Hell’s Bay Boatworks is offering its first bayboat, the 24-foot, 10-inch Estero. The Titusville, Florida, builder of high-end skiffs worked with its pro staff and professional guides to “improve the bayboat as a tool for inshore fishing and near-shore fishing,” says Chris Peterson, who has owned the company with his wife, Wendi, since 2006. “We paid attention to the fishing details just like we do in our skiffs.”
The boat is designed and built to be quiet while angling, the side decks are wide enough to walk from bow to stern with a rod in hand, and the 57-gallon live well is plumbed to a sea chest. “There’s not many bayboats out there with a good functional sea chest on them,” says Peterson.
With 15 degrees of deadrise, the Estero can “run safely in big, heavy, sharp white-capped chop inshore,” says Peterson. “The bow isn’t overly proud but tall enough to anchor out in some large waves and be able to handle some big seas coming in through an inlet on a bad day, but also low enough to accommodate a trolling motor.”
The boat has a beam of 8 feet, 6 inches and draws about 13 inches. It holds 80 gallons of fuel. “The fuel tank is in the center of the boat, so the center of gravity doesn’t change, whether it’s full or empty,” says Peterson.
He says a 300-hp outboard is likely to be the most popular power choice, although the maximum horsepower is 400. With a 300-hp Yamaha, the boat will top out at 58 mph and cruise from 35 to 40 mph. The price is $110,000 with an F300 and a trailer. Hell’s Bay Boatworks, (321) 383-8223. hellsbayboatworks.com
This article originally appeared in the September 2016 issue.