top of page
  • captconner

Skiff Talk Ep. 1 HB Guide & Whipray

Video link:

Overview by Capt. Conner Bryant.

When I close my eyes and I think of poling skiffs my mind immediately drifts towards a Chris Morejohn designed skiff being silently poled across a clearwater flat with the Hells Bay logo on the side. That could be in part from growing up watching Walkers Cay wishing I could be like Flip when I grew up, and idolizing some of the other names that shortly after created Hells Bay Boatworks. Today I'm not going to go too far down a rabbit hole on Hells Bay, but I am going to talk about two of their models, and one being the original model!

~ Hells Bay Guide

Length 18’4”

Weight 695 lbs

Draft 5”

Max Person 4

Max HP 90

Fuel capacity 28 Gal

To start off this particular model is an O’Bannon Edition and is a 2001 hull.

Depending on the year, and what was ordered at the time they can change in layout. Moving back from bow to stern the first thing you will notice is a small anchor compartment located just forward of the bow cleat. This compartment has drainage and has shallow gutters on the hatch. Behind the bow cleat is a large forward compartment, with deep gutters on the hatch as well as drainage on the hatch. I personally have never had an issue with water ever getting into this compartment. I can house two batteries, a battery charger, and all required safety equipment in this compartment and still have plenty of room for guests to keep bags safe and dry in it. Oh and not to mention this is where the 28 gallon fuel tank is located. One thing to note is the front compartment does not drain, if water gets in you will manually have to get it out. Continuing back, to the console and jump seat is a large livewell under the jump seat. This well runs the length of the console with drainage located on the back of the console on the deck below the helm. Hells Bay does a fantastic job in my opinion of keeping boats simple and easy to work on. You’ll notice minimum switches and the access to the inside of the console for rigging is located behind the jump seat back. Behind the console are three hatches Port Side- Open compartment where I keep tackle, and you'll also find rigging for the main livewell. This compartment is open from the bulkhead to the sponson, so its a pretty large compartment as well.

Center- This is the main livewell, and a massive one at that. Powered with a 800 gallon per hour (GPH) livewell pump, you will have no problem keeping bait alive with this one. It also has a main drain that is a through hole in the bottom. Which makes emptying the water out once you're back on a trailer a breeze. Two valves control your water in and out of the well, allowing you to create a current of fresh sea water flowing through.

Starboard- House battery, rigging for the livewell, and wiring for the boat are ran through this compartment. This being a larger skiff offers it to be a great example of how Hells Bay makes this easy to be worked on. I have no problem crawling into this compartment to clean it or do any kind of work on the wiring or rigging. Just like the port side this compartment is open from bulkhead to sponson.

Yamaha F70, 3 blade 16p prop- Extremely reliable outboards, easy to work on, parts are easy to come by, and so many videos online for DIY maintenance and repairs.

~ Hell's Bay Whipray

This particular microskiff is a 2005 hull. The original hull manufactured by Hell's Bay was the Whipray hull, back in 1997.

Length 16’ 4”

Weight 570lbs

Draft 4”

Max Person 3

Max HP 70

Fuel Capacity

22 Gallon

Very similar to the Guide when moving from bow to stern you have a large forward compartment with deep gutters on the hatch to keep things dry as well as access to the fuel tank, and storage. On the particular model the jump seat is a cooler with a drain on the starboard side of the console. Again very simple, easy to work on switch panel and easy access into the console. This model has an access behind the console under the helm that allows you to see behind the switch panel and helm rigging. Three compartments are located behind the console Center also being a livewell, powered with a 800 GPH pump and offering the ability to flow water in and out of the well. One noticeable difference is a smaller livewell, but still large for the size of the skiff.

Starboard is an open and roomy storage compartment which is easy to access for rigging and wiring.

Port side compartment is also open and housing the power pole pump and plenty of room for tackle storage.

Powered with a Yamaha F70 with a 3 blade 16 pitch prop, this skiff boogies! These are two great options for center console skiffs, one being a larger higher freeboard skiff and the other smaller and perfect for getting lost on the backwaters.

2 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page