PDA

View Full Version : question about fiberglass boats



CrappieCrazed
01-25-2012, 04:47 PM
Im in the market for bass boat, not new, looking from 99 models to about 2003. 18-20ft............

Looking for suggestions on what others think is the best boats for not getting blown around by the wind. I know that they all get blown around some but some more than others for sure. Im sure this has to do with the way the hull design is and how far they sit in the water. I just wish I knew which was THE BEST because I would get THAT BOAT. lol I fish a lot and fish out of a deep v alum boat and tired of being blown around like a paper cup in a wind storm.

Any suggestions would be great. My uncle has a 21 ft champion boat and it does really well but didnt know if someone knew of any that seemed to "better" than the rest when it came to this problem...... Thanks!!!!

huntinslabs
01-25-2012, 05:01 PM
Go down to the Georgia board and look for the thread on pics of boats. Look for Gabowmans boat. That looks to me like a top contender for what ya want, or something along that line. But I am fishin out of a little G3 1448 and get blown around when I sneeze so I ain't no expert on the subject. I am sure more info will be along shortly.

Wannabe...
01-25-2012, 05:38 PM
Bass hull contenders would be Ranger, Champion and Stratos...there are some others that would be similar, but the Champ will have the deepest keel on that list, but it's a marginal advantage. If you're looking for a bass boat hull, they are all going to be two spits difference for your purpose. I've owned a Stratos 295 (19.5'), A Champ 186 (18.5) and now a Basscat Jaguar (20' 4"). Haven't got the BC ready to fish yet, but know it's going to perform similar (although better than the Champ due to beam and length.

Only 2 cautions I'll throw at you....if you're looking sub 20', absolutely stay away from a dual console. They eat up precious room in a hurry on boats under 20'. Big stinking difference in an 18' and a 20' boat.

The other caution is to get the one you want the first time. I can show you a series of knots on my head provided by my wife to illustrate my point and surprisingly it's not a 1 to 1 ratio.

It really all depends on your budget, but if you're a po-boy, like me..."classic" hull designs that work well for Crappie are Ranger 4 series, Stratos 295 and 201 and Champion 2 series - 201, 221, 223. Pay close attention to the layout when you pick...little things make a huge difference.

Wannabe...

Wannabe...
01-25-2012, 05:40 PM
PS...Gabowman's boat is awful sweet for all around Crappie fishing and was tempted to go that direction myself.

Wannabe...

Wannabe...
01-25-2012, 05:42 PM
Just re-read your posts and the vintage of 99-03 is going to mean the Ranger will be the 5 series - 518, 519, 520. Champ would be the same I think and Stratos would be the same 201, but the 295 was discontinues somewhere along there and they went to a 294 designation I think.

Wannabe...

CatFan
01-25-2012, 05:50 PM
For the money, you can't beat a Procraft hull. They were well made boats and sell for less than the big names.

Just make sure whatever you get is composite under the glass instead of wood. Way less to worry about.

CrappieCrazed
01-25-2012, 06:54 PM
Only 2 cautions I'll throw at you....if you're looking sub 20', absolutely stay away from a dual console. They eat up precious room in a hurry on boats under 20'. Big stinking difference in an 18' and a 20' boat.


Wannabe...

Wannabe, do you believe you would go this route if you fished the winter months consistantly??? I know that you give up some room but man I can't imagine being the passenger of a bass boat running 60mph when its 30 degrees or less. Im on the water (as long as my lakes arent frozen) atleast twice a week and up to 4 times per week and take a partner. Would you have a dual console in this situation.??

Folks that have fished out of both, can I get your opinions on this?? Not that I don't believe ya wannabe, just want other opinions also.

EFslabs
01-25-2012, 07:26 PM
I can see the advantage of a single console if you need the deck space and extra storage for many poles. In Ohio we are limited to two poles, so we are normally casting jigs, not much trolling going on. I bet your partner would appreciate the dual console on these cold days. Was Yates boat a single or dual? As a passenger, how bad was it going 70 mph?

CrappieCrazed
01-25-2012, 07:32 PM
I can see the advantage of a single console if you need the deck space and extra storage for many poles. In Ohio we are limited to two poles, so we are normally casting jigs, not much trolling going on. I bet your partner would appreciate the dual console on these cold days. Was Yates boat a single or dual? As a passenger, how bad was it going 70 mph?

