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#11666891 - 06/14/16 01:42 PM First Bass Boat
Sybarite Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 06/13/16
Posts: 3
I am in the market for a Bass Boat.

I am 30yrs old, never have owned a boat before, am looking to get serious with my fishing so I want to get a boat.

I have used friends boats before: A bass tracker and skeeter fx21 among a few other ski boats ect.

I would like to fish 25-40times a year and perhaps get serious about tourney fishing (last week i caught a 13lb largemouth so Im really gung ho off the start.) My finances are in good shape and I'm beginning the appreciate the value of time away from the wife, so a serious hobby is a no brainer.

Questions I have for the more experienced anglers....

Whats the big difference of a 19' vs 21'?
Is anything less than a 200hp worth it?
Could I find a decent boat around $25k?
What else should I consider?

Any help is appreciated.

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#11667078 - 06/14/16 03:06 PM Re: First Bass Boat [Re: Sybarite]
shotgunwilly Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 06/22/08
Posts: 686
Here's my advice:

1. Stick to your budget of 25k. You'll be tempted when looking at boats to stretch, but don't buy something you can't afford. There are PLENTY of boats out there that will do everything you need them to do for 25k.
2. I would get a 20' boat with atleast 225 on it.
3. Be patient and find a boat that has everything you need already on it. When you buy a boat and start putting all of your extras on it (graphs, poles, upgrades, repairs, etc) it adds up FAST.
4. Get the engine checked by an unbiased mechanic before you buy.
5. Be prepared for the costs of boat ownership. Don't just look at the boat loan payment (if you're borrowing) and think that you can afford the boat. Storage costs, fuel, registration fees, maintenance costs, and major repairs (they WILL happen eventually) should all be taken into consideration.

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#11667261 - 06/14/16 04:33 PM Re: First Bass Boat [Re: Sybarite]
T Bird Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 03/07/10
Posts: 3904
Loc: Temple, Texas USA
Whats the big difference of a 19' vs 21'? Ride and storage.
Is anything less than a 200hp worth it? Not in my opinion.
Could I find a decent boat around $25k? Absolutely!
What else should I consider? Accessories i.e. electronics, power poles, keel protector.
_________________________

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#11667379 - 06/14/16 05:38 PM Re: First Bass Boat [Re: Sybarite]
Sybarite Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 06/13/16
Posts: 3
Awesome I really appreciate your prompt responses. I will definitely take those into consideration.

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#11667513 - 06/14/16 06:58 PM Re: First Bass Boat [Re: Sybarite]
Rickmb Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 07/07/12
Posts: 699
Loc: San Antonio
Originally Posted By: Sybarite
I am in the market for a Bass Boat.

I am 30yrs old, never have owned a boat before, am looking to get serious with my fishing so I want to get a boat.

I have used friends boats before: A bass tracker and skeeter fx21 among a few other ski boats ect.

I would like to fish 25-40times a year and perhaps get serious about tourney fishing (last week i caught a 13lb largemouth so Im really gung ho off the start.) My finances are in good shape and I'm beginning the appreciate the value of time away from the wife, so a serious hobby is a no brainer.

Questions I have for the more experienced anglers....

Whats the big difference of a 19' vs 21'?
Is anything less than a 200hp worth it?
Could I find a decent boat around $25k?
What else should I consider?

Any help is appreciated.


Questions I have for the more experienced anglers....

Whats the big difference of a 19' vs 21'? Storage and ride
Is anything less than a 200hp worth it? Yes, but not on anything over 19'
Could I find a decent boat around $25k? Depends on how much risk you want to take.
What else should I consider? A few more things.

My opinion:
If you are financing buy new from a reputable dealer close to you. Triton, Ranger, Skeeter, Basscat, Nitro are all good boats but a bad dealer can sour the experience.
Make a list of what you really want - what is negotiable and what is not. Storage? Speed? Partner-friendly? Ride? All are subjective and you need to decide what is important to YOU.
Visit as many dealerships as you can for as many brands. Do not order out of a catalog. Only buy a boat you can see or at least the same model if you order one.
Avoid financing optional items that you can install much cheaper.
Take a test ride if possible. Fish off the front deck - use the trolling motor and see how it handles.

