Are you planning on buying a boat to fish in the flats? Maybe you want a watercraft for navigating the bayou? A micro skiff offers you a fantastic option for your boat. Micro skiffs are slender, short boats ideal for floating one or two people on a fishing trip.
There are dozens of models available in different lengths, designs, and materials. Typically, these boats have low-power outboard or trolling motors, and some models also use wind-powered operation from fans. Essentially, a micro skiff is the evolution of the dinghy. They suit shallow waters and flats, allowing you to get into any location you want to fish.
This guide to micro skiffs gives you everything you need to know about these watercraft.
- What Is a Micro Skiff?
- What are the Types of Micro Skiffs?
- Top Micro Skiff Boat Brands & Models
- Advantages of Micro Skiffs
- Wrapping Up
What Is a Micro Skiff?
It’s somewhat challenging to define a micro skiff. These boats come in so many designs that there is no general definition for the watercraft. However, if we had to pin down the characteristic of a good micro skiff, we’re looking at a slender boat with decent length up to 12-feet, and enough room for one or two passengers.
However, boating enthusiasts refuse to come to a consensus on the micro skiff design. Check out boating forums, and you’re bound to find a thread that’s a million pages long arguing about the design of a micro skiff.
When it comes to the operating characteristics of micro skiffs, they suit to use in calm waters, usually rivers, waterways, and flats. These boats have short sidewalls, and they can’t handle rough waters. Taking a micro skiff into the ocean is not an option for owners.
Micro skiffs come in a variety of lengths. Some are short and light enough to fit on a hand trailer, while others can sit on car roof racks, and others require a trailer for moving them around. Some people might think of the micro skiff as a motorized paddleboard, and some models are even shorter than paddleboards with the same width.
The body of the micro skiff features a flat deck, and some might have seating cast into the plastic or fiberglass deck. The skiffs lightweight design means that you get plenty of speed from a low-powered trolling or outboard motor, and most models have motors with capacities under 50-HP.
The micro skiff also lacks storage, and they have a design unsuitable for carrying heavy loads. Most skiffs can withstand the weight of one or two passengers and your gear.
What are the Types of Micro Skiffs?
When you’re looking at micro skiffs, you’ll find they come in three models. Each of the models differs in performance, mobility, and functionality.
Ultralight Micro Skiff Models
The ultralight is the most common micro skiff in the water. This model is larger than the cartop model but smaller than a full-size skiff. These boats average weight of around 150-lbs, and they have unpowered or powered options available.
The smaller size allows for easy launching and handling, but they are not a performance boat by any means.
Cartop Micro Skiff Models
The cartop model is the lightest choice for a micro skiff. These boats typically weigh less than 100-lbs, and they are light enough to mount to roof racks on your car for easy transport. Some models might be short enough to fit in the back of a pickup truck or van.
You can drag these boats by yourself in most cases, and it’s easy to carry with two people handling the boat. The lightweight design makes it easy to launch the boat from any location.
Full-sized Micro Skiff Models
The full-size micro skiff is the largest model in the range. These boats require a trailer to move them around, and they need a ramp for launching. These boats have a larger draft, and they don’t suit paddling.
Most models come with low-power outboard or trolling motors, and some feature air-powered designs using fans. However, you get the best stability in the range and the best performance. Typically, these skiffs are suitable for two passengers.
Top Micro Skiff Boat Brands & Models
If you’re looking for the best micro skiffs available, we cut down the time you need to spend on research. Read through our listings of the best micro skiffs available. This review has a model to suit any activity out on the water.
Wavewalk markets this model as a hybrid watercraft featuring design elements from skiffs and kayaks. The hybrid design provides excellent stability on the water, and it comfortably seats two passengers. This model comes with an optional 4.5-HP outboard motor capable of reaching speeds up to 10-mph.
The Wavewalk 700 allows for easily paddling in shallow water with a low draft that won’t catch on submerged trees and rocks. You also get a decent amount of storage space for a micro skiff, and the entire boat weighs only 80-lbs.
This model is one of the top choices in the market. You get accommodation for a 10-HP motor, and it’s ideal for use in shallow flats. The skiff weighs around 100-pounds, making it easy for one person to move around, offering you excellent portability of the watercraft.
This model even suits use in rougher conditions without presenting a sinking risk, and the boat can handle four-foot waves without capsizing. The higher sides on this watercraft provide better balance to the craft, and it features a wide front deck for casting.
The boat features design and construction with fiberglass, reducing its weight while providing you with a strong hull. Most other micro skiffs feature polyethylene construction, and fiberglass offers additional strength.
Hell’s Bay Glades
This full-size model is on the larger side of micro skiffs. However, you get a compact body with a total length of 17’8″, and it weighs 440-lbs, making it suitable for trailering. While it’s a heavy boat, it drafts comfortably in just 4-inches of water, making it ideal for fishing in the flats.
