Carolina Skiff Review: Key Features and Competing Models

Carolina Skiff is one of the best value fiberglass boats on the market that you can purchase. The manufacturer has carefully eschewed the bells and whistles that make most of their competitors’ boats too expensive. The boat offers you a combination of a steady reputation, affordability, and adequate features. In this Carolina Skiff review, we take a look at the design and features of the Carolina Skiff 198. Carolina Skiff has also significantly improved how the 198 enters the water, so it is now much drier than Skiffs of yesteryear. Their boats are as stable as you can get, and they require only ankle-deep water to float.

Product Summary

The equipment you’ll get from the Carolina Skiff 198 includes six-rod holders in the console and four rocket launchers mounted to a post that’s been upgraded to allow for a cooler under the post. You can choose to have an electric trolling motor mounted on the bow and have additional consoles in the cabins that offer additional storage space. 

The maximum power of a small boat like the Carolina Skiff is 115 horsepower, which is plenty for most of us. With a 90-hp outboard, the 198 comfortably cruises in the upper 20s and even hits the water in the upper 30s. It would be best if you weren’t going faster than that on a 19-foot boat. 

Pros would recommend going up to 115 horsepower if you plan to pull wakeboarders or waterskiers regularly. Buying a relatively simple boat is good because it costs much less than having a fancy machine fitted. With a boat like the 198, you can get an expensive package that includes a motor and trailer. That would be about $20,000 – $30,000 or less. You could easily spend twice as much on a boat like that if you wanted other attractive additional features.

Key Features 

  • Displacement – 1,660 lbs.
  • Transom Deadrise – 10 degrees
  • LOA – 19’0″
  • Fuel Capacity – 20 gal
  • Beam – 8’0″
  • Max HP – 115
  • Draft (hull) – 0’6″

Are Carolina Skiffs Any Good?

Carolina Skiff boats, in general, are known for being high-quality and very versatile, which makes them the best choice for high-value boaters and experienced anglers. Even if you think a Carolina Skiff boat is not suitable for you, it’s important to try the machine during one of your fishing adventures. While the internet is a great resource, the best way to truly know if one of the Carolina Skiff boats is right for you is to try the Carolina Skiff 198. Nicknamed the “aircraft carrier,” the LS series comes in 17′, 19′, 21, and 23-foot models.

The Deck Design

Every model on the Carolina Skiff line features a hull built to be the most durable and capable of giving you the best performance possible. Some of their boats offer a hybrid hull that allows you to experience top-notch quality features of two different hull designs in one outstanding boat. 

The boat maker has put the best design elements together in order to create a boat that provides the perfect fishing experience. This kind of thinking can make things easier and more comfortable for you and your passengers. 

There are many boats that are designed for fishing in the ocean or in shallow waters, and the Carolina Skiff 198 is precisely that machine! Even if you want to take your kids out to have fun on the water, some great runabout boats will make each excursion enjoyable and comfortable.

Excellent Performance

Obviously, this is an excellent boat that delivers superior performance. Boats designed with a more powerful hull offer the best in power and performance. You can choose between Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda, or Mercury outboards for additional power and performance. 

Carolina Skiff Boats equipped with powerful outboard engines can help you cast across the water smoothly and quickly reach the best fishing grounds. The manufacturer has employed top-of-the-line technology to help you make maneuvering and handling easier. 

Moreover, the controls on the console are easy to use. Every time you take your Carolina Skiff boat out on the water, it will be a new and exciting experience. 

Better Fishing

Boating is an excellent way to relax, keep your family in the loop, and have fun. Carolina Skiff boats are designed to be easy to drive and have all the features that all anglers, regardless of the level of experience, would need to have a great time while out on the water. 

They come with rod holders, deep wells, coolers, and storage bags, so you can easily store your fishing supplies as you enjoy catching your favorite fish species. Moreover, the Carolina Skiff boats are extremely versatile. You can access every side and cast a line from any position on the boat. They’re the perfect fishing boat for you and your family!

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Best Value for Money

Get more for your money with a Carolina Skiff. Enjoy affordable features designed for the things you love to do while you are out there on the water. Buy a Carolina Skiff to have many years of great fishing fun with the family! 

RELATED: Top Skiff Boat Manufacturers

Carolina Skiff
Carolina Skiff

Are Carolina Skiffs Stable?

