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Beavertail Skiffs New BT3

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On: Sat, Jan 14, 2012 at 9:20AM | By: Capt Gregg McKee

Beavertail Skiffs On The Flats

Beavertail Skiffs has been quietly building some of the best flats boats on the market for several years.  Their newest model, the BT3, has come closer to perfection than almost any other 18 footer I’ve ever seen. 

Beavertail actually started out building duck hunting boats in Minnesota before jumping into the saltwater market.  I bought one of their ultra-light B2 models in 2007 and considered it the best possible rig for the type of shallow water fishing that I do here on Pine Island and after more than 600 charters I had no intention of giving it up for something new.

In early 2010 an entirely new hull was introduced called the Vengeance and it was a huge leap forward from the original B2 and really got my attention.

The company was recently bought by Aeon Marine of Palmetto, FL, and its new owners Will and Elizabeth Leslie moved the Beavertail production to the same plant where their Aeon 23 inshore/offshore boats are built. The Vengeance was a hit and its BT3 sister ship joined the lineup a short time later.

While the Vengeance is a do-it-all type of flats boat featuring a big casting deck and three huge livewells, the lighter BT3 is aimed towards the pure sight casting and fly fishing crowd. It also could be rigged with a side steering console, something I’ve really learned to appreciate on a flats boat and creates a lot of cockpit space.

The best feature of all about the Beavertails is their ride. The BT3 is easily one of the driest running flats boat ever built. The flared bow and integrated spray rails actually make it difficult to get wet, even when running side-sea to a 15 knot chop. With a 70 horsepower Yamaha it will cruise at 30 mph with hardly a drop of water hitting anyone.

With its 650 pound hull and 7 inch draft, poling the BT3 with two anglers on the bow is effortless. With an 82 inch beam it’s a remarkably stable platform has none of the tippiness of the older B2. It’s also dead quiet in the water with absolutely no hull slap.

Finally, there’s the price. Beavertails are in same category as the excellent boats produced by Maverick or Hell’s Bay, but a fully loaded 18 foot model from either of those companies can easily hit the $50,000 mark. An equally rigged Beavertail will roll out of the factory for at least $15,000 less with no compromises when compared to its competition.

And just in case you’re wondering, Beavertail does not offer a price reduction for licensed guides. A few manufactures quietly give huge incentives to some guides, allowing them to resell their boats after a year or two for more than they originally paid. That might be good for exposure but it can hurt the resale value of the same boats sold to recreational anglers. Keeping their prices the same for everyone is the main reason that Beavertails hold their value so well and retain their customer’s loyalty. I recently sold my four year old B2 for 80% of what I originally paid for it, and a 2012 BT3 is now sitting in my driveway. For now, it’s as close to perfect as 18 feet of flats boat has ever come.



Stephy21 | 11:17AM (Mon, Jan 16, 2012)

Very nice boat i like salt water fishing but some boats dont have the space for 3 people to fish off of but this boat here sure does.

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