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Jason Arnold, My Boat, My Life


I purchased a 1995 16-foot Hewes Bonefisher boat in 2014. The boat I bought was in terrible condition. I had always been a fan of these skiffs with their beautiful lines and lapstrake hulls. The cockpit was covered in so many leaves that they were rotting and turning into dirt. Plants lived inside the boat.

The Bonefisher is a total restoration that was never begun by the seller. The boat, motor, and trailer were $400. His wife probably wanted to get it out of his yard. The 90-hp 2-stroke Yamaha engine was bulletproof. After a year of running it, I cleaned and repainted it. I then switched to a Mercury 4-stroke 115 hp.

The Mercury Mercury weighs 110 pounds, and the hull is designed to accommodate the Mercury 90. It runs perfectly. It’s a 55-mph boat, but it doesn’t draft like a technical poling skiff. It wasn’t really designed for that. Sincerity, I don’t even pole my boat. It’s not super shallow where I fish, so I bump around with the trolling motor and drift.

The boat has been a great boat for my family. My son Fin, who was born just a few months prior to me getting it, is now a teenager. I named it Fintastic after my son. I’ve…

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