We spent the day chasing striped bass and bluefish with Rich Armstrong of Boston Fishtix charters, and asked him about running his McKee Craft Freedom 22.
Armstrong’s been running the boat for three seasons, and got it for several reasons.
“It was mostly the beam, it’s got one of the widest beams for its size,” he said. “When you’re taking people out you don’t want to be rocking around, and the stability of the boat is great.” Also, ”With the high gunwales, no one’s going to be falling out of this thing.”
The boat has a full 8’6″ beam and a 22 degree deadrise, similar in its dimensions to the Whaler 220 Outrage (which has a 21 degree deadrise.) Fishing on the boat, we noticed the wide walkway access on either side of the console, and the wide gunwales with molded nonslip.
Armstrong also likes its versatility: It floats in 2′ of water with the Suzuki DF250 trimmed up, so he takes it into shallow back bays and runs out to Stellwagen Bank and fish for tuna in 2-4′ seas.
“It’s got more fishing mojo,” said Armstrong of his boat. But the guide might have something to do with that.