Oh its flippin cold, and he had a dual console which is what our hawk boat is but Ill be honest with ya, the other day in the tournament we froze our arses off with the the consoles so really is it really helping that much.

I would like some input from folks who have owned both in cold conditions, would you rather have the single or dual console?? Seems like everyone in my area that fishes the winter has duals.

crappiemax
01-25-2012, 08:57 PM
Buddy of mine has a 18' champion with a 150 and SC. We were in Alalbama fishing, 34 degrees and just starts a light rain. Of course we want to fish 8 - 10 miles up river. He started the motor and takes off WOT. On the way I kept putting my hand up the back of my clothes and he finally stopped the boat and asked if I was okay. I said yeah I'm okay I'm just trying to see if those rain drops are going completely through me. I mean, it was like sitting on the hood of the car going down the expressway in the rain. CatFan has a good point I've never thought of but you fish in the rain alot, I would get the dual console.
It was a nice boat to fish from.

keith dodd
01-25-2012, 09:07 PM
a full face motorcycle helment does wonders on those cold rainy days. dual console eats up a lot of space but get what you want. I have a 186 triton and it does pretty good in the wind. We spider rig a lot and would rather fish in rain than wind.

CrappieCrazed
01-25-2012, 11:39 PM
a full face motorcycle helment does wonders on those cold rainy days. dual console eats up a lot of space but get what you want. I have a 186 triton and it does pretty good in the wind. We spider rig a lot and would rather fish in rain than wind.

Couldnt agree more!!! Ill fish in a steady rain any day over dealing with whitecapping water.......... Im glad that someone mentioned rain, heck all I was thinking about was not having it on cold days..........

brushnjigs
01-26-2012, 08:08 AM
The best boat is a difficult question to answer. Are you looking for the best ride in ruff water or stable? A few that was not mentioned is charger, probably the best on the ruff and champion a very close second, and bass cat a 3rd.. Good luck finding a used charger as these boys put new carpet and a new engine on them but keep the boat forever. Also these boats have a narrow front deck so does a lot of room up front make the most difference. Probably #4 would be a skeeter for the ride. A skeeter and a ranger would be the most stable while on the trolling motor and will have the widest front decks. I would advise of going with a 2000 or newer as most manufactures have changed over to the composites after this year..
As for the dual console. They are as cold and wet as the drivers console, and take up needed space especially on a boat less than 21'. . About the only area that is protected is the legs. When you shut down and get up, someone is always putting their butt in the other guys face. I know many that used to have a dual and now they are in a single console.

Scott Hemstreet
01-26-2012, 08:52 AM
Personally, I would not use a bassboat for anything but bass, it is basically limited to going fast between points and casting slow at structure (maybe one with a 4-stroke for trolling and a riptide or other remote controlled trolling motor would work, but a bayboat would be cheaper).

However, for stability in the wind, it is hard to beat Ranger. They are pretty much known as heavy, stable platforms that are slower than other makes because of this design. And yes, if you have a partner get the dual console. None of them are great at blocking wind/rain, but it is a lot better than sitting exposed at the speeds bass boats run. I have a 185VX, no real wind problems on it.

skeetbum
01-26-2012, 10:43 AM
My Bumble Bee 178 is smaller than you want, but never having had a bigger one I'll tell you of my lessons since buying this one. The front deck size is a very big factor in overall fishability, the wider the better. I like the weight and low gunnel when fishing a 15 to 20mph steady wind, the leaf in a parking lot thing goes away. The all species have higher gunnels and would catch more wind, don't know if the weight would offset it. Live wells - are you going to have to traipse to the back of the boat every time you catch a fish when alone. My console is small without the eyebrow folks call a windshield, still wouldn't care for a dual for the lost space. Buy an extra Save Phace and get it over with as quick as you can.Rod storage in mine is great for the size boat, I can store 8' rods assembled. Love that when it's time to change tactics. Last question, is the tow vehicle up to the task of the heavier boat? My upgrade would cost me a bigger truck, cuz the Jimmy is doin all it can.

