Conch Boats and Why They Rock
Summertime is in full swing and we are excited to be fishing this time of the year. Typically the seas stay calm, fishing stays good and it’s a great time to make that run offshore (anywhere from 10-25 miles). Its still mahi mahi and blackfin tuna time. The size of the mahi now are a little bigger than the average. We do see some nice schools of 8 to 15 lb. fish, “gaffers” as we like to call them.
This is also the time of year that makes me really appreciate our boat, a Conch 27. Why did I choose the Conch? Good question…
When I decided I wanted to go into business for myself some 8 years back, coming up with the right boat was key. I had mostly worked on larger boats before deciding to venture out on my own and that was the style of boat I was thinking of getting at first. At one point I worked for a gentleman who had a big boat, as well as a 31’ Contender. We would fish on the Contender a lot just because it was easier to get ready, easier to clean up at the end of the day and I realized that I really enjoyed driving as well as being in the mix of the fishing. I knew then that that was the way to go for me.
I enjoy being in close contact with our customers because it is easier for me to tell how the people are feeling about our fishing day. Whether they like what we are doing or would rather try something else. I always want our guests to get what they want out of their day. Fishing side by side next to the charter guest makes it easier for us to stay on the same page. I always, of course, want to fish for what’s biting, but some of our guests would rather take a risk and fish for something less likely to bite. I enjoy this because it’s a challenge.
Conch boats are now built by R & R Boatworks in Stuart, FL, but our Conch has a special history. Our boat was one of the last Conch boats made by Edey and Duff, a company that mainly made sailboats in Massachusetts. The manager at Edey and Duff liked to fish in Key West and together with some of the guides he knew from there, thought out, designed and built the Conch 27 starting in 1989. There were only about 97 Conch boats ever built by Edey and Duff and we were lucky to get one of them.
There are many reasons why I chose this particular boat. It is clearly designed by fishermen for charter boat fishing. It is a center console that has the perfect layout for fishing in the Keys where our guests can maneuver around the whole boat and have lots of room. There is a big fish box for our catch and big live wells for our bait. It has a shallow draft which allows us to catch bait along the shore. On top of that, it has a deep vee that lets us battle most seas.
The most common compliment I get about the boat is that it is dry, meaning that we typically won’t get a lot of sprayed water in our faces when we are running. But don’t get me wrong, if it is rough we might get wet, but for the most part it keeps us pretty dry.
Also since the boat is not too big, we are able to cover a lot of ground without burning a large amount of fuel. The more area we can cover the better our chances are of finding fish. So all in all, we are super happy with our Conch 27 and love to fish with it.
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