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 I want to buy a new boat for next spring and I’m unsure with what I want. I’ve fished out of a tinner bench seats my whole life and want to upgrade. I’m looking at boats like the prince craft resorter, Lund fury, and mirrocraft outfitter or laker. I want a boat that I can have all my gear in launch and go. But is a steering wheel really needed? It would be sweet to giver to another spot driving with one but that’s typically only a few min drive. I fish all in land lakes. And do I upgrade to a bow mount trolling motor or keep using a transom mount electric?

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Wrote a rather extensive piece last fall outlining the advantages of a tiller.  Not to say there aren't days I wouldn't mind the comforts of a full consoled boat and eventually I'll go there, but for

Where's Roy when you need him ? LOL

You won't ever regret that decision

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I've had them all, tiller, side console and full windshield and they all have good and bad points depending on what your doing.

Tillers are nice, as long as they have a flat floor, as that makes moving around the boat easy with no obstructions but they offer no protection from lousy wet days.

I had a Crestliner 1650 SC for a long time and the side console was nice as it gave the driver protection from the elements when running around the lake on nasty days but does nothing for the passenger(s). You do have to work around the console but I never found that to be an issue and the bigger the boat the less hassle it will be.

You don't mention full windshield boats so I assume you don't want one but they sure are nice, especially with a fully enclosed top that protects everyone when the weathers is cold and wet and the cold fall winds are howling.

As I said above they all have good points and bad, you just have to pick whet works best for your style of fishing.

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I think it depends on what kind of fishing that you do. I have a side console because I like to troll for salmon with downriggers and also muskie with rod holders. I like that I can see the rods while sitting at the console. It is possible to do those things with a tiller but I would not like to fish like that. If you do alot of casting then a tiller would have the advantage with all the deck space available. I also cast from my single console with no problems, but I have fished in a dual console with a full windshield and I didn't like the restricted space up front.

For the electric trolling motors if you buy a boat with a front casting platform you will eventually need a bow mount. Keep the transom electric for something like backtrolling for walleye. It would be versatile to have electrics front and back. 👍

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22 minutes ago, Mr Greedydrift said:

I also cast from my single console with no problems, but I have fished in a dual console with a full windshield and I didn't like the restricted space up front.

Not disagreeing with you but if you buy the proper full windshield boat you can have more front deck space than lots of single console boats and the windshield won't interfere with your casting either.

I could dance on the front deck of my last boat with all the room it had.

Nothing like a bass boat of course but the protection from the elements made up for it....at least in my opinion.

 

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If it was solely for fishing and I fished by myself or with another guy all the time I would invest in a 17' or 18' tiller. I don't get the side console option as I don't think they offer much in the way of protection. As I fish only part of the time and the rest is recreational boating a full windshield and bimini works for me.

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16 feet and under go with a tiller. A 16 foot tiller will have almost as much open space as an 18 foot side console. If you are planning to fish off the bow at all then get a bow mount motor.  It might cost more up front but a 24V setup will provide plenty of power and less likely to drain your batteries during a long day on the water.

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It depends on the type of fishing you do and the lakes you fish. Lake Ontario, Simcoe. Steering wheel. But if you fish smaller lakes, if you troll shorelines, if you back troll   I would go with a tiller every time

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Similar to others, I've had both over 35 years of owning boats. I prefer a tiller, and have gotten 21 seasons so far out of my Alumacraft Magnum 165, with a 60hp Yamaha. As others have said, it depends on the type of fishing and the water you fish.  If you troll a lot, and if on any bigger water, a side console is probably the way to go. However, I seldom troll, and do a lot of bait and drop shotting...usually drifting. As such, I have so much better boat control while fishing with a tiller, and am able to react quickly to changes I see on my graph. If I am casting from my raised front deck, I cannot imagine not having my bow mounted 24v trolling motor.

As for size we have fished 3 from my 16.5' boat pretty easily when doing mostly drifting and drop shotting. For casting, we have done 3, but I much prefer 2. In fact, I won't cast with 3 unless it's with my two sons. 

