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What is a Technical Skiff Anyway?


Unless you’re an avid angler who works the flats of the Gulf Coast, Florida Keys or the Caribbean, you may have never seen a technical flats skiff. These compact, ultra-light boats are designed to get a light-tackle angler into the skinniest water, where bonefish and permit may be lurking. In this world of flats fishing a technical skiff – from builders including Hell’s Bay Boatworks, Yellowfin Yachts, Ranger, and Beavertail Skiffs – is truly a high-performance machine, not in the traditional sense of performance gauged by high speed, but rather in terms of the extreme focus of its design. The new Mercury Racing 60R outboard was developed to complement the absolute functionality of the technical skiff by offering strong hole-shot acceleration in a compact and lightweight package. The Mercury Racing 60R is also the first outboard in this class to be offered with a 15-inch length that is a perfect fit on the low transom found on the most-compact technical flats skiffs.

Capt. Steven Lamp of Dream Catchers Charters in Key West, Fla., has been guiding on the flats since 1994 and consulted on the development of the Mercury Racing 60R. His 17-foot Elite skiff is typical of the breed.