Stealth is a small flats boat with a quiet
trolling motor or push pole. Super stealth is a kayak.
Put the two together and you have a long range fishing
(Author's Chiquita and Ocean Kayak onboard)
- THE CHIQUITA
- At 14-1/2 ft., the Chiquita is a low profile flats boat that has more
useable deck space than bay boats many feet longer. This is due to the
generous 7 ft. beam that gives this boat a ride that's incredible for a
boat this size. Also, because of the low profile, there's virtually no
surface on the deck that's wasted. A 15' kayak can be placed on one side
of the deck (with minimal effort) leaving plenty of room for up to two
anglers to still fish comfortably. You'll also not have to squeeze between
the hull and console to move from the front to the back of the boat. There's
plenty of room to easily walk past the console in normal fashion, and both
sides of the console even have built-in rod holders.
- The Chiquita & Your 'Yak
- The advantages of being able to transport
a kayak into the back country, instead of paddling it there are numerous.
Time and distance become compressed allowing much further forays to better
fishing grounds. And once there, chances of catching something improves
greatly due to the stealth of the kayak.
- Launching a kayak from a Chiquita is effortless and quiet. Release
the rope loop pulling it against the console and with a 1/4 roll it's over
the side and into the water. To get aboard the kayak, just bring it against
the Chiquita, sit down on the deck of the boat and then slide your butt
over into the 'yak, steady yourself and bring your legs in. Try this from
any boat other than a low sided flats boat and you're likely to get very
wet. To get it back on the boat, just slide it on deck and tilt it against
the console. Then get onboard and tie it on. My Ocean Pro 'yak has four
drain holes in pairs of two spaced about four feet apart. Perfect for looping
a nylon rope through one end and going around the console to do the same
in the next two group of holes. Snug the yak against against the console
and use a good knot to secure it.
- Prowling the Flats
- The 7 foot beam of the Chiquita is key in making it capable of handling
water much rougher than you can ever imagine for a boat this size. This
is one of those things you have to experience to appreciate. It handles
like a much longer boat due to the wide beam which provides a very smooth,
stable and dry ride.
- The Chiquita's tunnel hull also allows it to run in extremly shallow
water - like three to four inches, when necessary. It will definitely run
in water shallower than it can float.
I've found I can raise the jack plate to its max which places the prop
well inside the tunnel. Even at this level the engine still picks up cooling
water and produces a steady stream out of the tattle tail.
- The low sides of the Chiquita are another advantage you will appreciate
when wadefishing. Whether the boat is anchored in three feet of water or
one, it's three inch gunnel makes getting in, or out of the boat, a breeze.
Either just step in or and sit down on the deck and swing your legs in.
It's that easy.
- If you are considering a Chiquita...
- No. 1 - This is not a boat for anyone that wants a family boat, unless
it's for you and the wife... This is a one or two person boat.
- No. 2 - Anything on the deck not tied down will go over the stern when
you accelerate or run for any distance. Never put a rod and reel on the
deck because one time you will forget to put it in a rod rack before taking
off. I was only spared from a very expensive lesson once by the rear cleat
on the gunnel that snagged the line on one of two rod and reels just as
they were exiting the boat. The other rod and reel was snagged by the first.
- No. 3 - Decelerating quickly into oncoming waves will result in a deck
washing. Another reason to only put things on deck that you can afford
- No. 4 - Expect to get your feet wet occasionally - not when running,
usually, but when anchored, drifting, poling, or using a trolling motor.
The sides are low but no matter how much water taken in, the boat quickly
sheds it out the stern scupper holes.
- No. 5 - Launching and sometimes loading, will often result in water
coming over the low stern depending on the ramp angle. Not to worry though
as it drains away quickly.
- No. 6 - A jack plate is a key part in making this boat perform as intended.
Don't try to save a few hundred bucks by eliminating this feature.
- No. 7 - As a jack plate is an indispensable tool for the boat, so is
a trolling motor. I have a 55 lb. thrust Minn Kota Riptide trolling motor
mounted to the deck and it provides plenty of power. It's fast enough to
really move the boat at its top speed and quiet enough on the lowest setting
to move within striking distance of fish on the flats.
- No. 8 - Add a "whale tail", or similar product to the outboard.
Boat performance will improve dramatically. The boat's manufacturer, Marine
Service, produces their own version of this device and that's the one I
use. (The one in the above photo is barely submerged but the boat is capable
of a hole shot at this position.)
- No. 9 - As for motor size, a 50 hp is recommended but some go with
a 40 hp. The 50 hp Nissan that Marine Service installs is still extremely
economical on fuel and pushes the boat close to 30 mph.
- No. 10 - Go with a 3-bladed stainless steel prop instead of a 4. The
difference in take-off acceleration (hole shot) is dramatic. Keep the Nissan
prop that comes with the motor as a spare. Custom stainless props are manufactured
- Marine Service is a custom boat builder located on Hwy 87 in Port Lavaca,
Texas. To find out more about the Chiquita or other boats manufactured
there, give Forest Canion a call at 361-552-4975.
[ Articles | Home