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deadminnowcatcher

Good Fish/Ski Boat

Question

deadminnowcatcher

A boat that could be used mostly for fishing and be comfortable to pull skiers all day. What make of fish/and ski style boat would you recommend in the 18'-19' range and why?

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14 answers to this question

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Ralph Wiggum

My dream is the Ranger Reata 1850, but it's a bit spendy.

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PerchJerker

I have a Reata 1850 and really like it. Ranger also makes a 1750 Reata this year that is similar (not identical, there are some significant differences between the 1850 and 1750).

Stratos makes a boat that is similar to the 1850 Reata, and the Stratos is quite a bit cheaper -- I think the model is 386 XF or something like that.

I thought most of the other glass fish/ski boats were more pleasure, not so much fishing. I didn't look at aluminum boats but I think the Crestliner Sportfish boats are nice.

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shamalex72

You could check out the Crestliner 1850 Sportfish or 1800 Mirage.

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sparkyaber

I searched the heck of of this last year! I narrowed my choices to two boats- Ranger reata 190 or the Triton FS 190.

The are virtually the same boat, they lay out almost. The fit and finish is next to none on these two boats. I looked at Nitro, Stratos, Crestliner, Tracker, G3 as well as others. I settled on the fiberglass so that knocked out a fair share of boats. I really liked the Crestliner's layout, but It had a lot of plastic on it, all of the handles, the seats, everywhere. They had a great idea, but seemed to skimp on the little stuff.

The reason I settle on the ranger and triton is that they seemed to be built better- Metal handles, very little plastic, and loaded with features. Now this is all of my opinion of course, and everyone is entitled to their own.

I personally think you should find out what features are the most important to you, ( I really wanted a center rod storage box) and find the boat that has most of them. Remember, getting a fish and ski is a trade off, you loose some of the fishing qualities to get room for more people. Decide what boat or boats you would be happy with (no more than three models). Then start shopping around. Don't be afraid to buy a late model used. It seems that a lot of people buy a fish and ski for the family and find all they do is fish. They then what to buy a pure fishing boat. Also, used boats usually come with everything you need to head right to the lake. (The one I bought came loaded with everything, skis, tube, ropes, etc).

One last thing, if you buy used, no sales tax if you buy from a private party. Just tax on the trailer.

When you narrow down you search don't be a afraid to as on specific models here. I am pretty sure some one here has ridded on every boat model out there.

I in the end, I ended up with the triton, just because I waited around for a great deal, I would have bought a ranger if the same deal would have come around.

Good luck

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LABS4ME

I agree with Sparkyaber on the Triton. I ended up buying an '02 Triton 205 last year as primarily a fishing boat, but also to replace the family's runabout we had sold. Prior to that I had a Lund Mr Pike 17' for my fishing boat and while a great fishing boat, it left a lot to be desired on the family side. The ride in the Triton is incredible, without exagerating, I've never gotten wet one day while fishing Cass Last summer (I fish it 2 days a week all seaon) and the family loves it. We used it several afternoons for tubing and even running up and down the whole chain of lakes. Plenty of storage including two built in coolers. I too bought mine used from a guy who had used it as his "film boat" for a T.V. show and his sponsors had it rigged up unbelievable. I feel it was a real steal. I was pricing it out against a new Tyee Gran sport and I got this rigged with a 9.9 big foot kicker, 2 X-15's and a global map, 101 pound Maxumm, marine band radio, Extended warranties on motors through '07 and a transferable lifetime on the hull, and a fair amount of misc. for $6000 less than the Tyee (and that didn't incl. the kicker or marine band). So as he said, look around, you may even want to search outstate (I found mine in Bismark) and compare what you can get from different models. Have an idea of what you are looking for up front before you begin your search.

Good Luck!

Ken

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jerkin'm

I would also check out the Skeeter WX1880....Especially if you will use it a fair amount for fishing...Plenty of seating, has a spot in the back for a ski pylon...seemed to be very reasonable for the size and options on the boat as well...They were new to the market last year so finding a used one could be challenging...

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sparkyaber

Labs- Thanks for mentioning the shopping out of state thing. I forgot that In my first post. I search once a week on line and found the triton in Oklahoma. A few friends, a 26 hr round tripper, my wifes SUV wink.gif (she didn't even want the boat), and I had a boat parked in my garage

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Chuby Minnow

I would not go with the Reatta. I have that boat in the 06 and I am not impressed. I think you would do better spending your money elsewhere and get more standard features in a Lund.