As far as the new versus used: You can usually get better finance terms with a new boat. Depending on what you decide a new boat may only be a bit more on the monthly payment than a used boat. With a used boat you don't know if you are buying someone else's problems.

I bought a 16' Tracker new. Two years later I was ready to upgrade. I spent weeks researching. I compared four different boats. I decided on a Skeeter ZX190 with a 175. It was my budget at the time. Four years later I am very happy with my purchase. It has been a reliable boat with great dealer support (not much support has been needed). It is a smaller boat but I don't usually fish big water even though it handled 30 mph winds on Fork without issue.

A 19' with a 200 is a great place to start. Skeeter (ZX200) and Nitro (Z19) are offering great deals on "package" boats. No extras needed. Rebates, low APR financing, and other incentives are available.
_________________________
2012 Skeeter ZX190
2012 Yamaha 175 HPDI

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#11667682 - 06/14/16 08:12 PM Re: First Bass Boat [Re: Sybarite]
Bobby Milam Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 07/13/14
Posts: 1989
Loc: Arlington
Storage, storage ,storage. Make sure it has acceptable storage for you. You can fill it up faster than you think. Use a good mechanic to check it out thouroughly. Take a test on the water with it. If they won't do that, then walk away. Generally speaking, the bigger the boat the better. Otherwise, you'll start wishing that you had a larger one.

If buying used, take your time and try to find one that has updated electronics, power poles or anything else that you want. It will save you money in the long run than having to start putting thousands into it for accessories.

The 21' as a rule, will be better on rough water than a 19' but maybe not by all manufacturers. With the larger boat, it will be bigger and heavier which means more gas towing and more gas with the larger engine. Every person is going to have different feelings and needs about it. I found that a 17.5' Champion met my needs and is easy on my wallet allowing me to have more fishing days and the ability to drive more to lakes further away.

When trying to take a test drive, if you can get it on a windy day, it'll give you the opportunity to see how it handles better than a calm day.

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#11667745 - 06/14/16 08:39 PM Re: First Bass Boat [Re: Sybarite]
ThyWillBeDone Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 04/05/16
Posts: 54
The BassCat Jaguar that just came up on the forum under Boats for Sale for $18,500 would be worth looking at IMO - it has a 250HP motor on it. Good luck - and yeah, a 13 pounder will get your heart thumpin' and get you hooked on fishing for certain. Make sure to check compression out with a guage (or aks owner to do it, or take it to a local shop that agrees to fit it in their schedule for a fee after a lake test) and do the lake test to make sure it planes properly and doesn't bog down. Don't buy someone else's problems.

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#11668143 - 06/15/16 12:18 AM Re: First Bass Boat [Re: Sybarite]
Sybarite Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 06/13/16
Posts: 3
Thanks guys. You have had some really good pointers for me. I certainly appreciate your statement, Rickmb, about risky buying, it really makes sense. Exactly what Thywillbedone said, "don't buy someone else's problems." I am leaning towards a 20', but I know the right boat will come along as i remain patient. I like the idea of getting an unbiased mechanic to check beforehand the engine.

Has anyone ever blindly or out of stubborness pulled the trigger on a boat overlooking a "flaw" that really turned into a major headache or fortune to fix? What are red flags on used boats..?

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#11668189 - 06/15/16 05:43 AM Re: First Bass Boat [Re: Sybarite]
Rickmb Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 07/07/12
Posts: 699
Loc: San Antonio
Originally Posted By: Sybarite
Thanks guys. You have had some really good pointers for me. I certainly appreciate your statement, Rickmb, about risky buying, it really makes sense. Exactly what Thywillbedone said, "don't buy someone else's problems." I am leaning towards a 20', but I know the right boat will come along as i remain patient. I like the idea of getting an unbiased mechanic to check beforehand the engine.

Has anyone ever blindly or out of stubborness pulled the trigger on a boat overlooking a "flaw" that really turned into a major headache or fortune to fix? What are red flags on used boats..?

