The designers and craftsmen at Hell’s Bay Boatworks must never sleep. In addition to recently introducing two new models, the Skate and the Neptune, those at Hell’s Bay somehow found the time to merge the concepts of two popular models into a skiff that is sure to catch the eye of any shallow-water fishing enthusiast. The Ambush and the Glades Skiff, two vessels that have helped shape how fly-anglers go about fishing the backcountry, are both compact, spec-ialized crafts that typically run on small engines. “With companies eliminating portable two-stroke engines, it was necessary for us to come up with a boat that would be able to handle the extra heft of a four-stroke,” says Hell’s Bay owner, Chris Peterson. The result is the newly redesigned Glades Skiff. Hell’s Bay recognized a need and met the challenge by creating this lightweight fishing machine.
**Running and Fishing
**Fly-fishermen in the market for a boat that can weave in and out of the nar-rowest mangrove canals or stalk the flats in search of nervous shallow-water game fish will definitely want to take a hard look at the new and improved Glades Skiff. The updated design is a true technical poling skiff, and while the standard model doesn’t offer baitwells or any other fancy frills, it can easily be customized with a variety of options, including a built-in coffin box in the cockpit.
Maneuvering the boat from the poling platform is incredibly easy, and the craft is so stealthy you can practically glide right over top of a fish without it even knowing. Not only is the boat a great tool for stalking skinny-water species, but it also excels while running from spot to spot. With the new design, anglers can expect a smooth, dry ride even while running at speeds reaching 30 mph. Though the new Glades Skiff is somewhat small in stature (measuring just under 18 feet), it performs with the attitude and edge of a much larger boat.
**Design and Construction
**Just like all of the boats in the Hell’s Bay fleet, the redesigned Glades Skiff is constructed with a full Kevlar hull with hand-laid but vacuum-bagged Core Cell construction. Designing the hull in this manner is how Hell’s Bay is able to achieve maximum strength without compromising with extra weight. The new Glades Skiff is slightly larger than its predecessor, but it still drafts less than 4 inches of water.
In addition to compensating displacement in the aft of the boat, the team completely redesigned the skiff into an even more effective fishing tool. The hull has a tumble-home design, the size of the casting deck was increased favorably, there is more under-gunwale rod storage, and the amount of underdeck storage for various items, including foul-weather gear, maps, anchors and fly boxes, has increased. These are just a few of the features adding to the overall fishability of the boat, and once you take a ride for yourself, you will certainly find plenty of others.
Hell’s Bay Boatworks / Titusville, Florida / 321-383-8223 / www.hellsbayboatworks.com