Fishing offshore of the West Coast of Vancouver Island requires a boat that will troll all day 20 miles from shore in safety and comfort then be able to get you home
quickly when the weather starts to blow. So today I’m going to give you my list of the Top 5 single engine offshore fiberglass fishing vessels for the West Coast of Vancouver Island.
This vessel has the very best reputation for having a seaworthy bad weather hull in British Columbia. Go into any marina and say the words “Hourston Glascraft” and then listen to all the positive things they will say about that boat. In particular the 23ft Sedan has to be one of the best built single engine offshore recreational fishing vessels built. If you go to places like Ucluelet or Port Renfrew, you will see charter operators using this exact boat to take their clients offshore with. The 23ft Sedan takes large water like no other 23ft made, this boat has a low profile on the water therefore is not subject to be blown around as easily when trolling like in the Grady Whites and Boston Whalers. This boat is also made with an Alaskan bulkhead so that you can close the door and get out of the rain in bad weather (very important). To get a new Hourston Glascraft, you actually have to go to the manufacturer in Vancouver BC and order one from Hourston himself. They will custom make your boat with either an inboard or outboard motor. The Canadian Coast Guard currently has many of these boats in service all over Canada. This boat gets the #1 spot on my list, it may not be the sexiest boat made, but its the best for the West Coast.
The Osprey 24ft Pilothouse is my personal favourite boat. I like the design of this vessel, it is a cross-over between commercial troller and walkaround sportfisher. The fishing deck is very large with tons of room for your prawn traps or that 150lb Halibut. Also it has safe high sides and a self bailing deck. The cabin is a great design for west coast fishing, it is high above the water giving you a great 360′ view and it has all the amenities you need for a day on the water. The Alaskan Bulkhead is a must if you want to stay dry and warm, even in the summer you’ll be closing that door and turning on the heat. The hull of these boats have a very aggressive peaked bow, and in my experience you can get a lot of water over the bow in bad weather but with the Osprey you are going roll right over it. This boat is offered with any kind of motor you want installed. The Osprey is fast and safe and my personal favourite boat.
The Grady-White has the best reputation world-wide as the #1 sportfishing boat produced. I have ridden in them and I would say that the Grady is exceptionally good at handling bad weather, in fact it’s an awesome boat to fish out of! They are one of the most coveted boats on the water, you will see boaters drool when a Grady slides by. So, if you want to make a statement at the dock, pull up in a brand new Grady-White! The 232 Gulfstream is my pick as the number one single engine Grady for off-shore fishing. It’s not as big as some of the other Grady’s but it’s all you need. To bad they didn’t make a 232 with a semi enclosed hard top so you didn’t have to worry about the canvass windows.
Boston Whaler has a phenomenal reputation in British Columbia, but mainly for their 17ft Mantauk open hull boat. When I was growing up in Campbell River, everyone had a 17ft Boston Whaler! They were indestructible. In fact, Oak Bay Marine Group’s Painter’s Lodge has a couple dozen of them that they have been using for… 30 years?! So you can’t tell me that these boats are not built to last. However, you don’t want to be taking a 17ft Boston Whaler to the big bank off Uke. The 23.5ft Conquest is not commonly seen in our waters, but they do have an amazing ride in big water and have all the amenities of a Grady-White. But the same applies to this boat as with the Grady White, it would be nice if the made a 23.5ft with a semi enclosed hard-top.
Who can speak poorly of the fabled Double Eagle? I had to put this boat in my top 5 even though Double Eagle doesn’t even make a 23ft’r. But I know that if a 23ft Boston Whaler can go off-shore then a 21ft Double Eagle could to, but only way cheaper! If you are looking to get offshore and you can’t drop $175g on a boat, then get your self a 21ft Double Eagle. This boat can genuinely handle big water it’s a sturdy, fast and unsinkable hull that is built right here in B.C., and it has a semi enclosed hard top.
What’s your favourite boat? Post a comment on my facebook!
Category: Boston Whaler, Double Eagle, Fishing boats, Hourston Glascraft, news, offshore, Osprey, Popular, Product Review