CrappieCrazed
01-26-2012, 10:49 AM
The best boat is a difficult question to answer. Are you looking for the best ride in ruff water or stable? A few that was not mentioned is charger, probably the best on the ruff and champion a very close second, and bass cat a 3rd.. Good luck finding a used charger as these boys put new carpet and a new engine on them but keep the boat forever. Also these boats have a narrow front deck so does a lot of room up front make the most difference. Probably #4 would be a skeeter for the ride. A skeeter and a ranger would be the most stable while on the trolling motor and will have the widest front decks. I would advise of going with a 2000 or newer as most manufactures have changed over to the composites after this year..
As for the dual console. They are as cold and wet as the drivers console, and take up needed space especially on a boat less than 21'. . About the only area that is protected is the legs. When you shut down and get up, someone is always putting their butt in the other guys face. I know many that used to have a dual and now they are in a single console.

Most times we are pitching jigs and dippin around standing timber. When there is a 10mph wind I want a boat that isnt getting blown around like a paper cup when trying to jig fish. I understand your gonna have to work the tm but I just want the heaviest brand possible. Only makes sense that that would be the way to go. Deck space is important but you gotta remember we are pretty much just making underhand short casts so its not like were bass fishing throwing lures past eachothers heads. RIDE ON THE WATER is importand but no NEAR as important as keeping on my spots with the littlest effort. I got to fish with a fella with a triton 21ft and it was really good compared to what I have to deal with in my alum boat. I am trying to eliminate the one problem that keeps me from fishing effectively and that is when Im being blown off my spots, thats the most imp.

CrappieCrazed
01-26-2012, 10:54 AM
However, for stability in the wind, it is hard to beat Ranger. They are pretty much known as heavy, stable platforms that are slower than other makes because of this design..

That is the info Im looking for right there, Id give up 10mph with the same size boat to have it not get blown around as bad as other brands...

CrappieCrazed
01-26-2012, 11:00 AM
My Bumble Bee 178 is smaller than you want, but never having had a bigger one I'll tell you of my lessons since buying this one. The front deck size is a very big factor in overall fishability, the wider the better. I like the weight and low gunnel when fishing a 15 to 20mph steady wind, the leaf in a parking lot thing goes away. The all species have higher gunnels and would catch more wind, don't know if the weight would offset it. Live wells - are you going to have to traipse to the back of the boat every time you catch a fish when alone. My console is small without the eyebrow folks call a windshield, still wouldn't care for a dual for the lost space. Buy an extra Save Phace and get it over with as quick as you can.Rod storage in mine is great for the size boat, I can store 8' rods assembled. Love that when it's time to change tactics. Last question, is the tow vehicle up to the task of the heavier boat? My upgrade would cost me a bigger truck, cuz the Jimmy is doin all it can.

Truck is definetly not a problem, Can you post a pic of your boat for me. And, when you say gunnel, is that the walls of the boat?? Like a lund with high sides?

brushnjigs
01-26-2012, 11:36 AM
Guess it was not a problem choosing a boat. Guess you are down to a skeeter or ranger. Now whats important for the interior? storage is pretty close on both of them.
And yes the gunnel is the sides

Wannabe...
01-26-2012, 03:04 PM
OK, sounds like spider rigging is really not an issue for you and I'm guessing most of the rods you have on board are sub-8' spinning and maybe a couple of jig poles of 10 to 12'. That being the case, yeah, a double console would be fine. I was thinking from the perspective of down here where we keep 10 to 20 12-16' rods in the boat all the time.

That said...there are big differences in the double consoles. I would encourage you to take a look at Champion doubles compared to say that TR21 you road in. Chances are the TR 21 had what is called a "floating console where there is no wall to the interiror side of the boat. Makes a big difference getting in and out from behind the console. Also, the passage way between the consoles needs to be as large as possible. My 186 is very narrow and has interior walls, plus there is very little space from the center of the steering wheel to the back of the driver's seat. Made for an akward ingress and egress...plus the whole booty in the face deal was annoying when I wasn't fishing with the wife. :)

As far as staying on your spot and comparing boat brand to boat brand, there's not a lot of difference IMO...There is some difference in that a few of the boats, the nose is suspended over the water. I mean that the angle of the nose carries further back before it hits the water line. This in turn means the center of gravity is further back and I assume that the rise and fall going into a wave would be measurably higher compared to a boat with a center of gravity further forward. Having said that...it'd be tough to actually quantify the difference.

