James River Water Levels

Westham Gauge
Gauge Height: 3.98'
Flow: 2110 cfps

Trail Conditions: Richmond

  • TRAIL UPDATE: Pocahontas Trails Closed. Please spread the word.

Todays Tides: Richmond Locks

High Tide: 12:42am
Low Tide: 7:42pm

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Is this UFO-shaped skiff the future of personal watercraft?

It looks like a cross between a UFO and a radar dish, yet designer Jeff Lizzio hopes it will soon be the new face of fishing, duck hunting, and just about any form of recreation where you would need a single-person skiff. The Ultraskiff 360 is a 110-pound mass of polyethylene that offers just about all the amenities of a conventional boat, yet can be moved easily and fits in the back of a pick-up. Most importantly, Lizzio says the circular design of the craft promotes comfort and healthy fishing habits.

“The problem I had that I think many other people have is that we love to fish so much that we look past all the inconveniences and discomfort if it means spending time on the water,” Lizzio wrote on his website. “To me, both kayaks and jon boats where unstable, uncomfortable and inconvenient. I ended up a healthy and fit 30-year-old with a herniated disk in his lower back.”

For now, the Ultraskiff brand is still a small start-up company with limited inventory and no shipping capability, but Lizzio has grand plans. The veteran angler is betting that the comfortable design of the Ultraskiff will take off with fishermen whose first priority is to fish, not paddle.

“From the very first time that you sit in an Ultraskiff 360 you immediately get a comfortable feeling that you cannot get with other watercraft in its class,” Lizzio boasted. “It is a feeling similar to when you are sitting in a pedestal mounted swivel chair on the deck of a bass boat: where you have control of a trolling motor and everything you need at your finger-tips in hidden storage compartments.”

The Ultraskiff is designed to be propelled by a trolling motor only, although it can be paddled. Multiple storage compartments, including ones that can be used as a cooler and livewell, are already built into the craft. Rod holders and strap guides are also included, along with a drainage canal near the center of the skiff and a transom.

The company received a flurry of attention after it released a promotional video on YouTube, but Lizzio admitted that production has not caught up to demand. Currently the Ultraskiff can only be purchased by pickup from the manufacturer in Tampa, Florida at the cost of $1,199. Lizzio said he intends on setting up lines of distribution soon so the Ultraskiff can be sold by dealers or ordered online.