1st boat decisions and questions

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Stewy119fishes
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Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:44 am

1st boat decisions and questions

Postby Stewy119fishes » Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:16 am

Hello all,

I'm new to Western Bass, but not new to fishing. I grew up fishing the lakes of Central Missouri with my dad when I got to see him. He has a 1999 Ranger R83 Sport, and that boat has been amazing for him. I was based out of Southern California until last year when I relocated to NorCal. Getting back into fishing, with all of the wonderful fisheries here, has been amazing. I am very excited to take my fishing to a new level. I have made a friend who has a boat (Nitro Z18), but at 39, it's probably time to get one of my own. 25 years of fishing from the back seat is probably enough. Not that I am in any way ungrateful, I would just like to fish on my schedule.

My wife and I are both teachers, so needless to say, money is limited. There is no way a $50k+ boat is going to happen; atleast until I retire.

I have been out on a couple demos, and I have fallen in love with the Ultrex trolling motor. My boat will have to have one, and it will save me thousands in needing Power poles later on. Other than that, the standard rigs are fine.

I have been looking at Aluminum (Ranger 198P, etc...) and am frustrated on how expensive they get once you put a decent pair of graphs on them and an Ultrex. I might as well buy an 18ft glass boat for that price, which is where I am stuck. It is really hard to pick one when they all look and perform pretty much the same.

I am researching all the 18 footers, and they are all equppied similarly around the same price (150HP, single axle trailer, etc...). The Nitro is less money, but once you get it to the same level of equipment, it is very close in price.

All this being said, I need a boat to last the next 15 years until retirement time. I will fish weekends, during my breaks from school, and a lot during the summer. It has to be reliable, and low maintence. I really don't want boat to mean Bust Out Another Thousand...

I know everyone will have their own thoughts and opinions, which is why I am looking for some guidance. It will help to know that I am making a smart decision rather than an impulse one. It really is a big deal to me, and I am really struggling to figure it all out. Am I overthinking it, or should I just buy from the place that has the best service regardless of the boat brand?

Thoughts?

BILLYS
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Re: 1st boat decisions and questions

Postby BILLYS » Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:54 am

Join a "bass club". Ride in a bunch of boats to see what you like and dislike. You will get to know the guys and the rigs. Soon one will pop up for sale. At that time you will know it's history and anything wrong with it. Good luck.
TEAM FATBOY.

christopherstellar
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Re: 1st boat decisions and questions

Postby christopherstellar » Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:01 pm

I own a 2014 Triton 18 Pro XS. It's a great boat but being 25 at the time it was kind of a reckless purchase now that I look back.This was my first purchase and now that I have experience I would suggest you wait and buy a used boat and spend the extra money on the accessories. In my opinion your bow graph and trolling motor are the most important things as that's where u spend 90% of your time. I would monitor this site as good deals come along and then spend the money to upgrade accessories.

JoeLanghans
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Re: 1st boat decisions and questions

Postby JoeLanghans » Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:15 pm

I thought about this as if I were you. I would finance a new Ranger RT188 with a 115 Mercury 4 stroke. 50 mph, rock solid , reliable boat with a full warranty. You don't need anything more than a couple Hook 5's on it and an Ultrex 80. Put 10% down and you'll have a cheap payment on a boat that'll require minimal maintenance and zero headaches. It will hold its value, last forever, plenty of space, easy to tow, tournament fish out of it, etc... the benefits to this decision would far outweigh the downfalls. Call Kyle or Rick at Anglers Marine 714-666-2628, they have Ranger, Triton, Nitro and Tracker plus previously enjoyed boats!

Mitch
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Re: 1st boat decisions and questions

Postby Mitch » Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:39 pm

BILLYS wrote:Join a "bass club". Ride in a bunch of boats to see what you like and dislike. You will get to know the guys and the rigs. Soon one will pop up for sale. At that time you will know it's history and anything wrong with it. Good luck.


^^^THIS ^^^
Get a feel with other boats, unless you're in a hurry. I'd advise a good used boat over a new one for cost and then use your money to upgrade add on's. I'm into my 5th Ranger, have loved them all, and have ALWAYS bought USED !! There's lots of boats out there for sale, so look at them !!
There's lots to look for too, Condition of the hull, Motor, hrs, electronics, seats, carpet, TRANSOM, etc, etc ! Some guys really take care of their boats, and some just use there boats. I could help you more if I knew where you live, fish, and your budget. Good luck, take your time !!
2007 "Numb Nut"

Ranger Boats-Mercury Motors
Minnkota-Optama Batterys
Gloomis-Shimano
Pepper Jigs-Robo Worms

Popper
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Re: 1st boat decisions and questions

Postby Popper » Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:44 pm

Sent PM
Not a salesman, selling or promoting a boat.

