View Full Version : The real deal on Shamrocks - Keel vs Pocket Drive??

Squid Row
06-17-2003, 03:13 PM
I have been harassing Gavin via email for a while now, and finally decided to post on here and save him from answering a bunch of my questions.

First a brief intro. I have been boating for about 24 years and my last boat was a Seapro 21 WA, prior to that a Grady White 20 footer with I/O. I love to fish offshore, but now have two young children to consider when choosing my next ride.

I am all but convinced that my next boat is going to be a Shamrock in the 20 - 24 foot range and that is what has lead me to this wonderful site.

What are the pros and cons of the pocket drive vs. the keel drive in boats of this size? I will be looking for a used WA this fall, are there any model years or engine types to be weary of? I plan to hire a surveyor no matter what and from the looks of the classified ads will likely be travelling up North to make my final purchase.

I have searched on the hull truth, the wmi pop up page :) , and all over the web for info on Shamrocks. Heck, I even read Pascoes hatchet job but I am still certain that this line of boats is right for me. After all, who would you trust more.. Pascoe or Gavin? :D

Any info, tips, suggestions, criticisms, or what to look out fors are greatly appreciated.

06-18-2003, 05:26 PM
I'm surprised no one has responded yet. This being the case, here are my observations and opinion. With two small children, the smallest boat I recommend is the 220WAC. The 220's are keel boats as opposed to the 246 pocket drives.

It has a small cuddy cabin which can sleep two if they are under 6' and a porta-pottie. The helm seat does fold down and is big enough to sleep two children, head to foot, as my children have done it.

Keel boats are slower and use more fuel than the pocket drive boats. This is logical as there is more wetted surface with the keel. You'll find you cruise at 19-20 knots in the 220 at about 8 gph in calm seas. Keel boats have a protected drive so hitting molas, sandbars, and logs won't hurt the prop. They track straight and are very stable on slow troll or the drift. With the weight of the keel and engine low, the boat is very stable.

You'll find keel drive boats can handle seas well. Even in heavy seas you'll be able to maintain 17-18 knots. Last Friday I was out with Damon on our boats 75 miles off shore in really sloppy water. Several deep-vee style boats were having a much tougher time of it than we did even though they were larger craft.

The 246 WAC is faster. Has a roomier cabin, has more gunwale height so the children are less likely to fall overboard. It is more susceptible to rough water and not as stable on the drift. Also the running gear is not as well protected.

Whether the running gear is protected may or may not be of concern to you. In the NW where logs are often floating just awash, a keel is essential. It may be in Florida also if you plan to flats fish. Elsewhere, it may just be additional drag.

Shamrock builds strong boats. I suggest you spend time on both models and even the 26' to see which best meets your needs. As you may have determined on this board, all Shamrock boats are loved and used. Just get a survey and the wife's approval, and you'll be happy with your choice.


Squid Row
06-19-2003, 02:32 PM
Great information, I appreciate it. I have printed your response out and saved it for reference.

Now comes the really hard part, finding a good used 22 WA with a keel, within my price range. I am planning on a long search hopefully buying sometime in the fall.

Thanks again for the info.

06-19-2003, 09:57 PM
Squid Row,
I have a 20' WAC, 1998 model, keel drive. I just got back from a night ride out on the lake where I live. I'm about 2-3 miles across the lake from the canal where the boy was killed in an alligator attack last night. It's horrible to think about....we've got alot of gators in this lake.

On to boating. Tonight was a little blustery, we've had storm systems blowing through the last several days. My keel drive rode very, very nice even though it was choppy. there's nothing like a rudder and keel. I don't know if the pocket drives are difficult to reverse and back up, but I have figured out how to skipper mine and have no problems to port or starboard... just takes practice. I looked at a used pocketdrive at the same time as the keeldrive. I could've gotten the pocket for a little cheaper, but it would've required a little fix up work. In any case, I didn't like the layout either. I like the gunwale height on the WAC vs. Pocket. As I remember it, its almost too high on the Pocket for what we like to do. The WAC layout on my boat was perfect on our big trip to the Keys last summer, our first summer with the Shamrock. After getting over some mechanical issues (some inherited, some caused by operator error!), it's really a good vessel.

You might want to check the for sale listing in the index. There is a 1990 Predator for sale that looks reasonable and is a 22' hull with a 2001 motor..... check it out. I had him email photos and it looks very interesting. If I were to upgrade to a 22', that might be the rig for me... especially the steering being in the middle, the storage space on the dash, seating for skipper and passenger looks like it puts you up fairly high so visibility is good but it also has a tall windscreen so the protection from the elements is good..... but the cockpit area is the same as my 20' which is what I really like about my WAC......check it out......Runningbare is the name of the boat.....


No Tacks
06-19-2003, 10:07 PM
Well you might want to consider going a little larger like the 26 predator ragtop or If you can find one a mid to late 80s hardtop pre mackinaw...Its got alot more room to move around and the kiddies might actually be able to use the bathroom..And Keel Boats are the way to go for stability....I had a 20ft cuddy and even the first day I bought it I still REALLY wanted to get the 26 footer...So save yourself the I wishes and just get the 26 and youll be and your wifey to will be happy campers....bill :D :D :D

Squid Row
06-20-2003, 11:50 AM
I contacted Runningbare and we are trying to work through some email issues.

Notacks I see you are from NY. I used to live in Massapequa and fished out of Amityville from Buddy Toomeys. Used to mate on the Charter boat Sandbar Mike. Are you in that area?

And to you other NY'ers, or should I say, yuse udda nu yawkas, I sure miss fishing up there. Winter flounder, spring weaks, summer fluke, fall bass and then winter flounder again...


06-20-2003, 01:16 PM
I recently went thru the same process. Gave up my 22 ft center console open fisherman. My mind set was stuck on a 246 open, but after a lot of looking around, I found an early 90's 26 ft Stalker. It was a good choice, boat fishes great, but also great to just put the family on for a day on the water way. This boat has a full keel, which I like, as it protects the running gear. I took a few of the pocket drive's out, and not having any prop protection was a concern of mine.

Only real downside of this boat is that it will not go fast, but the ride is great.

No Tacks
06-20-2003, 09:56 PM
:D Yeah squiddy i recently bought a waterfront home in amity harbor...The folks here are great and just at the end of my canal the fishing is fantastic...Look at some 26footers before you buy You might be suprised....bill... :D :D