Being a pro staffer for Willie Boats is awesome! This is how my pro staff program works. Every year, the good folks at Willie supply me with one of their outstanding power boats. I use the boat, write about the boat and take the boat to events where anglers get to check it out. At the end of the year, we put the boat for sale at a great low price. Once the boat is sold, I get a brand new boat and the process begins again… I know, I know this is great work if you can get it!!!! Yet you can benefit from my relationship with Willie too.
My Willie Predator has been used extensively for a year, but it is in outstanding shape, the motors are still fully under warrenty and have been serviced regularly. At this point the main motor has less than 50 hours running time on it. Really the boat has just been broken in, yet you can buy it and save thousands of dollars when compared to buying a new model of the same boat. New, my Predator runs about $40,000, but you can own mine for $21,500….So how is this possible? First of all, we got great promotional pricing on the motors and we are passing that savings on to you. Secondly, the purpose of a pro staff boat is not to sell it and turn a profit. The value of the boat comes in the form of promotion and my Predator has served its purpose. Now the folks at Willie want to move the boat and recoup their original investment….Check out the article and photos I’ve posted below detailing the the features of my Willie. If you’d like more information about the boat don’t hesitate to call me at (530) 320-0368.
The Willie Predator: A Rugged Aluminum Sled Perfect For The California Angler!
It has been a year, give or take a day or two, since I took delivery of my beautiful custom built 20 foot Willie Predator Power Boat. To say that I’ve been “pleased” with the performance my Willie is a major understatement!
The Predator is a big stable heavy aluminum sled. It didn’t take my fishing buddies and I long to begin referring to my Willie as “the tank” because of the way it hammers through rough foreboding water.
As everyone out there in Fish Sniffer Country knows, I fish hard. Wind, weather, rain, snow and rough water don’t factor into my decision to hit the water. I don’t baby my equipment whether it be rods and reels, lines and lures or boats and motors. To me there are only two kinds of fishing equipment. There is good gear that performs in the face of the challenges I throw at it and then there is junk that lets me down when the going gets tough.
My Willie Predator has never let me down. It’s pounded through big rollers at full throttle for miles at a time. It’s been lashed by salt spray, beached on tule berms to avoid high winds, seared by the sun, frozen in snow flurries and tested in just about everyway, yet it has been up to every challenge. I’ve stayed on my Predator for days at a time, bathed the transom area with fish blood, bait, chum, Pro-Cure and spilled soda, tracked mud all over its floor amidst heavy buckets of sinkers, bait buckets spewing brackish delta water and sliding car batteries that I forgot to stow, but the boat shows almost zero signs of wear.
The Willie Predator is a favorite among guides and hardcore anglers. It features a unique hull design consisting of a gradual bow entry the gently lifts the boat over chop, wake’s and waves. The 10 degree hull design makes for quickly plaining and a high ride and the unique bottom plaining pad and precision bottom striking provides excellent tracking and performance.
So what does this mean in layman’s terms? Well when I hit the throttle while setting dead in the water my Predator gets out of the hole and gets up on top of the water quickly. When I make high speed turns, the boat rolls up very little. Instead the boat remains nearly level and glides through the turn. This is important to me. At times I’ve been known to maneuver aggressively and the stability and maneuverability of the Predator means that my passengers stay comfortable and my tackle and ice chests don’t go careening from one side of the boat to the other.
When rough water is encountered, the ride remains smooth and comfortable, which is a nice contrast to the rigid and jarring ride provided by other aluminum sled type boats.
The Predator is offered in an open hull design (think river salmon sled) and a forward helm design (think bay, delta, reservoir and mountain lake boat). Since I fish for just about everything that swims in California waters, versatility is one of my primary concerns and that’s why I chose a forward helm model.
The forward helm Predator is built on a .130” rugged aluminum bottom and feature strong dent resistant .125” aluminum sides. The forward helm Predator is offered in several lengths ranging up to 24 feet. Mine is 20 feet long with a 102 inch beam. The total weight of the hull is 1,460 pounds.
My Predator sports a canvas top, tons of room and great stability. I’m a big guy, yet the boat pitches very little when I walk from side to side while trolling or fishing from the anchor. My wife Gena and I love to do overnight and multiple day trips in the delta. There is enough interior room in my Predator to allow Gena to nap on a queen size air mattress while I set near the transom tending to my rods while I wait for the sturgeon and stripers to bite.
A Mercury 90 horse FourStroke outboard and a 9.9 horse Mercury FourStroke kicker power my Predator. Mercury FourStrokes have long led the pack in clean, quiet, fuel-efficient outboard power. Mercury has combined innovative engineering with advanced reliability features to make Mercury FourStrokes run clean, stay quiet and deliver smooth, responsive performance all while using an absolute minimum of fuel.
My main motor has proven to not only be very fuel efficient, but it is also a real power house pushing me to a top speed of 39 miles per hour while navigating calm water. The kicker has provided reliable trouble free performance while trolling for prolonged periods of time.
Other features of the Willie Predator include a welded walk through wind shield with windshield wiper, a built in fish box in the bow, vinyl flooring, deluxe running lights, 1,240 GPH automatic bilge pump, 40 gallon fuel tank, locking rod locker, locking glove box super comfortable seats with locking storage compartments beneath them, a unique anchor roller that makes pulling up the anchor an easy task… and a whole lot more.
I’ve topped off my Predator package with a set of Cannon Mag 10 electric downriggers and a Humminbird side finder sonar unit.