View Full Version : New boat opinions

07-25-2012, 03:02 PM
Ok, rounding the corner on the boat buying process. Rounding the corner means I'm in the <12mo window.

Here are my thoughts, needs, and limitations... for you that have had tons of boat experience, please tell me where I may be off track or regret something.

1. I like my money. I hate interest. I hate loans. Did I mention I like my money.
2. The only boat I've ever owned was a 16.5' Tracker stick steering aluminum.
3. Currently fish out of a boat that was basically turned over to me by a friend. '84 model glass boat, 16.5' long, 90 hp Mariner. Fishes well, paid for, cost me a teeny bit of maintenance and repair to get up and running right. Free to use as long as it floats/runs.
4. I don't fish monster waters, no Lake Michigan trips or Lake of the Ozark outings. I'm content if I can get there in a reasonable amount of time. I'm out there to relax, gunning down the channel at 65 mph is nonsensical to me. So, 30-40 mph is fine.
5. I like my money. Gas is only going to go up. I store the boat at the lake now and will do so to cut down on towing cost with the new unit. Boats use lots of gas, I'd like to keep it 70 hp or under to not make fuel waste my money.
6. Flash and glitter belong on fishing lures, not vessels we fish out of, my opinion. I don't want to cringe when I bump a dock or rub a stump.
7. Most of the time I fish alone and my buddy goes with me about 50% of my outings. Rarely there are three fishing the same boat.
8. Since we have a boat locker close to the lake, storage for every dang piece of fishing gear I own is not needed on the boat.
9. I like to be organized. Storage is nice.

I'm really looking fondly at the Lowe Stryker 16. It's on the small side. I'm not a big boy at 6' 180. The boat can have up to a 50 hp, 40 will do me fine. I see one close to us for $10.5k brand new. I'd be perfectly content... I think.

I've been trolling craigslist for months. There are some dandy deals that come and go out there. Nice 8-12 year old glass boats with 90-150 hp engines (gas hogs)... $10-20k. Some nice 3-8 year old metal units outfitted like I want, 50-115 hp engines, $9-14k.

I've seen tons of the Lowe Stingers and Bass Tracker ProTeam 175 and larger for less than $10k. Usually they have some of the perks already on them. Anchors, electronics, batteries, etc.

Let me really hear it on the BassTracker line, they are readily available on the used market. Some with very low use.

Also, on buying used. If a boat does some under powered (25 hp for example) how tough is it to sell a engine outright? Is it easier to just go to a dealer and trade that engine for a larger unit?

Give me your experienced and educated through trial and error thoughts on this process.

I keep things forever or until they don't work and it's not nice to my money to keep fixing it any longer. My truck has 170k, our car has 260k or more, they are paid for and do that job well. Just to give some insight to my nature with possessions. I'm not out to impress or be looked at. I'm fishing.

07-25-2012, 03:46 PM
I bought a used 165 Tracker with a 25 Merc on it with the thinking that I would upgrade the motor later. Well to my surprise the thing jumps on plane and runs out at 24MPH with just me or 22 MPH with 2 of us. I watched my friends drop $50 to $100 in gas on one trip and I am making 2 or 3 trips on my 12 gallon tank and I'm thinking, I ain't in that big a hurry.
I have upgraded to a Terrova I-Pilot and a new HB DF/GPS combo and added a bimini top for the 100 degrees summers we have and 3 years later the Merc is still running like a top and I have not considered changing it.
I would love to have a 40 HP 2 stroke Yamaha on it, but the 25 will have to die first. I have been very pleased with it as is.
It is a 2000 model with the console steering.

07-25-2012, 04:24 PM
I'm on the same page as you with you concerning boats. Don't have to go real fast, and like an economical motor. Personally I'd look for a boat with a fuel injected four stroke. That's what my last 2 boats have been, and I wouldn't change. Don't settle for less of a motor and then upgrade, it will cost you too much, unless you fall into a once in a lifetime deal. You should be able to find a 2 or 3 year boat or 60 to 75% of the new coat. Let the first buyer take a beating, not yourself. The 4 stroke motors may have a warranty between 3 and 5 years, so you should be able to pick up one with some warranty remaining for your piece of mind.

Big H trucking
07-25-2012, 05:28 PM
Look at sea ark on personal classifeds here. The boat is water ready and is owned by the best mechanic,faberator,installer,all around good guy. EZ takes xare of his stuff and it has a 60hp on it and is price right

07-25-2012, 06:31 PM
I have an 04 Tracker PT175 w/ a 60hp 2 stroke. Its rated for a 75, which would make it a screamer imo for that boat, but runs in the upper 20's at around 4000-4500 rpms with me and gear with the 60. I bought it new. Has a 22 gal tank, and a tank of gas can last me a long time as I usually fish within a few minutes/miles of the ramp. Boat has never given me any problems, I have stored mine inside from the day I brought it home. Everything still looks good, the newer models are 60" wide where mine is 54-56".. Wider will be a bit better. If you look at used boats, make sure you ask how they stored the boat, and determine if any wood in the floors or transom is in good shape, and check the OB out as well. Request a ride on the water to make sure all the electrical pumps and such work, or have an idea on if you can fix it or not depending on what it is. Tracker has a pretty good warranty on any wood flooring in the boats BUT ONLY to the original owner, not 2nd or 3rd. Not sure if the new models have all metal floors or not.

