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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have enjoyed reading through the forums, seems like you have a nice little community here.

I was curious about recommended boat sizes/types for Lake St. Clair. I am looking at getting a new fishing boat - i want something big enough to do lake st. clair area, but something small enough I can tow up north for smaller lakes, etc.

I am new to the Windsor area, so haven't fished much here (yet!) so I am not familiar with typical conditions, etc. on the lake =)

Thanks in Advance for any advice/tips/help!

Cheers,
Bley
 

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For general "all purpose" fishing and St. Clair capability, I would recommend a quality 18' deep and wide aluminum boat and a 4 stroke outboard(preferably Honda). This would require minimal upkeep and maintenance and provide years of use. It will be plenty seaworthy for St. Clair in all but the very worst days and still mobile enough to trailer up north and into smaller lakes.
 

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18 foot Deep V hull would be a good ticket, aluminum. Lots of choice's out there. Take your time and it will be good. Lund is real good. So is StarCraft.

h2o<--good luck Bley and Welcome to the Saint Clair Network.
 

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Depends on where you want to fish, and what times. Very important. The lake can get pretty choppy, especially on the weekends from Metro to the Anchor Bay area. For example, I ran to the dumps yesterday. I launched at Harley Ensign. Little rough on the way back. 2-3' choppers. I have a 20' fiberglass v-hull. Would not want an aluminum yesterday. The aluminums are great fishing boats, and easy to haul around. If you are going to be doing some fishing in the chops in st. clair, especially driving long distances, I would go a little bigger than 18'. Maybe close to 20' And yes, that 2' makes a difference in your wave handling. Just my 2 cents. Good luck with whatever you buy
 

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For st.clair I think the bigger the better. The weekends are usually the worst for boat traffic, the lake gets choppy quick. I have a 23 ft regal which is trailerable and handles very nice {during the week} but on the weekends I get beat up out there. You"ll find that during the weekdays the lake is much calmer.

Good luck!
 

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I have a Starcraft Pro-Elite 2000 and she can handle pretty much all she`s been through. The nice thing about it is along with being 20 feet in length it also has a 102 inch beam. Makes for a pretty nice ride. If looking for an 18 footer, check out the Starcraft Futura. Nice ride for sure. Good luck with your purchase and if I could give you some advice, do your homework. Take your time and get what you want. After all, don`t you deserve it? Love my Starcraft
 

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I've been on LSC for several years now in a 18 ft glass hull center console. I would say that a 20-22ft is the way to go for max trailerability AND decent ride over LSC's many choppy moods. I have a nice hull, but still get beat up on the high wind, high traffic times, so I'd go for the longer length to deal better with the reality of LSC conditions. The alum hull will allow you better trailering and less expensive power (less hp needed to move the lighter hull). I like my boat, but for the money alum is good stuff.

The alternative is to look at Carolina Skiff or Maritime Skiff in glass. These hulls are built to fish, are surprisingly light, no maintenance, and can run with the kind of power you use on alum hulls. Both Maritime and Carolina build semi-vees that'd do well on LSC as they're originally designed for inshore/midshore salt use.

Not meaning to offend anyone, I think that you can't go wrong with Lund, Starcraft, or Crestliner, based on people I know who have 'em. That said, a friend of mine has a very fine 19ish Sea Nymph that's in its teens now and is in great shape, so there are lots of alum hulls for you to look at.

Small point. Get yourself a galvanized or alum trailer. More expensive, yes, but free of maintenance, just like the hull.

Bigger point. Consider a four stroke for the quiet and the mileage.
 

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18 foot deep V would be good.

If you choose a bass boat - 20 foot minimum.

My 20'3" champion bass boat does well.

My advice...

Get the biggest boat and motor you can afford if you plan of fishing St Clair on a regular basis. Especially if you only fish up north once-twice per summer. And stay on the Canadian side on weekends.
 

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i would strongly consider trim tabs. they make a difference on rough days. buy all the boat you can afford if pays in the long run.
good luck.
 

