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We get asked a lot of questions about outboard power choices for the Calusa Pro and the Scout Skiff and work through what is best for each specific new customer and their mission on a daily basis so we thought this might make a good blog topic.

Let's start with the standard - 20 hp outboard prop power. This is the most versatile, lightest and actually least expensive choice. For years, our customers have reported speeds for a fully loaded out Causa Pro of 27mph - thats with a stock, 3 blade aluminum prop. The skiff is really designed for this powerplant and it is a hard to beat combination. With the Towee hull design that keeps the skiff riding high on the water, many of our river anglers find themselves running sections that were previously thought of a "jet only" with their props. Keep in mind that this activity does require a certain measure of experience and tolerance for prop maintenance and eventual regular replacement if it is done on a regular basis.

Yamaha, Suzuki, Tohatsu - they're all building great motors right now. We do stay away from the Honda 20s as they are still carbureted and we don't really see the point of paying top dollar for 1996 technology. Also, while we are big fans of stainless props in general, we really don't see much of a benefit to high performance custom props on these small outboards. We, and almost all of our pro guides, generally run aluminum 3 blade props.

We do get a fair number of question about using smaller than recommended outboards. First, do not even consider going to a smaller outboard because you think that that small weight savings will have any effect at all on performance. The boat really doesn't know the difference between 75lbs and 125lbs back there. I do know that this a factor on some of the boat/canoe hybrids but not with our skiffs. However, we do have customers who build skiffs specifically for a few specific horsepower restricted fisheries - I'm thinking about one awesome redfish spot in Florida in particular. The Calusa, equipped with a 9.8 hp - that's less than half the recommended horsepower folks - will plane out with two large adults and gear and net speeds of 14-15 mph. One customer reported speeds of 20 mph, lightly loaded and alone with a 9.8 using a Shaw Wing on the outboard but we have not tried this ourselves. Bob Clouser started using a 9.8 on his Calusa on the rocky waters of the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania before moving South to explore the waters of Central Florida and has been quite pleased with this set up over the years. To sum it up, while smaller outboards really do not take advantage of the capabilities of the Towee, it can be a workable option for specific applications.

As we have covered outboard jet and surface drive choices extensively in earlier blogs, I will just summarize with the fact that we are huge fans of the smaller, lightweight jets. We do have a lot of customers who chose the bigger and heavier Mercury 25 jet and love them but we see better performance from the older, more powerful and lighter 2 stroke jets (yes, they are still around,can still be found and are super reliable). If I were building a new one for myself, I would probably look into one of the new lightweight Yamaha F25s and order a jet pump from This gives you a modern 4 stroke in a lightweight package.

So there you have it, our latest thoughts on power choices for the hunter or angler who wants to leave the others behind. If you have questions or want to discuss where your new Towee can take you, give us a call at 931-473-4860 or hit us up at

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I often get questions about a fairly old video that has been out there for several years now about a client who decided to put a rubber fuel bladder into the forward deck of his Calusa. Why did he do that? Are these skiffs light in the bow? Why was it just this one guy? Well, the short answer is absolutely not, the Calusa is not bow light at all, even with a big guy like myself on the platform. But the story does - unintentionally - demonstrate some really cool attributes of the Towee.

First, the owner in question is a friend so we say this with a smile, when he told us that he intended to mount a relatively huge 40hp Yamaha Four Stroke Jet on his skiff, we told him ABSOLUTELY DO NOT DO THIS. Let's look at the numbers - the average 20 hp prop weighs around 115-125lbs and is mounted down on the transom. Even when our clients mount up a big piggy Mercury 25 jet, we're still only talking about 186 lbs for the manual start model - she's a big old heavy powerplant and she is mounted leveraged way up there on a jackplate but she does just fine. However, what we are talking about with this particular skiff is a huge 40 hp jet that weighs in at (off the top of my head here) 237 ish pounds and then add a really heavy jackplate and hardware that added an extra 30 pounds for a total of almost 270lbs. Oh yeah - add 6 gallons of fuel which brings us up to around 310 pounds all leveraged way up there on a jackplate THEN have a 200lb (or more) guide crawl up on the platform and the comment was " she feels a little light in the bow when Im poling without an angler up there". Well, yes, yes she will! This was so far out of our design envelope that we really advised strongly against it and even we didn't know what would happen. So yes, in this bizzare instance, that fuel bladder in the bow certainly helped to balance out the skiff a bit when there was no angler on the bow. The point here is that this entire story has nothing to do with how a Calusa Pro poles - unless you do something kinda crazy (sorry Jeff :) ) like stack 310lbs on the transom of a super light weight poling skiff that only weighs 298lbs to start with.

