New Hulls from Hell's Bay

Meet Fly Rod & Reel's Chico Fernandez this weekend!

  • By: Fly Rod and Reel

TITUSVILLE, Fla.—Despite the recession, especially the marine industry’s severe downturn, Hell’s Bay Boatworks is continuing to expand its model lineup launching two new 2010 skiffs—its smallest and largest—at the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show, Oct. 29 to Nov. 2. The 10-year old Titusville, Fla., company which builds custom shallow-water performance skiffs has found two niche markets for their new boats, the Skate and the Neptune. 


The Neptune; a performance skiff

At the other end of the Hell’s Bay spectrum is the Neptune. The Neptune is 18 ft. 6 inches in length, has a 78 in. beam, and draws just 10 inches of draft with a 150 HO Evinrude E-Tech outboard and a full tank of gas. The skiff weighs in at only 795 lbs. dry. Its long list of features include a 38 gallon fuel tank, 30 gallon live well, 10 under-gunnel rod tubes and lots of dry storage. Hell’s Bay boat designer and sales director Tom Gordon said the Neptune will be popular for use in tournaments such as tarpon and redfish events in many coastal states. “It’s designed for larger horsepower engines in the range of 115 to 150 hp and great for longer runs. It’s the first Hell’s Bay designed around speed,” he added.


The Skate; a small, rugged shallow water performer

At 12 ft. - 9 inches in length with a 45 inch beam, the Skate, Hell’s Bay’s smallest craft is made with tough Kevlar and weighs just 250 lbs.  Its draft is a mere 3 ½ inches with engine and six gallons of fuel.  Hell’s Bay recommends a 9.9 or 15 hp two stroke tiller-steered outboard for power.


“It’s light and it’s versatile,” said Gordon. “The Skate can even be loaded into the back of a pickup truck if needed.  It can also be useful in restricted no combustion motor zones where an electric trolling motor is allowed.  Duck hunters will love it,” added Gordon.


The Skate features an easy clean non-skid deck, carpeted rod racks for four rods under the gunnels, Stiffy push pole holders, anodized poling platform with SeaDek top, custom aluminum trailer with spare tire, heavy duty rub rail, quiet and dry hatches with rubber gaskets, dry gutters and Moonlite hatch springs. Both boats are rigged and wired to ABYC standards and include a wide variety of color options for the hull and deck.


With the Skate and the Neptune, Hell’s Bay now has ten models of shallow-water skiffs in the 12’ to 18’ range. For a look at all 10 models visit Hell’s Bay on the web at


"We have the ideal skiff for every type of shallow water fishery,” said Hell’s Bay Boatworks owner and President Chris Peterson.     


At the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show, Hell’s Bay’s exhibit location is #2041 on the main floor of the convention center and at the Bahia Mar location Hell’s Bay will have one of  its popular models, the Marquesa, on the bow of an Affinity Yacht, in slip #315 on the “C” dock.

"These two boats are something we’ve been working on since Hell’s Bay acquired Gordon Boatworks,” said Peterson. “Tom Gordon had a loyal following during Hell’s Bay’s early years before forming Gordon Boatworks and now he’s back and in charge of design and sales here at Hell’s Bay.” 


Gordon added enthusiastically, “I’m excited to finally be introducing the new Neptune to the shallow water fishing fraternity. This is a project that I have been passionately working on for more than 2 ½ years, from the initial design, prototype testing and refining the final rigging selections.”


"Our business remains excellent. It’s the continuing results of providing truly world class skiffs,” said Peterson. “Despite downsizing or closures at other boat builders across the U.S., we’ve been diligent, taking opportunities for promotions and marketing and involving ourselves in fishing and marine industry events.


"We’re passionate when we get out in front of fishing audiences with sponsorships and promotions to show off our shallow-water boat designs to equally passionate anglers and guides.”


The company has become heavily involved in IGFA, CCA and Bonefish Tarpon Trust events, along with sponsoring the FishStock tournament in New Smyrna Beach, several Redbone tournaments for CF research and numerous other fishing events.


Chico and Jose to make appearances at Hell’s Bay exhibit

Anglers at the boat show will have a chance to talk about their sport with two renowned fisherman; author Chico Fernandez and ESPN’s Spanish Fly host Jose Wejebe will each be in the Hell’s Bay exhibit at the Convention Center during the show.


Chico will be signing his book “Fly Fishing for Bonefish” from 1 – 4 p.m. on both Friday, Oct. 30th and Saturday, Oct. 31st. 


Jose will be available to meet and for photos from 10 a.m. – 12 noon Saturday, Oct. 31st and Sunday, Nov. 1st.