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CRF32

Deck Boat for Fishing

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CRF32

My parents and I bought a cabin on Ottertail last year and are now looking at buying a boat. We are going to look at a 1997 Crestliner Rampage (deck boat). My dad and I will use it mostly for fishing but my mom and wife want it for cruising/general use. I am wondering if the deck boat is going to be a servicable boat to use for fishing. We are not hardcore fishermen by any means but will use it quite a bit for fishing. Any input is greatly appreciated!

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Wayne Ek

One of the rigs we use for guide trips is a pontoon boat. So I would think a deck boat would work ok. I have to use two drift socks at times to slow the drift. The anchors I use are larger than usual. I went with a 24v trolling motor with a long shaft.

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CRF32

Thanks!

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NCLaker

I just went through the same type of buying decision. Did a lot of looking at deck boats. To get a decent setup for cruising and fishing we were looking to spend at least $20,000 (even used).

In the end we decided to go with a pontoon hybrid that was setup for both cruising and fishing. Got a steal of a deal on a used one. We couldn't be happier. They are way more roomy, stable, and comfortable that a deck boat (IMHO). We have done many family cruises (even with little kids) and it worked great.

Works great for fishing except when there is a strong wind. If you do any pulling of skiers/wake boards you would probably need to look at a tri-toon with a bigger motor (lots more $$).

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NCLaker

Forgot to mention ... If you do stay the Deckboat route, I liked the setup of the 19-22 foot Princecraft Ventura. Very nice setup for all round boating (fish/ski/cruising). But they can be hard to find used. Pretty light for a deck boat so would be easier to tow if you plan to use it on other lakes. There is I family that is on our lake that has one of these, see him fishing from it all the time, so it must work good for fishing.

Also looked at Hurricanes, but they are spendy and heavy.

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Sandmannd

I've seen them when out fishing and they look pretty comfey. If you are staying on your lake, it's a good way to go, that or a pontoon. If you want to go lake hopping, I would look at a fishing boat.

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BigWadeS

with todays trailers and hulls people are able to do lake hoping with a pontoon or deckboat, a little more ticky but much more feasible then even 5 or 10 yrs ago...

Seen some nice deckboats on the Croix fishing and do look comfy...

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CRF32

Thanks for all the replies! All your responses are greatly appreciated!

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tunrevir

A deckboat is very adequate for both fishing and cruising. The advantages is that you have a larger platform to fish off from and it can also pull a tuber or skier or it can just be used to go out and putt around. We fish off of one in Florida every other year and it is nice to have the space when you have multiple people in the boat. This boat is not going to be something you hug structure with to backtroll but it does again, make a nice platform for everyone to fish from. As fisherpeople that don't fish often and have the extra wanted use of just cruising around it will do just fine. Keep in mind, like in an earlier post, you'll want larger anchors and you'll also want drift socks if you plan on drift fishing frequently. For an all Around craft it is going to be great on the lake that youhave it on for trailering and putting in and taking out on a regular basis I'd opt for a sportfishing type craft. Just my .02

Tunrevir~

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polarsusd81

My uncle has a deck boat, and we go fishing with him quite a bit. It is pretty comfy for fishing out of, we bass fish a lot and it works pretty well for that. Fishing the shallows is pretty fun because you can sight fish pretty well as you are up off the water a bit. His boat is a Princecraft 22' with an Evinrude 115 and a 24V minnkota up front. We have fished in the boat on Mille Lacs, and it was pretty stable even in some big waves. When the rain came we put on the full cover from front to back and opened up the zippers enough to be able to troll.

And for cruising around or pulling someone on a tube, you really can't beat it. You can fit a bunch of people on them and go out for a ride.

If you are serious, try to find a dealer that will take you out for a ride around the lake in one for a demo. Try it before you buy it. If you are buying used, have a complete test done on the engine if you can't bring it out to run. Buying a boat with a bum motor is not fun, and sometimes the reason you think you are getting a smokin deal.

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NCLaker

Polarus - great advise on having the motor checked out if buying used. If the owner won't let you bring it to a mechanic/dealer to have it checked out, there are mechanics that will come out to the boat location and check it out on site. Had this done with mine when I bought my pontoon boat.

That Princecraft setup is sweet - What did you think of the 115hp for this size boat?? When I was looking at these, I was worried that this size motor might be too small to handle a boat full of people and trying to get a skier/wake board out of the water. Was thinking 150hp might work better. One really nice thing about these boats is that they are very light (uses welded aluminum hull) compared to the fiberglass hulls used on most deckboats. Since it is welded aluminum (instead of rivets), you get the similar smooth hull look of fiberglass.

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polarsusd81

The 115 is pretty nice, but for lifting a skier with a boat load of people, it might be a bit of a stretch. You could have a ski prop though and I think that would take care of the issue. Drop down 2" in pitch, and you would be able to yank a skier out. Then for just cruising with the family or fishing, you could have a little higher pitch prop for a bit more speed.

It really is a pretty nice boat for all around fun. Three or four people can fish bass very comfortably out of it with plenty of room for all the gear a guy could want, and five or six fishing panfish would be possible. Like one guy said about the drift socks and big anchors, they are a must if you want to do any kind of controlled drifts or even controlled trolling.

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NCLaker

Thanks Polarsus! When it is time to replace the pontoon boat and runabout, I will definitely have to look at one of these again so I don't have to maintain two boats. Unfortunately they are pretty spendy and hard to find a nice one used.

There is a guy that has one of these on the lake I live on - so I find myself getting some serious boat envy every time I see him out fishing/skiig with it.

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