Yabba Dabba Doo Charterboat
If it’s your first day on an offshore charterboat, you might step up to the transom of the Yabba Dabba Doo, gaze over the enormous cockpit, multiple live wells; look up to the bridge and notice the array of electronic screens and instruments, and further up the gleaming tuna tower with full controls overlain by a taut canvas shade. You might step on board, enter the spacious, air-conditioned interior, note the spotless and expansive upholstery and seating area, and the custom cabinetry housing every possible nuance of fishing equipment used for the wide array of fishing options available on this boat. You might even wander down the steps to the spacious and meticulously tidy and clean bathroom, or head, and feel like you never left the hotel. You’ll probably gawk at the enormous array of gleaming, perfectly-maintained fishing rods stored neatly in overhead racks, and notice the numerous custom-welded rod holders marching up the legs of the tuna tower and across the back railing of the bridge. You might notice, in passing, the richly-varnished “rocket launcher”, a multiple rod holder located in the center of the cockpit. If you arrived at the dock early, and Capt. Steve is checking over his engine room and has invited you aboard for a peek, you might scratch your head a bit about the spotless white engines, perfect, brand-new looking hoses and belts, shiny stainless fittings…a place you’d expect to see maybe a little grime or at least a streak of oil, not something that looks cleaner than a high-class restaurant kitchen. If this is your first day, even after all of that, you might think this is “normal”, or “typical”, of an offshore charterboat.
Well, it’s not. Experienced clients, who will have fished aboard a number of different boats over the years, know darned well it’s not, and that’s one of the reasons they’re back. This is a hard-working professional charterboat, and yet it is maintained to such high standards that it looks and operates like someone’s private fishing toy. And there are many reasons why that matters to you, the customer, and has everything to do with both your fishing success, and your enjoyment, to the hilt, of each day you spend aboard.
The Yabba Dabba Doo is a 43-foot Torres, a proven fishing machine built in Key West, Florida to the highest craftsmanship and standards by locals who know what it takes to succeed in the waters of the Florida Keys. The Yabba’s power plant boasts Cummins QSM11 turbo-charged diesels with electronic controls, which at 650 horsepower each confer huge advantages whether charging offshore in search of mahi and marlin at the crack of dawn in summer, racing to capitalize on wintertime sailfish bait showers, or ranging widely and quickly offshore or up and down the reef edge to maximize fishing success on any given day. State-of-the-art Simrad electronics allow Capt. Steve to do amazing things that catch fish for you—his radar acuity and power is so good, he can use it to locate flocks of surface-feeding birds invisible to the most powerful binoculars or very best eyes; he can actually use his color scope to mark individual sailfish, at depth, hovering around a baitball, position the boat accordingly, and direct live baits vertically right down in front of their noses; and so on, using plotting tricks and other capabilities and techniques that translate directly into more red-hot fishing action for you . It’s almost like cheating, and the bottom line is, instead of wandering around blindly, your drag is screaming and you’ve got a fish on.
The Yabba’s power live well capacity and set-up deserves a paragraph of its own. The central below-deck live well is big enough to be a small swimming pool, and can comfortably house colossal loads of live bait of various species, from frisky mackerel scad (locally called “speedos”), Capt. Steve’s secret weapon for big wahoo, king mackerel, sailfish, and grouper, to ballyhoo, cigar minnows, goggle eyes, blue runners, pinfish, or pilchards. One or more on-deck live wells complement the central well, and allow separation of delicate species like ballyhoo from the more rambunctious species, guaranteeing perfect, unscathed baits go out on each line. The huge overall capacity gives Capt. Steve and his crew the option to chum with live bait and to deploy live-bait teasers, techniques that can vastly increase the fishing success of any given day.
The state-of-the-art tuna tower on the Yabba, with full controls and an intercom system so that Capt. Steve can calmly and efficiently direct sight casting from the cockpit to the tailing or showering sailfish, mahi mahi, wahoo, sharks, cobia and other fish he spots from high above. Give a captain with Steve’s experience, work ethic, and organizational abilities a platform like this to operate from, with all of the top technical capabilities, and you can rest assured that you are getting absolute top value for your charter dollar. This is offshore fishing done the way it’s supposed to be done, no compromises.
Perhaps the most important value of fishing on such a spacious, meticulously maintained vessel might not be the most obvious. Everywhere you look, everywhere you go, it’s fresh and clean, it’s pretty, it’s pleasant, it’s comfortable, and it’s even air-conditioned. Your family can enjoy being offshore. They can lounge inside around the large table, or go up to the bridge and relax on the comfortable couch areas there in the fresh breeze, protected by the overhead shade. An inside refrigerator/freezer and an outside cooler full of fresh crushed ice keep drinks and food cold and easily accessible. Capt. Steve treats his customers like family. The Yabba is their home away from home, and he wants them to be completely at ease and loving every minute of their day. It’s no wonder so many clients book multiple days each time they visit the Florida Keys, and no wonder so many clients return year after year.