Hull Design Consideration for 14' Utility Boats

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mattNYtrout

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Hi All!

I joined this forum after purchasing a 14' mirrocraft with a 15 hp Honda. When I look at this hull design, I picture myself being a nervous wreck. This boat has a 64" beam, V entry, flat bottom, with rounded chines. I know this this hull design will lack primary stability, which requires getting used to. That said, I picture myself being tipped over as I drift fish and wakes and waves hit me. I've talked myself into being afraid to launch this boat. I'm not proud to admit this 😟.

I look at the hull design of the Lund SSV14: more beam, bit heavier hull, hard chines, and some dead rise at the stern. I picture myself feeling and being more secure in this hull so much so that I'm considering a purchase. I know it's a bit nuts to give up on a boat that I haven't been out on. Financially, I will lose money, but my current trailer, 15 hp Honda, trolling motor, and fish finder will all transfer over to a new hull. I'm ok with that! I also recognize that my 15 hp will be less efficient on the SSV14. I'm ok with that as well. The tradeoff I want is a better hull.

I've resigned myself to the fact that I will never be able to afford a bigger boat and bigger tow vehicle, so a 14' utility boat is the option within my means. I also respect the limitations of a small boat and have no delusions of my boat fishing offshore for salmon; I fish the Finger Lakes and have to pick my days.

I'm torn....do I:

- stick with the mirrocraft and try to get used to it?

- upgrade to the SSV14 because of the hull design?

- am I over estimating how much "better" the SSV hull will be? Will the gains in stability be marginal and not warrant a new hull?

- build a floatation collar for my mirrocraft to increase primary stability? Buying a Kapten Boat collar, for instance, isn't feasible as it's half the cost of a new SSV14 hull.

Anyone with experience in a 14' mirrocraft have any insight?

Thanks all
 

MrGiggles

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I had a 14' Alumacraft that was pretty similar in dimensions to your Mirrocraft. Soft chines, flat bottom in the rear. Not sure what the beam was but the floor was 48" wide in the back. I thought that boat was very stable. I had a deck over the front 3 benches and found it to be plenty stable to walk on, I could stand on the gunnel if I wanted. That boats weakness was the short transom, not much freeboard so it was pretty easily swamped if you took a wake from behind.

The first time on the big water can be intimidating. Once you get some confidence and seat time I'm sure you'll find it to be pretty capable, if not, at least you'll know.
 

mattNYtrout

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You're probably right - it's going to come down to seat time. I'm comfortable in kayaks and big boats, but have no experience with small tin boats.

I do worry about the short transom. I've seen splash guards thar can be purchased and mounted on the transom, so I may go that route.
 

mattNYtrout

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You're probably right - it's going to come down to seat time. I'm comfortable in kayaks and big boats, but have no experience with small tin boats.

I do worry about the short transom. I've seen splash guards thar can be purchased and mounted on the transom, so I may go that route
 

InSaneFisherMan

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Thanks for the response and heads up on recall status 👍

What type of waters and conditions do you boat in with your mirrorcraft?
Mostly lakes in Kansas. Wind is crazy here. I always check the wind forecast before doing anything outdoors.

Like any small boat, you have to be aware of the conditions.

It's not as stable as some flat bottoms or wider boats, but nothing that concerns me.

Spend some time in it and you'll learn it's + & -!
 

Tinman2111

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I too have a 14' Mirrocraft that I completely redid and use to fish lakes in Utah. It's a great little boat, I seriously have more fun in it than my old Cabo47!

Its been plenty stable, and I've had wife, teenage son and 95 pound dog in it with me.

I really think you'll enjoy it, and as already stated, be aware of the conditions.
 

RaisedByWolves

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You're probably right - it's going to come down to seat time. I'm comfortable in kayaks and big boats, but have no experience with small tin boats.

I do worry about the short transom. I've seen splash guards thar can be purchased and mounted on the transom, so I may go that route
I have this same boat, but my transom is not short. Does yours have a dip in the transom or is it straight?

I’m a lil bit over 300lbs and it’s not what I would consider tippy even with me stumbling around in it.

I even tore out the stock seats, raised the floor and installed two pedistal seats that raise the seating height probably 1.5’ over the old benches and it fishes just fine and is rock solid on plane.
 

airshot

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Your Mirro is a good boat !! Owned one for a few years, mine had an 18 hp Evinrude on it, we skied behind it !! Fished three of us without issues. Never felt unstable..you need to remember that hull design can make some boats a little more tippy, but would never consider it dangerous!! You should definetly try it a few times......
 

