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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm finally ready to order an open Willie boat and hoping to get some ifish feedback before signing the second mortgage.

1. How do the Raptor and Predator differ in performance? I understand the theory of the different designs, but how do they actually perform?

2. Diamond plate floors? Yes or No?

3. What options are a must and which could you do without?

4. Transom height? Is 27" enough to safely run in water such as Buoy 10 or Tillamook, or should I step up to a higher transom. The issue is being able to use my existing long shaft motor with the 27" transom, but if there is any compromise on safety, I will take the hit and trade up to an extra long shaft motor to fit the higher transom.

Thanks for any feedback.
 

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Having been a Predator owner I can say you will really enjoy your new boat!

Predator/Raptor? I can only speak to the predator... I had a 22.5 open predator with a 4 stroke prop/tiller
It was a great boat! Very dry, handled the biggest water with ease.. I fished the ocean with it a lot even so times I shouldn't have and it handled very well!! never had a problem.. in fact I had the 27" transom with a 20" notch for my standard shaft merc.. even with that I had NO probelsm in the ocean.. I took a little splash but nothing major, I would think the 27" would be great! (I'd go 27" if I had it to do over again!)


I didn't/don't fish a ton of shallow rivers so if I were ordering another open sled I would probably go with the Raptor... fishes the ocean/bays a bit better I think with its hull design, but ether way you are a winner...
I also like the 78" bottom on the Raptor the 72" was nice on my predator but the extra 6 inches would have been nice?

Good luck and make sure to give us an update when you order and receive your new toy!
 

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I've wondered about the same comparison between the raptor and predator....and which boat makes the better overall fishing craft. I've seen plenty of Predators on the water, from the lower Columbia to the Rogue river and they always appear to handle the conditions well.

From my observations, the raptor was created to compete against the bigger water boats the guides are using these days. The boat is built to handle rough water, like the lower Columbia and trips into the ocean. Much like Alumawelds larger 23' to 25' sleds. And the size can accomodate up to 6 passengers, the number that many guides prefer to book these days.

My previous boat was a Boulton Sea Skiff, 22' x 72" with 36" sides (36" sides are nice) and 30" transom powered with a 200hp Mercury jet. The bow was 34 degrees and tapered into a 12 degree bottom with a 12 foot long delta pad in the center for the pump. The only thing I wanted and couldn't get at the time was 78" or 84" inch bottom width, which is now available. I believe this boat and the Raptor are much the same, made to handle similar water and conditions. I ran the sea skiff in the lower Columbia when conditions sent most people packing, ventured into the ocean on nice days and ran some smaller rivers where I once saw nothing but rock, figured the water couldn't have been any deeper the 8". This boat was very versatile, a really great all around performer. And the Raptor specs. out much like the Sea Skiff.

It's my belief that the Predator was the ideal all around boat 5 to 10 years ago and accomodated the locations and methods used by the majority of the fisherman. I believe the Raptor is an improvement on that idea. Where fisherman are looking for more carrying capacity, ability to handle rougher water with ease and still fish the smaller river close to home.

If I were to order a Willie boat tomorrow, it would definetly be a Raptor with 225hp 4 stroke jet/prop combo and it would likely need a jack plate installed.

Before laying any money out, I'd want a test ride on both the Predator and Raptor just to be sure.

Sorry I couldn't help more and I know your looking for a real comparison, just thought I'd offer my opinion instead. :cheers:

best of luck,

Gregg
 

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A Raptor. I've had mine since February and love it. With the variable hull configuration you get the better of all worlds. Mine is a 24' open sled with the 250 sportjet. It will run in the ocean and in shallow rivers. Both boats are great and I think it comes down to personal preference. I do know there are a number of Predator owners who are now stepping into the Raptor. Good Luck.
 
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