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Boat Shopping Pointers


TackleBoxMike

Question

I need a boat to get on the open water. I can use pointers on the shopping of a boat? I'll be looking at new and used to see whats out there to help square up a price with in my buget. I have a family of four that likes to fish also a few fishing buddys. The towing veicle I'd be using would be a Ford Windstar I'm not sure if this is a good idea yet to tow a boat with my minivan. It would be interesting to hear what boat rigs you fisherman are running? How you have rigged your boats and how you guys sized the boat? also what you guys are towing your boats with? I may end up shopping for a truck first for towing my fishouse and future boat. Any how Thank you for all the pointers.

Thank you

TackleBoxMike

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With 4 people your probably looking for at least a 17 or 18 foot boat. Anywhere from 50hp on up would be a good choice and have plenty of power to motor across lakes. Honda, Mercury and Johnson are the motors that are good in that range. I would either get a Lund or Crestliner. They have been dependable for me and have had no problems. You can probably get a good used one for 5000-10000, or new 10000-15000. You should have no problems pulling a boat with a van as long as its V-6 or V-8. My uncle got a 17 ft Lund Pro V with 90 hp Merc last year in Shakopee for 8500. He pulls it with a F250 Super Duty truck.

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If you fish lakes over 3500 acres 18' or bigger. 17' seems like it should be the magic # for you. If you buy new get the maximum hp recommended for the boat. Used, stay away from VRO and Ficht (sp?) engines by Johnson/Evinrude, Mercury and Yamaha are ok. 4 stroke would be the best for that size boat, and would have a better re-sale.

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One thing to consider is a single console, or a dual. I choose a dual for the wife. It can get cold running across the lake. You will loose some space though.

I've got a Crestliner 1850 sportfish with a 115 Johnson. It does about 40 mph gps, loaded with 2 people. I have 4 swivel seats that can be moved around.

Going out in the rain? A top is nice to have also. It will keep you out of the sun also.

I bought a $1300 Surburban to tow it with (13 mpg).

Do you know what your price range is?

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Quote:

Used, stay away from VRO and Ficht (sp?) engines by Johnson/Evinrude,


I would have to disagree with this statement, to some degree. There is nothing wrong with the mid 90's VRO's to now... they work fine.. it was before then that VRO pumps were quesionable...

Nothing wrong with OMC / Bombardier products.. although I also prefer the Merc / Yamaha products...

marine_man

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Make sure the marina your dealing with has reputable customer service. I bought a brand new boat this spring and should've spent the extra $3000 at the other dealer as I'm paying for it sevearly now in frustration and disappointment with a poor manager. That aside, I'd go with at least a 17 ft boat, with either a full windshield or dual console for the family. Lund boats have the best resale value in the midwest, and are built solid as a rock. Get as close to the max hp rating as you can for the boat for the sake of hauling a family and for resale. I love my lund, just not the motor right now..hehe smile.gif Good luck in your search!

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Hey TackleBoxMike, I think it is time to stop shopping and buy yourself a much needed boat!

Tink (or your dad)

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