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johncolson

Boats

61 posts in this topic

I just purchased a lake home on Hunter's Point and am wondering what kind of boat would be my best choice for fishing on Mille Lacs. What type, size and boat engine should I be looking at, considering safety, good fishing and pleasure boating. I also would like to buy used and stay at $10,000 or less. This property has a small harbor and with the low water I was thinking that an aluminum boat might work better for me. Thank you for any help.

John

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Welcome!!!!!

It's a personal choice. You will hear both pros/cons about aluminum VS fiberglass. I have an older Alumacraft compeditor 185 with a 75 Merc tiller. Works great for Mille lacs.

The glass boats are very nice also. It just depends what you feel comfortable purchasing.

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If you're looking to spend $10,000 or less, aluminum would be the route to go unless you happened to stumble onto one heck of a 'glass deal. I would recommend taking a good hard look at either a Lund Explorer or Alaskan or something equivalent to that in an Alumacraft.

Congrats and welcome aboard!

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You may find a good deal at this time of the year on used. My guess is that with your budget, aluminum will be the best option.

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Well, if you get lucky like I did, we got a 17 footer, full windsheild Starcraft boat (used) with a 90 horse merc on it for under 10. The boat was new in 02. We belive it was a good deal and the boat rides really high in the water.

If you are gonna be fishing by yourself and don't mind getting a little wet, go with a single bubble boat. If you go out with more people and they want to stay dry, especially on Mille Lacs that can get some big waves, get a full windsheild boat. The "average" boat out on Mille Lacs is probably a 17 footer but you can get by with a 16. If you get a used boat, you may want to update the electronics wiht new sonar and either a sonar/gps unit or get a handheld unit, like the H20 and get the ram mount (they can be used in the winter, that is why we got one). Make sure the unit you get is compatable with the chips like lakemaster or navionics. Both are good chips for larger lakes like Mille Lacs but next year Navionics is coming out with a new chip that has an updated map of Mille Lacs and several other lakes in MN.

There are some motors you want to watch out for. Some one may tell you which year it was and style but the evenrude Fichets had major problems. Any others are pretty reliable. HP really doesn't matter unless your in it for speed or want to go skiing.

I hope this helps you in your trek in finding a new boat.

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As the guys say, everybody has their idea of what is best. As a guy who has fished Mille Lacs since 2002 and owned a 1850 tyee, 1950 tyee and now a Lund Baron, I say get at least a 18-foot aluminum boat with Deep V hull and at least a 90 horse motor. You can get nice used Lunds in your price range that were new in late 1990s or early 00s. By all means get a full windshield if you want to fish early in the year, late in the fall and in big wave water. You will need it.

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Thanks Spankster, thats what I was looking for. What models of the Aluminum boat companys are the deep V models. I once had a Lund Pro V 1700, I know this was a deep V. Are the Tyee and Baron models deep V also.

John

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Pretty much ever boat mfg. makes deep V's now. Lund, Crestliner, Alumacraft, Starcraft, Sylvan.

One thing to keep in mind, with the bigger boats like the Tyee, or Baron, sure they sit up high in the water. But some of the down side is you get blown around more since it sits up higher than say a Pro V.

If it were me purchasing, I would get something like a Pro V. Another thing to remember, you need to consider what types of fishing you will be doing. If you back troll alot, a tiller would be the way to go. You will hear both sides on this.

Stay with something like a Pro V, or something Alumacraft or Crestliner makes and you won't be disappointed. Don't get anything less than a 17 ft, or you'll be disappointed.

Good luck and let us know what you end up purchasing. I may be in the market this Spring also for something different. Nothing wrong with what I have, just may want a change.

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Even though I am typically fishing bass, I like to go for skis and waldos on occasion and really prefer a tiller boat. I really enjoy the open area of a tiller and the ability to walk around easy and just the overall fishability of a tiller boat. Not really much of a pleasure boater, if I am on the water, I want to be fishing. The one disadvantage of a tiller boat is getting wet, but I have been in many console boats and been wet as well. I think the only boat I didn't get wet in was PerchJerker's Ranger with the full windshield.

