A skiff that answers the rising tide of discontent among anglers and guides alike.
From microskiff.com. With current economic trends to downsize and “do more with less”, cautious souls might be inclined to hunker down and wait ‘till things improve a bit before exploring new ventures. Not Hal Chittum, world-renowned guide and founder of Hells Bay Boats. Nope, Hal does a 360 from conventional wisdom and starts a new boat business with an ultra high-end skiff – the Islamorada 18 -- that, according to Chittum, raises the bar for flats skiff manufacturing technology and on-water performance.
By Eddie Oliveras. I recently was invited to visit the factory of Chittum Skiffs in St Augustine, Florida and wet test the much-hyped performance and specs of this new boat from a “new” company. Hal Chittum received me at the shipyard entrance and rolled this beauty out of a garage where as he described it was still undergoing sea trials before delivery to the customer. Being a newcomer to skiff fishing and everything associated with the sport, I still had heard of Hal’s reputation and a brief history of his involvement with Hell’s Bay Boatworks and their designs.
Pete McDonald, boats.com. Pete McDonald is a contributing editor to Power & Motoryacht. Previously, he spent 11 years on the editorial staff of Boating. He has won multiple writing awards and holds a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. The cult of flats fishing has many commandments, two of the most important being “float shallow” and “don’t spook the fish.” The Chittum Islamorada 18 looks to do that like no other skiff around.
Chittum Skiffs featured in new Florida Keys national advertising campaign.
The first skiff worthy of the name Islamorada is now the first and only skiff you'll see featured in the 2012 national advertising campaign for the Florida Keys & Key West. The spots air in January so keep your eyes peeled.
By Jim Sutton
ST. AUGUSTINE - Hal Chittum sits beside an old desk in a stark office at the corner of a plain white building on the San Sebastian River. He talks about his life and his boats. They're pretty much the same thing.
Through a window behind him, you can see workers rigging a new boat, grinding and drilling. He wipes the dust of several weird composites from the desk as he speaks, patting off the residue of what he calls the most technical flats boat in the world onto his pants leg
From the publisher, theonlinefisherman.com and Capt. Greg Poland: Many of us have experience fishing on -- or owning -- Hells Bay boats. If you've been coming to the site for a while, you know that being Floridians by blood (if not birth), we strongly recommend the incredible custom boats you can find being built here if you're considering a purchase. We're going to get an opportunity to meet Hal because of our relationship with Captain Greg Poland, and will be fishing in Greg's new Chittum Skiff in early December if our schedules can be aligned.
Captains Bob Branham, Steve Huff, Tim Hoover and a few others say that with the Islamorada 18, there is absolutely no hull slap, no wet ride, no bone jarring ride and that the coup de grâce is that poling right up on top of bonefish without spooking them is possible, and that oceanside running tarpon in the Keys will run under the boat, not around and away from it