The Question

Dear Gord,

I'm looking for a 12-foot boat. My question is: which boat will be best for an older couple: a Lund WC-12, a Princecraft Ungava or a Smokercraft Alaskan 12. In particular, we need a boat that’s stable and easy to get in and out of.

Bryn Jones
100 Mile House, British Columbia

The Answer

While I run a 1925 Kingfisher Flex with a 200 HP Verado, with electric trolling motors front and back, and sonar/GPS units that wouldn’t be out of place on the space shuttle, the truth is that I've caught some of my biggest fish while casting and trolling out of smaller boats, just like the ones you mention.

With a smaller boat you can access remote, fish-filled, backcountry waters that many folks avoid or just can't get to with bigger boats. In fact, a 12-footer sounds perfect for getting into the many beautiful little lakes around your part of B.C.

Unfortunately, I can't answer your specific question about which boat would be best suited to your needs. However, I can suggest some characteristics you should probably consider. First, as a general rule, the wider (more beam) and deeper the boat is, the more stable it be. Since you say that stability is important, I would completely avoid a boat that is narrow and/or shallow, as they tend to be tippy.

You will find that wider and deeper boats will weigh a bit more, but rather than being a negative, the few extra pounds will actually add to the stability and overall performance of the boat. Bottom line, I'd take each one out for a careful test ride to evaluate its seaworthiness. Only when you are running it—on the water—can you determine if it will meet your expectations. Good luck with your purchase.

A friend,

Gord Pyzer