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#11676246 - 06/19/16 12:00 PM Boat help!
Skippy Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 08/18/03
Posts: 219
Loc: Dallas, Tx. USA
My family is in the process of buying a home on Tawakoni. I have two kids (2 and 9) and a wife who love tubing, "boating", etc. I love fishing. I know very little about boats. In fact, I don't even "like" them, but I'll need one. So if you have any advice, please help me out. I'm looking for a boat that can handle rough water (Tawakoni-rough), has plenty of seating, can pull tubers/skiers, is easy to fish from (primarily hybrids and stripers, but also bass), and most importantly is reliable (I know very little about boats and even less about fixing them). I know that boat may not really even exist, but if you have any recommendations, please share. Thanks in advance.

Matt

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#11676264 - 06/19/16 12:13 PM Re: Boat help! [Re: Skippy]
Anchorman Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/02/15
Posts: 1172
Loc: Small Town NE Texas
For a family/fishing boat I love my pontoon. I have a voyager super fish with a 115 Honda 4 stroke. I can pull the kids around on the tube, have plenty of seating, has shade canopy, and the floor plan is set up for fishing with front and rear live wells and front pedestal seats. I rigged mine up with LED's underneath for crappie fishing. I also added LED's at the front corners with switches for fishing lights. Added LED's at the rear for fishing lights. Put a Helix 5 SI/DI GPS on it but wish I would have spent more and got the 7.

The only draw backs I can think of is I don't have a trolling motor on it. I have to drift or anchor. It also only goes 22mph wide open. But I trade those things for comfort and convenience especially when the family is out with me. I can usually manage to catch fish when I want to. But I love the pontoon for general boating around and fun with the family. I absolutely love being able to move around and get out of the sun when I want and watch the kids swim and play.
_________________________
If it ain't yours don't mess with it!
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#11676280 - 06/19/16 12:22 PM Re: Boat help! [Re: Skippy]
bronco71 Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/05/06
Posts: 1049
Loc: Farmers Branch/Sulphur Bluff
As Anchorman stated above but you will need to go up in engine size for skiing. They make pontoon trolling motors so that isn't an issue.

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#11676496 - 06/19/16 02:44 PM Re: Boat help! [Re: Skippy]
psycho0819 Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/27/05
Posts: 1295
Loc: Kaufman
Most important question; What's your budget?

You looking for new or used?

Pontoons are great, especially if you have a slip at your lake house so you don't have to mess with trailering it back and forth to the water every time you want to use it. But the rough water (Tawakoni rough) thing might also rule one out. And like others have said, tubing/skiing behind one requires powering one up.

For a great all around boat, look into center console boats. Get one large enough with the correct layout and the family can get lots of enjoyment out of it, you'll have a great all-around fishing rig at the same time, and a deeper "V" design will be better in the rougher water.

As for dependability, there are many power plants that will provide that. I think the determining factor here is how well it is maintained and how often it gets used. Use it often and treat it right, seems to be the key to keeping one running faithfully. I just got out of a boat 3yrs ago that had a '79 model Johnson on it, and it still ran like a top, I think because it never was allowed to sit for any period of time. God knows how many hours it had on it. My new Yamaha "F" series 4 stroke has given me 3yrs of faithful service so far with nothing more than routine maintenance. Again though, many motors out there that will do that.
_________________________
If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space!

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#11676541 - 06/19/16 03:17 PM Re: Boat help! [Re: psycho0819]
TCK73 Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/26/15
Posts: 1872
Loc: Jack County
I would go for a 20' or so CC boat. They are great for the fishing you described, most of them are excellent in rough water, they will flat out jerk your arms off when getting pulled on a ski, and will be more than agile enough to provide an exciting ride on a tube. I was suprised at the pulling power when pulling me up on a slalom, it was way different than the bass boats I had been behind. I would get one that had no less than 150 hp as well. The only drawback to them is that they are a fishing boat, and don't have the plush seats like pontoons and pleasure boats do. You can get some cushions made to fit the front deck for the days you want to use it in that manner.
_________________________


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#11676642 - 06/19/16 04:42 PM Re: Boat help! [Re: Skippy]
Gonzo89 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 05/12/15
Posts: 97
Loc: North Richland hills, TX
Recently I have also been looking at purchasing a newer boat to used primarily for fishing and occasionally for tubing or just hanging out. After lots of looking at layout I've been looking at a aluminum deep v style boat like the tracker pro guide 18 or a Lowe FM series. They have seating in the middle with removable pedestals, two seats in the back which can be flipped down into a fishing deck, live wells built in and pads on the front deck so you can also sit down up there. You can also choose between carpet, a liner type material or a combination of both.

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#11676652 - 06/19/16 04:48 PM Re: Boat help! [Re: Skippy]
Gonzo89 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 05/12/15
Posts: 97
Loc: North Richland hills, TX
This is the one of the boats I was referring too. You can probably pick one up cheaper used. I also believe you can upgrade from the 115 to a 150 if I remember right

http://m.trackerboats.com/#boats_scr_detail?boat=3891

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#11676962 - 06/19/16 08:11 PM Re: Boat help! [Re: Skippy]
Skippy Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 08/18/03
Posts: 219
Loc: Dallas, Tx. USA
Thanks for all the input... Gonzo, there is a very similar boat on the "boats for sale" forum. I was thinking of something along those lines. Everybody else, I love the look and fishability of the center consoles. That said, aren't they short on seating? I know you can stand and fish all over one, but the ones I've been in only seem like they seat a few people. I will admit, I love the pontoon. They are so versatile and for the price, they're great and I'd be happy to pay for a bigger motor to pull kids and move faster. However, wouldn't the rough days on Tawakoni render one useless? I've fished it a few times with guides (Joe Read is the greatest) and I've seen 18' bass boats get tossed around on days that I didn't consider that windy. And yes, I should have included my budget, etc. I'm willing to spend up to $30k. I've always heard that one should never buy a new boat. But I'm a little scared of used as I don't really know what to look for or ask about (Hours? Motor? Name? Size?). I can buy a used car all day. I'd look at mileage and brand (Toyota!). But I don't know how many hours is a lot or who the Toyota of boats is. Thanks again for all your input.

