Need advice on bass boat options 30-35k

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Datbasstho
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Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:02 am

Need advice on bass boat options 30-35k

Postby Datbasstho » Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:43 pm

Hey guys,

Long time reader and first time poster and I have a question.

I’m in the market for a bass boat. I just sold my older nitro which was my first boat ever and had zero complaints with it. It was older, year 2000 but now my body is ready for something newer.

Here’s the thing, I know everyone has their own opinion on what brands they like and usually stick to it but I’m hoping some of you unbiased ppl chime in.

I really don’t care what brand it is but just want something reliable and most likely something I will keep for at least 5-10 years.

I’m also looking for a minimum 19 feet and speed is not a factor considering I only fish for fun.
I’m coming off an 18 foot 2000 nitro that had a Johnson 140 and the fastest I got it was 40 mph which was more than enough.

So, would you guys get a 2011 Ranger Z520 or for the same price get a 2015 Nitro Z9?
This is an example of what I need help with.

Will the 2011 treat me better than the 2015 in the long run?

Do you get what you pay for in boats or is most of it just the name?

I hear the newer Nitros are built very well for their price but I really don’t want to buy brand new and wait 8-10 weeks and spend the amount they are going for.

Please help, I’m looking to get into something in the next month.

Some options I’m interested in are:
Nitro Z8,Z9,Z19,Z20
Ranger Z520
I don’t know anything about skeeters, Tritons or bass cats so would love to get your opinions on what models are similar.



Thanks in advance!

monte300
Posts: 581
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:18 pm

Re: Need advice on bass boat options 30-35k

Postby monte300 » Wed Apr 07, 2021 5:57 am

IMO you can't go wrong with either of the boats you mention. I have a 2000 Triton TR19 and I REALLY like my boat. It's not the fastest boat out there with a 175, but it has a good ride, provides a good stable fishing platform and is fast enough for me. I'm not necessarily suggesting a Triton because people have told me the Triton's today are not as well built as mine. I really have no idea? Back in 2000 I ordered my boat from Galaxy Marine in Auburn and 9 1/2 weeks later I had the boat. Out the door it was $30,500 oh how times have changed. :mrgreen:

One of the things guys will tout in here is resale value. Since you are like me and you keep your boat for a long time, resale value is overrated in my opinion. If you were talking about only keeping the boat five years or less, then resale value would be a big factor. Keep in mind that right now used boat prices are at an all time high, so be prepared mentally for that.

Try to learn as much about the history of the boat as possible. Did the seller treat the boat with kid gloves or did he run it wide open cross Franks Tract with a 30 mile an hour wind blowing directly out of the north?

If there's another boat in my future I'm leaning towards Basscat, but there are so many quality built boats. Like my old friend Mel Biggs used to say "all boats are good, some are just better than others".

Good luck in your search and it sounds like you're being realistic with your expectations.
Last edited by monte300 on Wed Apr 07, 2021 9:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

AnglersPursuit
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2016 10:26 am

Re: Need advice on bass boat options 30-35k

Postby AnglersPursuit » Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:18 am

First thing I learned was that you're really paying for the motor and the motor is where you will feel the biggest burden if things go south.

Buying new: Talk to dealer a lot. Ask about warranty process and how willing they are to do the work. If you get the vibe that this dealer has time for your questions and wants you to bring warranty work to him, you may have found a winner. If they can't answer these questions or start to get short attitude with you. Bounce. You don't want that guy taking care of your boat when it's down.

Buying used: Comes down to the owner. I'd ask them to walk you through everything on the boat. What have they fixed, what do they have nagging issues with, do they fix it or do they have a dealer who is already familiar with your boat? Once you decide you like the look of their boat, never think about the look again. Ask, ask ask ask ask as many questions as you can about the boat, it's history, etc. A good owner will have all of this on standby. I keep every receipt for every wrench turned on my boat and could walk you through it front to back, inch by inch. If you get a guy that says "she runs great, just take er out and fish". Bounce.

Take your time and ask questions. Those that truly love this sport will have no problem answering them.

Datbasstho
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:02 am

Re: Need advice on bass boat options 30-35k

Postby Datbasstho » Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:32 am

@monte300

Wow 30k out the door for a Triton brand new, times have changed you’re right.
And if you’re hearing people say they aren’t built the same anymore, maybe I’ll stay away.

And I’m with you on resale value. I fish for fun so I won’t need to upgrade every few years as long as everything works great. So this isn’t a big factor for me.

I hear you on finding out as much as possible on the boat but if it’s a private sale, you almost have to take the word of the owner don’t you? Other than examining the important parts, you almost have to wait and see what happens when it’s yours no?