As far as fishing Mille Lacs goes, if I had a choice I would be in a Pro-V tiller or a Tourney Pro Tiller in the 17.5 range with a two stroke big motor and a nice little 8 horse kicker along with a bow-mount trolling motor. Make sure you have a good depth finder and Gps unit with a chip and you are set to go.

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You are correct, no matter which boat you have , if your'e going out and have a cross wind with the waves hitting the side of the boat, it's wet.

I like my tiller, and I've had this one for 13 years.

Not many people have the luxary of having a boat like PerchJerker, awesome rig!!!! grin.gif

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I agree with rodmaker about Lund Model. The Baron is essentially designed for the biggest water and is hard to manuever into an area like you are talking about, plus they run 50k-plus new and probably aren't in the 10k range unless your buying an 80s model. Go with a pro v like they say, but I still say a console model with full windshield. I will check on some boat deals and get back to you with some models/prices.

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Thanks for the help everybody. I need a crash course on boats. Is there an internet site I can go to for help. Why is a deep hull better? Does it provide more stability on the water? Is it safer in rough water. I had a Lund 1700 Pro V and I remember getting wet on Mille Lacs with it. Is this normal or was I doing something wrong? Are fiberglass boats better on Mille Lacs? If so, why? Maybe I should consider one? Sorry for all the questions but you guys are very helpful.

Thanks

John

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I think the short answer to your question is yes, for Mille Lacs a glass boat is a better option. Of course, they usually cost more, which is one reason I don't have one smile.gif

Most glass boats will ride drier than most aluminum boats. I'm no pro, but I think this is due to 2 reasons -- hull design and weight.

Most glass boats have what is called a "reverse chine" hull design. The "V" on an aluminum boat looks sorta like a "U" when looked at from the front, with convex curves. The "V" on a glass boat looks more like a V, with the curves actually bulging IN rather than OUT. This gives the V a concave appearance, which I guess helps it reflect the waves and water down and out better.

Most aluminum boats don't have this feature. One notable exception (there may be others) is the Tundra boat from Tracker. They have some suped up patented technology that allows them to put out a reverse-chine aluminum hull. Pre-stressed aluminum or something I think they call it, check their website for details, there should be info there. At one point it was one of the only aluminum hulls like this on the market, not sure about now, this was a few years ago when I was doing some reading.

In addition to the hull design, you might see advantages just because of the raw weight of most glass boats.

Again, I'm no pro, but this is just some ideas that might give you something to research. I haven't ridden in any glass boats. I have an 1850 sportfish from crestliner with the full windshield...Let me tell ya, if there was no full windshield, I would be completely SOAKED quite a bit on Mille Lacs, especially when quartering into waves. Going straight with the wind or straight against it is fine, but quartering really does make some good splashin. I know dang well that the guys in the rangers are staying dry through many of those same waves, and I suspect that the Tracker Tundra would be the same.

I'm sure lots of the fellas here have much more data, and more technical knowledge, but I thought I'd give you a place to start reading, if nothing else. Good luck!

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A deep V will cut through the water better than a semi V hull. There is NO boat that will keep you completly dry on Mille Lacs.

Glass is nice, a better ride, but you still get wet!!! When you get into a boat like a Pro V 1775 or 1800 there is not that much difference in weight. Glass is a little heavier.

My Cousin guides on Mille Lacs , he has a Yar Craft, and you will still get wet. Glass is a better ride. Usually better boat control.

Keep asking questions, no harm. We are glad to help!!!!

