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#12674058 - 03/15/18 11:10 AM Bass Boat length
RickS Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 08/08/13
Posts: 213
Loc: Santa Fe NM
So I've owned a 18 foot Nitro Bass boat with a Mercury 150XR6 going on 20 years this April. I'm wanting a new boat. Other than front deck is a little small I really don't have any reason to go longer.I really like how quick my boat accelerates. Will I lose that feeling in a bigger longer boat? What are the advantages to having longer bass boats? It does get a little wet in rough water. Appreciate all feedback. Please reply and educate me on why I should move up from an 18 foot bass boat.

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#12674089 - 03/15/18 11:25 AM Re: Bass Boat length [Re: RickS]
Hawg Dawg Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 03/07/08
Posts: 913
Loc: College Station , TX
I've been fishing and owning boats for almost 50 years. (Yes, I'm an OFG) Boats are like cars, the longer the wheelbase, the better the ride. I've owned Raycraft,Skeeter, Nitro, BassCat and Rangers over the years. I presently run a Z521C Ranger, my buddy runs a Z520C Ranger. When we fish his boat, all he does is state how much better my boat rides than his. I do enjoy the wider deck this boat provides. Good luck on your hunt!
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#12674095 - 03/15/18 11:29 AM Re: Bass Boat length [Re: RickS]
stringwise Offline
Angler

Registered: 04/10/16
Posts: 258
If you don't fish big water an 18' is fine. If you fish big lakes with a lot of wind and/or boat traffic then the ride smoothes out considerably for each additional foot of boat length. If you don't fish tournaments where you for lack of a better term "have" to get to certain spots or weigh-in quickly then you can take your time and the 18' is fine. In the last tournament I fished we starting catching and culling 15 minutes prior to weigh-in. We fished until the last possible minute and then took a straight line back to weigh-in and it was rough and windy but the boat handled it fine. If you don't need that then your 18' will be great. Hole shot with something like a 250 or 300 SHO is going to be fantastic on even a 21' boat so don't worry about that.

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#12674204 - 03/15/18 12:34 PM Re: Bass Boat length [Re: RickS]
fouzman Offline
Methuselah

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 47896
Loc: Houston, TX
The ride difference between my FX 20 and FX 21 are quite noticeable.
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#12674245 - 03/15/18 01:01 PM Re: Bass Boat length [Re: RickS]
the skipper Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 07/04/11
Posts: 4276
Loc: nederland, TX
In big water is where the length really shines. Seeing as you've gone so long with an 18' I don't really see why you have to change but I can also see why somebody would want to. The biggest question would be is there a certain length storage space you have?

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#12674287 - 03/15/18 01:24 PM Re: Bass Boat length [Re: RickS]
kcb Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/05/07
Posts: 1084
Loc: Carrollton, TX
Many years ago I went from an 18' to a 21' and a motor of 150hp up to 225hp. If you fish three out of the boat or are on big water I would look at the 21'. To be honest though if you fish alone or just with one other person I would look at something in the 19-20' range with say a 200. I believe Ranger makes a 19' class boat that is rated for a 225hp or they used to (519VX). You will notice a big difference "handling" a 21' boat when you are trailering. Look at the specs. and especially the weight of the hull when trying to decide and test drive or ride in several before getting close to your decision. Check your tow vehicle rating too.

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#12674501 - 03/15/18 03:23 PM Re: Bass Boat length [Re: stringwise]
Stickchunker Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 06/21/08
Posts: 883
Loc: Lake Conroe
Originally Posted By: stringwise
If you don't fish big water an 18' is fine. If you fish big lakes with a lot of wind and/or boat traffic then the ride smoothes out considerably for each additional foot of boat length. If you don't fish tournaments where you for lack of a better term "have" to get to certain spots or weigh-in quickly then you can take your time and the 18' is fine. In the last tournament I fished we starting catching and culling 15 minutes prior to weigh-in. We fished until the last possible minute and then took a straight line back to weigh-in and it was rough and windy but the boat handled it fine. If you don't need that then your 18' will be great. Hole shot with something like a 250 or 300 SHO is going to be fantastic on even a 21' boat so don't worry about that.


This is pretty spot on.

I have an 18' Basscat that I've been fishing out of for 10 years, boat handles rough water very well, I do fish a lot of tournaments on my home lake (Conroe) which is like a big bath tub, and you can get beat up pretty bad just from boat traffic, this reason alone, I plan to upgrade to a 21' this coming Fall! Short of Tournament fishing, i'd keep my boat..... i have all the Bells and Whistles short of Power Poles, and its paid for!!
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#12674531 - 03/15/18 03:33 PM Re: Bass Boat length [Re: RickS]
Bruce's Guide Service Online   content
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 4329
Loc: southlake
The biggest one you can afford. Boat still means Bring out another thousand
Doesn't matter what size you buy
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