Need opinions on the 23 SE sea keeping capabilities

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Dec 19, 2006
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Buzzards Bay
I am thinking about buying either a 21SE CC or 23SE CC. I wonder how they ride in 3 to 4 foot chop. I also would like to hear pros or cons of mounting engine on bracket vs transom. I have owned 23' Seacraft which has deep V and I have fished a lot from Jones 1910LT. The Jones is modified V, but with the narrower beam, it really goes through some nasty stuff. I like the Jones, but it is a little small for my plans. I liked the Seacraft, but want Yamaha for power.
Thanks for any input.

Why not look at the DV models? If you are really going through 3-4' chop, I don't think you want a modified-V Parker.

I have a 21' DV and love it.

-- Tom
I'm trying to balance cost and performance. I fish Buzzards Bay, Cape Cod Bay and Vineyard Sound. I am hoping to hear from folks running the SE in tight chop. I have fished Harkers when it was rough in a Parker 18 and I know I need more boat. I suspect that increasing the waterline and weight should improve the ride, but I hope to hear from those that already own. I have owned a lot of boats - sail and power - and they are all a compromise. I'm trying to get a feel for where the "line" is between the 2 hulls.

Is "3'-4'" chop, 3'-4' waves whitecapping?

If so, forget Parker and go straight to Regulator. :wink:
Well, I've been in a 21' DV and a 25' Mod-V Parker and I prefer the ride of the 21' DV if thats any help :)

Like anything, its a trade-off.. how often are you going to be out in nasty chop, and how fast do you want to comfortably go? With a Mod-V you can drop the tabs and slog your way through anything and be comfortable and safe. The DV gives you the option of going a little faster through the mess.

I have spent a good amount of time on a 23' Regulator, and that thing rides better than any boat that I've been on - absolutely plows through any chop and swell, never seems to bang if you catch a wave at the wrong angle, and always lands smooth when you launch off a wave. As good as that boat is, its owner was blown away by the ride of a 31' Contender CC, so I guess you gotta find what suits your budget and boating style.. I'll shut up now and let the 21' and 23' SE owners chime in :)

-- Tom
Thanks guys ! FishFactory has me up over 85K with twin engines and TomS moved me up to - what - 160K ? :) You guys are a bad influence.

They constantly underestimate the winds on Cape Cod - so if they say 10 to 15 knots, don't be surprised when you come around the corner on the way home and find 20 plus. I don't mind banging thru it, but still want to make time. It isn't all the time, but it is not unusual. Cape Cod Bay and Buzzards are shallow (60 - 80 feet) so it stands up quick.

Larry I have a 23SE and love it. I fish CC Bay, the outter Cape as well as Buzzards Bay. First and foremost, the boat gets wet in chop. It handles the slop but you get bounced around a bit. Your old Seacraft is much better in the messy stuff. Buzzards Bay can get tough and if I were you I'd consider the deep V models. Get the 23 DV and be happy.
I can't speak to the 23SE. They have a traemendous reputation and have landed a ton of stripers!

I have the 23 DV CC. We have taken it to Stelwagen and out to Hatchers in some pretty nasty stuff and not gotten wet. Still averaged about 20 knots even in the crap.

Another advantage that I didn't really care that much about when I bought it was the full transom that the bracket allows. Now I absolutely love it. Not so much for the safety (a much debated issue!) but for the additional effective room you get in the cockpit as well as the fishbox in the transom.

Dock a 23 DV CC next to any 24 or even 25 and compare the effective room of the interior. You will be amazed.
TomS":3gyj5dmq said:
Why not look at the DV models? If you are really going through 3-4' chop, I don't think you want a modified-V Parker.

TomS":3gyj5dmq said:
Well, I've been in a 21' DV and a 25' Mod-V Parker and I prefer the ride of the 21' DV if thats any help :)

With a Mod-V you can drop the tabs and slog your way through anything and be comfortable and safe. The DV gives you the option of going a little faster through the mess.

I'll second all of the above ... which is quite illuminating, since it's my 25' mod-V Parker that Tom is referring to ;) !

Given what you're looking for and your budget constraints, I's seriously look at the recently re-introduced 21' deep-V CC. That's the same boat TomS has and she is a TANK! It has an unbelievable amount of room in her and it's a true 21' boat ... not an 18' boat with pulpit and euro-gag-me-transom stuck off the back.

I've only been into the Middleground and Vineyard Sound 'chop' a few dozen times, but I'd want a deep-V for that area if it were me ...
Look at the deadrise...I had a 21se and quickly traded it in for a 2310...much better ride...not to mention i almost doubled my fuel capacity.
I have run a 23 SE for the past 5 years. It is so much better than the 17-foot boat I had before, but it is not great in anything over a 2-3 foot chop. You will get bounced and you will get spray, particularly if you are not heading directly into the waves or have a straight following sea. I actually "tack" some times if the waves are large and the wind is howling so I can go directly into the waves then run 90 degrees off in the troughs. This turns out to be drier.

The boat rides better in rough water with more weight up front, although my passengers generally don't like being up there and getting wet. My boat has the standard Parker recessed trim tabs. They help a lot, but from what I have read here and elsewhere, larger tabs would help even more. I discovered by accident late this season that I get a noticeably better ride by adjusting the tilt way down while deploying full tabs.