RaisedByWolves

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Your Mirro is a good boat !! Owned one for a few years, mine had an 18 hp Evinrude on it, we skied behind it !! Fished three of us without issues. Never felt unstable..you need to remember that hull design can make some boats a little more tippy, but would never consider it dangerous!! You should definetly try it a few times......
There are a lot of things to not like about the hull design, but tippy it is not.

I hate the soft rolled transition where the transom meets the bottom. The water sticks to this and it makes motor height a ***** to get right.

I’m throwing 2’-3’ rooster tails on either side of the motor due to this, but if I go any higher it blows out in turns and chop.
 

airshot

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There are a lot of things to not like about the hull design, but tippy it is not.

I hate the soft rolled transition where the transom meets the bottom. The water sticks to this and it makes motor height a ***** to get right.

I’m throwing 2’-3’ rooster tails on either side of the motor due to this, but if I go any higher it blows out in turns and chop.
Had a similiar issue on an aluminum boat ( not a mirro craft) where the joint between transom and bottom was crude. Mine thru up nasty spray right into the boat over the transom!! I ended up using auto body filler to reshape the area and cover the ton of rivet heads sticking out. Sanded it to shape and painted over, worked great and actually added two mph on my boat and no wild spray !!
 

Montana300

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I have a similar hull--14' Game Fisher (basically a Lowe 1457 sold by Sears in the 90's) and have 15 horse on it. I use it for both fishing and duck hunting. Like with any small boat you do have to pick your days to not go, and I tend to be fairly conservative because with low freeboard and rounded chines there's less margin for error. That said, I've been pleasantly surprised by the boat's overall stability. No problem standing on the middle bench in calm open water or moving front to back. I don't go if the wind is forecast for >25MPH and during summer fishing I try to be off the lake reasonably early before the wake boats get going. But it's handled more than I thought it would, just takes some seat time to get used to the feeling of how the boat behaves in different conditions.
 

mattNYtrout

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You feel secure sitting that high above the bench seats? I do like that setup versus a full casting deck

I have this same boat, but my transom is not short. Does yours have a dip in the transom or is it straight?

I’m a lil bit over 300lbs and it’s not what I would consider tippy even with me stumbling around in it.

I even tore out the stock seats, raised the floor and installed two pedistal seats that raise the seating height probably 1.5’ over the old benches and it fishes just fine and is rock solid on plane.
The transom dips down and I short shaft outboard.

I'm a heavier guy north of 300, so that's reassuring to hear. I just thought with those rounded chines she would roll like crazy.
 

mattNYtrout

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Your Mirro is a good boat !! Owned one for a few years, mine had an 18 hp Evinrude on it, we skied behind it !! Fished three of us without issues. Never felt unstable..you need to remember that hull design can make some boats a little more tippy, but would never consider it dangerous!! You should definetly try it a few times......
Thanks for your perspective!
 

mattNYtrout

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Thanks for your perspective!
I have a similar hull--14' Game Fisher (basically a Lowe 1457 sold by Sears in the 90's) and have 15 horse on it. I use it for both fishing and duck hunting. Like with any small boat you do have to pick your days to not go, and I tend to be fairly conservative because with low freeboard and rounded chines there's less margin for error. That said, I've been pleasantly surprised by the boat's overall stability. No problem standing on the middle bench in calm open water or moving front to back. I don't go if the wind is forecast for >25MPH and during summer fishing I try to be off the lake reasonably early before the wake boats get going. But it's handled more than I thought it would, just takes some seat time to get used to the feeling of how the boat behaves in different conditions.
I too am conservative regarding conditions.

I mounted a trolling motor on the bow and wondered how easily I could move forward from the bench seat to deploy the motor. I suppose go slow, go low, and step purposefully is the key
 

mattNYtrout

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There are a lot of things to not like about the hull design, but tippy it is not.

I hate the soft rolled transition where the transom meets the bottom. The water sticks to this and it makes motor height a ***** to get right.

I’m throwing 2’-3’ rooster tails on either side of the motor due to this, but if I go any higher it blows out in turns and chop.
What do you mean by the water "sticks" to the soft round chines at the stern?
 
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