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Wellcraft V-20, Steplift, or 180 capsizing problem?

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  • Wellcraft V-20, Steplift, or 180 capsizing problem?

    I posted this in the Wellcraft forum too, but I thought I would post here for more responses and unbiased opinions.

    I love the looks of the V-20 CC and Steplift, and I am considering purchasing a similar Wellcraft, the 180 Fisherman. However, I have heard that there were some issues with these boats (the V-20s) capsizing in moderate seas due to swells picking up the flared bow and flipping them over. These boats have the beautiful lines of the sportfisherman boats, but in a much smaller scale. From what I have heard, this design actaully became counter-effective at the smaller scale making them dangerous. However, I can't find hard evidence to back up the hearsay. So, my questions are as follows:

    Is this true about the V-20s?

    If so, does it apply to the 180 Fisherman as well (the older models ~ say 1980s)?

    I really like these boats and I am not picking on Wellcraft at all; just trying to ensure the safety of me and my family. Any help is appreciated!


  • #2
    Re: Wellcraft V-20, Steplift, or 180 capsizing problem?

    i have no knowledge of any boat that has an inherit capsize problem, other than a canoe, or jon boat with a 300lb man.

    in experienced captains, not being aware of conditions, is 99% of all boating accidents. you have to know your boat and what it will and will not take.

    any boat in the right conditions and improperly piloted can capsize.

    sounds more of a wives tale.

    if you like the boat, it will serve your needs buy it. and learn what it will do.
    FLORIDA GATORS
    TEBOW Country



    Please, NO PM's (Private Messages) regarding boat/engine problems. they will not be answered.
    That is what these forums are for. Post your questions, in the appropriate Forum.

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    • #3
      Re: Wellcraft V-20, Steplift, or 180 capsizing problem?

      I have a friend with a 89 or 90 180 fisherman and it does fine and is relatively stable. It is not a boat that you would want to take out in rough seas, but I would not want to take any 18 footer out in rough seas. It handles normal chop just fine and is a pretty dry ride. Hope this helps.

      Comment



      • #4
        Re: Wellcraft V-20, Steplift, or 180 capsizing problem?

        If a big bow flare is dangerous then boats with "Carolina Flares" would be dangerous as well. Names synonymous with rough water performance like Grady White, Parker, Southport, Regulator and Albemarle all make extensive use of large bow flares on their boats.

        The V20 is a solid well built boat although it will pound a bit in a heavy chop.
        Grady White 226
        200 Evinrude Ocean Pro
        Evinrude Renegade Offshore Prop

        Furuno FCV 587 Sounder
        Garmin 4208 Multifunction Display
        ICOM M504A VHF
        Shakespeare Galaxy 5225-XT Antennas

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        • #5
          Re: Wellcraft V-20, Steplift, or 180 capsizing problem?

          However, I can't find hard evidence to back up the hearsay.
          Ayuh,............

          There might be a Reason for That........................
          It sounds like a Crock of Doo to me........
          Any Grease is Better,..... Than No Grease at All.......

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          • #6
            Re: Wellcraft V-20, Steplift, or 180 capsizing problem?

            Never heard this rumor before. A quick search on the USCG website turned up only ONE incident involving a Wellcraft and that was a collision. I've known Wellcraft owners for over 30 years and believe the boats are very well designed and built. Would love to own one myself. Good luck!
            Old geezer who never worked a day as a professional in the marine industry but has been fooling with outboard motors for 55+ years!

            Comment



            • #7
              Re: Wellcraft V-20, Steplift, or 180 capsizing problem?

              Thanks for all the replies. It seems so far that the 180 would be a safe bet for me, and may even the V-20 if I could afford to buy/feed/tow it. I knew that generally flare is ones friend, but was intrigued with the thought that it could become countereffictive based on its height above the waterline vs wave height.

              The shape of the hull, along with the layout of the interior of the 180 (specifically the raised area up front) is why I am interested in this boat. I also like the Mako 17, but the wife prefers the Wellcraft design because the installation of a large cushion could make a good seating area up front for her and our children.

              As dingbat mentioned, the Wellcraft has a bit of Carolina Flare, and that's what I like about it. I lived in coastal Carolina for years and I love that styling. If I weren't so far from the coast now, I'd be looking at the Gradys or Albermarles. Unfortunately, I need something cheap to tow for 5hrs.

              As a side note, does anyone know any negatives to the 180s that had the factory full transom/bracket setup? I think I will try to find one of these, because the full transom seems to offer a few advantages: less chance of swamping the boat (but possibly increased chance of swamping the motor), more space in the stern, and maybe less chance of the transom needing replacement. The only disadvantages I can think of is it may be more difficult to work a fish around the stern, and it makes the whole rig a little longer. Also, I worry a little about balance ~ since the motor is farther aft, does it act as a lever causing the bow to ride to high?

