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Hell's Bay Darkside Association Thread, Differences between waterman tunnel & non tunnel in TribeNwater Boats; I am looking to purchase a used waterman skiff. I found an older 2001 for sale with s tunnel. What ...
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Old 03-16-2016, 03:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Differences between waterman tunnel & non tunnel

I am looking to purchase a used waterman skiff. I found an older 2001 for sale with s tunnel. What are the performance trade offs when comparing a tunnel vs a regular hull? from what I understand a tunnel will allow a skiff to go shallower under power, but it requires more draft to pole and it can decrease the speed by a few mph compared to a non tunnel. Is this correct? Thanks, Jeremy
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Old 03-17-2016, 07:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You are correct! I am sure others will chime in too. The tunnel allows the boat to run shallower than it will float. I just recently got out of a 99' Pathfinder tunnel the boat would run in next to nothing with the tunnel but I had to be careful where i would shut down because of the boat coming off of plane. Hope this helps!
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Old 03-18-2016, 06:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I have fished out of the 16 and 18 waterman with both tunnel and without. There is very little negative to the tunnel. They loose a little buoyancy and a tiny bit of top end speed due to the tunnel but can run in significantly shallower water. I have always been blown away at how shallow they can run without disturbing sensitive habitats. If its an older hull and powered with a light motor don't hesitate to pick up a skiff with a tunnel.
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Old 03-18-2016, 07:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have a 2001 17.8 Whipray tunnel and I asked Chris Morejohn who designed all the early HBs and the tunnel his opinion on draft.

He said and I quote:

"It does work well,it only loses about 18 lbs of displacement so there is no loss in draft".

I've fished side by side with a non-tunnel 17.8 and there was no difference in draft.
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Old 04-11-2016, 04:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Redfish Tunnel

I have a 2010 Waterman and love the tunnel to run in shallow water. I have always wondered how much bouncy I give up per pound that I add to the back of the boat… Any formula floating around out there?
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Old 04-11-2016, 07:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
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If you look at my above post, Chris Morejohn said there was only a loss of 18 lbs of displacement between the tunnel and non-tunnel.

Hope this helps.
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Old 05-19-2016, 03:54 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I have often wondered how much draft you loose per pound myself. Let me know if you find one. Thanks
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Old 06-11-2016, 11:39 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Old 10-13-2016, 11:06 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I know this is primarily a Florida forum (wish I lived there) but anyway running in far south TX flats (Port Mansfield south to Mexico) the water will be consistently 1' to 6" deep or less and there is no avoiding running in that unless willing to just stick to channels. So it is significantly different than FL waters. I sent a query in to HB asking them about the pros and cons of tunnel hulls vs regular but no reply as of yet. Saw a beautiful older Waterman the other day with a tunnel and my mind was pretty much made up at that time... Although a Whipray with a tunnel would be fairly awesome as well if that is an option.

Besides it is good to be mindful of tearing up the marine habitat in extreme shallows as there are many areas where the ugly prop scars are really hideous. It matters. As far as draft lost due to the tunnel, I could afford to lose 18 lbs. to offset that. =)

Last edited by commtrd; 10-13-2016 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 10-18-2016, 12:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Just saw a nearly brand new Professional last week with F70 and tunnel. The hull is a key slot and supposedly that is the premier boat for the TX guys. When time to order that will be the boat. Unless I can find a pre-owned later model pro offered for sale but does not seem too likely...

That boat was just gorgeous. I was blown away. Talked to the owner for over an hour about every aspect of the boat.
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