Jump to content

Looking for a used fishing boat and some advice


Recommended Posts

Hi folks,

I’m in search of a new (to me) fishing boat for this season. I enjoy Lake O salmon fishing so had planned on buying a 23ft cruiser but with COVID I’m looking at something smaller...which is why I’m now looking for some advice. 

I’d like to have something 17ft or bigger that I can still tow with my V6 Jeep Cherokee. Ideally I would be able to mount a trolling motor to the bow and downriggers on the back. Would like to be able to hit smaller lakes for pike and muskie but also fish Lake O on her good days. Budget is $6500 max so I’m likely looking at something 15+ years old. 

What would the anglers here recommend? I have seen side consoles, centre consoles, and walk thrus but not sure what would be best. I have also owned nearly every brand of outboard at some point but curious what you might recommend for something that age? I have been covering Kijiji for over a month but is there anywhere else I should be looking? Any help would be appreciated. 

Also, if you have a boat for sale that fits the criteria above shoot me a pm. 

Thanks in advance,

FF17

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 68
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Finally managed to scoop something up!  2000 16’ Starcraft Fishmaster 160 with a 40hp Merc ELPTO of the same year.  Has a couple older humminbird finders on it but both are working. So is th

Wife was selling it for what he said he paid for it.

Here's one I seen the other day you may need to spend the other 1500 to get it in NW Ontario tho https://www.ckdr.net/classifieds/1986-18ft-sylvan/

Posted Images

you are going to be very hard pressed to find a boat that is big enough to do what you are thinking in that price range. I know you are saying 15+ years old...my boat is 22 years old and I could probably sell it no problem for $12,000

1st tip, get a boat that doesnt have a trolling motor or electronics or any other stuff on it if you can. You'll most likely ending up wanting to upgrade those things anyways and its just an excuse for the seller to jack up the price. I think i saved $1,000 immediately by telling the guy that sold me his boat that i didnt want his screens. I slowly outfitted mine over the course of the next year with what I actually wanted buying both my trolling motor and screens on the used market.

From what it sounds like is you need a simple aluminum fishing boat. A side console would probably work well. The challenge is that you want something big enough to go on the great lakes and thats going to be really tough to find in that price range. 

If I were you Id be looking for something that needs TLC and invest hard work in order to save some money. The problem with that is that you are going to be kept off of the water working on the boat. Theres lots of boats with rotted out decks and carpet, and maybe some bad rivets with enough power to get out on the great lakes on the cheap.  The challenge then is going to be finding someone with a boat with enough power to get you out on the bigger lakes. My buddy has a 16 foot legend that actually fishes very nicely and it can do absolutely everything you are describing. Ive fished it on the right days on lake Ontario and bass fished in slop with it in the kawarthas, but the problem is that its got a 25 horse on it and it really struggles with two people in the boat. I would hate to see it on big water when things get nasty.

My personal suggestion is find an old japanese two stroke from the 90's. Those motors are literally invincible and are actually very easy to work on should something be wrong. 

Recent looks at the used boat market incredibly tell me that the market has increased along with the price of everything else. For example a similar boat to mine seems to be going for at least 4-5 thousand more than when i bought it 3 years ago...ridiculous but I dont control the market. Im just glad i bloody bought my boat when I did! Good luck with your hunt!

Edited by AKRISONER
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, AKRISONER said:

you are going to be very hard pressed to find a boat that is big enough to do what you are thinking in that price range.

From what it sounds like is you need a simple aluminum fishing boat. A side console would probably work well. The challenge is that you want something big enough to go on the great lakes and thats going to be really tough to find in that price range. 

If I were you Id be looking for something that needs TLC and invest hard work in order to save some money. The problem with that is that you are going to be kept off of the water working on the boat. Theres lots of boats with rotted out decks and carpet, and maybe some bad rivets with enough power to get out on the great lakes on the cheap.  The challenge then is going to be finding someone with a boat with enough power to get you out on the bigger lakes. My buddy has a 16 foot legend that actually fishes very nicely and it can do absolutely everything you are describing. Ive fished it on the right days on lake Ontario and bass fished in slop with it in the kawarthas, but the problem is that its got a 25 horse on it and it really struggles with two people in the boat. I would hate to see it on big water when things get nasty.

