Graham Hegamyer knows his way around skiffs having had multiple boats made for him from custom builders like East Cape Skiffs. His latest collaboration with the company is up for sale.
Graham says, “East Cape has built some beautiful boats for me in the past, but this is by far the most unique Caimen ever made. This skiff is truly a one of a kind that will never be duplicated. I’ll do my best to describe the details and what makes it so special.”
- 2015 East Cape Caimen with 30HP Suzuki tiller, less than 100 hours, meticulously cleaned and garage kept
- Grey hull with Ice Blue awlgrip nonskid
- Large Garmin touchscreen GPS, Sounder is hooked to wifi app so I can view from the bow when solo
- Bluetooth stereo
- 24V I Pilot trolling motor
- Blackout powder coating on platforms and trailer
First and foremost, we wanted this boat to be light. We did away with hatches, fixed fuel tanks, and floor liner. The result is a Caimen that I can lift off the trailer at the stern corners. The front compartment has a cut out for front storage and portable fuel.
With no liner, being able to run GPS and trim tabs wiring to grab bar posed a problem. EC carved a channel in the floor core then added a second core on top, creating a channel to have no visible wiring. It added a few lbs doing this, but a much cleaner install.
The boat stayed strong and light.
I also did not want added weight of a jackplate but wanted to be able to keep the nose up in rough water. The motor is mounted very low. This is done to give me an enormous amount of positive trim while running. It does limit the shallow water running capabilities some, but the lift can get the skiff out of some very ugly places when it comes to rough water.
On Flip Pallot’s Whipray, he designed a reverse fly rod scabbard on the front deck. Flip and I spoke and thought about some ways to improve on that design. All the guys at the East Cape shop came together to figure out a way to make it work given some tough aspects of the boat design and ended up doing a stellar job. Lots of input from lots of smart people made an awesome original that I doubt will ever make another skiff of EC’s again. We decided to do a two rod setup and let the reels hang vertically instead of on its side. It ended up being ideal to keep 7-8wt in one, 12wt in the other and make a fast switch for when that unexpected fish comes by. Besides Flip’s advice on the scabbard, we also made some trailer adjustments
Ramlin builds some great trailers but there was room for improvement on this. On the vertical supports, they leave a bit of room which allows the boat to slide on the trailer. They needed about an inch of shim. Luckily, Flip was having his porch ripped down so we used a 1″x1″ banister support for it. It was the perfect fit and originally I was going to make something more official, but always enjoyed looking down and seeing the wood and knowing the story.
We also shifted the boat forward on the trailer to give the transom some more support. Easier said than done. This required rearranging everything to make the move.
To make sure this trailer stayed a 100% dry launch, as in a piece of it has never touched water, we needed to use a non-standard winch. We replaced Ramlin’s standard with a two speed, brake controlled, winch. This allows you to shove the boat off while holding the friction brake to keep it from being a runaway. When pulling it back on, the two different speeds allow you to effortlessly get her back on.
Trolling Motor and Power
I built this skiff as my Everglades boat. I wanted something that I could spend a week on and not worry about dead batteries or charging a trolling motor. I wanted a two battery boat that could be switched from 12v to 24v to recharge along the way. East Cape took my wiring diagram I drew and made it 1) work and 2) safe. As you run, the system charges the two batteries at 12v. When you want to use the trolling motor, you turn a few switches and the trolling motor now pulls 24v. I’m aware this will reduce battery life but it makes the trolling motor use extended far beyond what I’ve been able to use up.
This setup is why we used the 30 Suzuki as well. It is the largest motor that still has a dedicated pull-start. I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t be stuck in the Glades with a dead battery.
Odds and Ends
- 6.5 gallon portable fuel tank can be run from bow or stern for weight control
- Two turn buckles in deck up front for casting platform to change weight distribution
- Lenco tabs but no brain box (too many problems in my mind). Instead using DPDT switches that can be replaced in 5 minutes
- Camera tray that mounts in front of poling platform
- I got bored and did some ropework
- Carbon Marine tiller extension with trim/tilt
- Renzetti Push Pole holders from Flip
Please feel free to ask about anything on this boat. Every aspect was thought out to make the most bad to the bone, one of a kind Caimen ever to come out of their shop.
Available to talk about it at 1-843-991-8372 or [email protected]
Priced to move @ $29,000. This skiff won’t last long
Caimen Builder Specifications from East Cape Skiffs.
A little skiff with attitude. This boat is the perfect blend of beauty and function. It can comfortably cross open bays and pole after tailing reds. It is one of the most versatile boats in our lineup. The East Cape CAIMEN is synonymous with simplicity.
- Length: 17’ -10”
- Width: 61.5”
- Real Draft: 4”- 7” (Fully Rigged w/Two Anglers & Gear )
- MFG. Suggested Power: 25-70 HP outboard
- Tiller, Side Console, Center Console, Off-Set Center and Tower Offered