              Maybe I'm thinking too deep into this. Does anyone have any insight/advice/experiece they are willing to share?

              Thanks for all the replies thus far!

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              • #8
                Re: Wellcraft V-20, Steplift, or 180 capsizing problem?

                A full transom with a bracket is a great set up. About the only disadvantage is that the boat is longer and can make storage a challenge.

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                • #9
                  Re: Wellcraft V-20, Steplift, or 180 capsizing problem?

                  I have a Sportsman 180 from Wellcraft. Its a 2007. I have found just the opposite of your rummers you have heard. When drift fishing and a wave comes up to the flair, The boyancy of that flair realy lifts the front up. From the top of the flair to where the deck starts is about 8". I takes a very large wave to go over the top, about 4' when drift fishing, and you need to be about 250lbs standing on the very front. And still I dont think it would go in/over / or anything.

                  My 180 is very good when seas are 2-3 foot. Wellcraft desighns there boats to be used in salt water. Salt water equals larger bodies of water and that mean bigger waves and larger boats with larger wakes. I have been out with many friends with diffrent manufacturers in the 18' range. Many times they are ready to go back to more sheltered waters when my boat is wanting play in the waves.

                  Find one for sale and take it for a sea trial. When you get back you will be writing a check with confidence that you are makeing a good decision.

                  Comment



                  • #10
                    Re: Wellcraft V-20, Steplift, or 180 capsizing problem?

                    Don't know about the Wellcraft bracket but most I'm familiar with provide additional buoyancy to counter the motor weight.

                    Not sure about the 180 but a lot of boats with brackets are a little quirky when backing up. You have to trim the motor up a bit to give you some maneuverability. Otherwise the thrust just pushes against the back of the transom. A minor inconvenience but can be a pain if you have to back down in the hurry for some reason.
                    Grady White 226
                    200 Evinrude Ocean Pro
                    Evinrude Renegade Offshore Prop

                    Furuno FCV 587 Sounder
                    Garmin 4208 Multifunction Display
                    ICOM M504A VHF
                    Shakespeare Galaxy 5225-XT Antennas

                    Comment



                    • #11
                      Re: Wellcraft V-20, Steplift, or 180 capsizing problem?

                      Thanks for all of the good information. I think my mind is made up, now I just need to find one. I hadn't thought about the thrust issue when backing up; sounds like I'll have to get used to that. I'm glad to hear that this boat performs as good as it looks. Thanks again so much for the help!

                      Comment



                      • #12
                        Re: Wellcraft V-20, Steplift, or 180 capsizing problem?

                        where are you getting your information??? i have NEVER heard these things about the V-20 or the 18 fisherman/sport......i own an 18 sport...and i can promise you that it is hands down one of the BEST 18ft boats you can possibly own....check out wellcraftv20.com and you will see that these boats have a CULT following....and the reason for it is because they are GREAT boats......boats do not capsize because of bow flare...period...

                        my 1991 18 sport has been out in 4ft waves...trolling!!! it eats up 2ft chop for breakfast......it weights in at 2200lb dry..its a lil tank!... same weight as the older V-20s...which makes for a great ride.........i've ridden in 20-23ft boats that dont ride as good as mine..... all i can say is they are great boats with a great ride for their size and your information you heard is not true in the least...wellcraftv20.com has a for sale and trade forum which the members track and post v-20 and v-18's for sale...it is your best resource for them.

                        The Fish Slaya!!!!!!

                        Run it till the prop falls off!!!

                        Comment



                        • #13
                          Re: Wellcraft V-20, Steplift, or 180 capsizing problem?

                          Nice lookin boat! Why did you post that ... now I want one!
                          Please don't PM me on advice issues - let's keep that in the forums, so that everyone can benefit. Please note that I do not email PDFs, etc. I have a bandwidth limited aircard for internet access. My avatar does not mean I have any offical link to iboats. I just like it!

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                          • #14
                            Re: Wellcraft V-20, Steplift, or 180 capsizing problem?

                            My 180 rides through the waves like a dream. This is my first post but I had to chime in on the Wellcraft issue. Whats a good size powerplant for the 180?

                            Comment



                            • #15
                              Re: Wellcraft V-20, Steplift, or 180 capsizing problem?

                              Originally posted by northendbob View Post
                              My 180 rides through the waves like a dream. This is my first post but I had to chime in on the Wellcraft issue. Whats a good size powerplant for the 180?
                              A 115 seems to work real well even with several people on board. A 90 will do if it is just one or two, but the extra power is always nice to have.

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