Looking at buying my first Bass Boat and need help

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lacofdfireman
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Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2021 7:46 pm

Looking at buying my first Bass Boat and need help

Post by lacofdfireman »

Sorry for the newbie question but been getting into bass fishing with my 3 sons and we’re loving it. Right now we are all just float tubing but I would like to buy a bass boat so we can explore other areas of the lake. Can’t get to far on a float tube. Haha. So I’ve been looking around and I don’t know a whole lot about bass boats. I don’t have a great budget. I think $10k would be my limit but maybe $11k max for the right boat. I’ve found a few different ones but not sure what to buy. Here are a couple examples.

Boat 1 - 2012 Bass Tracker 175TXW with a 4 stroke 60hp Mercury Motor. Guy says he has 50hrs on the hour meter. He bought it new but stored it outside under a cover but still has some cracking on top of the seats but not horrible. Also includes a Minn Kota Ulterra trolling motor that he said has gps lock? Also 2 Helix 7 fish finders. One with DI the other with SI. Boat is the Red colored one in the photos. His bottom line is $10k

Boat 2- 1996 Skeeter Zx200c with a Mercury 200EFI 2 stroke motor. Owner states the carpet is ok but under the dual console could use replaced. New seats and upholstery. Says the Motor just had a full power head rebuild this year at a cost of over $7k and has maybe 10-15 hours since rebuild. Says gelcoat is in good shape. Stored indoors always. Also includes a Minn Kota Foretrex 80lb Trolling motor. He is selling the Boat because he is getting more into Tournament fishing and bought a new Skeeter boat. Says it runs great with no issues. But it is 20+ years old. This boat is the teal colored one in the photos. Price is $9800

Boat 3- 97 Skeeter Zx202 with a 200hp Yamaha ProV 2 stroke. Unknown hours on motor but owner states compression is excellent in all cylinders. Says the gelcoat is showroom condition and the seats are newly reupholstered and cappet is excellent. Said he is selling to buy a new boat. Comes with hummingbird DI and SI electronics. One at the front of the boat and one at the console. Boat is the Grey one in the photos. Price is $12k bottom line.

Just a little about our plans. Plan on fishing local lakes and reservoirs where I live in Southern Utah. Nothing crazy unless we went to Lake Powell (3hrs away) or Lake Mead (2 hours away) which is very likely at some point but mostly just local reservoirs. Also I figure I’d probably fish maybe 30 days per year out of it. My kids might take it out additionally. Hopefully 30 days turns into 60.

I’m wondering about overall boat main ten events with aluminum vs. Fiberglass and also engine maintenance between an older 2 stroke EFI motor and a 4 stroke and upkeep costs.

Lastly for the next year while we are building a house the boat will be stored outside. Summers are hot where I live. It will be covered for sure but not sure the aluminum vs. fiberglass issues it could have being stored outside for awhile.

Any help would really be appreciate. Thanks so much.
Last edited by lacofdfireman on Sun Jan 24, 2021 4:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Kelly Ripa
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Re: Looking at buying my first Bass Boat and need help

Post by Kelly Ripa »

Just some thoughts,
I didn't see the price on the older skeeter but the older efi/fiberglass Vs. loaded tracker/4 stroke. I'd like to know.... When the Tracker was last run and the compression on the cylinders presently? And we'll know about the fifty hours. The trolling motor on the Tracker will iron out a lot of the issues of fishing out of a lighter boat.What electronics are on the Skeeter? I think for your price point it would be easier to maintain the Tracker. The few times you might stray to another lake a larger boat would be nice but the economics behind the 96 200efi are way different.While it is basically a new motor it is not an Optimax so it will have fuel and oil needs that are 5x what that 60's are. I don't know how old the boys are but your first boat sounds like it won't be your last in these times having that trolling motor and those electronics on anything that floats would fit the bill at 10K. 60 hp is good to learn on and cheaper to keep easier to sell...For instance the seats can be replaced for very little. You keep it up and if need be on to the next boat,and next....Then there is the tow vehicle and insurance? You will have more money for tackle to feed the monster you are creating but as I have no kids I want you to be happy and fish without boat issues.I personally have a 96 Champion with a 01 200 Optimax. I am just having the carpet done and that's $2200 which is a great price here in Calif.. I don't understand rebuilding that head as he could have gotten an entirely new rebuilt head and swapped heads for 1/2 the price and a better warranty. The efi's are all but gone as even my Optimax is 20 years old now. I had a 200 Merc Black Max on my 21 foot bass boat in the 80's and it was 27 gallons an hour full throttle on Mead. I love my Optimax gas mileage and don't miss the smoke of the older engines at all. I personally would rather fish from a glass boat as I am less worked over at the end of the day from running the trolling motor but that will be solved for me in my next trolling motor upgrade. You however might end up in the back of your own boat soon enough and it will be easier to just let the boys fly while you catch fish from the backseat :wink:
I wish you luck on the boat and good fishing to you and your boys.
Rip

