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#12825398 - 07/12/18 08:40 AM Boat advice needed
68A Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 11/16/17
Posts: 4
Looking for some advice on buying a bass boat. My son is getting older and Iíd like to get back into a boat so that we can spend some time together on the water. In the past Iíve had a 20í nitro, but Iíve been out of the game for a few years. At this point, Iím looking at aluminum boats for durability, unless someone can convince me otherwise. Iíd like something with 150 hp. My budget is around 25k. Question is, who makes the best aluminum bass boats? Any advice or opinions appreciated. Thanks.

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#12825409 - 07/12/18 08:46 AM Re: Boat advice needed [Re: 68A]
Fishinfellow Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 01/12/10
Posts: 3324
Loc: North Richland Hills, TX
with a 25K budget unless you're trying to buy new, I would stay away from aluminum boats (personally). I've had several and they can't compare to the stability and handling of a glass boat. Not to mention the most noticeable difference is how much you'll get blown around in an aluminum boat versus a glass rig. The wind will sweep you away while you re-tie/land a fish. Get yourself a nice 7-8 year old 18-19 foot fiberglass rig with a 150-200. That will handle a whole lot more than the aluminum rigs you'll look at.

2cents
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#12825425 - 07/12/18 09:04 AM Re: Boat advice needed [Re: 68A]
68A Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 11/16/17
Posts: 4
FF, I appreciate the opinion. Whatís got me cautious of a glass boat is the wood. I had issues with the stringers and floor in my nitro taking water and starting to get waterlogged. I did buy it used, at the time it was a 9 yr old boat. Looked good on the outside but after 6 months I started to notice some softness in the floor. Is there any manufacturers that have a better reputation or that stand out? Always heard the older champs were solid.

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#12825438 - 07/12/18 09:14 AM Re: Boat advice needed [Re: 68A]
Fishinfellow Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 01/12/10
Posts: 3324
Loc: North Richland Hills, TX
I'm not aware of any modern bass boat manufacturers that still use wood in their stringers/transoms. At least none that I would ever consider buying...All composite materials.
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Thats my money fish

Kris Winhold

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#12825439 - 07/12/18 09:15 AM Re: Boat advice needed [Re: 68A]
Brutaldudeski Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 05/03/17
Posts: 79
A 25k budget is plenty to get into a nicely used fiberglass rig or darn near a brand new aluminum. Ranger, Triton, Lowe, tracker, xpress and g3 all make nice aluminum boats. Tracker and Lowe being the more budget friendly. Nitro, Triton, skeeter, ranger, champion, just so many good fiberglass options. Stay away from used 2 strokes in my opinion, 4 stroke is the way to go.


Edited by Brutaldudeski (07/12/18 09:16 AM)

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#12825469 - 07/12/18 09:27 AM Re: Boat advice needed [Re: 68A]
David Burton Online   confused
Extreme Angler

Registered: 07/14/11
Posts: 2318
Loc: McKinney, TX
Originally Posted By: 68A
FF, I appreciate the opinion. Whatís got me cautious of a glass boat is the wood. I had issues with the stringers and floor in my nitro taking water and starting to get waterlogged. I did buy it used, at the time it was a 9 yr old boat. Looked good on the outside but after 6 months I started to notice some softness in the floor. Is there any manufacturers that have a better reputation or that stand out? Always heard the older champs were solid.

Nitro was one of the last to claim fiberglass encased plywood was a ďcompositeĒ. But I bet you could find a nice Skeeter, Triton (or even newer Nitro ~2012) that is in your price range and well taken care of that will last! Some of the aluminum models have plywood decking, so youíll have similar concerns. Stick with a newer model used glass boat, or go with a new Ranger or Triton aluminum for less boat/more money.


Edited by David Burton (07/12/18 01:52 PM)
Edit Reason: Darn auto-correct
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2015 Skeeter FX 21

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#12825504 - 07/12/18 09:52 AM Re: Boat advice needed [Re: 68A]
sprigsss Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 02/11/11
Posts: 650
Loc: Snyder, TX
If I were in the market for an aluminum boat, I would go to Louisiana and buy a custom built Hanko hull. The boat will last a lifetime, the ride is plenty comfortable, and you can pretty much have them build to your specifications.

http://hankos.com/

Another option would be a Scully hull. Seems like they were always a tad slower than a Hanko, but were a tad cheaper as well.

http://scullysaluminumboats.com/

Either of these boats will outlast you.

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#12825581 - 07/12/18 11:01 AM Re: Boat advice needed [Re: 68A]
Huckleberry Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 10/10/07
Posts: 18119
Loc: Lake Gaston, VA
I would get this one ... listed at $28,500. Maybe he will take 25K.



http://www.bassboatcentral.com/boats4salebullet.htm

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#12825594 - 07/12/18 11:07 AM Re: Boat advice needed [Re: 68A]
Stickchunker Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 06/21/08
Posts: 883
Loc: Lake Conroe
Originally Posted By: 68A
FF, I appreciate the opinion. Whatís got me cautious of a glass boat is the wood. I had issues with the stringers and floor in my nitro taking water and starting to get waterlogged. I did buy it used, at the time it was a 9 yr old boat. Looked good on the outside but after 6 months I started to notice some softness in the floor. Is there any manufacturers that have a better reputation or that stand out? Always heard the older champs were solid.


