New(er) Freedom 205 vs Adventure 208

netbender

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Hello All, newby here...searching for my first GW. I fish the finger lakes, and like to troll as well as family activities on occasion. I am asking some feedback from this forum on your opinions on comparing these two boats. I currently have a dual console Crestliner and am looking to go fiberglass. I will be looking to install a kicker and AP as well, as I fish solo a lot. Boat will be kept on a lift (current 4000lb capacity) along the shoreline.

I like the cuddy idea for storage of gear out of the way. I like the dual console for the walk through capability,

Thanks for any feedback!

Dave
 

seasick

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Fishing off the bow on a 208 is just not practical. In addition, getting to the bow is somewhat difficult since the walkway space is quite narrow. When I have to go forward to deploy the anchor let's say and I am alone, I wear an inflatable Mustang PFD. In anything less than calm seas, the walk forward can be dangerous especially if you don't have a hardtop ( I don't). I always carry a second anchor stored in the starboard locker behind the helm seat. I use that anchor more than the main. Often I will deploy it from the side and then walk the line forward and loop it around a cleat. In calm waters I may tie it off mid cleat or aft. Of course if I need to hold a spot, I will deploy both.
On the positive side, the cabin is nice for storage. Note that 6ft-6 in is about the maximum rod length that will fit in the cabin without having to bend the tip a bit. I don't carry the porta potty and that space is great for extra lines or other bulky gear. The cabin as I mentioned is handy for storage and to change clothes if needed as well as keep spare clothes out of the weather. It is also handy for storing things like nets, gaffs and the like.
My engine/prop combo makes slow trolling difficult since the sped may be a bit faster than you might need. That said, I don't do a lot of trolling, just drifting or anchoring. I have a 150 2 stroke with mechanical steering so AP would be a bid deal to install and I really have no need.
 

Mark DV

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Do you need a porta potty? Not sure if the 205 has one? My kids and friends fish off the bow of my 208 all the time. I have not had issues anchoring from the bow. It is narrow getting to bow but is not a major issue for myself.The cuddy is best for my needs. As stated i keep fishing rods, clothes, bags, nets, etc in the cuddy. It is also a great place to take a nap if the fishing is slow. I also have 2 daughters and a wife so the head is a must for them.
 

seasick

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Having kids fish off the bow, if that is your situation is OK in calm seas but serious fishing where you need to walk the line forward from the stern or visa versa is not practical. The original post stated that he fishes alone so I didn't compare the pros and cons as it pertains to family and/or kids. In that case, the cabin is a plus and maybe a must. The porta potty may be a must too. Mine is in storage and has never been used in the 20 year boat life:)
 

Mark DV

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Are you implying my kids white perch fishing from the bow 5 feet from shore in flat water isn't serious fishing????? LOL. Im just kidding.
 

luckydude

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How cold is it when you fish? I came from a center console Triumph to the walk around GW with that big helm. Holy smokes is that helm warm. If you look at my profile picture you can see that yellow foul weather jacket that I'm wearing, that's what I wore on the center console. On my 228 (which is almost identical to the 208, just 2 feet longer and a bracket, but identical helms) I wear a t-shirt 80% of the time. Sometimes I wear a fleece but it has to be really cold for that or I get too hot.

OK, I went and looked, Freedom 205 looks like a dual console. I'm not a fan of the dual console, people want to sit up front and it bangs the crap out of them. Though you are on lakes so maybe that's fine? I'm on a snotty ocean and hands down, the walk around is better. Safer, you can stuff the bow and not scoop up a ton of water, people can actually snooze in the cuddy cabin.

But if you are on lakes and there aren't swells, just a little chop, then shrug?

I can tell you that the 228 is by far the most popular model. It ticks a lot of boxes.
 
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What is name of the best forum script? Can you tell me, i dont see answer ;//
 

netbender

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Thanks guys, this is all great feedback and was what I was hoping for. Fishing from the bow would be minimum, as I would be trolling most of the time. Everything is out the back and sides. The 6'6" limitation is of interest. I would just break down the rods before storage. I would look for hydraulic steering in order to install a proper AP. Porta potty would be a plus. I like to get out for most of the day and when the wife comes along, it would enable a longer day on the water. I also like the idea of the warmth mentioned. I like to go out early in the season before all the boat traffic hits. Has anyone put a kicker motor on either of these boats?

Thanks again for the thoughts!

Dave
 

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Hey Dave,

The warmth thing is a big win, it's just more pleasant and will make the wife happier. And I say that as a dude that grew up in Wisconsin and always laughed at people who complained about cold. It's entirely possible to gear up and be comfortable in a cold boat. I've never been uncomfortable when geared up. I also liked the look of center consoles. But I've "warmed" up to my 228, she's a great boat.

I put a kicker on mine. You can see it at http://mcvoy.com/lm/boat

When you go look, you'll see I put a suzuki kicker next to my yamaha main engine. That's for 2 reasons: A) The suzuki is fuel injected. I'm a shade tree mechanic, just trust me on this, I don't care what brand but get one that has fuel injection. As a mechanic, 99% of what I do is pull the carbs, clean them, put them back. The crappy gas just gums up those tiny jets. B) I put it on after the lock down and that was the only engine I could find, everything else was a 3 month wait.

GW says put on port side, I put it on starboard. The batteries in my boat are on the port side and I have 39 pounds of down rigger weights on that side, the kicker balances that. With my kid on the port side, the boat rides perfect, if I'm solo I have to use a little tab to correct list.
 

seasick

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Are you implying my kids white perch fishing from the bow 5 feet from shore in flat water isn't serious fishing????? LOL. Im just kidding.
Seeing kids catch fish is the best kind of fishing!
 
