect boat. It’s built on the hull of Robb’s amazing bayboat, the Young 20, but altered for fishing shallow with lower freeboard, a large tunnel hull and open spaces. Each boat is custom-made with multiple options. My boat has the new 150 Mercury, out less than a year, which is the lightest 150 HP four-stroke motor made; Lenco tabs, a Bob’s Action Jack jackplate, an 8 foot PowerPole, and I moved my new iPilot Minnkota trolling motor to the new boat. Some of the specifics on my boat included an extension of the foredeck providing more fishing space on the front of the boat and more storage; a popdown ladder which attaches to the jackplate; zero degree rod holders and 9 foot rod tubes; an adjustable helm; LED lighting and host of other small touches. It took about 6 weeks to build the boat from scratch. Here are some pictures of the process.
I sea-trialed the boat yesterday, we made a few last-minute adjustments, and it is now residing at the Sea Hag Marina. Learning to fine-tune a shallow boat can take some time. No two hulls run exactly the same, and finding the sweet spot for a shallow ride involves adjustments of the trim tabs, motor tilt and jack plate to get the boat stable while running in a foot of water or so. Hoping to do a lot of that research over the next month or so. Young Boats is the place to go when you want a boat you expect to keep for a long time. Their handcrafting quality is evident in every boat they make. I want to thank Robb Young for his flexibility and Dave for his rigging experience, and Angil for making sure all the communication and timing worked out.