My personal suggestion is find an old japanese two stroke from the 90's. Those motors are literally invincible and are actually very easy to work on should something be wrong. 

Recent looks at the used boat market incredibly tell me that the market has increased along with the price of everything else. For example a similar boat to mine seems to be going for at least 4-5 thousand more than when i bought it 3 years ago...ridiculous but I dont control the market. Im just glad i bloody bought my boat when I did! Good luck with your hunt!

Thanks AKRISONER, 

those are definitely good tips. The budget is definitely tight which is why I’m looking for some advice. Im realizing if I had $5k more I would have had a boat a month ago...

I missed a good opportunity on an 19ft crestliner with a 2001 Yamaha 2 stroke 115. Seller wanted $5k and it went quick. You’re absolutely right about the prices going up. I was lucky to capitalize on that last fall when I sold my boat for $18k when I purchased for $11k two years earlier. I did some work on it so I’m not shy on finding something that needs TLC. 

when you say Japanese motors are you referring to only Yamaha or would that include Honda too? 

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, FishFinder17 said:

Thanks AKRISONER, 

those are definitely good tips. The budget is definitely tight which is why I’m looking for some advice. Im realizing if I had $5k more I would have had a boat a month ago...

I missed a good opportunity on an 19ft crestliner with a 2001 Yamaha 2 stroke 115. Seller wanted $5k and it went quick. You’re absolutely right about the prices going up. I was lucky to capitalize on that last fall when I sold my boat for $18k when I purchased for $11k two years earlier. I did some work on it so I’m not shy on finding something that needs TLC. 

when you say Japanese motors are you referring to only Yamaha or would that include Honda too? 

Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki

Ive got a 93 honda, a 88 suzuki and a 98 yamaha and guess what...they all still run without issue...The suzuki's carb is finally starting to flood a bit after 32 years. I can get a new carb for it on ebay for $100...the bloody oil pump still works!

That crestliner deal scares me...it seems too good to be true...The year of the motor is what scares me most

In 2000-2001ish the EPA changed its regulations and basically all of the two stroke motor manufacturers changed over to direct oil injection two strokes to meet emissions standards. RIP to the smoke billowing carb two stroke. Those late 90's yamahas are stupid bulletproof. The proof is in the pudding, go down to mexico or cuba and every single boat is running one. the early 2000's is basically when 2 stroke outboards turned to ticking time bombs. The manufacturers didnt have the oil delivery on the direct injection dialed in and hence you dont see as many early 2000 two stroke engines around because a heck of a lot of them blew up. 

The proof is in the fact that Yamaha just completely bailed out on making two stroke motors. The VMax went four stroke and the rest is history.

Im sure plenty of folks around here will say my opinion on the matter is Bull because they have one that runs, but my bone stock 98 yamaha on my skeeter I think has had the valve cover gaskets changed and then Ive obviously changed the impeller since I bought it. The thing fires like its brand new and hardly blows any amount of smoke, part of that is also the oil I use but the motor runs as good as new. There is definitely something to be said for that!

 

Edited by AKRISONER
Link to post
Share on other sites

I ran an identical boat to this almost 20 years on L. Ontario and Erie, with the newer motor is still in your budget. Unfortunately the border might be a problem at this time.  Pulled it with a 4.3 GM V6, a little over a ton with gear and rigging. 

http://www.centerpointeservice.com/boats-for-sale/1983-sylvan-18ft-center-console-pewaukee-wisconsin-5792742/?print=1&full=1

Edited by dave524
Link to post
Share on other sites

definitely more bang for buck available in the states but hoollllllyyyy that exchange rate is nasty! that 5,900 boat is 9+ grand by the time you get it here.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Your going to have a tough time finding something reliable and sizeable enough for that dollar figure right now.  I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it’s going to be tough and I think your going to be looking at boats much older than 15 years.  Maybe in a few months if the economy doesn’t improve, people don’t go back to work then folks might  start selling recreational items to support things that really matter like food/ housing then you might see some corona deals.  At the moment though I think your going to have to wait.  A guy I work with is holding out on buying a house right now as he’s hoping for a fall deal.  Sounds vulture like, but it’s just sad reality. I may buy another new truck sometime in the next year if the prices drop like they did after 2008.  If you can, I’d hang on!