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I definately recommend going with a fiberglass hull. They are typically heavier and that weight results in a much smoother ride. I'm partial to Rangers myself. They offer a wide range of boats. It's always best to make it to a couple boat shows then you can see the models side by side and just by opening a few doors etc you'll notice that some MFG's are really making cheap boats. I'm not sure what you can afford but it doesn't hurt to go a little smaller or a year or so older if it means you can get a boat built to a higher standard. For St. Clair 18' has never given me a problem, but I wouldn't want to go smaller. You'd be amazed at how much more room a 20' boat has over an 18' so if the dollars are there it is definately worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the great advice, I am still in the research phase, and all this is helping a lot! (although the tons of information and options is overwhelming, just on the internet).

Anyone know when boat shows are coming up? I am guessing they are at the start of the season?

Cheers,

Bley

also - I love bass and walleye fishing, and really enjoy just trolling around a lake (muskie, or whatever may come my way) - a poster asked what I would be fishing for =)
 

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I got a 15' smoker craft deep v 25 hp yamaha 4 stroke. I go two miles out or more in it. I also take it to lake orion, lakeville.Iv been so deep in the stumps on fletchers pond even people in bass boats are afraid to go. Havent had a problem yet.
 

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I have a 17.5 Lowe Deep V with a 90 yamaha on it 2.5 years old and not a drop of water from the plug or bilge pump,,,,,has a 96 inch beam so it makes it very flexible for what ever kind of fishing you want to do Muskie fish not a problum, Walleye, Salmon, bass, no problum.............Lowe has lifetime warrenty on all there hulls and the Yamaha's are pretty much maintance free ( Wonderland Marine ) good guys out there,,,,,,,,,.fiberglass would be the way to go, offers a smoother ride but not trailerable alluminum is the way cause if you plan on getting fiber you might as well by a 36 foot cabin cruiser cause you will not be moving it around as much as a alluminum if at all comfort is nice but mobility is key, different lakes, different species, you know,,, what ever you by im sure you will love it your wife will think you are cheatting on her,,,,,,,,,, but all you are doing is just going fishing.....................in your new boat............
 

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metro usually has a spring and fall boat show. there are a lot of boats and comparision shopping is easy. there is a lot of good advise here. good luck.
 

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I just bought my first boat this past May with the same thought process. I settled on a 2004 Rinker Captiva 192. It's 19 feet, has 260 hp and a 5.0L with open bow. Now, the reason I went with Rinker is that its resale value holds AND it is excellant for other recreational uses such as tubing, water skiiing or just boating with the family.

However, I have found that it can be kind of cramped if you are fishing with more than 3 folks aboard and on Lake St. Clair if the winds are 15 mph or more, expect one heckuva bumpy ride, whereever you go. Oh, and get the heck out of the way of the bigger boats, to them your just a spec on the windshield.
 

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Anything less than a well built 20' on Lake St.Clair you will take a beating most days. If you want to be able to go anywhere on the lake on most any day that's what I would recommend as a starting size.
 

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I have seen alot of "deep V" responses here. You really need to ask yourself what you plan on doing most of the time. A deep V will troll real nice and get you thru the waves, but drifting you will rock and roll yourself sick unless you get a "large" boat. I have a 20' Lund Alaskan and it does everything I need.
Just a little more info.......make sure you have enough power with going overboard. When it starts to get rough or the weather turns nasty you want to be gone in a hurry.
 

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Snow, I have been around an Alaskan and, if I remember correctly, the hull was what most people would call a semi-vee design. It's no skiff in the sense of a flat bottom or jonboat design. I remember the Alaskan as having a pretty full hull - it rode very well, in fact. I don't think anyone envisions spending much time on LSC in anything other than one of the modified vees, whether it's a bass boat, center console, side console, or what have you.

My v-hull is only 18 ft, but it trolls and drifts well. I can't imagine spending much time in LSC chop without a vee-type hull - my lower back would rebel, big time, in a flat bottom. I do wish I had the bucks for a 20+footer, but that's not going to happen soon, so it's stay away from the lake on the weekends.
 
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