Ranger and Stratos and Basscat don't sit nose up like that. Add in Tritons, Nitros, Pro-Crafts and Charger. Basically any of the major brands sit fairly flat.

A couple that do sit particularly nose up are Gambler and Allisons...but those are fairly rare to find to start with.

Wannabe...

skeetbum
01-26-2012, 04:54 PM
Truck is definetly not a problem, Can you post a pic of your boat for me. And, when you say gunnel, is that the walls of the boat?? Like a lund with high sides?

The gunnels are what you lean over to land a fish, so I guess you would call them the sides. I have my pics on a jump drive that I don't have with me, and I will post a pic when I get home. Mine isn't the perfect boat, but I'm sure happy with it. Today. Never know what I'll find tomorrow. Really the only thing I would change on it would be to upgrade the power. This one is a "88 150 with carbs and it's thirsty. I'd like to put an Opti 115 or 150 on and cut fuel consumption.

After posting this, I remembered posting a picture of my rig in the sticky at the top of the page in "Show off your boats". Mine is the second one in there.

Dutch552
01-26-2012, 06:30 PM
I split my time between an older Javelin and Stratos. My fishing priorities and styles have changed to the point that I will need a different boat sooner rather than later and have researched them to death. I've been in about every bass boat made from Nitro to Stroker and would have to say that my favorite all around layout would be the 3-series Ranger of the early 1990's with a front deck extension and an upgraded outboard. They started introducing the composite transom in 88 so you wouldn't have to worry about water infiltration into the transom core like many other makes. They were not known for speed but the 3 series sat low in the water and was a very stable fishing platform. You can find them in almost any flavor combination you would like, single console, dual console, single fuel tank, dual fuel tanks, etc...and really nice boats from the early-mid 90's are still out there in good numbers. If I stay with a fiberglass platform then I would get into one of these. It's not going to go into the low 80's like a Stratos 294XL, but it does give you lots of options in a rock solid boat.

Phantom309
01-26-2012, 07:09 PM
I don't really worry about my passenger's comfort = it's up to him, etc........

skeetbum
01-26-2012, 08:45 PM
Didn't register til a minute ago what year range you're looking at. Late 90's to 2000, maybe just after that, Johnson used the Ficht fuel injection system. They have a bad reputation around where I am for not staying together. No one I know will consider buying one. I have no first hand exp, but you might want to do some research if you get a "good deal" on one. Just my two cents.

CrappieCrazed
01-26-2012, 09:16 PM
Didn't register til a minute ago what year range you're looking at. Late 90's to 2000, maybe just after that, Johnson used the Ficht fuel injection system. They have a bad reputation around where I am for not staying together. No one I know will consider buying one. I have no first hand exp, but you might want to do some research if you get a "good deal" on one. Just my two cents.

Boy am I glad you said something about the johnsons......... There are a few ppl around here that have them on some boats Ive been calling about. Honestly, for the year boats im looking for, im a pretty big fan of the merc efi motors. I know a lot of folks that have these and they have been bullet proof for them.

One boat that I havent heard anyone talk about is the astro boats??? There is a 19ft 1999 astro with a merc 175efi on it, really good condition asking $7500 bucks for it. Its purdy for sure. It is a double console boat...... I got to talk to a fella today that also said that some of the boats have the fuel tanks that run under the seats and they seem to do a little better in the wind because the boats with the tanks in the very rear tend to make the nose of the boat stick up more. The astro has the twin tanks in the very back so not sure what to think. Whats thoughts on the astro boats? So far, im thinking ranger but thought I would ask.........

CrappieCrazed
01-26-2012, 09:26 PM
OK, sounds like spider rigging is really not an issue for you and I'm guessing most of the rods you have on board are sub-8' spinning and maybe a couple of jig poles of 10 to 12'. That being the case, yeah, a double console would be fine. I was thinking from the perspective of down here where we keep 10 to 20 12-16' rods in the boat all the time.