I envy you shopping for a new boat. Good luck, and be sure and report back.

 

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Tiller.    
       Boat control.  Cheaper.  More floor space.  

side console. 
  Cruising comfort and talking.  big water trolling.  
 

side console all the way.  

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As others have said, depends on your type of fishing and size of boat.  Anything 16' and under I would stick to a tiller, the console robs too much space.  Over that 17-18 it could go either way.  I've got a 16' Princecraft Starfish for 24 years, jig, casted and go downrigging on GBay and have never wished I had a console.

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Thanks for the replies guys. I fish all inland lakes. The past couple years I’ve mostly been trolling and jigging for walleye. I want to get back into more casting for pike and bass. I don’t troll with downriggers or go for salmon.

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All good responses. It all depends on needs. Tiller = more real estate, more room. Side council=more comfort. As long as there is enough room to stretch ones legs a tiller  is fine for a smaller 16' or less tinny.  Larger than 15' side council for me with a real deal wind shield that protects my head not just my body with only a bit of tucking behind it. Fishing smaller inland lakes big cold waves smaking you in the face probably isn't an issue. If possible spend a few days behind the wheel of a side council and then decide what is best for you personally, because it is a personal preference. My knees got so bad I couldn't run the tiller anymore because my legs were all crunched up behind the seat in front of me in the 14' tinny. 

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Wrote a rather extensive piece last fall outlining the advantages of a tiller.  Not to say there aren't days I wouldn't mind the comforts of a full consoled boat and eventually I'll go there, but for many reasons explained in the article I feel the ultimate multispecies option providing best boat control, space and yes in some ways comfort too, is a tiller.  Click the link below to read more about those thoughts if you like.   

THE TILLER ADVANTAGE

Edited by Moosebunk
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I don't think my back would take running a tiller all day now.

Would have to take a bunch of shore breaks to shake out the kinks.

Hopefully the doc at my appointment in Edmonton next week can come up with a solution to my debilitating back pain I suffer from now.  😪 

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2 hours ago, DRIFTER_016 said:

I don't think my back would take running a tiller all day now.

Would have to take a bunch of shore breaks to shake out the kinks.

Hopefully the doc at my appointment in Edmonton next week can come up with a solution to my debilitating back pain I suffer from now.  😪 

Ya, welcome to the world of cranky back syndrome.  L 2,3 and 4 are pooched.  I had some of the nerves lightly burned high freq probes and go for cortizone shots every 2 months.  I've been in agony since turkey day, bent and twisted to pick up a pair of boots,  the "shock" was so back I almost puked up breakfast.  Back to the chiro 2 times a week and sparingly taking pain killers.   Good luck at your end.

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lordosis_kyphosis_curves_iStock-901677832_cropped.jpg.6de711132e5d6656d954cc0fece1f561.jpg

17 minutes ago, Fisherman said:

Ya, welcome to the world of cranky back syndrome.  L 2,3 and 4 are pooched.  I had some of the nerves lightly burned high freq probes and go for cortizone shots every 2 months.  I've been in agony since turkey day, bent and twisted to pick up a pair of boots,  the "shock" was so back I almost puked up breakfast.  Back to the chiro 2 times a week and sparingly taking pain killers.   Good luck at your end.

T8/9, 9/10, L4/5 and L5/S1 on my end 

Edited by DRIFTER_016
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Thanks for all the replies guys. Great read moose bunk. Seems like tiller is definitely where it’s at. Now what boat would ppl recommend? I want around a 16’ what are ppls thoughts on the 15’ g3?

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In my opinion this would be a much better purchase.

The aluminum used is 36% thicker making a more durable hull.

Not sure how much the G3 is but the Crestliner 16' is 17"  longer and 25" wider.

It will be much more stable and I would bet the tires on the trailer are bigger than the little 12" ones on the G3 package. Bigger wheels mean less wear and tear on the bearings and tires.

https://www.crestliner.com/vision/1600-vision-tiller/

And if you really want to go for broke the Pro Tiller looks bad a$$. 

https://www.crestliner.com/pro-tiller/1650-pro-tiller/

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