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  • Rob Baker

Beavertail Mosquito called Evinrude

In September of 2021 I took delivery of my first skinny water skiff. It is a custom built Mosquito by Beavertail Skiffs in Bradenton, FL. The drive home to Orlando was a lot of fun!

I chose options for the boat that I thought would best satisfy it's three main areas of use: fishing, mapping, and family outings.


For fishing the main features included a Motorguide Xi5 trolling motor, Power Pole shallow water anchor, a motor jack plate, a push pole and rod holders. The under gunnel storage has room for about 8 rods. I use a Yeti cooler on the bow deck for extra height for better visibility, but I can also stand on the backrest just in front of the poling platform. The trolling motor is controlled by a remote so I can be anywhere on the boat, but it is also linked to my Lowrance units for use as an autopilot. I think the hull drafts about 6-7 inches with two people onboard, and fishing in 12 inches of water is fun and easy.


The Lowrance HDS-16 Live chartplotter rotates toward the bow, so I can see sonar data while in a forward fishing position. I have a Lowrance ActiveTarget Live sonar installed, and am working on a custom bracket to be able to deploy it anywhere on the boat. Expect some ActiveTarget live action movies in the future.

I was lucky to choose Beavertail because the standard seat cushion is amazingly comfortable for long runs or long hours of slow survey work. This boat is ideally setup to perform sonar mapping projects for Navico's Biobase mapping application, for which I am a Product Ambassador. It has Lowrance HDS-9 and HDS-16 Live chartplotters, a high end 3-in-1 transducer, an outboard autopilot and an external GPS antenna above the transducer. Future blog posts will highlight some of my mapping work, with an example image of an autopilot test project shown below.

The boat seats three comfortably, but is rated for four. The comfortable cushions make it possible for others (my wife in particular) to hang out and pass the time while I fish or perform Biobase surveys. To that end I also added a lightweight weblon-type sunshade that covers most of the boat and will be a key difference maker in the summer months. We have already confirmed that the shade can handle boat speeds up to 10mph even in a gentle headwind.

In all the boat is fantastic. It's easy to launch and trailer. It's easy to clean and maintain. The Suzuki 60hp motor is plenty fast (34mph max), but cruises effortlessly at 25-30mph with very efficient fuel economy. I estimate my total range to be nearly 150 miles on 14 gallons of fuel. It's very solid in the water, and runs like a dream perched on top of chop. Practicality aside, this little skiff represents an amazing sense of freedom to explore new places. It's fun enough to drive that sometimes that's all I do.

I decided to name this skiff Evinrude, a character from Disney's The Rescuers.

 

"To desire nothing beyond what you have is surely happiness. Aboard a boat, it is frequently possible to achieve just that. That is why skifflife is a way of life, one of the finest of lives."

-modified slightly from Carleton Mitchell


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