Thank you so much for your help!
Last edited by Datbasstho on Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

Datbasstho
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:02 am

Re: Need advice on bass boat options 30-35k

Postby Datbasstho » Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:36 am

@anglerspursuit

I’ve read the same thing about paying for the motor so I understand what your saying. I know nothing about motors so I would have to ask around for advice on a specific motor when I find the right boat.

I plan on calling some local dealers in the next few days and see which ones give me the time of day and which don’t and I really don’t plan on buying brand new but maybe they can find something used for me.

And I hear you on asking. I’m not shy nor do I get embarrassed so I will ask ask ask like you said to get as much info as possible.

Thanks a lot for your help!

monte300
Posts: 581
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:18 pm

Re: Need advice on bass boat options 30-35k

Postby monte300 » Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:26 am

Datbasstho wrote:@monte300

Wow 30k out the door for a Triton brand new, times have changed you’re right.
And if you’re hearing people say they aren’t built the same anymore, maybe I’ll stay away.

And I’m with you on resale value. I fish for fun so I won’t need to upgrade every few years as long as everything works great. So this isn’t a big factor for me.

I hear you on finding out as much as possible on the boat but if it’s a private sale, you almost have to take the word of the owner don’t you? Other than examining the important parts, you almost have to wait and see what happens when it’s yours no?

Thank you so much for your help!


You're welcome! I think a 19' Triton with a 175 nowadays would be in the neighborhood of $52k brand new. I bought my Triton before they became popular on the west coast and it was built in Ashland Tennessee. The word on the street is after Triton started sponsoring BASS and they were giving them away as part of the prize package, the quality of the boat suffered, particularly the hull.

If the seller of a used boat is a tournament guy(which I'm not)other people can tell you how he treated his boat. I hear ya though if you're dealing with a total stranger. My advice is to pay a good mechanic like Boatmasters $100 to go through the boat and motor looking for issues before actually purchasing a used boat.

When it comes to motors you probably want to stay away from Evinrude, which is what I have. I love my motor and it has been good to me but Evinrude is now out of business. However, there are plenty of parts and mechanics that work on Evinrude's and if you get a good deal on an ETEC it's still one hell of an engine. It's hard to beat Mercury with quality, reliability and the number of mechanics that work on them. I hear Yamaha is a great engine, but I also hear it's not the easiest to find a mechanic to to the work on it.

Datbasstho
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:02 am

Re: Need advice on bass boat options 30-35k

Postby Datbasstho » Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:13 pm

monte300 wrote:
You're welcome! I think a 19' Triton with a 175 nowadays would be in the neighborhood of $52k brand new. I bought my Triton before they became popular on the west coast and it was built in Ashland Tennessee. The word on the street is after Triton started sponsoring BASS and they were giving them away as part of the prize package, the quality of the boat suffered, particularly the hull.

If the seller of a used boat is a tournament guy(which I'm not)other people can tell you how he treated his boat. I hear ya though if you're dealing with a total stranger. My advice is to pay a good mechanic like Boatmasters $100 to go through the boat and motor looking for issues before actually purchasing a used boat.

When it comes to motors you probably want to stay away from Evinrude, which is what I have. I love my motor and it has been good to me but Evinrude is now out of business. However, there are plenty of parts and mechanics that work on Evinrude's and if you get a good deal on an ETEC it's still one hell of an engine. It's hard to beat Mercury with quality, reliability and the number of mechanics that work on them. I hear Yamaha is a great engine, but I also hear it's not the easiest to find a mechanic to to the work on it.


I would definitely get a mechanic to look over the engine if i was buying private thats for sure.
And I heard about Evinrude's and im sure theres a few good ones but I should avoid them if I could.

I know the motor is a massive deal when buying a boat now.
I used to have a 2003 Johnson but inside was a Suzuki and guys LOVED my engine. Lol they said before johnson started making pos versions of their motors.

What about my question about older boat but more reputable/expensive brand?
Like would you take a 2016 Nitro Z19 or a 2012 Ranger Z520? I just used those two as examples assuming they would be similar in price average.

MichaelB
Posts: 349
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2016 6:48 am
Location: Modesto, CA

Re: Need advice on bass boat options 30-35k

Postby MichaelB » Wed Apr 07, 2021 5:56 pm

The Z520 is the Ranger flagship, and you can't compare it to a Nitro that is 3 or 4 years newer.
The Ranger is a nicer and better built boat. Especially a Z boat in that 2011-2012 age.
And if the Z520 is in very good shape ...... you're gonna need to boost your budget.

monte300
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Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:18 pm

Re: Need advice on bass boat options 30-35k

Postby monte300 » Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:00 pm

MichaelB wrote:The Z520 is the Ranger flagship, and you can't compare it to a Nitro that is 3 or 4 years newer.
The Ranger is a nicer and better built boat. Especially a Z boat in that 2011-2012 age.
And if the Z520 is in very good shape ...... you're gonna need to boost your budget.