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speaking of boats...

when i got up yesterday, everything was ready to go, except it was drizzeling out and i was just going myself. i took the conservative approach being im a little older now...haha. the boat went into the dealer to get winterized instead. he is also putting together a price for a 9.9 pro-kicker. they have a new '05 that matches the 115 i have perfectly. sheesh, how vain is that? i think all the stars are aligning for this one. it will fill in the gap for any kind of fishing plus give me complete redundancy. ive been stranded in the past for my fair share of times on mille lacs... trolling with the 115 and a drift sock hung from each of the forward cleats, i can get 1.2 mph comfortably going forward, sometimes as low as 1 mph. thats not slow enough though and leaves a gap between when its calm enough to use the vantage and windy enough to use the 115. im hoping the 9.9 will troll down slow enough to not even move the boat when its in gear and illiminate the need to mess with drift socks, except for drifting. an old 4hp twin cylinder johnson i had would do that on an 18' lund aluminum w/60hp. i would still keep the vantage only put it on the port side. there are times when it has its uses too.

its hard to resign from open water fishing this season without getting that fall trophy...im not giving up though, still learning. next open water season i will be more prepared than ever.

now its putzing with cleaning open water stuff and digging out the icefishing gear. in the mean time i will be following FM and thinking about ice fishing tacktics.

good luck is sent with much envy & respect to those still braving the conditions to be out on open water.

regards,

minnesotatuff

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ps, it makes a difference what kind of profile a boat has also. both aluminum & fiberglass have high gunnel & lower profile boats. weight makes a difference, but wind affects boat control also and more on higher gunnel boats. its important to think about the comprimise you are comfortable with for possible dryer ride and ability to handle bigger waves and fishability. low profile boats are easier to fish from in calm winds. rodmaker is right NO boat will keep you dry on mille lacs given the right conditions and too agressive of driving. in my opinion, when dressed for the elements, theres no better boat for fishing walleyes than a tiller.

regards,

minnesotatuff

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I have always had a tiller. I believe you have better boat control(over all ) and for backtrolling, and you have alot more fishing room in your boat compared to a boat with a console.

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Thanks for all the fantastic help. I would go with a tiller if I did not have family who wanted to have fun with the boat also. I feel like the aluminum boats I should be looking at are, Lund, Alumacraft, Crestliner, Smokercraft and Tracker. Which fiberglass boats should I be looking at for Mille Lacs. Again, thanks for all the help.

John

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No problem. I've been fishing Mille Lacs for 27 years. I've had a boat since I was 19. (I'm 46 - old fart). I'm no expert, but I think I know enough to help you choose a boat you would be happy with for Mille Lacs. About 90 % of my fishing is done there.

For aluminum boats, Lund, Crestliner, Alumacraft. If your'e thinking fiberglass, you are going to spend more money that I think you mentioned $10,000.

Ranger, Yar Craft, Warrior would be my choices. Do you have a boat lift on Mille Lacs???

If I were buying another boat for Mille lacs (which I'm thinking about maybe in the next year or so). I would look at a Lund Pro V 18 footer, or look for a Warrior. They really have a deep hull. You could still have family fun with a tiller,. If you buy a 17 or 18 footer, you would probably have at least a 75-115 hp. The tillers are nice!!!

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I close on my place on Monday, the 19th. There is a small harbor on this property. I suppose it would not be good for the boat to sit in the water all summer so I will need to get a boat lift. What do you think about this?

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With the wind and waves that roll over that lake, i definately would get a lift...no question about it. I wouldn't want my boat to be bouncing against a dock all the time.

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Hate to spend more of your money, but yes you should have a boat lift. Especially if you get a glass boat. A lift will keep the boat scum off of the hull, which can be alot of work to clean in the Fall.

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Just my 2 cents.

I have an Alumacraft TP185 with a console. My wife really pushed for the console. She said she would not want to operate a tiller. What would I change? - I would go with a dual console or full windshield. It seems to take up more space, but when I have been in other boats with the full windshield it did not seem to be in the way, and the benefit of staying dry far outweighs any space constraints.

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Looks good. Where do you live??? Have you checked any places in the Twin Cities??

Check around Mille Lacs. There are some places from Isle up to Malmo that I always see boats for sale.

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