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Sometimes our lives just get too complex. If fishing is supposed to take the hard edge off of the usual challenges of work and family, then simplifying your piscatorial adventures can be a good thing. And few boat builders can simplify things better than Allied Boat Works with their 20-foot Fisherman model.
By Capt. John N. Raguso
For more information:
View Website Allied Boat Works
Built in Peru, Maine using traditional down-east design and construction methods, the Allied Boat Works 20-foot Fisherman model employs an easy-to-power planning hull that can achieve efficient speed with minimal power and provide a full day of hitting all of your favorite hotspots for less than 20-gallons of fuel. The raised “proud bow” of this open boat design is a dead giveaway to its historical lineage. A pair of spray rails installed on either side, both in the bow and amidships will help keep the salty stuff from entering the cockpit when underway. Like most down-east designs, she’s high in the front and high in the back, with her lowest spot at the gunwale just aft of amidships, which is a great feature when you’re slipping the net under a big striper, blue or summer flounder.
The construction of the 20 Fisherman is consistent with the keeping-it-simple mode, employing 100-percent hand-laid fiberglass and all-composite reinforcements. The hull thickness is a minimum ¼-inch thick throughout, with heavier laminates in the usual overlap areas like the keel and chines. The roll-edge design features a planning hull with foam flotation under the fiberglass cockpit sole. The self-bailing cockpit features oversized scuppers, all marine grade stainless steel hardware and fasteners, oversized S/S cleats, plus a heavy duty rub rail.

The open layout includes some basic necessities like a raised U-shaped forward casting platform, with an anchor locker that is accessed via a flush-mount molded hatch. Dual dry stowage lockers are flanked to either side and offer a handy spot to keep your PFDs, safety gear, portable tackle bags and other sundries. The mid-sized center command steering station features plenty of convenient dry storage down below, with a 15.5-inch S/S destroyer wheel and spinner knob, U-flex mechanical no-feedback steering, a Ritchie marine compass, 12-volt receptacle, plus a Weatherdeck 6-position accessory panel to power your electronics, which can be yoke-mounted atop the dash panel. The standard fiberglass leaning post will support the captain and first mate when underway and the Moeller 19-gallon poly fuel tank is set inside, for quick and easy access to fuel fittings and the standard fuel filter setup.
There’s a full 33 square feet of cockpit space from the transom bulkhead to the center console, with the only intrusion the relatively small footprint of the aforementioned leaning post. The Allied Boat Works 20 Fisherman offers a generous 32-inches of hip room between the console and the flared hull interior, with 24 inches of cockpit depth forward, 20-inches amidships and 21-inches aft.
Our test boat had a quartet of optional rodholders in the leaning post and a sturdy framed T-Top that offered yet another four rodholders in a classic rocket launcher setup. It also had the optional 20-gallon recirculating livewell, a handy feature when live-lining bass or fluke in the rips. This insulated well can also double as a cooler/fishbox when live bait is not required and drains its contents directly overboard via a handy drain plug. I’d suggest adding the optional radio box for the T-Top setup, including a cargo net to stow some PFDs within reach of the helm.

When looking at the potential mission capability of the Allied Boat Works 20 Fisherman, her workboat heritage will allow this down-easter to perform a variety of tasks with equal efficiency. Salty fly-rodders will appreciate her wide-open layout, which can be easily tailored to minimize snags when stripping and tossing your line. Casters will find this open layout equally as appealing, but will probably opt for installing additional vertical and horizontal rodholders to keep extra outfits at the ready. This Maine-built craft comes standard with a quartet of flush rodholders across the transom, but there are plenty of spots where you can add a few more here and there.
Outfitted with a Tohatsu 75-HP two-stroke direct injection outboard, three people aboard, a full tank of fuel and a few hundred pounds of gear, we were able to hit a top speed of 28.2-mph at wide open throttle. This semi-displacement hull starts to “break fee” at about 3600 rpm and she’s cruising along nicely at 4000 revs, doing 18.7-mph at approximately 4-gph, for a net of roughly 4.7-mpg. Bumping the throttle up to 4500 rpm, we hit 22.5-mph on the Lowrance HDS7 GPS burning approximately 5.0-gph, for a net of 4.5-mpg.
This hull was stable at rest or when slow trolling, even in the middle of the Long Island Sound with opposing wind and tide conditions and plenty of weekend boat wakes. The Allied Boat Works 20 Fisherman will turn a lot of heads with her stylish down-east lines, offers great fuel economy for a sturdy 20-footer and is backed by a 5-year structural hull warranty. The MSRP of our test boat equipped with a bunch of optional features was $39,636. For more info, visit www.alliedboatworks.com.

Length: 20-feet, one-inch

Beam: eight-feet, eight-inches
Weight (with power): 1,850-lbs
Fuel Capacity: 19-gallons
Max Power: 90-HP, single outboard

By Mike Caruso
The Fisherman magazine has been given the opportunity to run this boat for the 2014 season. In five trips under a variety of conditions, we have gained a growing appreciation for its characteristics, features and performance. I can attest to the ease of use and low operating cost this boat offers. I'll add that it's garnered plenty of attention at the ramp with many favorable comments regarding her traditional New England lines that seem to indicate proven seaworthiness. If you like fishing a variety of locations you'll love how easy this boat trailers and floats on and off its bunk trailer. And with its flat running surface and shallow draft, you can explore new areas with less worry about running aground. The flat bottom combined with the sharp bow entry help smooth out the ride beyond what I've experienced with other flat bottom skiffs. The design and solid construction are the first things you notice when running in a chop. It has a very rigid, well built feel, and though you can't expect as smooth a ride as a V hull, she runs just fine once you dial in speed and trim. What's amazing is how dry this boat is while underway. At drift is where it really shines because of its stability. If you like drift fishing for fluke, live lining baits through inlets or fly/light tackle fishing you'll appreciate the confidence you have moving around the deck.
The Tohatsu power plant mounted on the extended transom bracket also surprised me. With just 75hp it gets up and provides the right amount of power to push her upward to 30 mph. Tohatsu's are known for their reliability and have been embraced by commercial baymen for decades. Having a Tohatsu on the boat adds to the “hard as nails, work horse” demeanor this hull projects.
We added space age technology to her console by mounting a Lowrance DS 7 Gen2, Broad Band Touch Screen Sounder. Quite simply the unit renders incredibly sharp images of what's under the boat. It's like seeing known bottom features for the first time in comparison to viewing through traditional sounder technology. It really completed the package. Stay tuned for further updates on this sweet ride by Allied Boat Works.