1. Compression. Check on motor. Look at skeg for damage or signs of repair. Look at proper for damage.spin prop and look for obvious signs of a bent prop shaft. Should not be grinding.
2. Repair history - I have bought all of my oil, additives, and fuel filters from my dealer. Had all periodic maintenance done by the dealer or bought supplies from them. Makes it easy to get a report from them to show a buyer.
3. On some motors you can have the history downloaded.
4. Take a used boat for a ride. Check out the trailer after launching.
5. Check the boat for taking on water.
6. Check trailer carefully for rust, broken welds, wiring issues, bunk condition, check brakes - should have plenty of pad. Check tires, should be even wear.
7. "Blue book" price doesn't include most options or electronics. You will need to assign a value to them.
8. Check fittings and screws for anything loose. Check for rust-there's housing be any on the boat.
9. Transom! Motor should not be loose. No cracks, no sagging. Check the knees of the main stringers, no cracks. Check jackplate for cracks.
10. Check hull for repairs. If it's obvious that an area has been repaired ask about it. If there are any insurance claims. Ask for repair receipts, pictures, and such....
11. Don't rush. Don't overlook a flaw. You buy with a flaw you now own the flaw.
12. Don't settle for less than what you really want.
13. Save a couple grand for unexpected expenses. If buying a boat without electronics plan on three grand for that at least.
14. Take to a dealer for a check, pay for the check.
_________________________
2012 Skeeter ZX190
2012 Yamaha 175 HPDI

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#11668847 - 06/15/16 10:32 AM Re: First Bass Boat [Re: shotgunwilly]
plasma800 Offline
Angler

Registered: 10/13/14
Posts: 366
Loc: Montgomery Texas
I'll add to this...

Stick to your budget of 25, but try to only spend 18 or less of it on the boat.
Having some money held back will make you feel fuzzier when you need to

A) Buy new batteries.
B) replace that old rusty battery charger
c) get the trolling motor of your choice
D) add those power poles
E) get a finder YOU want.
F) replace the trailer and/or tires
G) Repair that hole in the fiberglass where someone drilled a screw clean through it
Etc.....

This is in the "ask me how I know" department.

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#11668849 - 06/15/16 10:32 AM Re: First Bass Boat [Re: Sybarite]
Bob Landry Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 08/10/11
Posts: 2016
Loc: Austin, Tx
Everything Rickmb posted above can be rolled into one statement. Hire a surveyor. A detailed inspection by an indifferent shop would also suffice. A colleague, who is also a surveyor, once told me that a man who buys a boat without an impartial inspection is a fool. Mechanical issues are not that hard to fine. You can hide a lot of problems with paint and gelcoat. You can see where this is going, and if you are looking at your first boat, it becomes even more important.
There are a lot of honest sellers out there and a lot of not so honest ones who are looking to get rid of their problems. You have no way of knowing who is who until you start writing the checks for repair bills. and if you are a new boater and unfamiliar with boats and their equipment, this could come sooner than you think.
A reputable shop will be able to do a thorough inspection in two hours or less and with shop rates currently at around $100/hr, that's pretty cheap insurance when you are about to spend $25K.
_________________________
2015 Seaark 1872 MV CC Etec-90
Helix 12 CHIRP SI, HB 1199, MinnKota Riptide ST80/i-pilot Link, Bob's Hydraulic

Bitter Gun Owner
Bitter Clinger
Armed Infidel

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#11668864 - 06/15/16 10:37 AM Re: First Bass Boat [Re: Sybarite]
plasma800 Offline
Angler

Registered: 10/13/14
Posts: 366
Loc: Montgomery Texas
and crawl UNDER the trailer... get on the ground and scoot under it on your back.

The older steel square channel trailers have a tendency to rust at the base of the support arms. Then the weight of the boat bouncing up and down can start to split those supports, and it's hard to see.
If this happens, there is no fix other than a new trailer - that's a 4k to 5k deal.

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#11668873 - 06/15/16 10:41 AM Re: First Bass Boat [Re: Sybarite]
plasma800 Offline
Angler

Registered: 10/13/14
Posts: 366
Loc: Montgomery Texas
1 more... test drive. When performing a test drive, have the owner fast idle the boat. That means just slightly quicker than idle, enough to barely lift the nose. If you feel or detect a vibration, be sure to have the prop shaft checked. When a prop shaft is bent, the boat will vibrate - a lot, sort of violently - at that low idle, but it won't be as detectable at high speed. Prop shafts bend when someone nails a stump, and it's not all that uncommon.

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