It is my understanding that manufactures stopped putting wood in boats around '97-'98, i could be off a few years though.
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#12825623 - 07/12/18 11:20 AM Re: Boat advice needed [Re: Stickchunker]
68A Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 11/16/17
Posts: 4
Originally Posted By: Stickchunker
Originally Posted By: 68A
FF, I appreciate the opinion. Whatís got me cautious of a glass boat is the wood. I had issues with the stringers and floor in my nitro taking water and starting to get waterlogged. I did buy it used, at the time it was a 9 yr old boat. Looked good on the outside but after 6 months I started to notice some softness in the floor. Is there any manufacturers that have a better reputation or that stand out? Always heard the older champs were solid.


It is my understanding that manufactures stopped putting wood in boats around '97-'98, i could be off a few years though.


That sounds about right, it was Ď99.

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#12825712 - 07/12/18 12:06 PM Re: Boat advice needed [Re: 68A]
Tx Tree Grower Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 09/17/08
Posts: 860
Loc: Palestine, TX
Been looking as well. From what I have seen, looking at strictly FIBERGLASS BOATS, @ $25k you can get a nice used 18-19ft boat with a 150-175hp motor, single axle trailer, rigged like you want it (trolling motor, graphs, etc) in that price range. However, if you want a 20ft+ rig, tandem axle trailer, 225hp+ motor you probably need to be around $35,000. I'm talking about a rig with reasonable hours and not 20yrs old of course. $25k was my original budget as well. I've decided to wait another year. Turns out I'm not as sick of bass fishing out of my center console as I though. Bass boats are just stupid expensive.

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#12825736 - 07/12/18 12:19 PM Re: Boat advice needed [Re: 68A]
the skipper Online   content
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 07/04/11
Posts: 4270
Loc: nederland, TX
25k will get a nice used boat. Check out BBC and boat trader as well as any local stuff. Be ready to jump on one because the good ones doesn't last long.

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#12825838 - 07/12/18 01:24 PM Re: Boat advice needed [Re: 68A]
09wingates Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 05/27/15
Posts: 27
Loc: Breckenridge, Tx
You should be able to find a good boat with that budget. I know some may frown upon this but Craigslist can be good however you just have to be careful and know what your buying. I have also heard multiple times that the late 90s was the last of the wood usage on major brands.

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#12825973 - 07/12/18 02:42 PM Re: Boat advice needed [Re: 68A]
Donald Harper Online   happy
TFF Guru

Registered: 01/25/08
Posts: 14907
Loc: Justin, TX.
The alum. boat that I like best in that price range new is the Crestliner.

H & W Marine in Marshall.
Phone: (903) 927-1919
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#12825999 - 07/12/18 03:03 PM Re: Boat advice needed [Re: Fishinfellow]
horseplaydvm Online   content
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 05/07/09
Posts: 6661
Loc: Ok, USA
Originally Posted By: Fishinfellow
with a 25K budget unless you're trying to buy new, I would stay away from aluminum boats (personally). I've had several and they can't compare to the stability and handling of a glass boat. Not to mention the most noticeable difference is how much you'll get blown around in an aluminum boat versus a glass rig. The wind will sweep you away while you re-tie/land a fish. Get yourself a nice 7-8 year old 18-19 foot fiberglass rig with a 150-200. That will handle a whole lot more than the aluminum rigs you'll look at.

2cents

Put an Ultrex on it. Problem solved!
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B.A.S. 6/5/47-6/6/12

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#12826000 - 07/12/18 03:03 PM Re: Boat advice needed [Re: 68A]
tin man 55 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 07/30/15
Posts: 243
Loc: Flower Mound, TX
and, if you are looking at aluminum, you can solve the "blown about" problem by getting an ultrex on it.

that's what i did with my ranger rt188; fishes great now.
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2014 Ranger RT-188
115 Mercury Pro-XS
Lowrance Gen-3 units
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#12826066 - 07/12/18 03:46 PM Re: Boat advice needed [Re: Brutaldudeski]
GIG'EM AGGIES Online   content
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 05/14/14
Posts: 3726
Loc: texas
Originally Posted By: Brutaldudeski
A 25k budget is plenty to get into a nicely used fiberglass rig or darn near a brand new aluminum. Ranger, Triton, Lowe, tracker, xpress and g3 all make nice aluminum boats. Tracker and Lowe being the more budget friendly. Nitro, Triton, skeeter, ranger, champion, just so many good fiberglass options. Stay away from used 2 strokes in my opinion, 4 stroke is the way to go.


