From their simplicity to practicality, microskiff boats are ideal for flats fishing. What are microskiff boats?
A microskiff boat is a small and lightweight boat. It has a narrow beam, low horsepower, and a flat bottom. Microskiffs are evolutions of dinghies. It fits one or two anglers. They go fast and far without too much effort.
Read on to learn more about microskiff boats, as well as some of the top options that are available in the market.
What Is a Microskiff Boat?
Defining a microskiff is a bit complicated. There is no general definition of this small boat category. Even if you look at online forums and ask boating enthusiasts, it is almost impossible to define clearly. Many are even in disagreement about its size and features.
If there is one thing that most people agree with, it would be that a microskiff is a small boat that is ideal for fishing in flats, including protected bays and calm rivers. Some microskiffs need a trailer for transportation. Others are compact enough for dragging on the ground or carrying on the top of a car.
A microskiff looks like a paddleboard. The body is flat enough so that you can sit or stand comfortably. It is strong, stable, swift, and smooth. Nonetheless, it is not for harsh environments, such as strong winds and rowdy waves.
It has a motor but with low power. It is usually less than 50 HP. With its slow motor, it is incapable of supporting a heavy load. Make sure to keep your cargo at a minimum so the microskiff can move without difficulty.
Different Types of Microskiff Boats
Thinking of buying a microskiff boat? One of the first things to do is to understand the different types. They differ in terms of size, seaworthiness, portability, and mobility:
1. Cartop Microskiff
Out of all the types of microskiffs, this is the lightest. Weighing below 100 pounds, they are easy to transport on the top of a car. It can even fit inside a large SUV or a mini-van. Two people can carry it without a problem. You can also drag it on the ground. Because of its lightweight body, it can launch anywhere.
2. Ultralight Microskiff
It is bigger and less portable than a cartop microskiff. It weighs up to 150 pounds without an engine. Moving it on land is difficult, so that you will need a wheeled cart. Since it is large, it is almost impossible to paddle. Nonetheless, compared to the last type mentioned below, it has lesser mobility and does not require a ramp for launching.
3. Full-sized Microskiff
The largest type of microskiff requires a trailer for transportation and a boat ramp for launching. It has a big draft, so you cannot paddle. It isn’t easy to launch in shallow waters and when there is plenty of aquatic vegetation. Nonetheless, since it is big, it is more comfortable, stable, and faster.
Microskiff Boats Reviews
Looking for the best microskiff boats? Below are some of the top options that should be on your radar:
1. Wavewalk S4
With its stability and seaworthiness, this is one of the best microskiffs in the market. It accommodates an outboard motor with up to 10 HP. It weighs 100 pounds, making it heavy enough to support a larger motor without compromising its portability.
While it is typical of microskiffs to be used in flat waters, the Wavewalk S4 is ideal even in rough conditions. It handles up to four-foot waves. The sides have large hulls, which help keep the boat’s balance even in extreme environments.
This microskiff has a wide front deck. This is where you can stand when it is time to cast. Although, you cannot do so when there are big waves.
You have several options for customization in this microskiff. For instance, you can add a removable spray shield to keep you dry.
Lastly, it is made of high-quality fiberglass. This is better than most of the other microskiffs that use polyethylene. Fiberglass withstands even rough terrains, including rocks.
2. Wavewalk 700
The maker markets this model as a hybrid of a kayak and a microskiff. It offers exceptional stability and fits up to two riders comfortably. You can fit it with an outboard motor with a power of 4.5 HP. With this engine, the boat can run at a maximum speed of 10 mph.
Weighing only 80 pounds, it is ultra-lightweight. You can carry in on rough terrains and long distances without a problem.
3. Bote Rover
Without a motor, it is useful as a paddleboard. On the other hand, with a motor, it transforms into a lightweight and space-efficient fishing boat. It is perfect for shallow waters and stealthy approaches, especially if you don’t want to disturb your target before catching it.
At first look, it seems nothing but an ordinary paddleboard. Meanwhile, a closer inspection reveals that it has structural features that make it stable and swift. From its thick rails to a drop-deck cockpit, the design is optimized for fishing. It is thick enough to absorb chop when there are high waves, ensuring your comfort and safety.
Another good thing about this microskiff is that it is available in two types. It has an inflatable version, allowing pack-and-go convenience. More so, there is also one with a rigid board, which is more stable and faster.
4. Hell’s Bay Glades
Technically, the maker markets this model as a skiff. Nevertheless, it has the bare minimum features and a compact body, so it is safe to consider this a microskiff. It weighs 440 pounds, so that transportation can be an issue. Even if it is quite heavy, it drafts at four inches of water, even with a load.