Let us know where you land and how it works out :mrgreen:
LET'S GO BRANDON
Remember ...What the Dormouse said...Feed your head!
lacofdfireman
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Re: Looking at buying my first Bass Boat and need help

Post by lacofdfireman »

Kelly Ripa wrote:Just some thoughts,
I didn't see the price on the older skeeter but the older efi/fiberglass Vs. loaded tracker/4 stroke. I'd like to know.... When the Tracker was last run and the compression on the cylinders presently? And we'll know about the fifty hours. The trolling motor on the Tracker will iron out a lot of the issues of fishing out of a lighter boat.What electronics are on the Skeeter? I think for your price point it would be easier to maintain the Tracker. The few times you might stray to another lake a larger boat would be nice but the economics behind the 96 200efi are way different.While it is basically a new motor it is not an Optimax so it will have fuel and oil needs that are 5x what that 60's are. I don't know how old the boys are but your first boat sounds like it won't be your last in these times having that trolling motor and those electronics on anything that floats would fit the bill at 10K. 60 hp is good to learn on and cheaper to keep easier to sell...For instance the seats can be replaced for very little. You keep it up and if need be on to the next boat,and next....Then there is the tow vehicle and insurance? You will have more money for tackle to feed the monster you are creating but as I have no kids I want you to be happy and fish without boat issues.I personally have a 96 Champion with a 01 200 Optimax. I am just having the carpet done and that's $2200 which is a great price here in Calif.. I don't understand rebuilding that head as he could have gotten an entirely new rebuilt head and swapped heads for 1/2 the price and a better warranty. The efi's are all but gone as even my Optimax is 20 years old now. I had a 200 Merc Black Max on my 21 foot bass boat in the 80's and it was 27 gallons an hour full throttle on Mead. I love my Optimax gas mileage and don't miss the smoke of the older engines at all. I personally would rather fish from a glass boat as I am less worked over at the end of the day from running the trolling motor but that will be solved for me in my next trolling motor upgrade. You however might end up in the back of your own boat soon enough and it will be easier to just let the boys fly while you catch fish from the backseat :wink:
I wish you luck on the boat and good fishing to you and your boys.
Rip

Let us know where you land and how it works out :mrgreen:

Thanks so much. I fixed my original post with the numbers and added another boat I was considering. The 96 doesn’t come with any electronics for the $9800 price. And I talked to the guy with the TWX175 today and he said he hasn’t started in almost a year. Said he went to start it today and it won’t stay running. Thinks maybe the high pressure pump is bad or something. But I told him I wouldn’t even consider it unless it was running well. That was kinda a bummer. He said he just hasn’t used it much the past 3 years that he’s owned it.
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lacofdfireman
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Re: Looking at buying my first Bass Boat and need help

Post by lacofdfireman »

Pics of the 96 Skeeter
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mark poulson
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Re: Looking at buying my first Bass Boat and need help

Post by mark poulson »

I would not take a 17 1/2' aluminum boat out onto big waters like Powell and Mead. I fished from a 17 1/2' Aluminum Tracker for years, and it does not handle big waves from the wind like you get on those lakes well.
I know of good boaters with bigger boats who have gotten in trouble there.
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lacofdfireman
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Re: Looking at buying my first Bass Boat and need help

Post by lacofdfireman »

mark poulson wrote:I would not take a 17 1/2' aluminum boat out onto big waters like Powell and Mead. I fished from a 17 1/2' Aluminum Tracker for years, and it does not handle big waves from the wind like you get on those lakes well.
I know of good boaters with bigger boats who have gotten in trouble there.