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, AKRISONER said:

Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki

Ive got a 93 honda, a 88 suzuki and a 98 yamaha and guess what...they all still run without issue...The suzuki's carb is finally starting to flood a bit after 32 years. I can get a new carb for it on ebay for $100...the bloody oil pump still works!

That crestliner deal scares me...it seems too good to be true...The year of the motor is what scares me most

In 2000-2001ish the EPA changed its regulations and basically all of the two stroke motor manufacturers changed over to direct oil injection two strokes to meet emissions standards. RIP to the smoke billowing carb two stroke. Those late 90's yamahas are stupid bulletproof. The proof is in the pudding, go down to mexico or cuba and every single boat is running one. the early 2000's is basically when 2 stroke outboards turned to ticking time bombs. The manufacturers didnt have the oil delivery on the direct injection dialed in and hence you dont see as many early 2000 two stroke engines around because a heck of a lot of them blew up. 

The proof is in the fact that Yamaha just completely bailed out on making two stroke motors. The VMax went four stroke and the rest is history.

Im sure plenty of folks around here will say my opinion on the matter is Bull because they have one that runs, but my bone stock 98 yamaha on my skeeter I think has had the valve cover gaskets changed and then Ive obviously changed the impeller since I bought it. The thing fires like its brand new and hardly blows any amount of smoke, part of that is also the oil I use but the motor runs as good as new. There is definitely something to be said for that!

 

That’s amazing advice. Thanks very much. 

I had a 9.9 Yamaha 2 stroke in the late 90s and it was arguably the most reliable engine I’ve owned. And I’ve owned a few with too many issues to count. 

Appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, porkpie said:

Your going to have a tough time finding something reliable and sizeable enough for that dollar figure right now.  I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it’s going to be tough and I think your going to be looking at boats much older than 15 years.  Maybe in a few months if the economy doesn’t improve, people don’t go back to work then folks might  start selling recreational items to support things that really matter like food/ housing then you might see some corona deals.  At the moment though I think your going to have to wait.  A guy I work with is holding out on buying a house right now as he’s hoping for a fall deal.  Sounds vulture like, but it’s just sad reality. I may buy another new truck sometime in the next year if the prices drop like they did after 2008.  If you can, I’d hang on!

You’re definitely right. My search has been tougher because of my budget. I know waiting would likely pay off but I live right on the water and I’m running out of patience haha. 

And I definitely have to be aware that with my budget there’s risk for repairs but I’ve owned used boats for 20 years so it comes with the territory. 

 

Thanks for your tips,

FF17

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

As others have stated I think you’re unlikely to find what you want at the budget. Not saying it’s impossible as really good deals do come up; particularly if you happen to live in Sudbury or kapakasing but they go fast. I check kijiji obsessively and at that price point your looking more at a half decent 14 foot package. People want crazy money for their stuff.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe you could convert a bowrider? Seem cheap and plentiful. Never understood why but Always  looked like you got a lot more for your dollar in the used market. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Weeds said:

As others have stated I think you’re unlikely to find what you want at the budget. Not saying it’s impossible as really good deals do come up; particularly if you happen to live in Sudbury or kapakasing but they go fast. I check kijiji obsessively and at that price point your looking more at a half decent 14 foot package. People want crazy money for their stuff.