It has a length of 17’8”. Additionally, the beam is 58”. As for the power, it accommodates motors with a rating of 25 to 30 HP. The body is made of vinyl ester resin with Kevlar hulls. The stringer system is carbon fiber. For your comfort, it came with rear deck seat cushions and carpeted sides.
5. East Cape Glide
For skinny-water lovers, this lightweight and quiet microskiff boat is a commendable pick. It has 17 feet, a width of 58 inches, and a draft of four to five inches. It weighs 370 to 415 pounds, depending on the specific type. More so, the manufacturer recommends using a motor with up to 30 HP outboard.
With the transom’s four-degree deadrise, it sits well below the waterline. This also makes the boat quiet. Plus, it allows users to launch the boat almost anywhere.
6. Beaver Tail 16 BT Micro
With a length of 16’18”, this is a scaled-down version of the 17’16” Beaver Strike. With a full load, it has a draft of five inches. It can reach places that are once accessible only with a kayak. The best thing is that it is built to minimize splashes, ensuring that you stay dry throughout your ride.
It is reflective of superior construction, so you don’t have to worry about its longevity. It is also complete with storage boxes, cockpit liners, hatches, a storage compartment, and an eight-gallon fuel tank. In short, it is complete with almost everything that you will need while also offering options for upgrades.
7. Dragonfly Emerger 16
This microskiff boat has a length overall of 16 feet, a beam of 5’9”, a draft of 5 inches, and a dry weight of 500 pounds. The maximum power rating is 70 HP, making it a beast compared to the other models in this guide. Despite having such a powerful engine, we can still classify it as a microskiff because of its size and features.
The microskiff is made using vacuum-bagged composites. The bottom has a small plane and a pocket, which help improve the water flow to its prop. It also has a bit of deadrise up to the rear, allowing the boat to handle choppy waters. This helps keep the microskiff stable.
8. Ankona Shadowcast 18
A minimalist skiff that runs shallow, this is another model that is worth considering. From poling to chop handling, it offers plenty of benefits that ensure a smooth ride. It has a length overall of 17’11”, a beam of 58 inches, and a hull weight of 350 pounds. Meanwhile, you can fit it with a motor with a maximum power of 30 HP.
The aggressive tunnel is one of the notable design features that you will find in this product. With its distinct V-entry, it remains stable even in harsh conditions. It will keep you safe and comfortable in the water.
Microskiff Pros and Cons
Is the microskiff the right boat for you? Below are some of the advantages and disadvantages to help you decide:
If you are on a budget, it is hard to go wrong with a micro skiff. It is a good entry-level fishing boat. However, the price will depend on the manufacturer, features, and quality of the boat.
You do not need to be an expert boater or angler to make the most out of a micro skiff. The simple design means that it is a good choice for beginners. Navigating the waters is effortless.
If you need a fishing boat that you can easily bring in your adventures, you will love a micro skiff. Some models will require a trailer, while others are lightweight enough and will fit on a car top.
More than being compact, a micro skiff is also narrow. This means that it isn’t only portable, but it is also small enough to navigate small spaces. You can get through mangroves and other obstructions with ease.
It will depend on the type of micro skiff you will buy. Nonetheless, many have a removable outboard, which will allow you to go to no-motor zones. Without the outboard, some models are lightweight enough so that you can paddle.
With a motor that ranges from 30 to 50 HP, a micro skiff is energy-efficient. It is also efficient because it won’t require too much energy on the part of the user. It is just slightly bigger than a paddleboard but has the capabilities you will find in a small fishing boat.
1. Minimal Space
While the compact body can be a good thing, it can also be a problem. It fits only one to two people comfortably. The space limitation means that you cannot bring a lot of cargo on your fishing trip.
The small size also means that you are foregoing some features that ensure comfort. For instance, it does not have a backrest or a seat as plush as what you will find in regular boats. And rides are rough because of the flat bottom and small size.
3. Not for Too Deep or Too Shallow Waters
When the water is too shallow, the propeller will touch the surface, so the boat cannot move. On the other hand, it lacks the power to tackle too deep waters and environments that are too harsh. It may not also work well in waters with abundant aquatic vegetation.
Conclusion – Microskiff Or Micro Skiff Boats
Elevate your fishing trips and water excursions with microskiff boats. Microskiff (or micro skiff) boats are small, lightweight, and nimble. These boats are perfect for recreational cruising and fishing in calm rivers, lakes, estuaries, and bays. They are usually 16-foot or less in length with a narrow body enough to accommodate one or two anglers.
Microskiffs are affordable, compact, efficient, and user-friendly. It makes a great option for an entry-level boat. Nonetheless, they offer minimal space and can be uncomfortable. When you choose the right model, it offers the perfect hybrid of a paddleboard and a small fishing boat.