This model comes with a 58″ beam and accommodates outboard motors up to 30-HP. You get an ultra-strong Kevlar hull that’s resistant to bumps and knocks on submerged objects and a carbon fiber stringer system for added structural strength.
The boat also features comfortable rear deck seating cushions and carpeting on the sides. It’s a great choice for a fishing boat.
This paddle-powered model is lightweight and easy to self-launch from any location. You also have the option of attaching a low-powered motor to transform it into a space-efficient, lightweight fishing boat. It’s the ideal choice for fishing in shallow flats, and you get a stealthy approach that won’t scare off the fish.
You get thick side rails and a drop-deck cockpit with an optimal design for a dedicated fishing vessel. The boat is wide enough to handle chop and small waves, and there’s an inflatable model available in the range.
Beaver Tail 16 BT Micro
This skiff comes with a 16’18” length; it’s a slightly shorter version of the Beaver Strike. Fully loaded, this micro skiff can handle shallow waters, with a draft of just 5-inches. You’ll find it easy to get into shallow waters you think are only possible to reach with a kayak.
This model comes with onboard storage, hatches and cockpit liners, and an 8-gallon fuel tank. This full-size skiff offers you a capable fishing boat and a great choice for taking a friend out on a fishing trip in the waterways.
East Cape Glide
We recommend this model from East Cape Glide for fishing in the shallowest waters.
This boat is lightweight with a 58″ width and 17-foot length. It’s ideal for shallow water, featuring a draft of between four to five inches.
The boat weighs between 370 to 415-lbs, depending on the configuration you get from the dealer. This full-size skiff also accommodates outboard motors up to 30-HP for fast movement through the water to your fishing spot.
The transom features a four-degree deadrise, allowing the watercraft to sit below the waterline for better stability and quiet operation.
Ankona Shadowcast 18
This minimalist micro skiff offers you another excellent choice for fishing in shallow waters. This model is great for polling, and you get a surprising amount of stability when standing on the deck.
With an overall length of 17’11”, a 58-inch beam, and a weight of 350-lbs, you get a full-size micro skiff capable of handling some chop.
The skiff also accommodates a 30-HP outboard motor, and it pairs perfectly with the aggressive V-shape tunnel design bringing additional stability to the watercraft in rough conditions.
Dragonfly Emerger 16
This full-size micro skiff features a 16-foot length, and a 5’9″ beam, with a 5-inch draft. It’s a heavy skiff, weighing 500-lbs, and you get compatibility with a 70-HP outboard motor for a fast and stable boat offering you high-performance on the water.
This model is a real beast on the water and our choice for the flagship micro skiff in our review. While some might argue that the power and size of the vessel pull it out of the micro skiff class, we feel that it has the design elements and features we expect to see in a micro skiff.
Is a micro skiff the right boat for your fishing needs? Check out these pros and cons of micro skiffs to see if it’s the right choice for you.
Advantages of Micro Skiffs
The micro skiff is a user-friendly boat to operate. You don’t have to have any experience with boats to get the best performance out of these watercraft. They are the ideal starter boat for anyone that enjoys fishing.
The micro skiff offers you an affordable entry point into the market. Most of these boats retail for under $20,000 for full-size versions, and the smaller models can cost less than $5,00.
If you’re willing to look in the pre-owned market, you can find a great deal saving your thousands on the cost of a new boat. They are easy to repair and maintain, saving you on the costs of owning a larger fishing boat.
The micro skiff offers you a compact boat that’s easy to transport, launch, and pull from the water. The narrow design of the micro skiff allows it to go where other boats can’t fit, getting into narrow and shallow waterways.
The lightweight design of micro skiffs makes them easy to transport. Even the larger full-size models are easy to trailer with just two people managing the boat. The smaller models are easy to handle by yourself, and some of the lighter models suit transport on or in your car.
Trolling and Outboard Motors
The micro skiff is suitable for poling in the flats for stealthy approaches, and many models accommodate low-power outboard motors.
Efficient Fuel Consumption
Since you have a low-powered motor, you’ll save on fuel and maintenance costs.
Disadvantages of Micro Skiffs
Some models are compatible with outboard and trolling motors, but many smaller models are only suitable for paddling or poling.
Minimal Standing and Storage Space
The narrow width of the boat makes it somewhat unstable., Two people standing on the deck might unbalance even the larger models, resulting in a capsize. Even a full-size micro skiff is only capable of accommodating two passengers. Overloading the boat presents a sinking risk.
Cramped and Uncomfortable
The small size of these boats leaves little room for moving around the deck. As a result, they might be somewhat cramped and uncomfortable on long fishing trips.
Get the most out of your next fishing trip and purchase a micro skiff. This watercraft’s lightweight, agile design makes it ideal for use in shallow, narrow waterways around the Gulf Coast and Florida. They are also fantastic for navigating the Florida Keys.
The micro skiff is a compact and affordable model offering user-friendly operation and excellent efficiency with low running costs. If you’re looking for an entry-level fishing boat, it’s hard to beat the value you get with a micro skiff.