” The thing I believe I love the most about the Sportsman is the service from the company and the amazing group of people that own them.”

Salty Carp, Sportsman 25’

Interview with the Captain – Zack Carpenter

About the Boat

Why did you choose to buy this particular boat and what else did you consider?
I looked at a lot of boats that would work for our family, for both fishing and enjoying the beautiful Gulf of Mexico, where we live. We looked and tested quite a few brands before we were introduced to Sportsman. Since we tow our boat we wanted to stay with a size that was conducive to launching, even if it was just the wife and I at the launch – so, the 251 model fit the bill perfectly.

What boats have you previously owned?
My first saltwater boat was a 19′ Key West and we outgrew it in about a year and a half, as we started to go further into the gulf.
Our second boat was a 2003 Wellcraft 210 Fisherman that we enjoyed for the next two years (we had a blast with this boat and learned a lot about what type of fishing we enjoyed, and what we did not.

What are the features you like most about your boat?
The comfort of the ride is what we enjoy the most. Sportsman also does a great job at adding the needed creature comforts without going crazy with useless gadgets. The windless anchor is a nice feature as well.

What features/improvements have you added or do you plan to add?
So, after a month and a half owning the Salty Carp we got hit by Hurricane Sally and had a large pine tree fall across the Ttop and stopped it from coming through the roof of our bedroom. Turned out to be a blessing and I took full advantage of the time it was out of commission getting repaired to add some new goodies. First, we had the Ttop frame custom built with additional rod holders in the rear (you can never have to many holders), then I worked with Simrad to upgrade electronics to new dual NSS12 Evo 3’s and upgraded the transducers with a ss175 through hull and 3&1 active imaging. I have to give a big thank you to Southern Bay Marine Customs out of Mobile, AL for all the work they did getting her back to tip top shape. I also took this time to install a 87″ Minnkota trolling motor and Taco outriggers. My next add is going to be autopilot this winter. 

Where have you traveled with your boat?/what do you have planned?
We mainly stay around Orange Beach AL, but twice a year we make a trip up to Lake Martin and enjoy the fresh water.

Do you belong to a yacht club/marina or other boating organizations?
None as of now. I am a member of the Alabama SpearFishing Association, as we dive and spearfish in our area.

What is the biggest challenge you have in servicing your boat?
No real challenges I guess. Sportsman did a great job at making access to the bilge and major components to the boat accessible aside from the fishbox macerator pump (I never knew I could fit in spaces like that till I had an issue with this pump).

Who first introduced you to boating?
No one in particular. We learned a lot on our own and with the help of some people who are more knowledgeable than myself. We live in such a beautiful place I wanted to take full advantage of what we had here.

Do you have any advice for those looking to buy a boat like yours?
Do your research and join the groups. The thing I believe I love the most about the Sportsman is the service from the company and the amazing group of people that own them. We are very passionate about the brand as they stand behind the boats they manufacture.

What’s the story behind the boat’s name?
This is a great question because her name is a little different. My wife teaches kindergarten and instead of calling her by her full last name they have always called her “Carp” for short. Being as we spend most of our time in the salt water, it was only fitting to name her the “Salty Carp”

Any recent boating-related purchase you’ve been enjoying (e.g. product/tool/equipment etc)?
Yes, we just purchased our first electric reel and have been learning how to deep drop. Finding the holes has been the biggest challenge but that’s what keeps us interested. We love learning new ways to enjoy the water.

Do you have any other notable resources you use (apps, devices, etc)?
Safety equipment is our biggest resource. We keep a EPIRB handy at all times. We also have invested in a Spot X (Satellite tracking and texting device) for any of the OH SH** moments that are bound to happen. We also use the app “Fish Weather” to help plan our trips out around the crazy weather we have here. Another good one is “Fish Rules” for making sure we stay on top of current regulations and seasons.

Click the gallery below for more photos and information about Salty Carp!