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#12547474 - 12/22/17 08:15 AM Opinion on a boat
LUguy08 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 11/24/09
Posts: 187
Loc: Corinth, TX
Hi, I am looking to buy my first boat here in the next few months and was wondering if you all had any ideas/pointers on what I can do. I am looking to spend around 25k for a fully rigged boat. I know I won't find anything new for that, but I am looking for something that I can do a little bit of everything fishing wise in. Not opposed to a bass boat or other types as well, just not a fish and ski. Any opinions would be appreciated.

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#12547514 - 12/22/17 08:36 AM Re: Opinion on a boat [Re: LUguy08]
TBassYates Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 12/21/01
Posts: 6420
Loc: Scurry, Tx - S/E of Dallas
I have actually owned Bass Cat, Bullet and Ranger Bass boats and would own any one of them again. I also would own a Skeeter, Legend, Phoenix, Champion, Nitro or just about any of the boat brands. I prefer a 20 foot boat and if I was actually able right now to get one my wife would be pushing for the Ranger 520 which was her favorite because she felt the most stable especially when out with the grandkids.
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#12547521 - 12/22/17 08:40 AM Re: Opinion on a boat [Re: LUguy08]
i-Fish Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 06/07/16
Posts: 605
Nitro isn’t going to get much love but if you want a newer boat, potentially still under warranty, with a few bells and whistles then Nitro is going to be your best bet. Something like a z18 (z7 previous model) or a z17 if you’re fine with a 17” boat. For the money Nitro makes a good quality boat.

Aluminum is another option. Cheaper, well built, but they do come with SOME limitations regarding fishability. If you’re a bank beater and like to stay in the creeks then aluminum would be the way to go. Ranger is arguably the best and Tracker makes a good one but it will save you a few G’s.
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#12547529 - 12/22/17 08:43 AM Re: Opinion on a boat [Re: LUguy08]
GIG'EM AGGIES Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 05/14/14
Posts: 2477
Loc: texas
You're gonna get a lot of this, " buy the biggest and best you can afford". Not bad advice, the only thing I would add is get a 4 stroke specifically a Yamaha. Now it should be checked out, hours, compression, maintenance, etc., but they are by far the best outboard I have ever owned. Lots of nice boats listed on here and prefer them to Craigslist or Boat Trader. Good luck.
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#12547561 - 12/22/17 09:04 AM Re: Opinion on a boat [Re: LUguy08]
Ol Man River Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 1437
Loc: SE Texas
Originally Posted By: LUguy08
Hi, I am looking to buy my first boat here in the next few months and was wondering if you all had any ideas/pointers on what I can do. I am looking to spend around 25k for a fully rigged boat. I know I won't find anything new for that, but I am looking for something that I can do a little bit of everything fishing wise in. Not opposed to a bass boat or other types as well, just not a fish and ski. Any opinions would be appreciated.


First boat to do a little bit if everything fishing wise in....hmmm...
Based on your request, I would recommend a preowned 20' fiberglass center console bay boat. You can do all kinds of fishing in these boats and also have lots of room for several people to fish or just boat ride. I see folks on Rayburn and Toledo in CC boats all the time bass fishing and also families joy riding in the summer. The ones I see are rigged with a trolling motor on the bow and normally a seat up front too...just like a bass boat.

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#12547568 - 12/22/17 09:10 AM Re: Opinion on a boat [Re: LUguy08]
LUguy08 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 11/24/09
Posts: 187
Loc: Corinth, TX
Thanks everyone. I have been looking at everything from fiberglass bass boats to the CC boats. I'm really just torn because of a few different things. I mainly bass fish out of my yak, but I do like chasing the crappie and sandies from time to time. I was thinking a CC for a long time but I waiver back and forth. There are pros and cons to each type of boat mentioned, so I was just looking to see what some of you have done.

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#12547610 - 12/22/17 09:33 AM Re: Opinion on a boat [Re: LUguy08]
MrRoachie Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 9628
Loc: Flint/Troup,TX
BASSBOATCENTRAL.COM

Don'tbe afraid to travel for a deal.

Don't be afraid to look up north. People would rather sell than store for the winter.
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#12547674 - 12/22/17 10:13 AM Re: Opinion on a boat [Re: Ol Man River]
GIG'EM AGGIES Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 05/14/14
Posts: 2477
Loc: texas
Originally Posted By: Ol Man River
Originally Posted By: LUguy08
Hi, I am looking to buy my first boat here in the next few months and was wondering if you all had any ideas/pointers on what I can do. I am looking to spend around 25k for a fully rigged boat. I know I won't find anything new for that, but I am looking for something that I can do a little bit of everything fishing wise in. Not opposed to a bass boat or other types as well, just not a fish and ski. Any opinions would be appreciated.


First boat to do a little bit if everything fishing wise in....hmmm...
Based on your request, I would recommend a preowned 20' fiberglass center console bay boat. You can do all kinds of fishing in these boats and also have lots of room for several people to fish or just boat ride. I see folks on Rayburn and Toledo in CC boats all the time bass fishing and also families joy riding in the summer. The ones I see are rigged with a trolling motor on the bow and normally a seat up front too...just like a bass boat.


