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Finding THE boat #13251493 08/18/19 03:51 AM
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mhall1986 Offline OP
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I went to a credit union today after much research and walked out with a boat loan. Everything is in order, just need to find a boat now. I've pretty much only fished in my old mans Triton tr 186 and it has always done well for me. I'm looking to stay below 175 hp and around 18.5' so it'll fit in my garage.
I've found a few that are in my budget that look nice but how do you determine the condition of the outboard? How many hours are too many for how old the motor is? Is a jack plate beneficial for this size boat?
I've found a few nitro z-7s, a z-18 and there's a clean ranger z118 on here for sale thats loaded.
2013 nitro z-7 with 150 pro xs @ 98 hrs
2015 nitro z-7 with 175 pro xs @ 200 hrs
2014 ranger z118 with etec 150 ho @ 300hrs
2016 nitro z-18 with 175 pro xs @<1hr.

If anyone has any first hand experience with these boats or motors, it'd be appreciated.
This will be my first bass boat that I own and plan on hanging on to it.

The z-7s are a good bit cheaper than the z18 and z118, but I'm willing to invest more if the ranger and z18 are much better.
Anyways, I'm just pumped I'm finally getting a boat. Eveything is in order just need a hull # for my insurance and I'll have a check in my hand.

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Re: Finding THE boat [Re: mhall1986] #13251519 08/18/19 04:42 AM
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Narrow the list down, have the owner take you out for a test ride and then if you make a decision on one, insist that it be inspected by a reputable boat mechanic. Don't buy anything, especially something that you will be making payments on without a mechanic's inspection. If you aren't experienced with what to look for, you could end up with a money pit. If the owner doesn't want to take it out for a test ride and allow you to get an inspection, run don't walk away. I\d bet the Ranger has the best resale value.

Re: Finding THE boat [Re: mhall1986] #13251687 08/18/19 02:32 PM
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SWH Online Content
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The 2016 should still have warranty but it’s a Nitro so resale isn’t great. That Ranger on here is very clean but you will notice it’s been on here a long while. Even though the G2 Evinrudes are gaining respect there are still many who will not consider a boat with an Evinrude motor.

If the budget is there to reach towards the nitros with 175s I wouldn’t go after one with a 150.

Have you considered a brand new Ranger 188 you’ll give up a few MPH but have a brand new boat that should hold up a long while?

Re: Finding THE boat [Re: mhall1986] #13251718 08/18/19 02:52 PM
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I think as on any forum you’re going to get 50 different opinions on what to chose. The best advise I can give that has also helped me is to use your best judgement. Realize that no matter what boat you chose, all boats will break at some point. I have a 2001 Ranger and the main thing that sold me was the maintenance history of the previous owners. The powerhead had been rebuilt and maybe a dozen other fixes when I bought it. I have the service record of them all. What stayed consistent was the shop performing the services and the fuel and treatments used in the boat on a weekly basis. I’ve had 3 to 6 service visits since owning the boat but have no doubt about the decision to buy the boat. As far as the haul goes it is as well built or built better than the 2019 models being built today.

Last edited by TajChauvin; 08/18/19 02:56 PM.
Re: Finding THE boat [Re: mhall1986] #13259989 08/26/19 01:56 PM
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M. Alexander Offline
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I'd go with the Ranger. grin


Mark
Re: Finding THE boat [Re: mhall1986] #13259997 08/26/19 02:02 PM
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If you can't get a mechanic to look, make sure you check the lower unit for seal leaks and do a full compression test on each cylinder. Check steering cables and get that test ride.

Good luck.


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Re: Finding THE boat [Re: mhall1986] #13260133 08/26/19 03:18 PM
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I really like how my Z-7 rides and it fishes very well for an 18.5 footer. I do wish I had more motor, mine has a 150 and when I get 2 or 3 people in the boat it's a bit of a dog out of the hole. It is under powered with the 150 so cross that 1 off your list. If you get any boat that size with a 175 you'll be happy with it


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Re: Finding THE boat [Re: mhall1986] #13260353 08/26/19 05:59 PM
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What's your budget


Originally Posted by John175
your bait sux,and your boat is ugly.
Re: Finding THE boat [Re: mhall1986] #13260385 08/26/19 06:20 PM
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Can a guy ever find the perfect boat? I’m on the fourth one now and really like it, but I can see minor things that could be better. But...I refuse to discuss “the next boat”.

The guy that owns the HVAC company and does some work for us is a tournament bass fisherman. Get him talking and he’ll go for an hour just on fish finders. I was talking to one of his guys the other day, and the guy said that the owner had about $80,000 in the boat and $20,000 in electronics. That’s hard to believe. Well...maybe not. You guys talk big money on boats. I’m only in for about $35k. I will upgrade the electronics in a year or so.

Re: Finding THE boat [Re: mhall1986] #13260600 08/26/19 09:05 PM
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Notaguide Offline
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Be wary of boats that have just been sitting. Don’t be scared of a few hours on it if you are looking at used.

Re: Finding THE boat [Re: mhall1986] #13260648 08/26/19 09:57 PM
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Just buy a Skeeter. All others are junk!!

Actually, you've been given some great advice. I would suggest not falling into the trap that many of us have, on our first or first few boats...falling in love with a boat because you are just dying to get a boat, period!! TAKE YOUR TIME. Research all options, consider Nitro, Skeeter, Ranger, Triton, etc. But, TAKE YOUR TIME! i'd far rather have an older boat with impeccable upkeep and maintenance with an owner who is forthcoming with information, records, test drive, maybe take you fishing for a few hours, etc. I've owned Nitros, Tritons, and Skeeters, and each was a great boat. But, only two were used and the owners were great to deal with, were honest, and didn't try to SELL me their boats. Don't jump up and buy the first cool boat you find. Personally, I would own a Ranger or Skeeter if I was buying used today. That's probably all I would consider, only because I've fished out of most brands and/or owned them and those two are the two I PERSONALLY like. At the same time, don't listen to anyone on here about brand. We all have our preferences and our preferences are just that, OURS. Consider the brands you like, then narrow it down to what you can afford, with the add ons you want and be sure to consider that you most likely will still spend another $5,000 plus on new electronics, trolling motor, you'll need 15 more rods and reels, way more tackle, etc. OK, be prepared to spend $25,000 on the boat and another $75,000 on all the stuff you will need!!

Last edited by BWBForney; 08/26/19 09:59 PM.
Re: Finding THE boat [Re: mhall1986] #13260775 08/26/19 11:55 PM
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Be cautious with the Z7’s, I read a lot of complaints with them having hooked bulls. Make sure you ride before you buy and if the speed doesn’t seem right, then it’s possibly because of a hooked hull.

Re: Finding THE boat [Re: mhall1986] #13260866 08/27/19 01:17 AM
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Sounds like you’ve been talking to a boat salesman

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