Anglers who want a small fishing boat that is stable and works well with less power and that can float very shallow should take a test ride in one of these skiffs. The Carolina Skiff 198, for instance, offers many desirable features that will not cause you to break the bank; it’s just a great, affordable fishing boat. It features a flat bottom and splash guards on the bow to keep the people onboard dry at all times. 

Having a running surface that will allow you to plan your route properly is critical, as it allows you to stay in control when turning sharply. With a 93-inch beam and a 4-inch draft, the Carolina Skiff 198 floats extremely shallow, allowing you to catch some of the most difficult fish in the backcountry. It can handle up to 115 horsepower with a hull that is extremely easy to plan. This also means your boat can manage to work well even with less horsepower. It can handle outboards with a shaft length of 20 inches or 25 inches. Furthermore, the hull tip can scale it to just over 1,500 pounds.

Carolina Skiff offers a number of standard features that are very impressive. For example, the machine comes standard with a full gauge package with grab rails, a windshield, a steering wheel made of stainless steel, a quick disconnect, a tilt helm, an 18-gallon live well, and 6 flush-mount rod holders. The Carolina Skiff 198 has standard seating for four guests, including a 70-quart refrigerator with stainless steel framing. 

They offer you many different options to make the 198 unique. Some of their models feature the ability to steer with the tilt of the helm automatically. In contrast, some feature a recirculating steering system with the option to have the helm automatically steer the boat. Many options are available, such as a padded cockpit with a large, adjustable swivel seat and stainless steel Smart Tabs. 

Carolina Skiff offers a selection of optional accessories, including a Bimini top with or without lights and plenty of storage for life jackets. Check out the DLX 198 today and choose the options that you prefer to meet your needs. 

Continuity is the foundation for all Carolina Skiff boats. Box beams are used to build a hull that is strong and non-flexing and completely wood free. Carolina Skiff backs their hull design by offering their customers warranties because the bottom of the hull will not rust or separate over a period of five years if it is not damaged by improper use. Think again about that five-year warranty!

What Boats Are Similar To Carolina Skiff?

While Carolina Skiffs offers some of the best fiberglass outboard vessels, you may be wondering whether there are other similar designs on the market. The two most credible alternatives to the Carolina Skiff models include:

1. Tracker Grizzly 1754 Jon Boat

Tracker is an American boat manufacturer that makes aluminum Jon Boats. Grizzly 1754 boats are similar in size and style to the JV17 Carolina Skiff boats. It is important to note that all Tracker boats are made from aluminum, while all Carolina Skiffs are made from composite and fiberglass. Therefore, when it comes to a strong aluminum boat (especially if you are going to a place that has rocks or other hazards), consider the Grizzly 1754. 

Carolina Skiff boats are more expensive. However, the Grizzly Jon boats are similar in size to the JV17 Carolina Skiff and are surprisingly durable. It’s important to note that aluminum boats can get very hot in the direct sunlight, and there is no place to put cups or other items that give you comfort (such as a padded seat).

Tracker Grizzly 1754 Jon Boat
Tracker Grizzly 1754 Jon Boat

2. Boston Whaler 170 Montauk

Boston Whaler is very well known worldwide for its quality boat, sturdy design, and dependable service. Boston Whaler 170 Montauk is a family-friendly boat and has all the amenities you need to enjoy a relaxing day on the water. It is also the most expensive boat among the three models we’ve reviewed in this post. 

Because of its robust displacement, larger size, and deeper hull, the 170 Montauk can maneuver rough seas better than a Carolina Skiff JV17 boat. If you want a larger boat with extra space, more horsepower, and all the other amenities you would expect from a modern boat, consider the Whaler 170 Montauk.

Boston Whaler 170 Montauk
Boston Whaler 170 Montauk

Wrapping Up

The Carolina Skiff 198 is a simple, straightforward boat to use for fishing. Additionally, the fore and aft decking has been vastly improved. A large storage area on the foredeck houses an anchor locker and two other large (unfinished) compartments. Those who want to jump off the boat into the deep end of a fishpond can do that from the aft casting deck, which has a separate Livewell and stowage compartment. You just can’t afford to pass up the chance to own one of the most popular, affordable Carolina Skiff boats ever made.

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Brian Hopkins

Brian is an outdoor writer and the youngest member of our team, but he is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to fishing and different techniques for catching different species. He shares valuable information that the younger generation can relate to. When he is not fishing, you can find him hanging with his friends and gaming on his computer.

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