The flip side of the wet ride issue is that I can get into 1.5 feet of water with the 23 SE, and often do as I explore tidal creeks and flats. Also, I love the single level deck on the 23 SE. I never have to worry about slipping off of a bow casting deck. Also the floor space is huge for a 23 footer. I have taken 8 people for sightseeing rides and we were not falling over one another.

As you must realize, every boat is a compromise. You need to decide how important the smoother and drier ride is compared to the other advantages of the 23SE. Either way, you will get a great boat.
Thanks for the input to date. I know this is a subjective discussion. I do like the shallower draft and I am used to wet. I used to run a Hewes on these same waters. Now thats wet. I think the question is how fast can you push the SE in the chop. "Slog" is not acceptable.
I goofed off today and went to the Parker (and Jones Bros to look at the 23) dealers. The service guys said they initially thought the deep-V would be better, but were really impressed with the SE. All good input. thanks.

Sounds like you need the 23' Deep V to me. The 23' with a full transom. T-Top and a F250 would be a GREAT combination. Anyone know how much this boat would cost?

I have a 2510 MV. The ride used to be pretty bad and I probably would have sold it this year but I put 9 x 24 Bennetts Tabs (Per Kevin and Dale) on it and it's a totally different boat. I think I'll keep it a few more years.

Last I heard, 2300CC (nicely equiped), 250 Yamaha, and trailer will list low $60's, sell mid $50's.
I have the 23se, and routinely fish out 25-40 miles from home. I do tend to pick my days carefully. While the boat is absolutely capable in the 3-4 chop you mention, and I have gone thru it many times (and worse) and felt safe and in control, I would not want to do it on a regular basis. I chose the MV over the DV for a specific reason - When I am not venturing out, I as I usually fishing with the family (wife and 3 kids all under 4 years old) on the boat for fluke / striper or even crabbing. I have found that the mv is a more stable platform suitable for them versus the rocking of the dv. As an example, my wife and I were out with a friend on his 23 seacraft when it kicked up. She noticed the rocking while at drift and told me she was less comfortable then on our parker. However, even she was impressed with how dry she stayed on the ride home. :lol: . Just my rationale for the MV - good luck in the decision.
Good point CC. When we drift over shoals site casting stripers, my friend's Jones Bros could be "steered" by adjusting the (not running) outboard so it acted as a rudder. We could point the bow right down the lane. With my SeaCraft, the boat would turn beam to sea and roll me down the shoal, which does not help my flycasting. I assumed it was additional freeboard and perhaps the t-top. It did the same if we would lie ahull waiting for tuna to show. It usually forced me to put it in gear and point the bow into the wind. It was a major annoyance with that boat.
Since it seems clear that the SE can do fine if you don't mind a little water, I think the lower price and ability to more easily beach, tow, haul due to less weight is a fair trade for my use. Thanks for the different view.

I have the 2510 MV. Initially I wanted to get the DV with twin 200s, but the dealer talked me out of it for the 99% of the time I'd be using it on the Ches. Bay. That was good guidance. The MV is much more stable at drift, and there have been a number of times at the CBBT where the chop and swells were running a combined 5' where we could still fish, but the guys next to us in an 8'6" DV Grady or Contender were rocking and rolling so hard that they ended up chumming the fish, and going home.

If I was spending most of my time in the open ocean after tuna and mahi-mahi, I would have the DV. For what I do, I love the MV. The MV also takes less power to keep on plane (which means less GPH fuel consumption).

Every hull style is a trade.
captlar -
Good point on the drifting. I can somewhat "steer" my boat with the outboard down (not running) also. However, I have found that if I throw out a sea anchor, it slows the boat down real nice, and gives be a nice angle of drift versus the waves. (even with the t-top catching the wind). I run it off the bow cleat on about 15' of line. I use a swivelling brass snap which is important to it does not twist up. It does tend to make the boat drift beam to, but its a not a real rocking drift, so I do find it useful for the drift fishing as plenty of anglers can spread out down the side.
I have a 21 SE and it's a perfect boat for me. I've had an assortment of DV boats from 16ft. up to a 25 ft. Bertram over the past 35 years. The 21 SE with the trim tabs rides as well as any of the others I've had in a chop. The tabs just plant the bow down and I find I can run as fast and comfortable with the MV as any of the DV boats I've had in the past, none of which had tabs.
An added benefit is that I can handle and fish her by myself and go anywhere I want - 40 miles offshore or up in the marsh creeks.
I'm old enough now that I don't care to be out in the really sloppy weather in any size boat anyway. But if I got caught out in the weather, I'm really confident I'd be just as safe in the Parker 21SE as in a larger DV.
I want to echo what several other guys have already said about the safety factor. At no time have I felt unsafe in my Parker, even with a 4-5 foot Chesapeake Bay closely-stacked waves. On that day the ride was wet, and I had to slow down to about 10 mph, but the boat was more than up to the challenge. I am sure that my 23 SE can take far more punishment than my middle aged body can. :roll: