Skinny-Water Hero

If angling in knee-deep water is your favorite, you’re going to need a leaner boat.

With its 8-inch draft and 6-foot-8-inch beam, the 700-pound Dragonfly 17 is a solid, stable platform for shallow-water anglers.

Skiffs made for prowling the shallow waters haunted by bonefish, tarpon and permit are, by definition, highly specialized. The best models run dry in chop, float flat and steady for accurate casting, and respond quickly to a push pole in predictable fashion. That they can be customized precisely to suit a particular fishing style is a bonus for yachtsmen who love shallow-water fishing. An example is the [Dragonfly][] 17, which has a studied list of standard gear plus the most-wanted options gleaned from the builder’s years of experience.

ONLY ON THIS BOAT: Dragonfly skiffs feature a range of ­hydrographically printed finishes, including one that emulates teak trim without the need for tedious wood maintenance.

WHOM IT'S FOR: Yachtsmen craving a simple way to reach the flats. Pony up the $27,000 base price, add a 90 to 115 hp outboard, and then include options like a console with vertical stowage for six additional rods.

PICTURE THIS: You're floating in 10 inches of water when you spot fish tailing in the mangroves. You pivot the boat, give a push, step down from the poling platform, grab a rod and cast as the Dragonfly 17 glides into position. And the hunt is on.

Take a good look at the running shot of the Dragonfly 17, and you see an experienced boatbuilder’s design moving effortlessly across the water. Three pairs of lifting strakes and a significant chine produce the fast-planing characteristics with relatively low-horsepower outboards, while the chine and the bow flare add dryness in open water.
Before launching Dragonfly Boatworks, Mark Castlow (that’s him at the helm in the photo above) was a longtime partner at Maverick Boats, and he applies a wealth of that experience to the build and finish of all Dragonfly models.