I don’t disagree with you but I am seeing options that aren’t 40 years old that will fit the budget. Usually they go too fast or I live too far away so I’m now ready to move quick and willing to drive. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Do your homework to review different boat and outboard brands as you see them come up for sale. DON’T listen to one person’s personal opinion and take it as fact. 
Every manufacturer has products that failed....this includes Japanese outboards. So, research the year and hp to see if there are any known issues. 
Good luck with your search!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a 16 foot Sylvan Super Snapper with a 40 HP Honda TILLER.  It meets all your criteria.  I bought this one because a buddy had one in Owen Sound back in the 80s and it was perfect for two anglers downrigging, even in bumpy water.  He had a smaller engine, maybe 30 or 35 HP, and could troll on his.  The 40 is too fast for trolling, so I put on a kicker plate and a 7.5 Honda when I was still downrigging.

All that being said, I have no idea what prices are these days, and it sounds like stuff is more expensive than I would have guessed.  The Sylvan has a nice hull and can take heavy water, but there are not a heck of a lot of them around.

Good luck on your search!  (and mine is not for sale...😉)

Doug

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

 How about a deep v StarCraft aluminum? 

You can get some deals on older boats That have already been renovated.  Or pick one up cheap and build and power it the way you like.

 The super sport model is their bow rider fish and ski type. They have been building them since the late 60’s. The later models were thicker welded aluminum hulls instead of riveted.  You can find is up to 22 feet long in the older models 

 There was also the 18 to 22 foot holiday models. Closed bow. Deep v.  Usually inboards, but the occasional outboard comes up. 

Your jeep will probably tow all of them

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Hack_Fisherman said:

 How about a deep v StarCraft aluminum? 

You can get some deals on older boats That have already been renovated.  Or pick one up cheap and build and power it the way you like.

 The super sport model is their bow rider fish and ski type. They have been building them since the late 60’s. The later models were thicker welded aluminum hulls instead of riveted.  You can find is up to 22 feet long in the older models 

 There was also the 18 to 22 foot holiday models. Closed bow. Deep v.  Usually inboards, but the occasional outboard comes up. 

Your jeep will probably tow all of them

I had a Starcraft Holiday 18 footer and it was a fabulous boat for big water.  Exceptional hull.  I had that one out in twelve foot swells off Bluffer's Park one time.  But it was a bit big for back lakes and I swapped it away when I moved to Kingston.  Good memories!

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, akaShag said:

I had a Starcraft Holiday 18 footer and it was a fabulous boat for big water.  Exceptional hull.  I had that one out in twelve foot swells off Bluffer's Park one time.  But it was a bit big for back lakes and I swapped it away when I moved to Kingston.  Good memories!

https://www.kijiji.ca/v-powerboat-motorboat/north-bay/18ft-aluminium-starcraft-holiday-w-115hp-9-9hp/1502828875

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, akaShag said:

I had a Starcraft Holiday 18 footer and it was a fabulous boat for big water.  Exceptional hull.  I had that one out in twelve foot swells off Bluffer's Park one time.  But it was a bit big for back lakes and I swapped it away when I moved to Kingston.  Good memories!

I’ve got the 16 foot super sport. Love it. Wish it was bigger at times though.  Great inland lake and riverboat.  I have had it out on Huron a few times though I would want a bigger boat if it got rough. Fine for good weather days 

Link to post
Share on other sites

We bought out boat 20 ft legend  2005 last year with 115 merc for 12.5k  in nova scotia.  Hard pressed to buy a similar boat here for under 20k    had a marina check it out before we drove down to pick it up.   Some deals to be had out east if your willing to drive. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, Hack_Fisherman said:

 I think that’s reasonable deal. He’s got a fair bit of money tied up in equipment and that top I’m sure was money... galv trailer too

Looks like a Genuine Easy Steer bracket tying the motors together, those things were almost 2 bills back in the 80's when I bought one, but they do work well

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, dave524 said:

Looks like a Genuine Easy Steer bracket tying the motors together, those things were almost 2 bills back in the 80's when I bought one, but they do work well

I just noticed he has a power tilt on the kicker. That’s good money right there too. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...