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Jan 23rd, 2013
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First time boat buyer...advice please #13717161 10/01/20 04:00 PM
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chaseh2003 Offline OP
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Wanting to buy a boat within the next 4 or 5 months. Never owned one before. I don't need anything fancy and I don't have a big budget. I have $4-6k to spend.

Thinking of a jon boat to chase white bass, run trotlines, maybe crappie fishing. Able to fit 2-4 people.

I'm fine buying used unless I should go for new.

I know nothing about motors. Are used motors something to stay away from? Should or could I have the motor checked out by a mechanic before buying?

I'm looking for information on what to look for, what to avoid. Any info a first time boat buyer for this type of boat should know.

Any help is much appreciated.

Re: First time boat buyer...advice please [Re: chaseh2003] #13717206 10/01/20 05:12 PM
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While I’ve only purchased one boat and probably aren’t qualified to give the advice you’re asking for, I do have a boat you may be interested in when the time comes. It’s an older fiberglass bass boat that I’ve thoroughly gone through and replaced many, many parts on. It runs and functions fabulously, is built like a tank, and would be perfect for the type of fishing you’re describing. It definitely isn’t a looker, but it’s a great boat otherwise. Let me know if you would like more info.

Re: First time boat buyer...advice please [Re: chaseh2003] #13717587 10/02/20 01:16 AM
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I'm kind if leaning toward aluminum but I would be interested to see a picture of the boat.

Re: First time boat buyer...advice please [Re: chaseh2003] #13717604 10/02/20 01:44 AM
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In your price range I would be looking at an aluminum v hull. As far as motors have it checked by a mechanic given your experience. Be prepared to learn how to do your own maintenance or set up a maintenance account.


2200 Bay Champ/200 Mercury Optimax
2017 Tundra TSS 4x4 Crewmax 5.7L
Re: First time boat buyer...advice please [Re: Stump jumper] #13717634 10/02/20 02:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Stump jumper
In your price range I would be looking at an aluminum v hull. As far as motors have it checked by a mechanic given your experience. Be prepared to learn how to do your own maintenance or set up a maintenance account.


Good advice. OP, you might be surprised what you might find on Craigslist if you’re willing to wade through it. That’s where I bought my last two boats. Buying during the winter might save you some $. Inevitably some guys buy boats on a whim and sell them the same way. Good luck !

Re: First time boat buyer...advice please [Re: chaseh2003] #13717638 10/02/20 02:25 AM
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1978 Ray Craft 15ft with 1978 Evinrude 85hp:

[Linked Image]


Originally Posted by chaseh2003
I'm kind if leaning toward aluminum but I would be interested to see a picture of the boat.

Re: First time boat buyer...advice please [Re: Spreng] #13717791 10/02/20 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Spreng
1978 Ray Craft 15ft with 1978 Evinrude 85hp:

[Linked Image]


Originally Posted by chaseh2003
I'm kind if leaning toward aluminum but I would be interested to see a picture of the boat.



That's old school alright, and the style boat many bass fishermen back in the day would have been proud to have owned! Me included!
For your type of fishing I would look for an aluminum type hull and if not new, something that has been well kept and with low hours.
Too old of a boat there can be all kinds of issues, as well as the trailer, and for someone who knows little about maintaining a boat you should look for a boat that is fairly new.


Just one more cast!

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Re: First time boat buyer...advice please [Re: Stump jumper] #13717797 10/02/20 11:45 AM
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if buying aluminum, welded, look for cracks in welds, look for repairs of previous cracks, overall condition and make a decision.
riveted, look for replaced rivets, cracks in corners, signs of leaks (discoloration streaks under rivets) and overall condition and make a decision.

with your budget, probably a 14-16' aluminum with a 25-35hp on back for newer/better condition, go older and you may find a tracker 17.5 or 16 crappie.

only buy a mercury or johnson/evinrude (same co made both) for a first engine and I recommend a johnnyrude for durability and less maintenance, the water pumps easily last 2 yrs. vs. one for mercs.

