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tb4me

Thinking of buying a new boat.??

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Its time for our family to consider a new boat. Right now we have an older 1988 18 foot smoker craft with a70 HP Johnson .
Were looking at replacing it with something new and comparable in size...2020 preferable..
Im totally out of the loop with new boats..So I figured I ask the Fisher people on here..(shout out to the ladies)
What do you all recommend for best bang for the buck?
I looked at the Legend 18XTR and really liked that..HELP!!!! this is a big money purchase, and we want this to be just right for our family. We have 2 young grand children that will enjoy tubing in the future as well as our 18 year old daughter. It will mostly be used for walleye fishing on the Grand and Trent rivers. With the odd visit to different lakes. What advise do you fine folks in regard to this..
Thanks in advace

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2 minutes ago, irishfield said:

DO NOT buy a Legend...

Im sure there is a reason.. care to share? Id love to know why. Are they not made in Canada?

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3 hours ago, tb4me said:

Im sure there is a reason.. care to share? Id love to know why. Are they not made in Canada?

I think some of the trim is added in Canada, but the hulls are imported from the U.S.  Legend doesn't manufacture their own hulls.  However, I think that the recommendation not to buy Legend is about quality; not where they're made.

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I have an alumacraft 185 and it has a double hull . it is a great boat but I don't know how  much they cost. when I got mine (2001)it was 35000 with a 150 optimax engine  now days I think they are close to 50,000. if you are looking to buy Canadian, take a look at the princecraft line of boats, my buddy has one and it has seen a lot of rough water and is still leakproof. 

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Stay away from any of the white river marine brands. 
 

I like crest liner, Lund and alumacraft but you gotta pay to play.

also Yamaha or Honda outboards for the reliability 

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Sounds like you trailer some so go for good trailer 14 tires oil bath bearings.

Get everything on the boat electronics, trolling motor, kicker. This is the time to negotiate.

Those show special boats are not that good when you put the good stuff on them.

I haven't been in the Aluminum market for years. But I've seen many Crestliners that turned my head.  

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If you want your best bang for the buck buy a used boat....so many boats for sale, I bought my boat used and it still had warranty so i had no worries.  There are a ton of good boats out there, the Princecraft,Crestliner and Kingfisher are good choices. 

Edited by Yellow Fever

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16 minutes ago, Yellow Fever said:

There are a ton of good boats out there, the Princecraft,Crestliner and Kingfisher are good choices. 

I bought a new 1650 Crestliner in '99 and drove it for 10 years with zero issues then sold it to a bud who has been driving it now for another 10 years and it's still good.

I'd definitely recommend Crestliner for anyone looking for a well made boat.

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Any chance you have the time and ability to rebuild the Smokercraft, new floor and transom, carpet, vinyl etc? I ran an 80's 18 ' Sylvan , likely the same hull, it's a good hull but you would want to upgrade the motor to 115 anyways, it would be a bit of a dog with a 70. The max on that hull was 140 horses. You be dollars ahead, insane prices on even a 18 tinner new these days, I paid less for my house than some listings.

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I've had an Alumacraft tiller Magnum 165 for 20 years, pared now with a Yamaha 60 4 stroke. It is an awesome fishing boat. I'm likely too old to justify a new one, but wouldn't look further if I was.

The Buy used recommendation has a lot of merit. If you are on Facebook there is a Used Walleye Boats For Sale site that will alert you to anything new. I've seen some very nice used boats on it.

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I have a 2000 17' Legend with the riveted hull and "100 gauge" aluminum. I just dropped $5,000 on the boat having it gutted in order to replace 9 rivets. 5 were gone and another 4 were leaking. The 1/2" plywood floor was replaced as well with 1 1/2" thick laminated plywood and of course new carpeting. Lot's of labour to repair it. Two years into owning the boat from brand new I had it back to Legend to replace rivets in the same area of the hull. I decided to fix up the boat because we plan to use it for many more years. The quality of the cockpit was not very good on the boat as well. I've had to re-mount it with extra screws a few times now.

I can't speak for the quality of new boats welded or riveted, however, this was my experience. If I bought a new boat tomorrow it would be a Lund.

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First off,

 

There really isn't anything wrong with a Legend or a Tracker but you need to understand that they are entry level boats. Their fit and finish, components used and the motors they put on the package boats leave a lot to be desired. Once you adequately power the boat with the proper HP, you are not that far off in price from the better alternatives in there.

 

It has been said before and I will echo it. Lund, Princecraft, Crestline or Alumacraft all make excellent boats. I am not sure about Alumacraft (because I have never really paid attention to them for sale on the used market) but the other 3 for sure hold their value.

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Take a good long hard look at the starcrafts! People always tend to forget about them, but they are an awesome boat! Be careful of certain year LUNDS, the transoms are rotten, or rotting out of them. Make sure its a newer one with the composite transom, or an old one. 