I upgraded my TM to a Terrova 55 w/ IP last fall, and this year put a HDS 8 w/ SS on the console and a HB 788 ciHD on the front. I prefer Lowrance but the TD wire from HB fits in the slot/groove on the Terrova. I feel like I have a new boat for the most part.

An underpowered boat will use more gas than an "overpowered" one just because you have to run it harder to get where you going. i've always thought that getting in the upper third or quarter of the HP rating for the boat is wise as you don't have to run the OB as hard, and you have the power if the need ever arises, such as a quick moving storm, other emergency. Just cause you have a 115 hanging on the back don't mean ya got to use all of them ponies to get where you going.

I have heard that the early model 4 strokes were slow and heavy, which affected the overall performance of the boat and motor on the water. The newer 4 strokes supposedly are better, lighter and good on gas but I don't have one nor have I fished from a boat with one. I did see a newer model PT 175 with a 60 4 stroke on it, the guy was idling by while I was longlining, and the 60 was quite, could barely hear it, and it seemed to plane out ok, but he has some distance between us when he hit the 60.

GL on your jouney.

Look in the classified ads, there is a tracker tx170 w/ a 40 4 stroke for sale. NOT mine, but might work for you. 40 might be underpowered a bit imo tho.

07-25-2012, 07:49 PM
that sea ark on the classified fourm is a real nice boat and is load with everthing you would need and at a great price!!!!!!!!!!!!

07-25-2012, 09:10 PM
I would go right over to the classifieds on here and buy that Seaark tha EZ Poleholder has for sale. Great boat , has everything installed that you need . Ready to go fishing when you pull out of his drive way. And the price is right for a Seaark boat. Would last you a lifetime.

07-25-2012, 10:04 PM
I like SeaArks, but not stick steering. Had one in the only boat I owned and got my kidney beat to death on windy days. Not going there again.

I'm not in the market as of yet. As I said, less than 12 mo. but looking hard. If the right thing falls in my lap, sure, but I'm not hungry for a boat to fish out of, I have access to one that fishes fine. I'm doing my usual, over thinking by 10x, reassess every angle, etc... but, I am usually content with my decisions. Thanks again, guys, good info so far. I'm not looking for a "deal" today. I'm looking for experienced information within my parameters or from those that thought the same way and learned something adverse later.

Keep it coming and, Thanks again.

07-26-2012, 05:39 AM
I over think things too, and end up missing some deals but that's part of it. I haven't changed my ways yet so.. If some buddies have different type boats, ride with them and see if any of their boats will fit your wish list. If not, move forward.

07-26-2012, 12:33 PM
I have a Tracker PT 170 with a 50 hp 4 stroke. Excellent warrenty on the Mercury EFI engine with no problems running ethanol free fuel. Loaded down it does 30 mph which is plenty fast for me. Extremely fuel efficent, very seldom fill up. My upgrade was to an i-pilot trolling motor as well. I always buy new so I know what I am getting. Like you, I like my money as well. Haven't paid anyone any interest in probably 20+ years. Good luck.

eagle 1
07-26-2012, 03:27 PM
Never have bought a new boat . 50 % of those that do sell within two yrs . Find out what you want and play the seek/search . Took me over a yr . To find my boat . 1542 war eagle. 25 yamaha 4 stroke ( new motor ) boat has floor, running lights ,minnkota foot control trolling motor , two lowrance depth finders, two sets of batteries, driftmaster trolling rigs, haul-rite trailer ( very heavy /durable , list for 2000 dollars). The boat at the dealership alone is over 4 thousand , motor 34 hundred ,trailer 2 thousand . Lots of war eagle extras like rod holders, net holder, trays, two anchors , ect . Boat had been in water 3 times . 6500 invested . About half of street value .

07-26-2012, 03:46 PM
There are some deals out there. I just saw this one today on craigslist. I do not know the person, just seemed like a nice boat and fair price. Polar Kraft Bass Fishing Boat (http://bgky.craigslist.org/boa/3164196665.html)
Just got to keep looking.

07-29-2012, 07:06 AM
I have had 5 boats in 7 yrs. Your are doing the right thing, shop around. Go to Craigslist every day and look at boats and their price so when the right one comes along you will know if it is a good deal. DON'T get too small of a motor. I like to go with the max HP rate for the boat. For fuel economy I would gl with a 4-stroke or a OPTIMAX. I have had both.I would go with a spray-in liner not carpet. You will not have to replace the spray-in line and at the end of the day you just wash it down with a water hose.

07-29-2012, 09:26 AM
I switched up from a 25 HP Evinrude to a Mercury 50 HP on my Lowe 165 Crappie boat. I was able to sell the 25 HP Evinrude in a couple weeks on Craigslist for $1300 but motor was in great shape.

In my case moving a used motor was a cinch :)