The cool thing about this story was that the skiff took it! I don't think the speed was great (obviously) but he worked out of that skiff for years and I believe trailered it out West for carp fishing several Summers. Think about those trailer loads that transom and hull felt on a rough road. That load would have straight up eventually torn the transom off the majority of $70,000 plus skiffs much less the micros. We are very proud of the transom that we build into our skiffs.

So that's the story behind the infamous ATL fuel cell video. We thought it would be a fun story that illustrates a valid point this morning. If you are ready for this kind of quality, durability, stability and performance in your next skiff, now is a great time to give us a call and find out where your Towee can take you.

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ProGuide Drew Price heads out to cross the big waters and building weather of Lake Champlain in his Towee Calusa Pro to get at fish in distant shallows.

Many small skiff builders love to talk about new colors or price or sexy accesories but they seem to grow suspiciously quiet when it comes to conversations about things like big chop, big water, storms, seakeeping, floatation, etc - and for good reason. The average small skiff performs poorly at best and it downright dangerous in many cases. So once you build a skiff that is light, tough, drafts a true 4" fully loaded, poles and rows like a Ferrari and performs well with prop, jet or surface drive power (wait, you guys did already do that - right?), big water performance and safety is what quickly begins to seperate the men from the boys in our world.

Let's set up some context here so that we can have a meaningful conversation. Weather can quickly exceed the capabilities of any smaller boat - period. Most any boat under 22 feet and without some pretty serious deadrise and hullweight have a tough time in heavy chop or are dreadful to ride in even in light chop with a short or uneven frequency. Even more so for small, lightweight technical skiffs. I have been tossed about in 22' panagas and bay boats more times than I care to mention in what "looked like" manageable chop from shore but was something much more when we actually got into it. A few particularly hairy trips back from American Shoals Light on the reef off Cudjoe Key in my old Whaler Montauk 17 (Jesus, please let it stop pounding...) and more than one 20 mile trip back to Grassy Key from the entrance to Rocky Channel when an unexpected Northwest wind stirred up the Gulf into big whitecaps - both in a Mitzi 15 and in a Redfisher 18 then later in a Towee Calusa that I can recall offhand. Same story for some big TVA lakes in the Southeast. The point is that it is pretty common for the weather to exceed the normal capabilities of any smaller boat pretty quickly no matter where you are. No matter how conservative and careful you are, it's pretty much a question of when and not if it is going to happen to you and if you are an avid outdoorsman, it will happen from time to time. Weather, by its very nature, can change rapidly and in unexpected ways. The real question here being - how will your skiff perform?

It is very rare that you would never find yourself needing to cross big water to get to unexplored shallows. At Towee, we have placed a premium on big water performance and safety in all of our skiffs from day one. Lets face it, getting caught out in the snot with a small. lightweight skiff isn't fun - it can be a painful, wet and frightening experience but from our bow design that helps minimize pounding to our slightly higher gunnels that keep you drier to our floor system that is designed to be incredibly tough yet ever so slightly give and even slightly twist when needed to absorb the tremendous shock loads of big waves or rocks, we do everything that we can to keep you reasonably safe and dry when you find yourself in the rough stuff. And speaking of safety, we not only have the most flotation foam of any skiff in our class but we have also worked closely with our USCG reps over the years to place that foam in the most effective position (we DO NOT put flotation foam in our floors and I would not leave the ramp in a skiff built by a builder who does). We do everything that we can to put our customers in a skiff that will bring them back to the ramp safe and dry.

We are certainly not encouraging owners to put themselves in positions where conditions exceed their own capabilities or the skiff's capabilities but we aren't shying away from the the conversation that many just do not want to have - it can get very real, very fast out there and the consequences of poor decision making in your choice of equipment, route and even "go - no go" decisions can lead to disaster and even loss of life.

In addition to our own adventures, we regularly get calls, texts and emails from customers who have their own stories to tell. From our open water duck hunters on the Great Lakes doing things that this skiff was never designed for ( guys are crazy), to a couple of Bahamas crossings (that we know of), to some pretty sketchy white water transits that we would never endorse - Towee customers are known for using their skiffs to get to places others simply can't. We do everything that we can to build a skiff that you can depend on to get you to where you need to go, do the job at hand - and get you back home.

If you think you could benefit from the quality, durability and performance of a Towee, now is a great time to head on over to our website and hit the button to request a current pricing guide, drop us an email to or simply give us a call - we love to talk skiffs. Find out where your Towee can take you.

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