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Icarus 06-19-2010 02:01 PM

A History of my Hells Bay Under Construction
With more than two months in the market for a new skiff and after talking to forum members, friends and guides, test driving every shallow water skiff out there and reading every imaginable review on the web and elsewhere I have finally ordered a new Hells Bay Waterman 18. The staff over at Hells Bay have been unbelievably helpful, especially Tom Gordon who has walked me through every detail of the order from the color of the gelcoat to the angle of the polling platform.

I selected the Hells Bay Boatworks skiff for many reasons. There is no question about their reputation. Hells Bay has arguably the best reputation in shallow water boats out there. We are all aware of their skiffs reputation. They are skinny, stable, quiet, well designed, well built and keep their value. And yes they can be pricey but that is virtually the only negative I could find with their skiff. Yes we have heard it all before. We are well aware of all the “marketing” of these skiffs but the deciding factor for me was the opportunity to have possibly the best skiff on the market custom built specifically for me and the way I fish. It is my belief that working with true craftsmen to build something from the ground up, somthing customized specifically for your needs has additional value. To often we select disposable mass-produced products just because they are a less expensive option.

Now that I have finally pulled the trigger and since many of my friends and other anglers have asked that I keep them up to date on the skiffs progress, I have decided to create this forum thread to record the history of my skiff’s construction. The folks at Hells Bay have promised to provide me with regular updates and photos on how the skiff is coming along and I will share them here as I receive them. I hope you enjoy the process as I know I will.


Icarus 06-19-2010 02:07 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Here is a copy of the Hells Bay production order illustrating the final layout of my skiff. I was very pleased that prior to going into production they actually took the time to verify the layout with me. Now where off to the races.

JBD 06-20-2010 05:45 AM

Congrats on the selection buddy.....looking forward to following the process. Building my boat with Tom was a lot of fun and would love to do it again! I think the first test should be fall bonefishing in the keys!


Icarus 06-20-2010 10:37 AM

Thanks. The nice thing is she should be ready before the flood tides.

[email protected] 06-27-2010 04:53 AM

congrats on the new ride.
Personally I would stay away from the grab rail and rod holders , or anything mounted on the side of the center console. Basically to maximize the walk-around factor.
There's nothing wrong with them from a quality standpoint they just encroach on the walking space between the gunnels and center console.

It's one of those "Do I really need them" questions.

Icarus 07-01-2010 04:33 PM

4 Attachment(s)
She is underway.

With the materials arriving this morning the guys over at Hells Bay began building my skiff. Attached are a couple of photos of the hull being constructed. As you can see the hull is still in the mold but the gelcoat (guide green) has been completed and they are in the process of putting down the kevlar cloth.

Icarus 07-01-2010 04:36 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Here are a couple more photos showing the kevlar cloth being laid out.

7M11 07-02-2010 01:42 AM

Icarus, I've seen other sites where boats were followed though out the build process..I think this is a first for me on a HB product...Thanks for sharing...Keep them coming, it's interesting...

Icarus 07-02-2010 04:14 AM


Originally Posted by 7M11 (Post 17952)
Icarus, I've seen other sites where boats were followed though out the build process..I think this is a first for me on a HB product...Thanks for sharing...Keep them coming, it's interesting...

Thank you. I have not seen another HB build either which is why I thought it would be nice to share the experience. I am very excited about working with the guys over at Hells Bay and seeing the process first hand. I hope everyone enjoys seeing her under construction.

7M11 07-02-2010 09:06 AM

Remember those two grease fittings on the sides of your jack plate...If you don't elbow them or something else, you'll be like me...Can't get the grease gun in there...Installing grease with your finger...

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