TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...

By WC53
I noticed several Jem builds here in the past, so I figured I would post in this great forum for any tips.
I will be at a relatives house for the month of June helping with post surgery care. I will have a garage at my disposal, so I figured I would build a kayak. My plan would be to cut out most of the parts prior to my trip and transport the strongback and parts in my truck.

I am looking for a recommendation for a SOT kayak for fishing. I currently fish out of a Jackson big tuna in solo configuration and sight seeing in tandem. I fish the creeks and flats off the ICW primarily north of St. Augustine Florida. Lots of shallow water with oysters! I travel the ICW to get to the creeks, so boat wakes are a reality, but I don't fish off the beach. I primarily target reds in the shallows or trout around the docks. Our tidal drop is around 5 feet most days.

I am in my mid 50's ( 5-10, 210ish :) ) and balance is not as good as it once was, or so the song goes, and stability is important. I prefer a slightly square stern for throwing it in the truck bed (with bed extender) and would probably shorten a 15' a foot or so. The idea of building in a Hobie drive well is intriguing to have as an option. I would like to build the kayak as lite as possible.

I built a small V hull and strip canoe in my 20's and have good wood working skills and have made a lot of furniture involving complex glue ups and joinery.

For those familiar with the JEM designs, do you have a recommendation based on my criteria? Thanks in advance for any advise. A wadefish 32 shortened by a foot or so is my inclination.

Thanks for any help

By WC53
Thank you. I have read his thread a few times over on the Jem board. I Did send an email to Matt to get access to the forum. They dont seem to have near the traffic that posts over here.

By Woodnyakr409
You will get more communication on the JEM forum once you begin your build. It's not uncommon to get advice and construction tips from builders all over the world. Good luck on your project! Post pics!
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By bowgarguide
I have built 14 of Jems designs and they rock ,plus Matt will work with you any way he can.
I am sorry but I cant give any advice on a sot all my boats have been pretty open cockpit sink (sit inside).
One thing you might consider is the longer your boat the more stable it will be and ease of paddling and speed go with the longer boats.
Will be looking forward to your build.
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By awoodman
What Ron said is true....I wouldnt have anything under 15 foot long.....I just finished my 20th boat.......and considering my first sit on top with some weight removal mods.......
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By AyJay
I've been away a while with business and a move to Austin underway, but I built a Gem Sabalo a few years back and it is a great, sturdy boat. A big 15' SOT that I've paddled miles out into the gulf and caught many sharks and bull reds and kingfish from.

There are some modifications that could be made to lighten the boat up a bit, as it is a bit heavy. 90lb or so. It moves well in the water though.
By WC53
I purchased the plans for the wadefish 15-32. Unfortunately I found termites in my shop walls to the point that I don't know how it was standing... I am starting to see daylight on the shop rebuild and hopefully can start the build before the first of the year.
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By Mullet Key
I build the Wadefish 15 about 8-9 years ago. See my Houston Build entries on the JEM support forum. It my only SOT. The only think I wish I had built into the boat are the intergraded grab handles on the gunnels. There is nothing to hold on to at those points and the screw on handles don't the control one needs when loading by myself. I like the way Matt worked with the builder who wanted to drop in a Mirage Drive.

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