I like ( love ) this suggestion, recommendation especially about the 4 stroke. And I would forget buying a tin boat when you can get a really good glass boat that will handle these windy days we have here in Texas for the price range you have. Just be patient and do your due diligence.
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I am a Senager. (Senior teenager) I have everything that I wanted as a teenager, only 50 years later. I donít have to go to school or work. I get an allowance every month. I donít have a curfew I have a driverís license,a car and I have a bass boat.


illegitimi non carborundum

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#12826207 - 07/12/18 05:19 PM Re: Boat advice needed [Re: tin man 55]
JIM SR. Online   sick
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 09/25/06
Posts: 7720
Loc: NRH/Fork ! GET THE NET
Originally Posted By: tin man 55
and, if you are looking at aluminum, you can solve the "blown about" problem by getting an ultrex on it.

that's what i did with my ranger rt188; fishes great now.



What he said. clap

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#12826250 - 07/12/18 05:51 PM Re: Boat advice needed [Re: 68A]
i-Fish Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 06/07/16
Posts: 1024
What kind of fishing do you see yourself doing? Are you running big water and fishing offshore when the deep bite is there or are you happy staying in the creek arms finding shallow resident fish for the majority of your time out?

If youíre going to run big water I wouldnít consider aluminum.

If your preference is to stay shallow then I would get more bang for your buck and go with aluminum.

Either way Iím putting an ultrex on it.

IMO Ranger makes the best aluminum boat. Excellent quality and execution.
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If you can't find em wind em.

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#12826260 - 07/12/18 06:00 PM Re: Boat advice needed [Re: Huckleberry]
adam_p Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 06/11/05
Posts: 6997
Loc: Ray Roberts
Originally Posted By: Huckleberry
I would get this one ... listed at $28,500. Maybe he will take 25K.



http://www.bassboatcentral.com/boats4salebullet.htm


Mine will be on the market soon for $25k. I'm getting it cleaned up first.

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#12827639 - 07/13/18 08:07 PM Re: Boat advice needed [Re: 68A]
AHF Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 03/02/18
Posts: 7
I just bought a 2017 Nitro Z18 for 23.8k with 30 hours, with 25k you can get a nice used boat, good luck!

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#12828086 - 07/14/18 10:26 AM Re: Boat advice needed [Re: 68A]
Ken A. Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 10/02/06
Posts: 10154
Loc: Trophy Club, TX
Originally Posted By: 68A
Looking for some advice on buying a bass boat. My son is getting older and Iíd like to get back into a boat so that we can spend some time together on the water. In the past Iíve had a 20í nitro, but Iíve been out of the game for a few years. At this point, Iím looking at aluminum boats for durability, unless someone can convince me otherwise. Iíd like something with 150 hp. My budget is around 25k. Question is, who makes the best aluminum bass boats? Any advice or opinions appreciated. Thanks.


Some of the larger tin boats like Xpress ride as good as a glass boat of the same length. Thats not the issue. Boat control in the wind is the biggest issue. An Ultrex will solve a lot of the problems but still trying to work down a bank in a cross wind is an issue.

I agree, for $25K you can get a really nice glass rig if you keep an eye out and be ready to jump on it when it come around. I would make sure to have a competent mechanic do a compression test on the motor, check the LU grease for water intrusion, etc. Even if a motor has 500-1,000 hours on it, I would not be scared as long as the seller has documentation showing he did the maintenance at regular intervals and has good & even compression across all cylinders.

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#12828108 - 07/14/18 10:55 AM Re: Boat advice needed [Re: Ken A.]
Doug R. Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 06/11/12
Posts: 9744
Loc: back in the day
Originally Posted By: Ken A.
Originally Posted By: 68A
Looking for some advice on buying a bass boat. My son is getting older and Iíd like to get back into a boat so that we can spend some time together on the water. In the past Iíve had a 20í nitro, but Iíve been out of the game for a few years. At this point, Iím looking at aluminum boats for durability, unless someone can convince me otherwise. Iíd like something with 150 hp. My budget is around 25k. Question is, who makes the best aluminum bass boats? Any advice or opinions appreciated. Thanks.


Some of the larger tin boats like Xpress ride as good as a glass boat of the same length. Thats not the issue. Boat control in the wind is the biggest issue. An Ultrex will solve a lot of the problems but still trying to work down a bank in a cross wind is an issue.

I agree, for $25K you can get a really nice glass rig if you keep an eye out and be ready to jump on it when it come around. I would make sure to have a competent mechanic do a compression test on the motor, check the LU grease for water intrusion, etc. Even if a motor has 500-1,000 hours on it, I would not be scared as long as the seller has documentation showing he did the maintenance at regular intervals and has good & even compression across all cylinders.



+1 on motor hours


If a motor is maintained, taken care of in general and ran regularly it will be a better motor than ones that are 5-10 years old and have 40-100 hours on them. Low motor hours is the most overrated thing people look for in a used boat.
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