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#11290615 - 12/18/15 02:11 PM First Boat Advice
bballbk Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 11/14/05
Posts: 124
Loc: Austin
Hello fellow fishermans!

I am looking to purchase my first bass boat and wanted to get some advice. I will be fishing mainly around the Austin area, Lake Austin, Bastrop, Fayetteville, Dunlap, ect. but also looking to do some weekend trips next year to some other lakes in Texas like Amistad, Falcon, possibly Fork.

I will be fishing some by myself, but will often have a +1 or +2 in the boat with me. I was originally looking at 19 foot aluminum boats, but a few friends have advised to look at an older Ranger, Triton, Skeeter's in my price range. They advised to look at 2000-2005 year models and see if i can find a deal for around $15,000.

What do you guys think?

Cheers!

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#11290621 - 12/18/15 02:13 PM Re: First Boat Advice [Re: bballbk]
bballbk Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 11/14/05
Posts: 124
Loc: Austin
They also strongly advise against an 18 ft. or 19ft as the wind seems to dominate those boats. It seems that people with the 18 or 19 ft. boats are selling to upgrade to a 20 ft. boat. I would rather spend a little extra and get a boat that i do not want to upgrade right away. Thoughts here?

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#11290858 - 12/18/15 03:53 PM Re: First Boat Advice [Re: bballbk]
Bobby Milam Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 07/13/14
Posts: 2184
Loc: Arlington
I had an 18' and never had a problem with it in wind. I wanted a 20' after reading the same things as you but after riding in one, it is just too large for one person IMO, uses much more gas in the boat, gas in the tow vehicle and can't get in all the places that a smaller boat can. I would rather have an older fiberglass than an aluminum because it won't get blown around as much. I just want more storage than I have right now. I'm looking for around 18 because I know I can keep my costs down on longer trips to Fork and can go more often than I would if I had to tow a 20' that distance.

You really need to try to get out on some and judge for yourself. Reading what a 20' Ranger is like in rough water, I had a thought of what the ride would be. After being in one it wasn't as great as I had expected it to be. That's just me. I'm not going to go out in any boat if the wind is crazy.

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#11291906 - 12/19/15 09:42 AM Re: First Boat Advice [Re: bballbk]
txmasterpo Online   content
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 11/10/12
Posts: 4654
Loc: Emory
There's a couple Basscat boats in sale section I'd look closely at.....little older and less than budget but very nice
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#11292422 - 12/19/15 06:12 PM Re: First Boat Advice [Re: bballbk]
Bob Landry Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 08/10/11
Posts: 2220
Loc: Austin, Tx
Originally Posted By: bballbk
They also strongly advise against an 18 ft. or 19ft as the wind seems to dominate those boats. It seems that people with the 18 or 19 ft. boats are selling to upgrade to a 20 ft. boat. I would rather spend a little extra and get a boat that i do not want to upgrade right away. Thoughts here?


Who is "they"? When you start asking for opinions about boats you are going to get responses from people who think theirs is the best and from people who made the wrong choice, with the probability of any of their choices them suitable for you 50/50 at best.

Boat length has little to do with the effect of wind. The effect of wind on any boat is going to be affected by the height of the sides and anything that you may have sticking up, t-top, bimini, etc.
Lighter boats are going to be more maneuverable. It takes more to get a heavy boat moving and you don't have steerage without water moving over the hull.
The main reason people want to move to a 20 footer is space. You also have a lot of control over that by finding a boat with a layout suitable for the kind of fishing you are going to do. Room is subjective. I have fished four people in my Seaark 1872 CC with tackle boxes and coolers and no one got in anyone else's way.

When I was looking for my first boat, which was a sailboat, I had aspirations of cruising off into the sunset at some point. I was told by a vey wise man to buy what I needed to meet my immediate needs and worry about the what ifs and maybes later because they may never happen. He was right, I never sailed away but I did have many enjoyable days and nights on the lake.

Look around and try to hitch some rides with owners of different boats. hey will be quick to tell you if there is something you should be wary of, then look for something you will use now. With a $15 budget, there are some pretty good deals out there. Take a knowledgeable friend with you and don't buy anything without a complete inspection. A survey is not that much money and it can save you a lot of grief.

I didn't mean for this to ramble own, but I've been in the marine industry for a long time and have seen a lot of stuff go down. Know what you are looking at.
_________________________
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Helix 12 CHIRP SI, HB 1199, MinnKota Riptide ST80/i-pilot Link, Bob's Hydraulic

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#11294018 - 12/20/15 04:48 PM Re: First Boat Advice [Re: bballbk]
hopalong Offline
Pumpkin Head

Registered: 09/06/08
Posts: 75431
Loc: drake river ranch (formerly pi...
what bob said and I will add for your budget look at champion first if rough water is a concern, you can not beat the ride no matter what anyone else says.

you can find some very nice 19-20' champs for your budget.
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#11298129 - 12/22/15 03:41 PM Re: First Boat Advice [Re: bballbk]
Z119 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 09/19/14
Posts: 84
Be sure any boat you purchase has an engine with the highest rated horsepower. You will soon be unhappy with an under powered boat.

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#11298638 - 12/22/15 08:16 PM Re: First Boat Advice [Re: bballbk]
Angler's Marine Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 11/27/10
Posts: 1037
Loc: Seven Points, TX
The heavier the boat the more boat hull will be under water which makes it harder for the wind to blow it around. A light boat that sets on top of the water on a windy day takes alot more trolling motor control to keep it on your spot. Now when it comes to running across the lake no doubt the longer the boat the better it will handle rough water and usally the heavier boat will give the smoother ride. I personally don't like Champions, but they are the best rough water boat. The budget you have, there are alot of 19-21' 1998-2002 boats out there for sale. Don't be afraid of an older boat especialy a garage kept or one that didn't set out in the weather. Alot of boats from 1997-on use composits instead of wood and can take the beating of foul weather without wood wrot like the older boats. Your dream boat is out there somewhere, just keep looking and I hope you find it.

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#11365282 - 01/23/16 12:31 PM Re: First Boat Advice [Re: bballbk]
bballbk Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 11/14/05
Posts: 124
Loc: Austin
Hello group!

Thanks for all the insight here. I have purchased a 2000 triton tr22 with a mercury 225 for under my budget. I know the boat is a little under powered and is a big boat for my tacoma to pull, bit I think going 60 mph is faster than my kayak.

Thanks for the help here.

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#11365806 - 01/23/16 07:00 PM Re: First Boat Advice [Re: bballbk]
Ol Man River Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 1289
Loc: Orange, Texas
Congrats, going 30 mph is faster than a kayak....the big boat will be nice when on the water with other folks inside. Change lower unit lube before using so you know what you got. Check wheel bearings and also check all the lug nuts on trailer wheels....will need to remove them if you have a flat and sometimes that can be a chore. Good luck!

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