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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Center Console - what brand to buy #13195181 06/25/19 12:08 AM
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learnin to fish Offline OP
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Looking at upgrading to a center console. 2 main things it MUST have are front and rear fishing seats and must take rough water well. Looking at 22í-24í with 200HP or larger. I have found Epic boats with the front and rear fishing seats but have seen some really bad reviews on them. Any suggestions?

Re: Center Console - what brand to buy [Re: learnin to fish] #13195292 06/25/19 02:13 AM
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Re: Center Console - what brand to buy [Re: learnin to fish] #13195293 06/25/19 02:15 AM
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There are two guides in my area who run Bluewave center console boats.

Re: Center Console - what brand to buy [Re: learnin to fish] #13195302 06/25/19 02:31 AM
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Blue Wave hard to beat. 24' with a 250 Suzuki. Runs well on the N Texas lakes and is excellent inshore shallow. I call it a spoiler because once you start fishing out of this class of boat, you will really hate going back to the 18-20's. I do have a trip coming up in a Blazer Bay so will chime in if the thread is still active.

Re: Center Console - what brand to buy [Re: learnin to fish] #13195391 06/25/19 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by learnin to fish
Looking at upgrading to a center console. 2 main things it MUST have are front and rear fishing seats and must take rough water well. Looking at 22’-24’ with 200HP or larger. I have found Epic boats with the front and rear fishing seats but have seen some really bad reviews on them. Any suggestions?


I'll toss my .02 cents in on Epic. I'm on my 3rd year with a 22SC w/ 175 Etec. First and foremost, its an entry level boat. Some of the fit and finish leave a bit to be desired but have to say so far its held up really well. I use mine 2-3x a week and the only issue was the stereo quit working a few months after I bought it. Dealer replaced it without a problem. I switched to a bay boat due to spinal surgery which made getting in and out of the drivers seat of a bass boat challenging at best. Probably the best decision I ever made and don't see myself ever going back. I pretty much strictly bass fish out of it unless I'm down at Amistad visiting the in-laws taking them fishing for whites and stripers. About the only negatives of it compared to a bass boat is its slower and it catches a lot of wind but nothing a trolling motor with spot lock cant handle. For the price it was hard to beat.

Re: Center Console - what brand to buy [Re: JackCaster] #13195772 06/25/19 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by JackCaster
Blue Wave hard to beat. 24' with a 250 Suzuki. Runs well on the N Texas lakes and is excellent inshore shallow. I call it a spoiler because once you start fishing out of this class of boat, you will really hate going back to the 18-20's. I do have a trip coming up in a Blazer Bay so will chime in if the thread is still active.

Blazer Bays are very nice boats and if I was guiding full time that is what I would have. A weekend fisherman can definitely get by with less. If you are looking new ignore this comment but if looking at used pass on a Kenner. I am sure there are others. You might want to look at Triton or Skeeter. I am partial to my Champ. I wish they were still in business. I really like the layout and can't think of a negative except that maybe the gel is a little thin on the deck lids. Get the largest motor the boat is rated for. If you don't you will wish you did.


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Re: Center Console - what brand to buy [Re: learnin to fish] #13195926 06/25/19 08:14 PM
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pathfinders are really good boats, and blazers are a pathfinder clone essentially. I know from personal experience that blazers take rough water really well. They donít have super high sides either so they donít catch a ton of wind on the lake. That composite theyíre built out of is damn near indestructible.Biggest thing I would suggest is get a two stroke DFI motor and not one of those dumb four strokes. Donít underpower your boat, 200 is on the low end for a 22í and probably not enough for a 24í.


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Re: Center Console - what brand to buy [Re: learnin to fish] #13196369 06/26/19 02:27 AM
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Re: Center Console - what brand to buy [Re: Mckinneycrappiecatcher] #13196890 06/26/19 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Mckinneycrappiecatcher
pathfinders are really good boats, and blazers are a pathfinder clone essentially. I know from personal experience that blazers take rough water really well. They donít have super high sides either so they donít catch a ton of wind on the lake. That composite theyíre built out of is damn near indestructible.Biggest thing I would suggest is get a two stroke DFI motor and not one of those dumb four strokes. Donít underpower your boat, 200 is on the low end for a 22í and probably not enough for a 24í.
Like I said max out the HP rating. One thing I noticed when I was looking was that too many Bays and CCs were not maxed out on HP. My Champ really needs a 250 but I struggled just to find the boat I wanted and could not be overly picky on the HP. If I was buying new it would have the max it could handle.


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Re: Center Console - what brand to buy [Re: learnin to fish] #13197297 06/27/19 12:17 AM
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Re: Center Console - what brand to buy [Re: learnin to fish] #13197323 06/27/19 12:39 AM
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A good friend of mine got a 24' Skeeter Bay with trim tabs, hydraulic jack plate and a 300 4stroke. That is a sweet boat. But it is pretty expensive. A bunch of the guides around New Orleans run them.



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Re: Center Console - what brand to buy [Re: learnin to fish] #13197412 06/27/19 01:51 AM
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i have a 22 pathfinder that i love. it's a 02 that i bought new. on the 2nd motor now. that being said, i couldn't afford a new one now. 2 of my neighbors have 22 epics and they are very good riding boats. both have 225 zukes. they ride better than my PF in choppy seas. i wouldn't be afraid to buy one at all. they are the old bay stealth hull with a carolina flare.


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Re: Center Console - what brand to buy [Re: learnin to fish] #13197427 06/27/19 02:08 AM
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Thanks to all for helping with some great information. I agree on the lack of HP on most CCís. I also appreciate the comments on the Epic Boats as they are the only ones I have found that have a front and rear fishing seats. I currently have a 210SL Skeeter Fish and Ski and love it, only problem is its hard to fish more than 3 people and doesnít handle rough water very well. Has a 200 HP Yamaha with plenty of power so definitely donít want to downgrade HP. I canít afford a brand new boat so will have to start the search for a CC with front and rear fishing seats with a minimum of 200 HP.

Thanks again for the help,

Re: Center Console - what brand to buy [Re: learnin to fish] #13197958 06/27/19 05:36 PM
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Configuration and plenty of storage is what I like about my Champ and only reason I settled for a 200. I have a nice lockable rod locker up front and plenty of other storage.
Some of the older Bays just do not have comfortable seating for passengers. Mine is the all composite model. Stay away for the older ones with wood. Neighbor has one right now with Transom being rebuilt. [Linked Image]


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Re: Center Console - what brand to buy [Re: learnin to fish] #13198280 06/27/19 10:57 PM
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Back in the day , blue wave would custom build a floor plan to your specs. My first one was custom, the second was a boat show special , I am on my second bluewave,
the 18 9 was not big enough , I have a 22 and if I lived on the coast it would be a 24.

I have no complaints about bluewave.

Good luck

MO



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