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Koakine88

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If fishing from the bow is an important aspect a dual console likely isn't your best bet. If you need to move to the bow while fighting a fish if you have a bimmini or a hard top, how are you going to do that in a dual console? I used to have a runabout 18' boat and the bow was only used once at anchor or in really calm seas. These GW walkarounds can have pads added to the bow to make another spot to hangout while at anchor but with the huge benefit of having a cuddy.

I also like that the cuddy takes up a massive amount of volume in the bow and in my opinion makes the vessel more seaworthy. If you take a decent wave over the bow, yeah some will be scooped up by the deck, but a large chunk get deflected off the cuddy "hump". In open bow boats or center consoles that bow is just a huge scoop for water.
 

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If fishing from the bow is an important aspect a dual console likely isn't your best bet.
I agree with what I quoted and your "huge scoop" comment, I love that closed in bow. But I think Dave said it is for the Finger Lakes, so fresh water, not ocean. If it were me, I'd be looking at a Fisherman 216 for that sort of thing.
 

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Yeah, Hawaii is known for big ground swells but the wind can be tricky at times. I've had the sea breezes kick up some nasty chop while out on my old boat and I'd have to use the engine to trim the bow pretty far up to avoid the "scoop" happening. There is a reason why you hardly see any center consoles in Hawaii, almost all local builders and boats shipped in are of the closed bow variety. I've rented center consoles in the Florida Keys and I see the appeal. There is just so much useable space on relatively small boats, but no shelter, no place for naps or for "camping" overnights, and the safety aspect, I still don't understand why EVERYONE has to have one in the Southeast U.S. You even see it in manufacturers, there are only a handful of smaller walkaround style boats being made anymore. 10-15 years ago it seemed there was a plethora of manufacturers to choose from. Center Consoles are where the $ is at, but I don't fully understand where the popularity stems from.
 

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Center Consoles are where the $ is at, but I don't fully understand where the popularity stems from.
In warm weather locations, they make sense. Tons of open deck, you can chase a fish all the way around the boat (though truth be told I've never had to do that). They are clearly sea worthy enough, though there is the trade off of having to raise the bow, that will beat you up more.
My previous boat was a center console and I just liked the look of it. It took me a while to warm up to the 228, I love it now, but did not really like the look at first.

Shrug. People want what they want. I'm very happy with my walk around.
 

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Another vote for a 228! Love being able to get out of the wind. But like seasick said I recommend wearing a PFD when trying to get to the bow and I have a hardtop.
 

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Another vote for a 228! Love being able to get out of the wind. But like seasick said I recommend wearing a PFD when trying to get to the bow and I have a hardtop.
I were a PFD 100% of the time I'm on the boat. Those new (to me) ones that self inflate are so small and light, I really don't have any excuse not to wear one. The only time it comes off is if I'm shedding layers (because it is so warm in that helm) or if I'm at the dock.

I am, after watching some youtube videos of Coast Guard rescues, thinking about trading out my red PFDs for yellow, yellow is way more visible in the water. Though if I have to wait for Coast Guard, I'm probably dead. Still, on the off chance someone gets to me, yellow is easier to pick out.
 

Pighunter

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I were a PFD 100% of the time I'm on the boat. Those new (to me) ones that self inflate are so small and light, I really don't have any excuse not to wear one. The only time it comes off is if I'm shedding layers (because it is so warm in that helm) or if I'm at the dock.

I am, after watching some youtube videos of Coast Guard rescues, thinking about trading out my red PFDs for yellow, yellow is way more visible in the water. Though if I have to wait for Coast Guard, I'm probably dead. Still, on the off chance someone gets to me, yellow is easier to pick out.
I wear mine the same way, 100% of the time

and so does anyone I let come on the boat.

Let me know when your getting rid of the red PFD'S
 

netbender

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Hi Guys, my primary fishing is Finger Lakes trolling. I may get up to lake O on occasion but not a primary spot. I would like to be able to trailer as well. Fighting fish is out the back. Salmanoids on light gear. The down riggers and other gear is all out the rear of the boat. I guess it comes down to cuddy or not. I have fished many times with boats that had cuddy's and I like the storage. I have a ton of fishing gear. I would be utilizing two down riggers and also planner boards for fishing and white wine for the evening cruises. Does the cuddy take any room from the rear of the boat (fishing area)?

Luckydude, you think the Fisherman would be a better choice? You have had both the CC and Walkaround..... (trolling fresh water lakes here)

Dave
 
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Koakine88

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Though if I have to wait for Coast Guard, I'm probably dead. Still, on the off chance someone gets to me, yellow is easier to pick out.
EPIRB. You'll never have to worry about that problem if you have one, or at the very least a PLB. Our water changes from 78 degrees to 82 degrees from winter to summer, we have plenty of time to be found as long as we're still floating and have stuff to make us somewhat visible. On the West Coast you don't have that luxury of time in the water.


& to Netbender… I think Grady-Whites are actually one of the few smaller fish cuddies that they sacrifice the cuddy size over fishing size. Other 20-23' walkarounds you'll typically see less cockpit area in the stern, but some have more amenities such as a sink or even small kitchenette area. The grady's in this size seem to keep all that stern fishing area for a very basic v-berth. Trade-off for sure in favor of more fishing area.
 

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EPIRB. You'll never have to worry about that problem if you have one, or at the very least a PLB.
Yeah, I have that little PLB. I really should have one attached to each PFD. Has anyone found one of those auto inflating PFDs that have straps so you can hang a radio and a PLB off it?