Home Forums Fishing Bowfishing Boat Size and Motor Size

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  • Avatarfisher24
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    Post count: 50

    Hello, I have been bowfishing for a couple years out of my fathers 16.5′ v bottom and it is time to upgrade to a more dedicated bow fishing boat. My biggest questions is what length? I understand the wider the better but I don’t know how big I would need for 3 dudes at the front? We did some tournaments last year which were all 3 man shoots. I’ve done some searching and some people say 16′ are just fine but I just don’t know. We do bowfish some larger waters like Lake Thompson in South Dakota, Missouri and the Iowa Great Lakes. So I think a 16′ might be too small for those lakes. Should I be looking for a 20′? 18′? My dad will be upgrading the old crestliner so I will occasionally will be removing the platform doing some river fishing and lake pond fishing out of this boat. Any suggestions?

    AvatarJPenny
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    Post count: 198

    I don’t bow fish so I cannot offer anything on the boat, but I have bought several new boats and have a suggestion on motor size. Go with the largest motor recommended for that particular boat. You don’t want to be under powered, especially on those large bodies of water you mentioned.

    Avatarnorthwoodsbucks
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    Post count: 1519

    In general bigger is better unless you have a specific reason to go small due to fitting in certain areas etc.. I dont bow fish much so my perspective is more general use and fishing, I would not go below a 17.5 if its is particularly wide or 18.5 if it is not.

    Like above, go big on the motor.

    bowfisherbowfisher
    Participant
    Post count: 2204

    Quote by: fisher24

    Hello, I have been bowfishing for a couple years out of my fathers 16.5′ v bottom and it is time to upgrade to a more dedicated bow fishing boat. My biggest questions is what length? I understand the wider the better but I don’t know how big I would need for 3 dudes at the front? We did some tournaments last year which were all 3 man shoots. I’ve done some searching and some people say 16′ are just fine but I just don’t know. We do bowfish some larger waters like Lake Thompson in South Dakota, Missouri and the Iowa Great Lakes. So I think a 16′ might be too small for those lakes. Should I be looking for a 20′? 18′? My dad will be upgrading the old crestliner so I will occasionally will be removing the platform doing some river fishing and lake pond fishing out of this boat. Any suggestions?

    I have bowfished extensively out of about any watercraft you can imagine. From a canoe to a 2070 tunnel hull.

    My advice for what it may be worth…. go with the biggest boat you can afford, the biggest motor allowed on the boat, and the biggest trolling motor you can afford to put on it. As you stated, wider is truly better, less draft in the water = the shallower you can get.

    Avatardelmuts
    Participant
    Post count: 525

    I would start by looking on line and comparing.( I assume you are already doing that) For three guys across in he front, it’s going to take atleast an 18 extra wide. Find some , then climb up in it. are probably the only way you will know for sure.

    Avatarstevenoak
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    Post count: 1172

    Not bow fished, but spent a lot of time in boats. Width I would think to be most important. Especially if you intend to elevate the front deck. You mentioned going to a tournament. I would look at every boat, and ask if they would change anything. Then the motor. A mechanic can recommend motor size to suit the performance you desire. With 3 big guys and stuff in a flat boat. Likely to be near max rating.

    Avatarfisher24
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    Post count: 50

    I have been looking at some 18fts that look good but one of the issues I have been finding is a good place to shop for used boats? Is there no good way to do this online? I am willing to drive a couple hours one way for a good deal but I can only find a handful of them. Maybe I need to start calling around. I will end up building a platform and reusing the lights I have on my current platform. So I don’t need the prebuilt deck like you find with Tracker that adds on another $8000. I would rather spend that on motor and trolling motor. I have a 70lb powerdrive v2 currently but I was wondering if the tiller style would work better? Or is the foot pedal worth it?

    AvatarYotehntr
    Participant
    Post count: 361

    Quote by: fisher24

    I have been looking at some 18fts that look good but one of the issues I have been finding is a good place to shop for used boats? Is there no good way to do this online? I am willing to drive a couple hours one way for a good deal but I can only find a handful of them. Maybe I need to start calling around. I will end up building a platform and reusing the lights I have on my current platform. So I don’t need the prebuilt deck like you find with Tracker that adds on another $8000. I would rather spend that on motor and trolling motor. I have a 70lb powerdrive v2 currently but I was wondering if the tiller style would work better? Or is the foot pedal worth it?

    I have a 1860 Alweld, tiller steer with a 70hp Yamaha motor, it is the mud hull so it has a smooth bottom and a flat front. I shoot 3 guys and sometimes 4 but can get a lil crowded up front when the shooting is good. With the waters that you have mentioned I would not get anything smaller then a 1860 and 50 hp motor. With everything that we put these boats through and the weight that we add in gear and fish the bigger the better. With the bigger water I would look at a mod V front to break the waves better as mine can get pretty rough in the waves. There are a few Bowfishing buy and sell pages on facebook that always have boats for sale on.

    bowfisherbowfisher
    Participant
    Post count: 2204

    Quote by: fisher24

    I have been looking at some 18fts that look good but one of the issues I have been finding is a good place to shop for used boats? Is there no good way to do this online? I am willing to drive a couple hours one way for a good deal but I can only find a handful of them. Maybe I need to start calling around. I will end up building a platform and reusing the lights I have on my current platform. So I don’t need the prebuilt deck like you find with Tracker that adds on another $8000. I would rather spend that on motor and trolling motor. I have a 70lb powerdrive v2 currently but I was wondering if the tiller style would work better? Or is the foot pedal worth it?

    To answer your question about the trolling motor, I have used both foot controlled and tiller. I prefer the tiller. Power drive trollers can be pretty slow as they depend on battery power to turn. Not saying it wont work, but shooting fish in the rivers can get a little precarious at times and that extra second it may take a powerdrive to turn may end you up in a situation. The trollers with cable steering are good, they just take some time to get used to. They can also be a pain in the back, standing on one foot all night. Like I said earlier, the bigger the better when it comes to trolling motors. You can always turn it down and go slower.

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