Chad Sweitzer
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Re: 1st boat decisions and questions

Postby Chad Sweitzer » Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:15 pm

My dad bought our first boat a couple years ago. One thing that hasn't been discussed yet is the WARRANTY. I will probably only buy bass boats new after our experiences using the warranty on our 2015 Tracker. Can you get better deals used? Yes, but if you get a deal then blow the motor you're in trouble! Being a first time boat owner I would recommend aluminum for sure. We've hit rocks that would cost 1000's of dollars in a glass boat, but the aluminum just skips off just about anything! New vs Used is a matter of opinion, but I will always lean towards new due to personal experience.
Chico State Bass Team Vice President
PB: Spot-9.625 LMB-10.91 SM-4.36

Rich hamilton
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Re: 1st boat decisions and questions

Postby Rich hamilton » Tue Sep 19, 2017 3:49 pm

I think Joe is right on suggesting the Ranger RT188. You said You thought the aluminums were the same as glass in pricing once they are fully rigged. The ones I saw at a ranger dealership were super cool and seemed to be rigged with the equipment you are looking for.

I think the future is in these boats as more and more folks do not have the finances to spend on new glass boats that keep increasing in price. At the very least I would test drive one of the new Ranger aluminums. The only other consideration is big and rough water, Just like anything there is a time to put it back on the trailer and fish another day if it is that rough. :)
Last edited by Rich hamilton on Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Be good and you will be lonesome"... Mark Twain

Rod Martin
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Re: 1st boat decisions and questions

Postby Rod Martin » Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:21 pm

I just bought my second Ranger 177TR. I had sold my first thinking I would never fish again. Last year I realized how much I was missing and saw one on eBay so I bought it.

You cannot go wrong with one of these boats. Hold their value, easy to fish out of and cost is very low to operate.

A used 177TR ranger with a 115 motor and fish till you retire.
TR177 Ranger Mercury/MK

Lugnut
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Re: 1st boat decisions and questions

Postby Lugnut » Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:43 pm

I started in an aluminum years ago, and I've owned four different glass boats over the years. Just over a year ago I traded in my 2000 19'6" Stratos towards a 2016 Ranger RT 188. I will admit, on a few (very few) occasions I have missed the speed, and big water my Stratos could handle....but the positives of what my 188 offers outweighs the negatives ten fold. The fish ability of these boats is amazing, storage is abundant (I carry WAY to much crap), and fuel economy of a 115 fourstroke is outstanding e.g. just took my first trip to Shasta, spent 3 1/2 days running all over that lake....spent $27.50 on gas If you happen to be in the Modesto area and are interested in checking one out, let me know. I am about 40 minutes from Blue Oaks and can get you in touch with the folks at C&C Marine that can answer all your questions.
Don't ask about my user name, all I need to say is check yours and check them often.

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Whoopbass
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Re: 1st boat decisions and questions

Postby Whoopbass » Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:26 pm

Buy a newer used glass boat and fish out of it til you die. By the time you retire a new top of the line glass bass boat is going to cost $125K. A 2013 glass boat will be just fine in 2033 for fun fishing or if you want to compete in larger tournaments. You can add the latest accessories and repower years down the road and still be ahead if you get the itch to buy a new boat when you retire.
If you're looking to just fun fish for the rest of your life in decent weather and not compete in larger tournaments then a new aluminum bass boat might be the way to go. If you decide on lets say a new Ranger RT 188 ride in one before you buy. I would be skeptical on performance claims from a salesman. Hull design will determine speed more then a lighter hull. I say that because my 17.5' aluminum bass boat with a 115hp carbed 2-stroke motor never made it past 41 mph. With a light load I could get 38-40 mph pretty consistently out of it. Aluminum bass boats are lighter then a comparable glass boat but they're still heavy or else they would beat the crap out of you and you would get blown across the lake.

If you get 40-45 mph out of a RT 188 and get the mpg Lugnut gets that sounds like a great way to go unless you plan on fishing high dollar tournaments on large waters one day.

Ifishalot
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Re: 1st boat decisions and questions

Postby Ifishalot » Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:36 am

If your fishing big water in an 18 foot aluminum you will get wet. Or you will have to fish in calm water which this year seemed like never. Buy a used boat. Upgrade what you want and the extra $1,000 every once in a while will happen it is a boat after all. New boats are nice but pricey. Spend it on tackle!

