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#10962151 - 07/07/15 04:02 PM Boat advice, first BASS boat
wlgorman Offline
Angler

Registered: 10/22/08
Posts: 268
Loc: The Colony, TX
I am seriously considering upgrading from my rough riding little 16' sea ark alum CC that ive had since 2007 to a proper bass machine. Its been a great boat since I repowered it in 08, but im thinking of keeping it on the coast. This thing just beats me to death on the lakes up here and im starting to get more serious about bass fishing and competitive fishing.

Im looking in the ~$15000 range. I don't need a top tier ride. But I'd like something with a little speed (im at 35mph on a glassy lake right now), a smooth ride (nothing can be worse that what im in now), decent storage, dependability and general fish-a-bility.

Nitros seem to be priced right, but they are for sale all over the place. Is there anything I should know about them?

What would you guys go for in this price range?

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#10962217 - 07/07/15 04:27 PM Re: Boat advice, first BASS boat [Re: wlgorman]
epicoutdoors Online   happy
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/18/08
Posts: 1814
Loc: On The Water NE Texas
Something around 2002-2005 year model Bass Cat Pantera, Champion or Skeeter with 150-200HP Merc or Yamaha would be a good start.

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#10962231 - 07/07/15 04:33 PM Re: Boat advice, first BASS boat [Re: wlgorman]
RedRaider3933 Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/26/10
Posts: 2874
Loc: Plano, TX
The boat will only go as far as the trailer will carry it. Just something to think about when buying used. I would try to go with something 19+ feet with at least 175 horses.
_________________________
Go Tech

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#10962239 - 07/07/15 04:38 PM Re: Boat advice, first BASS boat [Re: wlgorman]
5Redman8 Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 10/15/07
Posts: 2548
Loc: Forney
I would avoid Nitro(the newer ones may be okay) and careful of the Yamaha HPDIs.

Have it checked out by a marine shop that you trust.

Before you commit to anything....Google the exact model of boat and motor!!! There are some with specific issues.

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#10962271 - 07/07/15 04:55 PM Re: Boat advice, first BASS boat [Re: RedRaider3933]
bogey Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 02/21/08
Posts: 14510
Loc: plano
I have a Nitro and it is a great boat. I wouldn't shy away from them. I know that they take a beating on re-sale but you aren't buying new.

As stated above:

Originally Posted By: RedRaider3933
The boat will only go as far as the trailer will carry it. Just something to think about when buying used. I would try to go with something 19+ feet with at least 175 horses.


I agree with this. Try and get at least a 19' boat and 175hp and you will be scooting across the lakes. Don't be in a hurry and you'll find exactly what you want. Try and ride with as many people that you can and find out what you like about different manufacturers.
_________________________




Thinking about new seats? Come check out mine before you buy. www.bassboatseats.com

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#10962313 - 07/07/15 05:20 PM Re: Boat advice, first BASS boat [Re: wlgorman]
jgf131/tx Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 09/20/11
Posts: 182
Loc: Hemphill, Tx
There's a 96 Champion 181 in the boats for sale area for $10k that may be hard to beat.
_________________________
jgf131/tx

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#10962372 - 07/07/15 06:04 PM Re: Boat advice, first BASS boat [Re: wlgorman]
Mayo Offline
Angler

Registered: 08/13/08
Posts: 492
I have to say Bass Cat also. They have a fast hull and ride really well in rough water. They hold their value well and have a lifetime transferable warranty on the transom, hull, stringers and deck. This is glassed into the boat on the back for everyone to see. That's pretty tough to beat.

I had the same budget as you earlier this year and picked up an 18' 03 Sabre with a 150 Merc XR6. I'm in the process of upgrading my electronics but other than that I couldn't be happier with the rig. Instant holeshot and pushed it to 67mph so far. A 150 is plently on a Bass Cat with the right prop and setup. A 175 isn't going to give you much more. Mine came with a 23p Tempest Plus which is common for this boat.

Go to their website to the owners forum and look at what's for sale. Also check out boat trader and craigslist. They pop up on here from time to time also. You won't find a lot of Cat's out there and they usually go quick. Take your time and you'll find exactly what you want.

