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Looking for a new boat


huey graphite
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After 14 years with my current setup (14' Lund w/20hp Yamaha) I'm finally looking to upgrade. I want something to fish from between April and November and pleasure boat in the summer months. I've been looking at aluminum boats with the fish/ski package but am leaning towards a pleasure boat so I can get my wife and daughter out with me too. I fish Lake Erie mostly. Perch in the spring & fall and walleye in the summer.

 

Anyone else on this board own a pleasure boat that is able to fish big water? I'll definitely want rod holders, downriggers, a bowmounted i-pilot and possibly a bowmount mast for planer boards.

 

Any feedback or pics are much appreciated.

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I think a fish & ski boat would better meet all of your requirements than a pure pleasure boat. If it is a larger boat, I would go with a walk through wind shield.

 

I run my mast out of the front pedestal. A pure pleasure boat may not have places to mount a front pedestal or bow mount.

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Good luck and have fun with your search! My only 2 cents would be to not to rule out a glass boat. I think it may fit the bill better seeing how you'll be using it for the family and on Erie. Also, all my buddies have regretted selling their tinners when upgrading to a larger boat.

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Fishing Erie limits you in the size, anything under 19 ft and you'll have to really pick your days and stay relatively close to shore. Bigger boats brings higher price tags unfortunately. Aluminums provide rougher and wetter rides than glass......I've had both, a Lund ProV and currently own a Ranger. Your family members might not enjoy getting wet and bounced around. Either way you'll be pushing $50k for a 19 footer, properly equipped. Forget about trolling with a higher power motor, I.e. 150+ hp, it doesn't work....you're trolling too fast. When choosing a kicker, a 9.9 is all you need for anything up to 21ft. Hope this helps.

Edited by Gerry
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I have a StarCraft Superfisherman 190 with a Mariner 115 and a 15 horse matching kicker that I am considering selling. I don't want to deal with prop kickers on Kijiji.

this is something you SHOULD BE LOOKING AT there huey graphite

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starcraft superfisherman are wide enough and deep enough to handle some of what Erie handles....

 

They fish much bigger than they are....

 

However, yes, if I was to live on Erie, or have Erie my primary waterbody, I wouldn't look at anything less than a 25' fiberglass boat.

 

Sport Craft make awesome mid 20' hard top boats.

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ranger reatta or for more budget minded 386 stratos both solid fibreglass boats as long as u can tow them

 

Tow vehicle brings up another expense . I immediately thought of some thing like a Proline Dual Console in at least 20 feet as a fishing boat that would keep mama and the kids happy too but you better have a vehicle that can tow 4 thousand with a whimper.

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Thank you to everyone who replied. I appreciate your input. Looks like I have many decisions to make. I would prefer an aluminum boat with fish and ski package but my wife and daughter would prefer pleasure boat so we will compromise and most likely get a pleasure boat :-). The issue of a tow vehicle is a good point because I will definitely need to upgrade.

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You'll never truly be happy fishing from a pleasure boat. If your a fisherman, overrule them and get the fish and ski. If your a guy who go's fishing 3 times a year then go with the pleasure boat.

 

 

Easier to enjoy boating in a fishing boat, then too enjoy fishing in a 'pleasure' boat!

 

I can attest to these posts. 18' bowrider is a nice ride for my area but sucks for fishing room and there is no live-well in my boat...

