Klamath boats (or other lightweight aluminum)

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MPM
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Klamath boats (or other lightweight aluminum)

Post by MPM » Wed Apr 03, 2019 5:06 pm

I've currently got a 16.5' riveted Smokercraft Spitfire (1999) with an early 90s 2-stroke Yamaha 85hp. I tow it with a 4 cylinder Jeep Patriot and its about at capacity (2000 lb towing capacity) when its fully fueled/equipped.

I'm looking to upgrade to a welded, slightly bigger boat with a windshield, but hopefully still be able to tow it with my Jeep. The best options I've found look to be the Klamath 18' OPW and 19' GTX, which are both lighter than my Smokercraft. They look nice and they've got a sharp angled bow, but the transom deadrise is pretty flat (7 degrees). So, I'm a little worried it'll bang around pretty hard in any kind of choppy water.

Does anyone have experience with these Klamath windshield models, or Klamath boats in general? Or have any other suggestions for lightweight, welded aluminum boats with windshields?

I've considered an 18' Alumaweld Talon, but that's heavier than my current boat by about 100lbs and has greater fuel capacity, so I'd probably be working my Jeep to death towing it.

Thanks,
Mike

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Mike Carey
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Re: Klamath boats (or other lightweight aluminum)

Post by Mike Carey » Thu Apr 04, 2019 5:56 am

I had a 15 foot Klamath open boat with 50 hp jet. I've since given it to my son. My experiences:

light weight made it easy to one person launch and move it around. High rise bow kept the boat pretty dry in a chop. Boat was a blast to run on smooth water, or rivers as it was incredibly maneuverable. Overall a great boat for two, three anglers was pushing it. Super easy to tow.
Negatives: after 15 years it developed a leak that I was unable to find and fix. Nothing major, but annoying. IDK, maybe 15 years wasn't so bad. Boat is 20 years old now and still fishing.
Light weight hull means easy to dent. My boat got a few dents along the way, more than you would see in a heavier boat. That's the trade-off.

Overall, I enjoyed my Klamath. If you look up my older reports you'll find some pictures of the boat.
Image

"Takers get the honey, Givers sing the blues".

MPM
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Re: Klamath boats (or other lightweight aluminum)

Post by MPM » Thu Apr 04, 2019 7:39 am

Thanks, Mike!

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beeman
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Re: Klamath boats (or other lightweight aluminum)

Post by beeman » Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:34 am

My jeep also has a 2000lb towing limit, I actually got the Hewescraft sportsman 180, 1200lb dry weight (seen it listed as 1100 also) I allowed 400 for the trailer and 400 for the two motors, fully fueled I am probably over by 300 lbs but I have had no issues pulling it.
Funny thing is my jeeps exact specifications for a 2019 model allow it to two 4000lbs.
If you went with the 160 model you should be fine

MPM
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Re: Klamath boats (or other lightweight aluminum)

Post by MPM » Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:40 pm

I'm not sure what trailer weight would actually be, but the specs I've found are anywhere from 475lbs to 550lbs for trailers that can handle an 18' boat. I don't really want to downgrade in overall size/length (even if it would be an upgrade in quality from my current boat). I already feel like I'm pushing the Jeep, with the current setup, so I'm not inclined to add another few hundred pounds (even though a Hewescraft Sportsman 180 would be nice).

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