Salt Patrol 26 Ft. North River Seahawk O/S
Today’s advanced North River Seahawk Offshore fishing boats give anglers many of the same capabilities as natural marine predators. These state-of-the-art vessels allow anglers to fish bays, large rivers or to venture far out to sea and chase down game fish with relative ease.
Thanks to technological and design advancements, the new North River aluminum welded fishing boats in the 22 to 30 foot Seahawk Offshore (O/S) series have become more specialized than ever for the task of seeking out and taking on Northwest saltwater species. Like marine predators they are better suited for angling, due to a few key elements that make a salmon fishing craft like the Seahawk O/S an effective fish-catching machine.
Twin 200 hp Evinrude’s and 15 hp HO kicker
When I went looking for new boat, I was looking for an all around workhorse of a vessel. A tough and extremely functional Northwest fishing boat, with tons of fishing space, very low maintenance and the extended range to fish for salmon, halibut, and tuna very comfortably.
An aluminum boat made the most sense for being practical and providing ease of maintenance. The 26 foot North River Seahawk O/S fit this bill to the tee. Easy enough to trailer to the most distant angling locations, plenty of range on the water, and an enclosed cabin to comfortably handle temperamental Northwest weather and of course North River’s reputation for quality built aluminum boats made my decision an easy one.
Power and Range:
Like the old saying goes, in order to catch fish, you have to go where the fish are. When it comes to saltwater game fish such as salmon, halibut, or tuna, this typically means motoring out to the blue water, many miles from the nearest port.
That’s why an offshore fishing boat’s power and range are so critical to angling success. The Seahawk O/S can be ordered with a single or twin outboards or even an inboard diesel. On my 26ft O/S my choice was to re-power in 2015
with twin 250 HP ETEC Gen 2 Evinrude’s for the long runs to the tuna grounds my boat was be making each summer. These engine packages allow the Seahawk O/S to be able to get out to the fishing grounds in a hurry, or move to a more productive spot quickly.
A boat’s range is an equally important part of the equation. After all, what good is being fast if you run out of juice before you can get the job done? Take into consideration how far you’ll be running on your fishing forays. I found the Seahawk O/S boat provides an ideal balance of power and range. The Evinrude ETEC’s have sufficient horsepower and fuel economy to move the boat through rough seas. The fuel capacity on the 26 ft. Seahawk O/S was more than sufficient with 170 gallons giving it great range. Remember, gas stations are few and far between when you’re offshore.
North River installed a Evinrude HO fuel injected 15HP kicker with a TR-1 Gold Auto Pilot on my 26 ft to provide hands free trolling and throttle control to the trolling motor on our Seahawk O/S.
The Seahawk O/S deep entry vee (55º bow/ 20º transom,) wide bottom and exclusive step-chine design deliver smooth and controlled operation in all water conditions
More important than anything else is the seaworthiness of your salmon fishing boat. In order to have a safe and enjoyable fishing trip, it’s imperative that your vessel be able to stand up to the unpredictable and unforgiving marine environment. The length of a boat alone by no means determines whether it is seaworthy. Whether your craft is 15 or 40 feet long, it needs to have a hull specially designed for handling big ocean swells, wind waves or a nasty combination of the two.
North River Seahawk O/S boats feature “deep-V” hulls that allow them to cut through rough seas effectively. Electric trim tabs make trimming this boat in choppy seas extremely easy. When it comes to hull design, another key factor is the beam of the boat. Generally, the wider the beam, the less side-to-side rocking action you’ll experience. Our North River boats run admirably, even in sloppy seas, and they have proven to be incredibly stable platforms for fishing in the ocean environment.
A big-water boat’s “freeboard”, how high the sides of the vessel are above the waterline is another important factor. Boats that don’t have enough freeboard just don’t cut it with us. One good swell can fill it up like a bathtub, creating a potentially life threatening situation. Having sufficient freeboard, like what’s built in to each and every Seahawk O/S will allow for a drier, safer ride and much more comfort while spending many hours fishing.
North River boats didn’t stop with just building plenty of freeboard and closed transom design for a dry ride. They built safety. A large automatic bilge pump is standard and they have also designed in a large self bailing deck so the Seahawk O/S can shed water quickly. The hull of the Seahawk O/S is foam filled for flotation.
A note of caution regardless of the brand of boat you select, before you even think of heading miles offshore to distant salmon, halibut or tuna grounds. Make sure your vessel is equipped with all the essential Coast Guard-approved safety equipment (PFDs, EPIRBS, flare kits, survival suits, etc.). Perhaps the most essential item on any boat is a VHF radio. Our VHF radio antennas are mounted on the included welded aluminum, installed radar tower for long-range reception. Should an emergency situation occur while you’re fishing offshore, being able to quickly communicate with outside agencies or other boats can be crucial.