Stewy119fishes
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Re: 1st boat decisions and questions

Postby Stewy119fishes » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:49 am

I want to thank everyone for their responses. Ed was awesome and spent a couple hours of his day yesterday talking to me about experiences, boats, fishing, etc... It's neat to know that there are good people out there who are willing to help people become better fishermen...

So it looks like I'm going to wait a while to get what I want rather than settle and end up regretting down the road. My wife and I are sitting down this weekend to put together a budget plan to make it possible.

In the mean time, I am not going to stop fishing. I'd like to join a bass club and participate as a non-boater. Are there any suggestions for clubs? I live in Woodland, so I'd like to fish the usuals: Delta, Berryessa, Clear Lake, Bullards, etc...

Also, if anyone has an open back seat on the weekends, I would like to join you. I'd help with gas, launch, etc... I'm a good back seater.

Thanks again.

Lugnut
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Re: 1st boat decisions and questions

Postby Lugnut » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:41 am

Whoopbass wrote:Buy a newer used glass boat and fish out of it til you die. By the time you retire a new top of the line glass bass boat is going to cost $125K. A 2013 glass boat will be just fine in 2033 for fun fishing or if you want to compete in larger tournaments. You can add the latest accessories and repower years down the road and still be ahead if you get the itch to buy a new boat when you retire.
If you're looking to just fun fish for the rest of your life in decent weather and not compete in larger tournaments then a new aluminum bass boat might be the way to go. If you decide on lets say a new Ranger RT 188 ride in one before you buy. I would be skeptical on performance claims from a salesman. Hull design will determine speed more then a lighter hull. I say that because my 17.5' aluminum bass boat with a 115hp carbed 2-stroke motor never made it past 41 mph. With a light load I could get 38-40 mph pretty consistently out of it. Aluminum bass boats are lighter then a comparable glass boat but they're still heavy or else they would beat the crap out of you and you would get blown across the lake.

If you get 40-45 mph out of a RT 188 and get the mpg Lugnut gets that sounds like a great way to go unless you plan on fishing high dollar tournaments on large waters one day.


I have heard it before, but I have never come close to 50 mph. I typically run 40-42 at 5400 RPM's (overloaded with Rods, tackle, etc.) I can get a little more but I found that unless your running in a straight line, in calm water it can get a little squirrelly. You have to remember, the 188 is not a pad hull...and you can't drive it like one.
Don't ask about my user name, all I need to say is check yours and check them often.

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TRIXGOTAFISH
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Re: 1st boat decisions and questions

Postby TRIXGOTAFISH » Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:50 am

I was in the same exact situation you are in now it took me a solid year+ to finally settle on a used glass boat (18' Basscat Sabre) that was in my budget.

I too contemplated going the aluminum route but i will mainly be fishing the delta and imo i felt more comfortable in a glass boat.

This is my first boat but i was able to get a lot of on the water experience from some of the members on this forum that helped guide me in deciding as well as getting rides on their boats from 17.5' aluminum to 20+' glass boats.

I wanted something manageable size wise that could fit into my garage and that would be the most reliable for now until i decide to upgrade and i think i made a good decision......so far so good enough speed w/ the Merc 150 (61mph gps) and just enough storage for 2 and all the tackle i could want in the boat at one time.

Buying a used boat wasn't too big a deal for me even though i understand having the piece of mind of a warranty but i'm pretty mechanically inclined as i played with cars most of my life and they are very similar in regards to diagnosing issues etc so i say go with what you feel most comfortable in and take your time.......i'm saving my extra funds to either upgrade after a year or two or to put on accessories like poles or an ultrex or both lol.

Coordinating and paying for a good pre-purchase inspection by a reputable shop may be tough for some logistically but imo is 100% necessary when buying used!

GL

TonyM
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Re: 1st boat decisions and questions

Postby TonyM » Wed Sep 20, 2017 12:09 pm

Its not my money and do what feels best for you. If you go the used glass direction and plan to keep it long term, Bass Cat has the only transferable lifetime hull warranty I know of.

Rich hamilton
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Re: 1st boat decisions and questions

Postby Rich hamilton » Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:45 pm

Great point about garage and storage! I really like having my boat at home and in the garage. Another great long term consideration. Where does my boat go when not using it? RR
"Be good and you will be lonesome"... Mark Twain


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