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Critchfield boats

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Was looking for information from anyone owning a Critchfield boat. I am looking at an 18' bay boat with a 115 four stroke Yamaha and was just wanting to get information from others that may help in my decision to purchase. They look like they are well made --- can anyone else give me positives or negatives???

Thanks,

Tommy
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Critchfield Boats
I have an 18ft walk thru Critchfield bay boat with a windshield that I bought from H&H Marine in Houma in 2000. I have a Johnson 115 Ocean Runner on it. These boats were originally made in Florida, the last of the so-called fan tail boats made during the 70's such as Spartan, Fantail, Saber, etc. Critchfield molds were bought by Huey Bell who used to run B.R. Boat Service in Baton Rouge and he bought the molds and set up shop in French Settlement. He made them in center console and walk thru models. Only a handful of dealers carried them when I bought mine, don't know if they are still made. They are rugged boats basically made one at a time, however the decks, console,transom are wood covered fiberglass, not solid fiberglass. So, the boat is inexpensive but basic, no frills. Can't be left out in the weather. No fantails anymore, they are regular transoms. Mine has a front & rear casting deck. The windshields protect from spray, rain, cold wind. Plus I had a canopy made that snaps to the windshiled for a snug ride in bad weather. A bimini top lets wind and rain through.
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Critchfield Boats!
That's what I like about the boat I am looking at---it looks like a fishing boat! Not too many bells and whistles and I'm not really looking for all of those extras anyway. How does your boat ride?? Are you overall satified with it??

After looking at a video on the construction of one I think the use of wood in it won't even be a factor.
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re: Critches
Seen em',,, like the looks,,, but can't offer any 'owner' type advise,,, but offer one opinion on wood used in a boat...

There is nothing wrong with having wood used properly in manufactering a hull. As long as the wood is sealed properly, there should be no problems with the hull for years to come..... the ONLY catch to the wood thing, is you HAVE to respect the fact there is wood used and maintain the boat accordingly. Stored right and bow elevated, so that water can not stand freely in the boat and it will last. Although I may not buy a used hull knowing there is wood in it, I would not hesitate buying new, as then I would know how I needed to care for the hull properly.

Are the Critchfields still made in French Settlement ?

R
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Critchfield boats
I have an 18' and love it. Had some trouble with trailer called the man who make the boat help me out with no problem. If you have an question about the boat let me know. Also they is one just like mine for sale down string bridge road in St. Amant. Dont know what they or asking.
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Critchfields
Was just wondering if you had any problems with backwash when coming to a stop?? The person I spoke to said because of the location of the fuel tank towards the center of the boat there isn't a problem with that.
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No really
No problem as long as you don't stop fast. I always ease off full throttle.
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Re: Critchfield boats
I have a 33 foot Critchfield built in 1980 with a 370 hp cummins diesel. The boat originally had a Cat. and I put the Cummins it it. It is set up for commercial fishing and does a super good job. The boat is solid fiberglass and extremely thick and strong. If they are all built like this one they are as strong and solid as any boat out there and still yet they are not hard to push. My boat will cruse comfortably at 21 knots and does not break up the bank when you go to the fuel pump. I think it is because the bottom is built with a deep V in the front and a shoe down the center of the hull similar to the original Panga boats. We don't see many of them around here in NC but they are good boats. I hope this helps.
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Re: Critchfield boats
As the owner of a 2001 21' dual console Critchfield, I can tell you that this boat is well built. I powered mine with a 150 Opti-Max. I bought the boat in 2004 from Ronald Delatte in Gonzales where the hull was his dealer demo at the time, and it has been an absolute jewel ever since. I primarily use it as a skinny water fishing platform, but I've had it out in the gulf numerous times with no issues, and a dry ride every time. I ended up putting a lot of bells and whistles on mine, because as it was stated, it is a no frills hull. So after an ATLAS 10' jack plate, SEA-STAR hydraulic steering, an 86 pound thrust MOTOR GUIDE, and an 8' Power Pole, it is now set up for comfort and convenience. Redfish don't stand a chance. Ha! I also had a local upholstery shop here in Houma fit the boat with a full canvas top that attaches to the windshield. My boat has a 43 gallon fuel tank under the middle section of the floor. As far as backwash goes, I really have never had a problem with mine. The self-Bailing scuppers will definitely allow small amounts of water to migrate back into the boat if they stay submerged for any length of time. I regularly fish shallow duck ponds all over southern Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes. With 2 average size guys and myself (360 pounds) in the boat, it will jump right out of the water. The boat responds as expected when using the Jack plate and engine trim together. I can't say enough good things about this hull. I'm just really disappointed they are no longer made. About 3 years ago, I contacted Ronald to see about buying another one. That's when I got the bad news. Yes, it does have wood in it, but the only issue I've had in 13 years is a small area around the front and back seat pedestals. They were not sealed properly when installed. I actually pulled mine next to a Blazer Bay while at a gas station, and the hull lines are almost identical. It's a shame Blazer Bay doesn't offer a dual console. That would be my second choice if I were still shopping. I hope this info has been helpful.
Regards,
MUDFLAT
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Re: Critchfield boats
I have had 2 Critchfield boats. The last one I had was a 21' center console with a fantail. I loved that boat. I had it until 2011. I got rid of if because I had the floor changed out 3 times due to the floor kept rotting out. I sold it to my neighbor for 800.00 with a 1984 115 Mariner that ran top notch. He still has the boat with the same motor. He changed out the floor and the transom 3 years ago. He now has to change out the floor again. I loved the boat but I will never own another boat again that has wood in it in any way, shape or form. I now have a brand new 21' Sundance bay boat with a center console with a 150 Evinrude E-Tec. Composite haul, solid glass, no wood.
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Re: Critchfield boats
Mudflat- where can I buy the 2 windshields for those dual consoles? My buddy has this boat and BOTH windshields were damaged while transporting a small boat inside his 19' Critchfield.
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Re: Critchfield boats
If the Windshield frames can be reused, most glass shops can easily swap out the glass for you with Safety Glass. If the frames are toasted, I'd try one of the boat shops in the New Iberia / Broussard area. I can remember seeing three of them along Hwy. 90. Shops like these may be your best bet for replacement parts / windshields. I'd also check the many marine dealers in the South Louisiana area. Having worked at a dealer years ago, we use to install walk thru windshields on the home-made boats our customers would bring in. You might get lucky and find a dealer with a NEW- OLD STOCK windshield in their storage room. You could always ride down the Bayou communities in the Houma area to search for what you need. I see lots of abandoned boats in peoples yards.
I did a quick search on the web, and found this;
http://greenbayprop.com/boat-windshield-67-wide-36-long-walk-through-aluminum-frame-5646
While it is not exactly what you may need, it may be possible to piece together the right windshield.
Good Luck,
MUDFLAT
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