Through the Way-Back Machine: Hell’s Bay Skiffs in the Early 2000’s

I was fumbling through the internet as usual a few days ago and found some photos of some really neat Hell’s Bay boats that you don’t see too often these days. They come up for sale every now and then, and are gone to their new home within 48 hours of the posting. I’m talking about the 1999-2004 years that Hell’s Bay was putting out skiffs. The original Whipray 16, the Waterman, etc. Back when the skiffs didn’t even have gunnels or finished liners. These skiffs were the beginnings of what we see this top tier manufacturer put out today; and are in demand just as much as their most recent designs.

Now, these boats aren’t “classic” old school fishing guide skiffs like the Challenger from the 1980’s, but they are still badass and can do some serious fishing…

An early 2000’s Glades Skiff tiller:

Hells Bay 2005 Glades Skiff

The photo is dated 2008 from the previous owner who sold this skiff, but this is an early Hell’s Bay with no gunnels or floor. I believe it’s a 2005 hull? The old school platform design still looking sleek on the back…

Hells Bay Tiller Waterman

Here’s one you don’t see every day, a late model Marquesa:


A true classic, the Whipray 16! If you can find one of these for sale, restore it and enjoy it forever. This one has gunnels and a finished cap:

Hells Bay Whipray 16

And finally, another example of a badass backcountry machine…check out the center box with grab bar and no fold down seat connecting the two inner-sponson storage hatches:

Hells Bay Waterman 1999

If anyone else reading this has some sweet photos of older Hell’s Bay skiffs, send them to and we’ll put together a ‘Part II’ of this posting…


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