Thursday, December 1, 2011

First Fishing Trip On The BT3

We took the new Beavertail BT3 out for its first real test ride today off Pine Island and I'm even more impressed than ever.  The Yamaha 70 still has less than two hours on it and is still in its break in period so I can't any real performance out of it yet.  The boat got on plane at just over 2000 rpms and I hit 22 mph at 3000 rpms.  This is with a full tank of gas, three adults, and 1 dog on board as well as all my fishing gear.  After another hour of use I'll be able to go full throttle and find its top speed with the current prop. 

The BT3 poles like a dream and barely feels any heavier than my 2006 B2, which had a hull weight of only 550 pounds.  My BT3 weighs about 100 pounds more and I'm also carrying a 24 volt trolling motor and its two extra batteries as well as a gas tank that's holds 23 gallons vs. 15 gallons in the B2.  I've also got a 257 pound 4 stroke on the stern as opposed to my B2's 156 pound 2 stroke.  So I probably gained an extra 400 pounds with this BT3 over my previous hull.  I haven't measured the draft yet but I'm sure the new boat only draws an inch more than the B2, which is exactly what I expected.

What really amazes me the most about this boat is how dry it runs.  We left Matlacha at 10:30 this morning and ran up the pass into a 15 knot breeze blowing straight out of the north.  With the tide falling there was a serious chop in Charlotte Harbor but I never got hit with a drop of water.  No matter which way I turned the boat, I could not make the spray come over the bow.  I've never experienced anything like it in any flats boat and I actually shot a quick video of it that I'll post here soon.  The ride itself was a good deal smoother than the older B2 but it was still obvious that we were in a very light boat.  My dad's Action Craft 1890 cuts through the chop a lot quicker but it will soak you in the process.  The BT3 is still a true poling skiff so running full throttle across a windy, open bay will be a rough ride but at least you'll be dry when you get back to the shallows. 

So on day one the boat has more than met my expectations.  On the way back to the ramp I called the owners up at the Beavertail shop just to tell them how thrilled I was with their boat.  They really hit a home run with this one.