Great alternative and you don't have to worry about getting the carpet and seats dirty, ok to store outside and they're normally deeper and take rough water better. My fishing buddy bought a 22' Skeeter CC with a Yamaha for $$$ than what he would have paid for a bass boat. Thing fishes great and we plowed through some 2-3 footers on PK and nary one of us got wet.
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#12547722 - 12/22/17 10:49 AM Re: Opinion on a boat [Re: LUguy08]
Bobby Milam Online   content
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 07/13/14
Posts: 3067
Loc: Arlington
Sounds like you have little experience in boats because of the question not on a specific brand but you are open to any platform and that is not a bad thing but 25G is a lot to pay for something that you may not be happy with. I'd slow down and try to tag along with some people on different boats and see how they ride and fish. I like a bass boat and I like Champion because I stay dry and don't get beat to death in rough water but it doesn't fish as stable as a Ranger but for me that's a trade off that I am willing to make. Someone else might rather have a center console or even a pontoon for their own reasons. Only you will be able to decide what works for you.

Take into consideration everything that you want out of it. Do you what it to handle well in rough water, do you fish alone, with a partner or do you have kids, do you need storage for gear, what species are you primarily going after, will it be used for other activities like pulling a tube or skier on family outings, etc.? I think very few are happy with their first purchase because as they learn more they wish they had something that worked for them better.

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#12547762 - 12/22/17 11:07 AM Re: Opinion on a boat [Re: Bobby Milam]
LUguy08 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 11/24/09
Posts: 187
Loc: Corinth, TX
Thanks, and those are all things I have taken into consideration. It will mainly be used for bass fishing. I have though about a CC for a long time because it does seem like an all around good fishing machine. The downside is storage because I have fished out of a lot of them and there isn't a lot of storage. I am originally from the east coast and did a lot of inland waterway fishing for flounder and such, so I was in a Carolina Skiff a lot. Amazing boats and one of the best all around CC boats in my opinion, but I don't get down to the coast here as much so I wouldn't get a one dimensional boat just because of that. I haven't really fished much off of bass boats so that is where I am weary on those. From my research I would probably like Champion/Ranger/BassCat if that was the case, but those can get pretty expensive. So, here I am again, not really sure on what I want. Multiple boats would be the solution, but I am by no means a millionaire lol

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#12547768 - 12/22/17 11:08 AM Re: Opinion on a boat [Re: LUguy08]
Sinkey Offline
Tidy Scoop

Registered: 08/04/06
Posts: 4644
Loc: Frisco, TX. and Lake Fork
Lots of good used boats in the $25k range. Just take your time and really look at each boat, and you'll find a great deal.
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#12547781 - 12/22/17 11:15 AM Re: Opinion on a boat [Re: LUguy08]
phrito Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 08/28/08
Posts: 45
Loc: Longview, TX
Good luck on this, I think we would all agree every man needs about 3 different boats! I agree with you on the fish and ski, turns out they are not good for fishing OR skiing... I've had a pontoon, then an xpress aluminum, a Tahoe fish and ski and for a while now have had a 18' center console, which turns out to be best for me. If you only fish by yourself or with 1 person then a bass style is going to give you the best setup for fishing. For me, I fish often with 3 or 4 people which is why the cc works best. There are some limitations in that rod and tackle storage on many cc's is lacking. I added some rod holders to the inside walls and that has helped. Since I have the boat for it I've also taken it down to Galveston a few times and fished the bay and that is a lot of fun. I think you'll also find that center console boats with comparable length will be much cheaper than bass boats, partly because they are more "stripped down" but also a 115 4 stroke or even a 90 Optimax is plenty. Just for reference, and I'm gonna get killed for the Tracker ownership, I traveled to Dallas to pick up my 2010 Mako 18LTS for about $16k. I then had some money to add a better graph and trolling motor and still be under budget. Make sure whatever you do get it checked out, anyone selling a boat should understand that. If they balk at that, then they know there is a problem. If you're not shy I'd go to the ramp at your local lake and see who is interested in showing off their boat and letting you look at them. If someone asked me I'd be happy to show them what I've done to mine. Good luck!

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#12548081 - 12/22/17 03:27 PM Re: Opinion on a boat [Re: LUguy08]
TEXASJIGSTER Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 02/01/11
Posts: 160
Loc: CADDO LAKE
popcorn2

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#12548843 - 12/23/17 09:23 AM Re: Opinion on a boat [Re: LUguy08]
FishTheBite Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 12/27/15
Posts: 84
Loc: Central Texas
Sounds like you are looking for a multi-species boat. I fish from a Tracker Pro Guide V175 walk through. My wife fishes with me often and the boat is much more comfortable for her than a bass boat or a CC would be. I only wish for a pure bass boat when I am fishing power baits shallow. The boat has lots of storage, I keep anywhere from 12 to sometimes 20 rods in the boat and am able to on conceal them all in boxes. During the warmer months I am able to remove the left console in less than 10 minutes giving me enough front deck for two people who are paying attention to each other to fish from. It is less than a 10 minute task to reinstall when the weather becomes cold enough to make runs uncomfortable.

The driving rationale behind buying Tracker was the available of a reputable tracker dealer here in Central Texas. Several manufacturers make great aluminum deep v boats with similar features. They are available used if you are willing to be patient and watch the classifieds online.

After 3 seasons there have been no issues with either the hull or the Merc 115 four stroke other than needing a new trim unit at the end of the first summer which was covered by warranty.

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#12548858 - 12/23/17 09:34 AM Re: Opinion on a boat [Re: LUguy08]
thirtysixit Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/11/16
Posts: 108
Loc: San Antonio, TX
My first boat was (and is) a 2012 Stratos 189 VLO. It still had warranty left when I bought it in 2014 and it fits in my garage. I paid 21K for it. I've fished huge lakes on it (Kissimmee, Falcon, Amistad) to include some very rough water and it has been incredible. Rides smooth and gets up and goes with its 150 Yamaha. Stratos boats aren't that popular on this forum but if you get the chance to take a look at one that's just a couple years old I'd give it a shot. Might save you on some maintenance costs versus an older Ranger or Skeeter.

Good luck!
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