Fishability: Power, range and seaworthiness are key elements for any salmon fishing boat, but these are generally important factors for non-fishing craft as well. What really separates an average boat from a superior angling vessel like a North River is “fishability.” This term actually refers to a number of qualities and features that make a boat specialized and well suited for fishing assignments. All of the following qualities contribute greatly to the North River Seahawk O/S fishability.
FISHING ROOM: A good salmon fishing boat, or any fishing boat for that matter, should supply plenty of room to fish. In most cases, the majority of fishing space should be in the stern. The large decks on the Seahawk O/S provide for the overall fishing performance and enjoyment of everyone on board.
Seahawk O/S design provides easy mounting of downriggers & rod holders
ROD HOLDERS and DOWNRIGGERS: When fishing offshore, it’s important to have at least four strategically placed trolling rod holders on your boat; two along the transom and one on each gunwale. This way, you’ll be able to troll enough lures to mimic a bait school and attract schooling salmon. I consider Scotty Downriggers to be key components of my salmon trolling mix. Downriggers provide controlled depth fishing; presenting the lure at the depth the fish are at, and allow us to cover plenty of ground while searching for actively feeding fish. My North River boat has weld on downrigger brackets that provide for easy mounting in the correct location on the boats gunnels for 3 HP Scotty downriggers.
ROD STORAGE AND NET ACCESSIBILITY: Any salmon fishing boat should have adequate space for all the fishing gear you need to bring with you on any given trip. Our North River Seahawk O/S comes equipped with a lockable sliding door on the cabin. Above the cabin are easily accessible welded on rocket launchers that provide great storage for your fishing rods. Your extra rods can be up, out of the way and not interfering with any ongoing angling activity.
Rocket launchers on the Seahawk O/S easily store 6 rods
In addition to plenty of convenient rod storage, our boats offer a convenient and safe location for a landing net. North River welded the net holder to the side of the cabin. Getting to a net in a hurry can often mean the difference between landing or losing a big fish at the side of the boat.
The Seahawk O/S provides plenty of dash space to mount electronics
HELM SPACE FOR MARINE ELECTRONICS:
A good fishing vessel like the Seahawk O/S provides enough helm space to easily mount our state of the art Lowrance electronics such as a HDS Gen 3 Touch Screen-12 sonar’s/GPS/chart plotter/ Broadband 4G Radar, twin Link-8 VHF/AIS radios, Simrad AP-28 Auto pilot, Simrad NAIS 400 and other important marine electronics. The installation location on the Seahawk O/S allows for easy access and unobstructed viewing by the skipper from the helm station or the stern fishing area through the large windows on the cabin.
The large cabin on the Seahawk O/S provides great protection from the elements
PROTECTION FROM THE ELEMENTS: For offshore fishing trips, having somewhere to escape the elements if conditions turn ugly just plain made sense to both of us. We both have spent too many trips in the NW rain and wind and the built-in pilothouse with cabin heat on the Seahawk O/S offers protection against wind, rain, and splashing from big swells and wind waves. I ordered my Seahawk O/S’s with a custom dinette, sink and two-burner Wallis stove/heater, fridge, which allows us to easily prepare meals and keep warm while fishing. This cabin lay out also provide lots of storage compartments and tackle rigging station for our vast amount of equipment.
The Seahawk O/S has a great dinette that allows you to easily watch all the rods while eating a hot meal.
Custom rigging station with generous tackle storage below
FISH STORAGE: If you intend on keeping your catch, you’ll need to have adequate on-board storage capacity. With this in mind, the North River Seahawk Offshore offers enough fish-hold space to accommodate the amount of fish you anticipate keeping on any given fishing trip. There is a transom fish box great for dealing with cleaning and bleeding fish and two large in deck fish boxes located in the deck of the rear fishing area. Both of these are equipped with an
Two Puget Sound winter blackmouth in the rear transom fish box. There is also two in deck fish boxes all with over board drains on the Seahawk O/S
The New Team Lowrance North River Seahawk O/S
Salt Patrol with its new wrap
In summary, for big-water salmon, halibut, and tuna angling assignments, you’ll want to select a North River Seahawk O/S which offers an ideal combination of seaworthiness, power, fishability and comfort. These boats will provide you with all the necessary tools for getting you and your gear out to the fishing grounds safely and quickly; locating the game fish you want to target; hooking and landing fish; and storing your catch for the long run home. My North River Seahawk O/S boat does just that.
Capt. John Keizer