My tops picks if I had your money would be almumacraft, starcraft, Lund.  Nothing but yamaha engines, i wouldn't even buy it if its not a yammy. 

 

S. 

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Spend your money in the used market, it will go a lot further.

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Your purchase is all about your budget. Buying slightly used will save you many thousands vs. buying brand new. Glass or aluminum, welded or riveted, many things to consider. This is a great time to buy new though. Winter sales for new boats is a killer for Marine businesses, they do not want to carry over last years inventory, they need cash to survive the winter.

I am a StarCraft owner and can't say enough about them and their deep V design. As far as a family friendly as well as fishing boat to trailer you are looking at a minimum 18' aluminum bowrider with full windshield and interchangeable seating in my opinion. Getting into a new 18'er with a 150 4 stroke regardless of manufacturer you are looking at the high side of $50,000.00. Last week I saw a 17' Crestliner side council at my Marine dealer with a 125 4 stroke on sale for 40K. DO NOT consider a Cracker errrrr I should say Tracker. There is no need for me to explain why here just Google Tracker boat problems, there is plenty to read from owners. 

I strongly suggest you go to iboats.com, join and enter your question. At any given time there can be 100,000 people on that site. Plus they have hundreds of used boats there to check and compare prices. 

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I bought my boat from Legend back in 1991.

The hull is a Fisher on my particular boat and has been a good boat over the years.

I did upgrade the motor when I purchased it and back in 2013 upgraded to a bigger 4 stroke.

If I had to buy a new boat today to replace it I would most likely get a Crestliner.

If I was looking for an upgrade from what I have I would likely get a Kingfisher with hard top. :)

But I haven't won the lottery yet soooooooooooo................................................................  :( 

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7 hours ago, Lape0019 said:

First off,

 

There really isn't anything wrong with a Legend or a Tracker but you need to understand that they are entry level boats. Their fit and finish, components used and the motors they put on the package boats leave a lot to be desired. Once you adequately power the boat with the proper HP, you are not that far off in price from the better alternatives in there.

 

It has been said before and I will echo it. Lund, Princecraft, Crestline or Alumacraft all make excellent boats. I am not sure about Alumacraft (because I have never really paid attention to them for sale on the used market) but the other 3 for sure hold their value.

But there is.. Legends lose rivets.. I mean actually totally lose the rivet in numerous cases. Seat pedestals break right out of the floor. Trackers crack open and on an attempted warranty claim they'll tell you the weld didn't break so you're not covered. Of course, the weld never breaks.. it breaks beside it due to degraded material from the heat of the weld. I've fixed many for members here. Lunds and Crestliners, not so much...

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9 hours ago, lew said:

I bought a new 1650 Crestliner in '99 and drove it for 10 years with zero issues then sold it to a bud who has been driving it now for another 10 years and it's still good.

I'd definitely recommend Crestliner for anyone looking for a well made boat.

As Lew said, I bought his boat 10 years ago and she is still going strong.  Another vote for Crestliner here.  

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33 minutes ago, irishfield said:

But there is.. Legends lose rivets.. I mean actually totally lose the rivet in numerous cases. Seat pedestals break right out of the floor. Trackers crack open and on an attempted warranty claim they'll tell you the weld didn't break so you're not covered. Of course, the weld never breaks.. it breaks beside it due to degraded material from the heat of the weld. I've fixed many for members here. Lunds and Crestliners, not so much...

Yeah, buddy bought an early Crestliner welded about 1990, that is exactly how it failed, immediately adjacent to the weld, luckily he was a welder at Dofasco with a string of tickets and took it to work on the offshift and repaired it with the proper gear as warranty would do squat, he pounded it pretty hard offshore Lake Ontario. It was an open 16 with a tiller and he sold it to a duck hunter for marsh work.

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No issues when you fix aluminum boats the correct way... B) A Grumman I fixed for a member back in 2009..

boatrepairsapril42009 006.jpg

Edited by irishfield

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10 hours ago, dave524 said:

Any chance you have the time and ability to rebuild the Smokercraft, new floor and transom, carpet, vinyl etc? I ran an 80's 18 ' Sylvan , likely the same hull, it's a good hull but you would want to upgrade the motor to 115 anyways, it would be a bit of a dog with a 70. The max on that hull was 140 horses. You be dollars ahead, insane prices on even a 18 tinner new these days, I paid less for my house than some listings.

I did this already. Sad part in the plywood is going AGAIN only after 3 years.. used marine grade plywood. Cut to fit then primed. Then coated with resin. Then installed marine grade vinyl over top . The transom is starting to get soft and it looks like the flotation foam is in need of replacment. Id rather sell it to a handy person then go thru all that work again. Just heartbreaking to have a floor failure that fast..

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So I was out to my local dealer. Had a look at the new smoker crafts. Man are they ever nice . I hear what a few of you have said about buying used.  It seems as though the banks only want to finance a new boat. I still want to go check out the crestliner and alumna crafts. Who sells them in the hamilton brantford area?

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