Whether you like fly-fishing from a canoe or a kayak or not, it’s hard to deny how nice it is to simply load your boat on a rack or in the bed of a truck at the end of the day. If only dealing with a skiff were that easy. Thanks to a new design from Dragonfly Boatworks, it might be. Dragonfly’s Marsh Hen takes the term microskiff one step further.
Design and Construction
With the rising interest in extreme access to shallow water, Dragonfly Boatworks set out to design a watercraft that would use minimum horsepower and still have a good running surface to cross rough water. In addition, the boat needed to be quiet and easy to handle. The answer the design crew came up with is the Marsh Hen, a 14-foot skiff that weighs in at only 135 pounds. Because it is so lightweight and has a beam of only 48 inches, two people can literally pick the skiff up to be transported in the bed of a pickup truck or on a set of SUV luggage racks. One of the most unique features of the Marsh Hen is the entry that allows the skiff to have a quiet rolled surface, which means there is no reflective area to create hull slap. The bottom edge of the transom is also rolled so that a single angler can effectively stern-pole from the bow and still maintain a stealthy approach.
Running and Fishing
The Marsh Hen will easily plane out with two anglers under the power of a 9.9 hp engine. Anglers may also decide to rig it out with some of the new high-output electric motors. Dragon-fly designers noticed the increase in inflatable watercraft being used as tenders by midrange sport-fishing boats. While inflatables work just fine for short trips to the mainland, they don’t necessarily make the best boat to pursue shallow-water game fish from, whereas the Marsh Hen does. Another interesting option is the removable tire system. This allows the boat to be moved easily and also gives anglers the ability to launch the skiff in questionable areas such as beaches and canal banks. Once the Marsh Hen is launched, the wheels are removed and you are ready to fish.
FUEL: 6 gals.
WEIGHT: 135 lbs.
MAX HP: 15