Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Beavertail Strike vs. BT3

The 17' Beavertail Strike

The 18' Beavertail BT3

Earlier this year I was asked to write a review of the new Beavertail Strike for Fly Fishing In Salt Waters magazine, which you can read here.  I've been posting about this boat since it was first unveiled last year and I absolutely love it.  I think it's the best technical skiff on the market and a lot of folks agree with me on that.  The Strike is currently Beavertail's best selling hull and for good reason.  You can still get one for less than $30k and have it delivered in six to eight weeks.  But I still don't own one and have no intentions of trading in my BT3 on a new Strike anytime soon. 

Guiding here off Pine Island, the majority of my charters are spin fishing trips and I routinely get booked by groups of three anglers.  The ultra-stable BT3 with its 82" beam is the perfect platform for trips like that.  While the Strike is also Coast Guard rated to carry four people, its 72" beam makes that a tight squeeze.  It's really a perfect boat for two anglers and a guide.  If I were back in Key West again, where the majority of my charters were just a pair of fly fishermen, I would own a Strike in a heartbeat.  You're going to see a lot of Keys guides running new Beavertails down there in the next few years. 

I still love the hell out of my 2012 BT3.  It's more than exceeded my expectations over the last two seasons, but I have to admit that my new dream boat is a BT Strike.  I'd pick a light blue Elite model, with an all Kevlar hull and carbon fiber hatches, powered by a Yamaha F70.  That's as close to perfection as you're going to find in a flats skiff.