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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Help with first boat purchase #13792770 12/03/20 05:45 AM
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busanade Offline OP
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Looking for my first boat.. Budget under 20k.. Fishing area Rockport. Fishing experience-. I have fished. POC for several years with buddies who had bay boats. Mediocre success, sometimes getting offshore, spending a lot of time in the ICW.. Ive never done any poling before but trolling, poling, wading, and drifting are what i can see me doing. Ive been looking for a couple months at several boats.. I started looking at poling skiffs , action craft, mavericks, etc.. Not super light tech skiffs but boats that could cross some chop if necessary,.trying to keep the weight and cost down. These boats appealed to me due to living in dfw, long hauls would be easier,. less gas, less maintenance.. And then i start to see a couple other boats in my price range, trans sport, shoalwater, gulf coast and was thinking this would be the way to go.. Ive read all about the opinions of haynie, shallow sport and the like, but obviously those arent in my budget.. Even started looking at cheaper tunnel hull bays, blue wave, pathfinder.. I feel like this might never end . Does anybody have any insight to send me in the right direction?. Id love to hear from skiff owners about limitations or benefits of their boats. Can a decent Texas flats boat exist for under 20k. Long post i know but TIA

Last edited by busanade; 12/03/20 05:47 AM.
Re: Help with first boat purchase [Re: busanade] #13793843 12/04/20 06:16 AM
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ShinerInTx Online Content
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Noone else answered yet, so i'll give some amatuer feedback. I assume you are looking at used boats for 20K, what age range? I'd say you can get some fine used boats for 20K, but I guess it all depends on your perspective. I have a 2015 Mako Pro Skiff 17 w/ a 60 HP Mercury. I more or less paid 11K for the boat, motor and trailer. I've probably invested another 4K in the boat in making it what I wanted (install welded tongue hinge, trolling motor w/ custom install, electronics and install). So for around 15K, I think I have a good boat that does most things I want well. I do most of my fishing on Texas lakes, and I've only recently taken it inshore (flats) fishing for the first time. I plan to go alot more, but im also a north texas resident. Top speed is 34 mph by GPS.

Plus:
-It was imperative to me that I could store the boat in my garage. I can back it in straight with the folding tongue and it clears the 20'6" garage by an inch or two. I no longer pay a storage fee for the boat, and I don't have to waste 20 min each way to go get the boat from storage and then go to the lake.

-It is a light boat for trailering, easy to maneuver in gas stations, and efficient on towing fuel.

-It is a stable boat for what it is, very large front deck.

-This is one of those things that I think is relative, but It handles some chop pretty well and mostly dry, I like the hull design.

-It is a very minimal, simple boat. This is partly a negative, but I think of it as a less is more type thing also. The only gauge is a tach, less [censored] to break. The fuel tank & fuel line are easily accessible under the rear deck. In general, its something I feel like I can work on and maintain myself because its fairly simple.

-It has a pretty shallow draft.

Negatives:
-Not self bailing & relies on bilge pump to clear any water you take on. Not ideal if you want to leave your boat in the water and rain is in the forecast.

-Limited storage compartments.

-It has an aerated baitwell, but not anything I would consider a livewell. Not that big of a deal to me. My fish go back in the lake or in the cooler.

-Its still a fairly light 17 ft boat, and there are times I wish it was a heavy, deep v hull, 20' bay boat.

You said your previous experience was on friend's bay boats. What make of boats and were they too deep to get into the flats? I guess my question is, why are you concentrating so hard on narrowing down to a specific make? Have you been on any of these boats you mentioned yet?

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