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What boat to buy?


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Hey everyone, need opinions on buying a second boat. We just purchased a seasonal trailer on a small spring fed lake. It has Bass, Perch and some walleye. Our current boat is an old 16’ Starcraft bow rider. Good multi purpose boat that gives everything we need at this lake. (Fishing, tubing, cruising) Launching is nasty and done by the park so the boat will become a seasonal put in too. 
 

By doing that, I won’t have a boat to use at home on small reservoir lakes and travel/camping/fishing trips. I’m also surrounded by big water. Huron and GBay near the trailer, and Lake Ont near home.
 

So looking for a multi purpose boat to do good weather salmon fishing, French river/or other rugged Canadian Shield area fishing/camping trips and smaller inland lakes. 

I’m not opposed to a nice fiberglass family inboard bow rider for this lake also if the 16’ Starcraft is the better choice as the “travel-multi purpose” boat 

or would an old 18’ or 22’ aluminum Starcraft (bow rider or Boston whaler style) hull be a better option as my camping/destination/home waters boat?
Not sure if that’s getting too big for smaller lakes...

thoughts? 
 

 

 

Edited by Hack_Fisherman
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If I had to own one boat for fair to moderate weather fishing, camping and for banging off rocks and beaching etc.  I'd probably buy a 16 foot Lund SSV with a Honda 40hp.  They take some pretty big water for their size and they are an excellent utility boat with a good amount room for gear.  Pretty bare inside though.  Another good unit would be an older Lund Rebel 16 or if you wanted a flat floor an Alaskan.  

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On 9/10/2021 at 8:38 PM, Hack_Fisherman said:

Hey everyone, need opinions on buying a second boat. We just purchased a seasonal trailer on a small spring fed lake. It has Bass, Perch and some walleye. Our current boat is an old 16’ Starcraft bow rider. Good multi purpose boat that gives everything we need at this lake. (Fishing, tubing, cruising) Launching is nasty and done by the park so the boat will become a seasonal put in too. 
 

By doing that, I won’t have a boat to use at home on small reservoir lakes and travel/camping/fishing trips. I’m also surrounded by big water. Huron and GBay near the trailer, and Lake Ont near home.
 

So looking for a multi purpose boat to do good weather salmon fishing, French river/or other rugged Canadian Shield area fishing/camping trips and smaller inland lakes. 

I’m not opposed to a nice fiberglass family inboard bow rider for this lake also if the 16’ Starcraft is the better choice as the “travel-multi purpose” boat 

thoughts? 
 

 

 

Thanks guys. I’ve never owned a bigger boat so good to know. I’m on a budget so I’ll be on the lookout for a sub 20’ tinner to restore/resto mod. 

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I had an older 18 foot Starcraft Holiday with a stern drive.  It was a magnificent big water trolling boat, but it was just too big for the back lakes around Kingston.  I finally settled on a 16 foot tiller boat for all of my fishing, and (for me) that has been perfect.  It is NOT enough boat for big water and heavy waves, although I have had it out in some marginal conditions.

If I can find a link to a thread I had going a while back, there were a number of recommended rigs.

Doug

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8 hours ago, akaShag said:

I had an older 18 foot Starcraft Holiday with a stern drive.  It was a magnificent big water trolling boat, but it was just too big for the back lakes around Kingston.  I finally settled on a 16 foot tiller boat for all of my fishing, and (for me) that has been perfect.  It is NOT enough boat for big water and heavy waves, although I have had it out in some marginal conditions.

If I can find a link to a thread I had going a while back, there were a number of recommended rigs.

Doug

Thanks Doug, I appreciate the link also. 
in regards to your 18 foot holiday, what did you find cumbersome about it. Outdrive tilt or depth limitations? Steering capabilities, draft or beam? I have never owned an inboard so I really don’t know anything about using one. Your hull would’ve been similar to mine. (except mine is an outboard). 
 

One thing I do like about my 16 footer is that I can park it in the garage once it’s set up and loaded for the season. But that is absolute absolute max. Anything bigger would have to stay in the driveway. 
but bigger (ie 22’) Would make me feel better out on great lakes. 
 

Maybe I should pick up an old 14’ beater tinner. My 8 horse kicker will run that. Not great but it’ll do it. Can put on top of my tent trailer for camping. Great for small lakes. 
 

And maybe an older 21-22 footer Starcraft Supersport or Holiday for the big water. leave the 16 at the “trottage”...

she’s going to kill me with all these projects. I can’t afford new boat(s). 

 

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1 hour ago, Hack_Fisherman said:

Thanks Doug, I appreciate the link also. 
in regards to your 18 foot holiday, what did you find cumbersome about it. Outdrive tilt or depth limitations? Steering capabilities, draft or beam? I have never owned an inboard so I really don’t know anything about using one. Your hull would’ve been similar to mine. (except mine is an outboard). 

That boat was a 1966 model if memory serves me, and it was 18 feet measured at the waterline.   Today the marketers would probably call it a twenty footer!  🙄 Gunwale height was below my waist but not much.  It was a BIG boat for small water, steering wheel of course, prop was a fair ways down if you wanted to run shallow.  I don't recall how many times I had to replace/rebuild the prop, but it was quite a few.  It just wasn't the boat I needed for the kind of fishing I was doing once I was no longer out on Lake Ontario, Lake Huron and Georgian Bay.  And at heart I am a tiller boat guy, the steering wheel was great for downrigging but not worth a fart for back-trolling, and there was literally no place for a bow-mount electric.  If you are going to own two boats, I suggest two used units, one that is OK for big water and for farting around with the family, tubing and that kind of stuff, and one that you can use for "most" fishing off of the big water.  My $0.02.

Doug

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We had a green 18 foot StarCraft and that boat saw a lot of different lakes in its time. It was great for big water but being an inboard it wasn't as easy to maintain as an outboard would be.  I  was sad when my dad sold it..  if I was you I'd look for an aluminum with a 30 to 50 hp outboard.  

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