That said...there are big differences in the double consoles. I would encourage you to take a look at Champion doubles compared to say that TR21 you road in. Chances are the TR 21 had what is called a "floating console where there is no wall to the interiror side of the boat. Makes a big difference getting in and out from behind the console. Also, the passage way between the consoles needs to be as large as possible. My 186 is very narrow and has interior walls, plus there is very little space from the center of the steering wheel to the back of the driver's seat. Made for an akward ingress and egress...plus the whole booty in the face deal was annoying when I wasn't fishing with the wife. :)

As far as staying on your spot and comparing boat brand to boat brand, there's not a lot of difference IMO...There is some difference in that a few of the boats, the nose is suspended over the water. I mean that the angle of the nose carries further back before it hits the water line. This in turn means the center of gravity is further back and I assume that the rise and fall going into a wave would be measurably higher compared to a boat with a center of gravity further forward. Having said that...it'd be tough to actually quantify the difference.

Ranger and Stratos and Basscat don't sit nose up like that. Add in Tritons, Nitros, Pro-Crafts and Charger. Basically any of the major brands sit fairly flat.

A couple that do sit particularly nose up are Gambler and Allisons...but those are fairly rare to find to start with.

Wannabe...

Yeah wannabe your right, Im not gonna be spider rigging a hole lot although I may every once in a while but thats definetly a last resort. mostly using 6ft 6" rod pitchin jigs and every once in a while using a 10ftr for dippin trees.......... What you think bout astro boats wannabe, my post above explains the boat a little that i Looked at but its only 19ft and is a double console. Thing is, I will hardly ever have more than 2 pple on the boat and most times not 2 men on the front......

Slabs Inc
01-26-2012, 09:41 PM
1.Go with a 20' I have NEVER rode in a 18' that I would own.
2. Champion or Bass Cat

skeetbum
01-26-2012, 11:31 PM
Never heard of anyone regretting owning a Ranger. The bigger, the better.

EFslabs
01-27-2012, 07:16 AM
That Astro you are talking about has been on CL for most of the year. If it was that good of a deal I would think it would be gone by now. Someone mentioned the early 90s Ranger 3xx series, there is one on CL for $8K that looks pretty nice. That motor will drink the gas though, although you're probably use to it with the 225. If I hadn't just got a boat I would be looking at that Ranger.

Dutch552
01-27-2012, 07:18 AM
I don't like the Astro/Procraft hull design when compared to others. There were also some quality control issues with the hull cap splitting when hitting a wave in rough water on several units during the late 1990's. Ranger, Skeeter and Stratos all make 18' boats that I would not hesitate to buy powered by a 150-175 that will do almost anything you want it to and still go over 60mph wide open. Stay with a single console to maximize your interior fishing room, especially if spider rigging is not a primary concern. You will want the extra room to move about while fishing and won't have to worry about another windshield to smash a rod tip on while casting off the decks. I like the twin saddle tanks as opposed to the single stern mounted tank for weight distribution issues and it does help handling also but it wouldn't be a deal breaker for me if I found a good deal.

Wannabe...
01-27-2012, 07:34 AM
I'm not a fan of the astro design either. It appears to have a very tall gunnel relatively which equals worse handling in the wind. Even when they were still in production, they didn't have a top tier status. Pro craft was a second tier boat as well, but had a better reputation. I believe they had a wood cores transom in the vintage you are looking for.

I also agree on the ficht. Would not do it due to reputation. Even if you find a good one, and there are good ones, the resale in them are terrible and the cost of rebuild is approximately the same as any other - incredibly expensive. So if you were to pop one, you'd be faced with a decision on a rebuild cost that would be higher than the value of the motor once rebuilt. Not a good place to be.

I am a fan of the efi though. Also the yamaha vmax, although filters and o2 sensors on the Yamaha are high.

Good advice from Dutch on the 3 series rangers although I'd encourage you to stick with a 20+ footer for running cold rough water. The 4 series will ride better and the 5 series is even a better ride with close to modern, competitive speeds.

Wannabe...

Wood_Duck
01-27-2012, 09:03 AM
I believe they had a wood cores transom in the vintage you are looking for.



You are correct, sir! Had to put my dad's old procraft out to pasture years ago from the rotten transom.

DENNIS WILLIS
01-27-2012, 03:45 PM
I don't think you can go wrong with a Ranger and the resale vaule stays good, mine has the Pro V150 Yamaha and it is 25 years old, been a good one, I also like dual console.

PIGINTHEPIGPEN
01-27-2012, 04:15 PM
never heard of anyone regretting owning a ranger. The bigger, the better.

x2