Issue: Boat Reviews
King Fisher

The legendary Scheibles launch one of the Bay’s biggest charter boats, Bay King III, an 85-foot catamaran built in Solomons, Md.


    The latest member of the Scheible’s Fishing Center fleet out of Ridge, Md., has Chesapeake rockfish quaking in their scales. Meet Bay King III, an 85-foot aluminum catamaran (read colossus) that can tear along at 27 knots. “She’ll be able to run farther and faster than any boat we’ve had before,” says Dale Scheible, the boat’s owner. “And what that means is more fish for our customers.”

    The million-dollar boat was launched in early September. She replaces the Scheible family’s Bay King II, a relatively modest, wooden, 65-foot monohull. Powered by twin 1,150-hp Mann diesels, the big cat is Coast Guard certified to carry 149 passengers, who will be whisked away daily to mid-Bay fishing grounds in about one hour-roughly half the time it would have taken her predecessor to make the run.

    Bay King III was constructed by Dale Scheible himself, with plenty of help from former Air Force welder and now full-time boatbuilder Randy Payne, of Solomons, Md. Before tackling the enormous project, Payne’s Aluma Catamaran Corp. had built three aluminum cats-the largest one a 31-foot commercial tow boat.

    This new high-speed fishing platform should only add to the considerable reputation surrounding Scheible’s Fishing Center. Established by Dale’s grandfather in 1945, the business has expanded to include more than a dozen charter boats, a motel, a restaurant (all in Ridge), not to mention the American Soft Shell Crab Co. in nearby Dameron.

    While Scheible has big plans for Bay King III, which include corporate charters and perhaps even floating crab feasts open to the public, this month he’ll focus on his main quarry: fish.

    Anglers looking to nab the big, late-season rocks using trolling lines-versus the standard hook-and-sinker arrangements offered by most headboats-can do so aboard 85 feet of pure fishing machine. “It’ll be like charterboat fishing at headboat prices,” says Scheible. For information, call 301-872-4444, or e-mail Scheible’s Fishing Center at