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eyepatrol

I've been doing a lot of research on these types of boats also. The ones I feel are set up the best for primarily fishing and waterskiing on the side are as follows (and in no particular order of preference, etc)

Ranger 1850 Reata (or 1750 Reata)

Stratos 386XF

Crestliner 1850 Sportfish

Lund 1800 Fisherman

Alumacraft Trophy 180 or 190

The best thing to do is for you to get into the boats, sit down, walk around, open compartments and see what best suits your needs. The main set-up of these boats is similar, but there are smaller differences that may or may not appeal to you.

There are many other boat manufacturers out there that make a fish/ski type boat than the ones mentioned above. G3, Sylvan, Princecraft, Mirrocraft, Champion, Skeeter, Triton, Fisher, Tracker, and a whole bunch of others that I can't remember off the top of my head.

Good luck on your search. Take your time and have fun with it!

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Wish2Fish

I just traded my Skeeter SL-190 Fish & Ski in on a new Skeeter WX-1880. When I bought the SL-190, I imagined fishing in prime-time and skiing with the family in midday heat. Turns out the fishing/tubing was great, but the boat was really tough to fish from. Too little storage for tackle, none for rods. It was fine when I was fishing alone...but by the time I loaded a second angler and his gear, we were always stepping on something.

On the plus side, the 200 HP Yamaha pushed the boat nearly 70MPH and was a kick to drive!

My new boat has tons of storage and is laid out really nicely for fishing. And when it's time to pull a tube or skis, it should handle that task easily.

The difference is huge. The SL-190 was mostly a ski boat that was adapted for fishing. The WX-1880 is a fishing boat that can easily handle skis & tubes. Before you decide which way to go, you should decide which purpose matters most.

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eyepatrol

Quote:

Before you decide which way to go, you should decide which purpose matters most.


Exactly! For example, the boat I would like to have would be geared more towards fishing. On the other hand, my wife would like to have a boat that has comfortable seats, good storage on her side of the boat, and has good room both length wise and width wise for our kids to roam around in.

Some boats only have one livewell and one baitwell, some have two livewells with the baitwell in the back, and yet others have two livewells with the baitwell in the front. Knowing my wife doesn't care to touch a minnow and especially a leech, it would be better to get a boat that has a baitwell up front where I'll do most of my fishing. My wife also doesn't care to touch fish, so it is also important to have a livewell both up front when I'm using the bow mount and in back when I'm using the kicker motor. Yet, my wife likes a boat that has seats with arm rests. So there is a balancing act to overcome. Skiing and tubing will really be secondary for us, but the fish/ski boats have the most comfortable seats with deck cushions up front which is why we're looking at this style of boat.

So it's really important to know which purpose matters most, and to get in the boats and get a feel for them. My wife has told me that as long as she can have the comfy seats, I should really look at what boat best fits my fishing needs. Our final decision will be based on those two factors which are most important to both of us.

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NWBuck

As the salesman told us, the only "perfect" combination is two boats grin.gif

We did a lot of comparing, looking, etc. and went with the 1800 Lund Fisherman. Ours is used most often for fishing, but on a nice hot summer afternoon, we're just as likely to quick pop off the trolling motor, fill the built in cooler with snacks and drinks, and head to the lake with the tube and skis. Seats 8 with flip down seats, 2 livewells, rod lockers, built in cooler (this feature sold the wife) and high sides for the rugrats were just some of the features that sold us. The windshield on the Fisherman is a bit further forward than on the comparable Alumacraft and Crestliner, thus giving extra room behind the windshield rather than in the bow. This was also something that we liked...didn't really care if we had the giant bow platform that others have. We bought this boat two years ago and are thrilled with it. Is there a better fishing boat out there? Of course. Better pleasure boat? For sure. But for a family that wants to do both and can only afford one boat, this is a great choice. Good luck.

P.S.

We put the 150 Yamaha 4 stroke on rather than the often sold 115. This was another great choice...the extra HP really makes the most difference pulling skiers.

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cold one sd

I bought an 1800 Fisherman this spring. I had the cooler/storage compartment in the stern converted to be used as either cooler/storage or livewell. I put a 150 Verado and a 9.9 Pro Kicker on the back. I think it will be a great boat. I don't know if the third livewell will ever be used, but I have the option. wink.gif

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hugonian1

I was in the same "Boat".

This site was very helpful in narrowing down the field. I wanted to go fiberglass, and after much debate it came down to the Ranger Reata and the Stratos 386XF. Both solid boats and you couldn't go wrong with either of them. I went with the Stratos 386. I just could not justify spending $7000.00 more for the Ranger. I was able to get an 05 which was several thousand $$ less than the 06. Went with the Yamaha 150 4 stroke. Some might say it's like comparing a Cadillac

to a Ford. Well I don't drive a Cadillac and my Ford treats me just great. I take delivery in 2 weeks and can't wait. Hope I made the right choice. It's going to be a lot of fun finding out!!!!

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