I’ve been keeping busy this winter prepping the new to me off shore boat ready for the water. I had sold my trusted Arima 21′ Sea Ranger to a couple of young Navy officers out of Bremerton last fall.
I had my eyes set on a bigger and more off shore capable hull design. My requirements included a self bailing hull since the boat would be moored and any heavy rains or cleanup would easily be facilitated with not having to bildge out all the water, one of my major gripes on the Arima. The second was the ride quality. While the Arima was a solid and stable fishing and trolling platform with the hull design, it didnt win any speed contests and with the average 22-25 mpg crusing speed it seems like eons to get back and forth to the fishing grounds.
The Gulfstream has the current SV2 hull and was built with more of a deep V. This allows it to push more water and cut through the waves versus be slapped and pushed around. The Arima ran a single Honda 150, the Grady has twin screw Yamaha 150’s. The Arima had a total of 68 gallons of fuel carrying capability. The Grady has about 130.
While the differences are drastic, hopefully the ride and longer range will be worthwhile.
Enough on comparisons, the real test would be today as I completed the final installation of electronics and chirp transducer mounting. I was anxious to burn some fuel and wet her in the west coast waters. It certainly takes some getting used to for maneuvering such a tall and wide platform. Having twin motors is nice since they have the ability to pivot or spin like doing scissor paddles on a drift boat or pram.
Having all the added weight certainly makes it challenging and it’s good to practice in a mostly empty marina.
Dad and I motored out just before sunrise towards Foulweather Bluff and started our troll in 80-100′ of water. No bait was found but we proceeded as it would be a learning curve. We trolled with one motor at a time. This would be ok since the motors idle down enough to vary the speed to reach proper salmon speeds as eyeballed with downrigger cable angle of 45 degrees.
We searched the waters near skunk bay for an hour and then decided to pick up and head towards Possession bar. We found the whole fleet including an All S Star Charter boat fishing with their clients. We kept on it and stuck with good winter spoons, coho killers in white lightning and Army truck colors. Flashers used were moon glow uv and red racer glow. All the hits came on the red racer glow, no hits on the white lightning spoon.
About 30 minutes after our lines were down we had our first fish on with the Army truck set up. First blood on the deck! Certainly good MOJO for any fishing boat, and gave me confidence of her abilities.
The beautiful sunrise and morning colors would be inspiration to press on as we had ideal water and tide conditions as well.
The flood was at 08:55 around a 10′ tide without too much exchange. Good for keeping fish centralized.
Once we got our first keeper on deck, we had our sights set for its big brother. I changed out spoons a couple of times, and moved to a Kitchen Sink coho killer with good success. About an hour after the tide change the same port side rod went bouncing and sure enough it’s big brother came to the net after a spirited fight with both the charter boat and the wdfw fishery research boat off the transom and the port side viewing the action.
Success! Had two nice winter blackmouth and the new boat proved herself worthy and stamp of approval given for her merit on the water.
You can see the size comparison of the boat on trailer as compared to my van. A little stressful launching for the first time without 4wd on a low tide, slippery ramp with a heavy boat and trailer with steep grade. At one point I had to put it in drive and creep down since the weight was dragging my van due to some gravel at the top of the launch pad. Definitely had my heart racing!
Looking forward to this year’s fisheries with the new platform and hoping my family will appreciate all the touches I made for getting it into the water.
Seeing my dad smile and hearing him singing on the water was his stamp of approval and all worth the efforts.
Heres a list of my modifications:
Raymarine es78 MFD with quantum WiFi Radar dome.
NMEA 2000 networked with Garmin backbone and outboards synced to the MFD.
Re-upholsted combing pads and transom seat back, Ken’s auto upholstery in Renton.
Refinished toe kick holds with 12 coats of lacquer and clear UV protected top coat.
Planet Audio guage sized Bluetooth stereo with wake board self contained speakers mounted to the hardtop frame.
Custom flush mounted starboard for the Raymarine. Also flush capped the fresh water faucet and made a port for the USB charging dock and the micro audio female connection.
Custom 4- port Scotty downrigger stations all wired to a 30 amp fuse block and 10 guage marine wired.
Traxtech downrigger sliding bases with swivel mounts. All thru hulled and with aluminum backing plate.
New Attwood courtesy desk lights with LED type 90 bulbs. Under gunnel water of blue running lights. Custom fabricated transom anchor/navigation light on adjustable perko base.
New ball scuppers to be replaced with the bottom painting eta next week with Agate Pass Marine.
Alot of time tracking down small items, replacing hardware, screws, sealing, modifying, and ordering parts. Working during freezing, wet, dark and limit daylight hours was tough as well but good that the bulk of stuff is done so I don’t have to worry about it come May.
I’ve got my eyes set on offshore halibut and bottom fishing for the Neah Bay dates. The reservations have been booked and the gear prep is almost done. All we need is good weather and or seas to make the trip offshore.