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#10962429 - 07/07/15 06:38 PM Re: Boat advice, first BASS boat [Re: wlgorman]
Mayo Offline
Angler

Registered: 08/13/08
Posts: 492
Check this one out... May have to copy paste. Stupid phone... Grrrr

http://basscatowners.yuku.com/topic/31444/1999-BASSCAT-PANTERA-CLASSIC-LIVINGSTON-TEXAS

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#10962458 - 07/07/15 06:52 PM Re: Boat advice, first BASS boat [Re: wlgorman]
Mayo Offline
Angler

Registered: 08/13/08
Posts: 492

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#10962486 - 07/07/15 07:15 PM Re: Boat advice, first BASS boat [Re: wlgorman]
ShaneM Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 12/04/14
Posts: 49
As I just bought my first bass boat in November of last year I can't give much advice on brands. I started fishing in a bass club and talked to other anglers as much as I could about their boats before purchasing one of my own. All I can offer up is some advice and things to look for. Definitely don't go smaller than 19ft. Mine is a Blazer 202 Pro V with a 225 Marcury Pro XS.

I found my boat on TFF. I love my boat now but it was a tough first three months. I found a 2006 Blazer that looked really nice at a quick glance. Lots of things I didn't know to look for. The owner of my boat took me for a sucker and I guess as a new bass fisherman looking for his first boat I was.

Climb under the boat and look at the entire bottom, from the front back and the back going forward. My boat was crammed in his garage and I only looked at a small piece of the bottom from the front of the boat. Long story short, he painted over the holes and I didn't find the damage until I went to change the trailer lights and found the damage. $8000 later the boat is new from the back going forward 10ft, half the length of the boat.

The trailer was [censored]. When the repair shop lifted the boat off the trailer, the two center boards fell off. Take your potential boat to the lake of course for a test ride and then go over the trailer. Mine needed all new carpet and boards, one tire was shot so I just replaced them all.

Check every switch in the boat to make sure it works something. I took the guys word for it. Again, first time buyer. After getting it home for testing I found out the bilge didn't work, automatic float switch did not work and tilt trim at the bow did not work.

Take the engine cowl off and look at every wire plug and connection. I found out the night before a tournament that he had bypassed the low oil sensor by unplugging it and looping a piece of wire to create the loop needed to keep my smart craft gauge from alerting me it was bad. He then taped it up and tucked it behind the oil tank. A $21 part that if not used could cost you thousands on engine repairs.

The owner assured me the lower unit oil was good. I decided to check it out on advice from a friend. Holy hell, full of water. The owner didn't think the rubber washers that go on the screw behind the prop and on the side of the lower unit needed to be there at all. Plus the screws weren't tight. I have replaced the oil twice this year to check for water and knock on wood none yet.

Didn't know anything about props. Assumed the one on their was ok just not that pretty. Best decision I have made with the boat was to take it to Steves Prop Shop. Spent the money on a balanced and blueprinted prop. Totally different boat. Jumps out of the hole and cruises at 65 with hardly any wobble.

The owner was honest about the graph. He said the down imaging didn't work well. No kidding. The transducer was mounted with a piece of epoxy the size of a thumb nail. Fixed that.

Thank God, nothing has gone wrong in a few months. My last bit of advice and someone already said it. Take your time and don't jump to quick. I was so excited about a nice bass boat I didn't do my homework at all. Lesson learned. I will be able to make a better informed decision about my next boat and I have learned to work on it when it something small. Good luck on finding the right boat for you.

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#10962603 - 07/07/15 08:20 PM Re: Boat advice, first BASS boat [Re: ShaneM]
Slade Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 06/17/05
Posts: 1287
Loc: Irving, TX

Whoever sold you a boat in that condition should have their [censored] kicked or at least be called to the carpet on the TFF since you bought it here.

I bought my first real bass boat almost 2 years ago from the TFF, mine had everything I wanted and it was in my price range. It's a Triton 186. I've been very happy with it, I think my next boat will be a 20' and either a Skeeter or Basscat. But sometimes I wonder if I will want to do that or not. I fish solo quite a bit and an 18 1/2 boat for one person is almost the perfect size IMO and two people fish out of it just fine.

A 20' would give me more storage, more front deck, etc. But I have been happy with my 18 1/2 so I can't say for sure. If your used to fishing out of a smaller boat, an 18 ft will feel big.