Originally Posted by Stump jumper
In your price range I would be looking at an aluminum v hull. As far as motors have it checked by a mechanic given your experience. Be prepared to learn how to do your own maintenance or set up a maintenance account.



like stump jumper said, find a shop you are comfortable with and if at all possible have them go over the engine when you buy. for the size you are looking at if it starts and runs on muffs you are probably good to go but no guarantee.

be prepared to spend another 1,000 - 1,500.00 on stuff, be sure you have all your necessary stuff the law requires, a good life jacket (wear it when on the water) and go chase some feeesh.


I may or may not have bought a boat, well, maybe 2. grin


" Hop, set the hook"!


lake fork FISHERMANS COVE MARINA/reservations - 903 474 7479
Re: First time boat buyer...advice please [Re: Jimbo] #13717798 10/02/20 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Jimbo
Originally Posted by Spreng
1978 Ray Craft 15ft with 1978 Evinrude 85hp:

[Linked Image]


Originally Posted by chaseh2003
I'm kind if leaning toward aluminum but I would be interested to see a picture of the boat.



That's old school alright, and the style boat many bass fishermen back in the day would have been proud to have owned! Me included!
For your type of fishing I would look for an aluminum type hull and if not new, something that has been well kept and with low hours.
Too old of a boat there can be all kinds of issues, as well as the trailer, and for someone who knows little about maintaining a boat you should look for a boat that is fairly new.

thumb

I had a 78 venture 19' tri hull bass with I/O mercruiser. old boats are cool.


" Hop, set the hook"!


lake fork FISHERMANS COVE MARINA/reservations - 903 474 7479
Re: First time boat buyer...advice please [Re: chaseh2003] #13718039 10/02/20 03:31 PM
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Thanks for the info everyone. This is helpful.

Re: First time boat buyer...advice please [Re: chaseh2003] #13718487 10/02/20 11:24 PM
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If you're willing to wait the right one will come along. There's a LOT of people looking in that specific range. You gotta be diligent, but they're out there. I got mine for $4200 about 5 years ago. Had to drive to Houston to get it, but it was worht it because it's a great boat.

Main thing PUT IT ON THE WATER!
Do not buy it if they won't get it on the water with you. Ears don't tell you what a motor will do under a load or if the boat has cracks. Good Luck!

FYI mine is a '93 Skeeter with a '93 XR6 on it with a hydraulic jack plate. All I've done is maintenance and carpet. I decided to upgrade electronics too, but that was a choice not a necessity.

Last edited by Liebers Dad; 10/02/20 11:26 PM.

I didn't lose him at the boat. I shook him off cause I didn't want my hands to get "fishy"
Re: First time boat buyer...advice please [Re: chaseh2003] #13719689 10/04/20 02:23 PM
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I would avoid the jon boat but get an aluminum boat with foam in it. Big yachts that really belong in the gulf are present in almost all Texas lakes and they can swamp you with big waves. The occasional "basshole" with the 350 HP motor can also make a big wake. If you are in a jon boat those waves will put your boat and all your gear on the bottom and have you swimming and needing rescue.


John 21:3 Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee.
Re: First time boat buyer...advice please [Re: chaseh2003] #13719761 10/04/20 03:29 PM
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Two more questions. Can anyone recommend an outboard mechanic in the north San Antonio area? Also, what would a decent depth finder/sonar to start out with?

Re: First time boat buyer...advice please [Re: chaseh2003] #13719800 10/04/20 04:20 PM
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Just take the money for a boat and hire a guide once a month. You will learn how to find fish and not have to worry about keeping up a boat( BREAK OUT ANOTHER THOUSAND) . You can thank me later!!!!!! banana


I would agree with you , but then we would both be WRONG !!!!!
Re: First time boat buyer...advice please [Re: chaseh2003] #13719819 10/04/20 04:37 PM
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Patience is key
And start watching YouTube videos on boat and trailer maintenance.
I’ll try to find some links to previous similar threads.


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