I’ve been on Lake Powell on a house boat but was tied up to shore and watched 2 boats sink. It can get nasty quick out there. I wouldn’t want to be out there on any boat during a big storm.
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Kelly Ripa
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Re: Looking at buying my first Bass Boat and need help

Post by Kelly Ripa »

wise to avoid the big lakes but still usable if you get your timing right... :wink: . I am bummed for you as it sounds like the guy selling the Tracker needs to drain the fuel tanks and have all the fuel lines replaced on the engine and a trained Mercury Mechanic look into it for OTHER storage issues. Now figure what that costs and multiply by 3 the cost of the same problem on the 200.Just say'n you can't abuse this stuff and come away a winner and the other boat seams to be what he claimed as his new boat is parked next to it and he appears to take care of his boats... :wink: The owner of the tracker comes across as either lazy or none to bright about boat/ fuel storage(not good) but the boat appears to be immaculate. The Skeeter is a light boat and with the 200 it would get you and the boys where ever you need to go in a heartbeat safely and for hundreds of hours by the sound of it. The trailer is very nice....I just wonder about parts for the older motor in Utah vs. that purring 4-stroke (when they are running :lol: ) without the electronics the Skeeter leaves you with doing what you are doing now only out of a boat...a lot of good electronics is going for cheap now as the competitive players have to upgrade to stay relevant. I got a 2500 dollar unit (in it's day) for 500 and it matched my other unit seamlessly...So now of the two boats ...I'd have to hear what the Mechanics(not the owner) have to say about it's storage and possible after effects. But that could be weeks out as it's an 8 week list here right now for a mechanic as I just finished my major tune up for this year. Hmmmm the Skeeter rises to the top.... :lol: :lol:

Rip
LET'S GO BRANDON
Remember ...What the Dormouse said...Feed your head!
lacofdfireman
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Re: Looking at buying my first Bass Boat and need help

Post by lacofdfireman »

Kelly Ripa wrote:wise to avoid the big lakes but still usable if you get your timing right... :wink: . I am bummed for you as it sounds like the guy selling the Tracker needs to drain the fuel tanks and have all the fuel lines replaced on the engine and a trained Mercury Mechanic look into it for OTHER storage issues. Now figure what that costs and multiply by 3 the cost of the same problem on the 200.Just say'n you can't abuse this stuff and come away a winner and the other boat seams to be what he claimed as his new boat is parked next to it and he appears to take care of his boats... :wink: The owner of the tracker comes across as either lazy or none to bright about boat/ fuel storage(not good) but the boat appears to be immaculate. The Skeeter is a light boat and with the 200 it would get you and the boys where ever you need to go in a heartbeat safely and for hundreds of hours by the sound of it. The trailer is very nice....I just wonder about parts for the older motor in Utah vs. that purring 4-stroke (when they are running :lol: ) without the electronics the Skeeter leaves you with doing what you are doing now only out of a boat...a lot of good electronics is going for cheap now as the competitive players have to upgrade to stay relevant. I got a 2500 dollar unit (in it's day) for 500 and it matched my other unit seamlessly...So now of the two boats ...I'd have to hear what the Mechanics(not the owner) have to say about it's storage and possible after effects. But that could be weeks out as it's an 8 week list here right now for a mechanic as I just finished my major tune up for this year. Hmmmm the Skeeter rises to the top.... :lol: :lol:

Rip
Here is a pic of Boat 3. This is the 97 Skeeter. Kinda a grayish silver color. Talked to him tonight and he dropped it $500 to $11500 but says he can’t go any lower and he’d put on his spare Minn Kota Foretrex instead of the Motorguide that’s on it. This 97 one also comes with 2 Helix 7’s. A console mount and one up front. One DI and one SI. The 96 Skeeter doesn’t have any for the $9800 price. I like the look of the 97 much better than the 96. Not crazy about the teal color of the 96. The 97 the owner also said he just had a compression test done on it and that it was 120 in each cylinder. Guess those number are good according to him. Not sure how the Yamaha 200hp motor on the 97 compares to the 200hp Mercury motor on the 96 though. But has no idea on the hours of the motor. It’s a drive for me at about 8hours but I’d travel for the right boat.