Originally Posted By: ShaneM
As I just bought my first bass boat in November of last year I can't give much advice on brands. I started fishing in a bass club and talked to other anglers as much as I could about their boats before purchasing one of my own. All I can offer up is some advice and things to look for. Definitely don't go smaller than 19ft. Mine is a Blazer 202 Pro V with a 225 Marcury Pro XS.

I found my boat on TFF. I love my boat now but it was a tough first three months. I found a 2006 Blazer that looked really nice at a quick glance. Lots of things I didn't know to look for. The owner of my boat took me for a sucker and I guess as a new bass fisherman looking for his first boat I was.

Climb under the boat and look at the entire bottom, from the front back and the back going forward. My boat was crammed in his garage and I only looked at a small piece of the bottom from the front of the boat. Long story short, he painted over the holes and I didn't find the damage until I went to change the trailer lights and found the damage. $8000 later the boat is new from the back going forward 10ft, half the length of the boat.

The trailer was [censored]. When the repair shop lifted the boat off the trailer, the two center boards fell off. Take your potential boat to the lake of course for a test ride and then go over the trailer. Mine needed all new carpet and boards, one tire was shot so I just replaced them all.

Check every switch in the boat to make sure it works something. I took the guys word for it. Again, first time buyer. After getting it home for testing I found out the bilge didn't work, automatic float switch did not work and tilt trim at the bow did not work.

Take the engine cowl off and look at every wire plug and connection. I found out the night before a tournament that he had bypassed the low oil sensor by unplugging it and looping a piece of wire to create the loop needed to keep my smart craft gauge from alerting me it was bad. He then taped it up and tucked it behind the oil tank. A $21 part that if not used could cost you thousands on engine repairs.

The owner assured me the lower unit oil was good. I decided to check it out on advice from a friend. Holy hell, full of water. The owner didn't think the rubber washers that go on the screw behind the prop and on the side of the lower unit needed to be there at all. Plus the screws weren't tight. I have replaced the oil twice this year to check for water and knock on wood none yet.

Didn't know anything about props. Assumed the one on their was ok just not that pretty. Best decision I have made with the boat was to take it to Steves Prop Shop. Spent the money on a balanced and blueprinted prop. Totally different boat. Jumps out of the hole and cruises at 65 with hardly any wobble.

The owner was honest about the graph. He said the down imaging didn't work well. No kidding. The transducer was mounted with a piece of epoxy the size of a thumb nail. Fixed that.

Thank God, nothing has gone wrong in a few months. My last bit of advice and someone already said it. Take your time and don't jump to quick. I was so excited about a nice bass boat I didn't do my homework at all. Lesson learned. I will be able to make a better informed decision about my next boat and I have learned to work on it when it something small. Good luck on finding the right boat for you.

_________________________

PB 10.58 Joe Pool


Top
#10962607 - 07/07/15 08:21 PM Re: Boat advice, first BASS boat [Re: wlgorman]
Roll Tide Ranger Offline
Angler

Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 383
Loc: Krum, TX.
Cant go wrong with a Ranger and in the price range you are looking at find you one with a Yamaha OX66 engine on it. That motor is a beast!!


Edited by tarbaby (07/07/15 08:25 PM)

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#10962614 - 07/07/15 08:28 PM Re: Boat advice, first BASS boat [Re: wlgorman]
rowlettfisherman Online   content
Pro Angler

Registered: 01/25/12
Posts: 724
For the Money I like the 02 and up triton tr-21 The ride is good, the storage is great and they look good to. I drive a 89 Champion 20' with a 200 merc. I chose an older boat so I could put 10 and a 8" birds on and 2 12' talons. You need to decide what is important to you. Going 70+ is fun, but not important. Once you get that out of your system you cruise at a speed that the gas gauge isn't moving when on the throttle. Also a larger trolling motor is way better. Just my .02

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#10962671 - 07/07/15 08:53 PM Re: Boat advice, first BASS boat [Re: wlgorman]
Topwater2 Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 03/06/14
Posts: 655
I see some nice boats on here for sale. There are some of us that take care of our toys. Look through some of them, you'll find one with your name on it.
_________________________
FishKen

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#10962689 - 07/07/15 08:58 PM Re: Boat advice, first BASS boat [Re: wlgorman]
Rob Belloni Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 10/25/13
Posts: 15
Loc: Mandeville, LA

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