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I don't want to toot my own horn but the versatility of a Superfisherman is amazing. Every seat can be removed and positioned for all types of boating. Want a Bass boat, put the butt seat on the bow and use it and the rear platform to cast. Fish for pan fish, pop in a seat on the rear platform, remove the casting seat and put a comfy lower passenger seat up front. There is a Bait well which is only a smaller by a touch than a Live well in the rear platform as well as 2 in the bow. I mounted 2 collapsible cup holders for those 2 positions. Want a Bowrider, remove the seat up front. I have a insert that I leave in the floor all the time that makes the bow 100% floor, throw down a blanket or a few blow up rafts and they sun tan all day while I fish . If I want to seat 2 or more up front I remove the floor insert. Remember it is illegal to go faster than no wake speed and have passengers on the front deck of a closed bow pleasure boat without a certain height railing with spindles no less than "X" feet apart. As long as there is enough depth in the bow you can go faster than a crawl with passengers up front, ours is. I don't know that reg. per batum. It looks nice on boat sellers brochures though. Trolling? set a passenger seat on the bow for one fisherman to watch the lines without turning around. Then if only 2 of you leave that seat in and remove the back row of seats so there is enough room to fight and land a fish without tripping over a thing. Want a pleasure boat, leave all 4 seats in. If it's raining put up the full Bimini walk through top. Want to anchor overnight, zip up the camper top with full windows, remove the seats, store up front and blow up the bed in a bag or leave the top down and snooze under the stars. Something many don't consider is leg room at the council. There is enough room under the dash I can store tackle boxes, a cooler and a few misc. bags if I want and still have plenty of leg room.

 

They say about a car the top goes down the price goes up. Opposite for a boat. I need another page to talk about storage.

 

Am I sure I want to sell this? Someone talk me out of it. To replace new with all the stuff I have added is over $60,000.00.

Edited by Old Ironmaker
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I agree with the last few posts totally.

And aluminum boats hold their value well in Ontario as there are not many good ones on Kijiji it the market at any one time. Bowriders are a dime a dozen and depreciate faster as a result on average.

Your wife and child would love a boat like Ironmakers. Then everyone will be happy, including you. A 17-20' aluminum with a full windshield or dual console will make them plenty happy.

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Pigeontroller they are nice features. The new 23' Crestliner I rode in has that feature as well, but it was 75 grand all decked out.

 

I looked hard for over 2 years before I found my boat. What I found is that if there were any deep "V" aluminums for sale 17 to 19 feet they were beat to all hell. Those that were in good condition were not for sale as guys kept them for decades and maybe swapped out outboards or sold them to friends or family if buying new. The Lunds and StarCrafts as well as some others were built like Abrams Tanks in the 90's and early century and guys couldn't justify $50,000.00 to $70,000.00 to upgrade to new if the boat itself was solid and well cared for. I fished in a nice 17' side council Lund last year here on Erie in 1/2 meter or less wave height, it was not fun. The big difference I found was how much more room just 2 feet made in length, a 2 foot longer boat is much wider and deeper depending on make. Put in a few boxes, small cooler and a few bags and I was tripping trying to move around and find my balance. I would never put more than 2 in that boat on Erie. River or northern lake yes but not here. The owner had a second bilge pump installed as back wash or trailing waves coming over the transom was a problem with his kicker adding weight. It was not a warm and fuzzy feeling watching water pumping over board the entire time out.

 

I hope some of this info will help a prospective buyer.

 

Edit: It was not a Lund come to think about it. I think it may have been a Prince Craft. The splash well had an opening on the interior side if you can understand what I mean. Water would splash over the well onto the floor and into the bilge area.
I wouldn't buy a boat without a sealed bilge.

Edited by Old Ironmaker
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Best thing to do is to visit a few dealers and actually get in one of the boats you have on your short list. I did this with my final few choices, a Lowe fish n ski, and the Crestliner Vision. Ended up going with the vision due to the size of the rear casting deck, jumpseats with storage underneath beats a folding casting deck every time! Didn't like the floor space lost with the casting deck in use on the Lowe, prices were similar but the Vision had a 115hp over the 90hp on the Lowe. I am confident enough to fish my boat on Erie in 15knot winds, and it can handle anything a smaller cottage lake can throw at me. Front storage has enough room for ALL my trolling stuff on the lake, and ALL my and my sons bass gear at the cottage. Room for 2 group 27 batteries in the front for your trolling motor. Only complaint I have is the size of the livewell, 13 gallons, a bit small if I want to fish a tourney, but fine otherwise for perching etc.

I went through exactly the same stuff you're going through last year when researching my new boat. I also have a wife and kids who factored into the decision lol!

 

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