I always thought 2 stroke motor were easier and cheaper to work on than 4 stroke motors. At least it is in the motorcycle world. But from what your saying it doesn’t sound like it.
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lacofdfireman
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Re: Looking at buying my first Bass Boat and need help

Post by lacofdfireman »

97 Skeeter Yamaha 200hp Motor
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Andrew5414
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Re: Looking at buying my first Bass Boat and need help

Post by Andrew5414 »

Those Yamaha pro v motors are bullet proof can’t go wrong with them I have a buddy who has 2700 original hours on his! I would not be scared of that motor, would love to have that motor.
lacofdfireman
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Re: Looking at buying my first Bass Boat and needed

Post by lacofdfireman »

Andrew5414 wrote:Those Yamaha pro v motors are bullet proof can’t go wrong with them I have a buddy who has 2700 original hours on his! I would not be scared of that motor, would love to have that motor.
Awesome. Good to know. I know this is a really dumb question but do they measure these motors in GPH? If so how many gallons per hour typically? I’m sure where I live I’d mostly run off a trolling motor but it would be good to know. I’m sure the 2 Stroke Yamaha 200hp VMax is way less efficient than the 60 HP 4Stroke Mercury motor on the 2012 175TXW
Andrew5414
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Re: Looking at buying my first Bass Boat and need help

Post by Andrew5414 »

Yes, the 2 strokes is less fuel efficient for sure, but to be honest it’s like anything, the more you lay into the throttle the more you burn, my old 150xr6 merc 2 stroke i had sucked the fuel down it would be a 50 dollar day in tournament day running around 60mph running and gunnin if I was wide open, but I could also baby it just cruise on days I was fun fishing and spend 15 to 25 bucks Cruising around the lake 35 40 mph. I am a fan of 2 strokes especially the older ones lot easier to rebuild and cheaper to work on.
I’m not a fan of aluminum boats they suck major in the wind and plus 3 to 4 people on a small aluminum boat would be very crowded and also that 60hp would be turtle with that weight. But if speed isn’t a deal that’s not a issue my biggest concern would be the space with you and the boys in a aluminum I would want at least a 19 foot boat and little more horsepower to push you guys around efficiently.
monte300
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Re: Looking at buying my first Bass Boat and need help

Post by monte300 »

While you look for a good used boat ask about condition of the tilt/trim. I just had to have mine replaced on my 2000 Triton TR19 and the guys at Boatmasters told me a brand new unit costs $2k. Luckily for me, they had a good used one they sold me for $500. Also, if the boat you're looking at has hydraulic steering check for smoothness when you are driving boat and making turns, in case there's a leak. Boatmasters put in a kit for me because I had a small leak at the steering column. This was $450 parts and labor. While we're at it, check to make sure all pumps work including bilge and livewells. Whatever choice you make spend $100 on a good local boat mechanic to fully check out the boat and motor from stern to bow. It's the best and smartest $100 you will ever spend.
marinerfandave
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Re: Looking at buying my first Bass Boat and need help

Post by marinerfandave »

There is a really good video today from Glenn May at Bass Resource website on things to ask/consider when buying a first boat. Here is the link:

https://www.bassresource.com/bass-fishi ... -boat.html
lacofdfireman
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Re: Looking at buying my first Bass Boat and need help

Post by lacofdfireman »

Thank you everyone for your responses. I ended up going out with the Bass Tracker 175TWX after talking to my local marine dealer. When I went in to talk to them they told me straight up that they stopped working on 2 strokes a year and a half ago because they were to temperamental and problematic. They told me that 4 strokes were the way the industry is headed and 2 strokes were going away. So that pretty much sealed the deal for me. Can’t wait to get out on the water. It’s snowing in Utah right now so it’s gonna be a few days. Haha
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