Matt

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#11677055 - 06/19/16 08:56 PM Re: Boat help! [Re: Skippy]
enjoying retirement Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 8
I have had several boats when I first started looking I had a saleswomen tell me to purchase a used boat to find out if I would like boating or not. She said that most people who own boats only use them several times a year. I purchased a used Sketer discovered that I do enjoy fishing, later I purchased a used Lowe deep vee boat. I later purchased my first new boat it is an Xpress boat. I have never regreated purchasing a boat have had many enjoyable days out on the water. I would suggest that if you do decided to purchase a used boat to get it from a dealer. My first boat I purchased from a private owner and not knowing much about boats did not know what to look for. I had to learn how to work on that boat. When you get your boat what the others have said about maintaining your boat is the best advise you will receive it does not cost much to maintain your boat.

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#11678076 - 06/20/16 12:07 PM Re: Boat help! [Re: Skippy]
bronco71 Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/05/06
Posts: 1049
Loc: Farmers Branch/Sulphur Bluff
Deck boat

Something like this would work but I am not sure about skiing ....

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#11678111 - 06/20/16 12:21 PM Re: Boat help! [Re: Skippy]
Skippy Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 08/18/03
Posts: 219
Loc: Dallas, Tx. USA
Thanks for the suggestion, Bronco. I've never seen a boat like that. That may work well.

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#11678138 - 06/20/16 12:32 PM Re: Boat help! [Re: Skippy]
PBrain Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 08/12/14
Posts: 22
Loc: Pony Creek, Tx
Skippy...you might look at a Tahoe 215. They are a deck boat type fish/ski with comfortable seating but also with fore and aft fishing seats on the platforms. This boat comes in a side console or center console and an I/O or outboard...you choose. The side console even has a small livewell in front. I have a trolling motor mounted to the front and downriggers mounted on the back. All of this can come off when you only want to take the family out boating, skiing, tubing, etc. Mine is a 2008 model and it was discontinued in 2009, I think so you will be looking for a used boat. You should be able to get one in the $20K range. Mine has a 4.3 Mercruiser that has all the power you want for pulling skiers. Pretty versatile boat...and at 21.5', it can take some rougher water. I agree with earlier posts about buying your first one from a reputable dealer. PM me if you want more info.

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#11678276 - 06/20/16 01:42 PM Re: Boat help! [Re: Skippy]
ztitans1 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 05/27/12
Posts: 90
Loc: Texas
I have a 19' center console with a 130 HP Johnson. It was my first boat and I got it a year ago February. I was learning about boating and did not want to invest too much to buy this boat. I wound up going to a dealer because I could not find what I wanted from an individual or by the time I made contact the boat was sold. Another reason I went to a dealer was to arrange financing. Lots of individuals were selling cheap but had missing titles and I did not want any hassles.

I have made repairs, upgrades, modifications over one year and love taking the boat out as often as I can. Being more of a bay boat by design it can handle whatever a lake can offer, but generally I won't take out the family when the water is rough anyhow as it takes away the enjoyment for me with small kids.

_________________________

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#11678790 - 06/20/16 05:29 PM Re: Boat help! [Re: Skippy]
Capt Craig Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 08/25/09
Posts: 1045
Loc: Richland-Chambers
Rule #1 - NO carpet. I know lots of boats have it, but carpet holds fish slime, kids snacks and drinks that are spilled and the carpet will never ever look like it did in the showroom. You can't powerwash it as it destroys the glue underneath and then the carpet gets loose. Some boats are available with a vinyl floor and that is easier to clean.

A center console is a good choice for many. Plenty of room, plenty of safe seating, family can layout on the decks front and back. 20" gunwales make boats deep enough for safety. Be careful of seating that is too high and small children are unable to touch the floor. That removes a lot of their stability while underway. Aluminum hulls boats almost always have interior floor drains into the bilge, fiberglass often has drains that go directly overboard to prevent water from building in the bilge. Metal boats get very hot in the sun and can burn a small child, fiberglass gets warm, but not nearly as hot! Remember you can ski and tube behind a fishing boat, but it is tough to fish well out of a ski boat.

I spend a lot of time working with boat buyers every year trying to find the right boat for them. Look at everything and think about what you need it to do now and want it to do in a few years. Don't get tunnel vision and focus on one particular use for the boat. FYI - Fish and skis are horrible at doing either well!

When the fun is done, think about how you are going to clean it up. One of the easier ways to clean is a powerwasher and scrub brush. Works well on fiberglass and metal boats without carpet. If you do buy something with carpet, think about how you are going to get spilled sodas, chips and PB & J sandwiches out of the carpet. Anytime we have children on board, we have spills. And if you want to fish and Tawakoni is a great lake for it, how will you clean up fish blood and slime from the carpets. Welcome to the world of boating!!
_________________________
Capt. Craig Copeland

2013 Nautic Star 2110 Shallow Bay Boat

Nautic Star Boats Pro Staff (nauticstarboats.com)
Redneck Fish'n Jigs Pro Staff (redneckfishn.com)

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#11679416 - 06/20/16 10:32 PM Re: Boat help! [Re: Skippy]
High Breed Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 27
Loc: Athens, Texas
I have a Ranger Reata 210 VS. In my opinion the best of both worlds.

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