I saw a Z520 Ranger being towed down the freeway today with a racing Mercury 250 on it that was one sweet looking rig

Datbasstho
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Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:02 am

Re: Need advice on bass boat options 30-35k

Postby Datbasstho » Wed Apr 07, 2021 7:36 pm

MichaelB wrote:The Z520 is the Ranger flagship, and you can't compare it to a Nitro that is 3 or 4 years newer.
The Ranger is a nicer and better built boat. Especially a Z boat in that 2011-2012 age.
And if the Z520 is in very good shape ...... you're gonna need to boost your budget.


You’re right.
I spoke to a friend of mine who’s a professional angler and he said the exact same thing. They cannot be compared.

I think I’m leaning towards a Ranger now.
I’ve found some 2011-2014 in the 35-40k prices ranges which is considering.

monte300
Posts: 581
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:18 pm

Re: Need advice on bass boat options 30-35k

Postby monte300 » Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:30 am

Datbasstho wrote:
MichaelB wrote:The Z520 is the Ranger flagship, and you can't compare it to a Nitro that is 3 or 4 years newer.
The Ranger is a nicer and better built boat. Especially a Z boat in that 2011-2012 age.
And if the Z520 is in very good shape ...... you're gonna need to boost your budget.


You’re right.
I spoke to a friend of mine who’s a professional angler and he said the exact same thing. They cannot be compared.

I think I’m leaning towards a Ranger now.
I’ve found some 2011-2014 in the 35-40k prices ranges which is considering.


I think the Ranger is probably the smart move in your case.

Datbasstho
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Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:02 am

Re: Need advice on bass boat options 30-35k

Postby Datbasstho » Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:37 am

monte300 wrote:
I think the Ranger is probably the smart move in your case.



I agree.

Let me know if any of you see any good deals for some Z520's in the 2013-2015 range!

Thanks everyone!!

Mark-C
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:59 pm
Location: Sacramento

Re: Need advice on bass boat options 30-35k

Postby Mark-C » Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:06 am

Did you see the thread below regarding Ranger? Seems they are having some serious issues with extremely poor customer service. Not the same company anymore that made Ranger have the loyal following it has enjoyed forever.
have-you-called-ranger-boats-lately-t132417.html

Datbasstho
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:02 am

Re: Need advice on bass boat options 30-35k

Postby Datbasstho » Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:55 am

Mark-C wrote:Did you see the thread below regarding Ranger? Seems they are having some serious issues with extremely poor customer service. Not the same company anymore that made Ranger have the loyal following it has enjoyed forever.
have-you-called-ranger-boats-lately-t132417.html



Thanks for the link, I read it, it seems theyre not good at direct customer service these days.
Could it be covid related? who knows.

The thing is, based on my budget ill be looking at 2013-2015 models and I dont think I would ever have a reason to call Ranger directly so I dont think their customer service matters to me.

But for the guys buying the newer boats they should call their dealer instead like mentioned in that thread.....unless they built their own from Ranger directly, then I can see why theyre angry.


MichaelB
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Location: Modesto, CA

Re: Need advice on bass boat options 30-35k

Postby MichaelB » Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:02 pm

You are making the right move looking for a Ranger.
As you probably guessed, I own a Ranger myself. I will also add that a BassCat and a Phoenix are both on the same quality level as a Ranger ..... so I would not rule out those boats. As you noted in your original post, the condition of your OB is your #1 concern with a used boat. You need to be looking for lower hours and a boat with good compression numbers and available service records. Your seller should share these details with you. Would also be good to call whoever services your prospective boat and talk to them.

Datbasstho
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:02 am

Re: Need advice on bass boat options 30-35k

Postby Datbasstho » Thu Apr 08, 2021 1:49 pm



I have, still looking, leaning towards Ranger unless the right deal comes.

First link: looking for minimum 19’
Second link: looking for 2013-2015 do not like the color
Third link: nice but too far. I’m in the east coast.

Appreciate the time and helping out on some boats to show me!

monte300
Posts: 581
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:18 pm

Re: Need advice on bass boat options 30-35k

Postby monte300 » Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:02 pm

Datbasstho wrote:


I have, still looking, leaning towards Ranger unless the right deal comes.

First link: looking for minimum 19’
Second link: looking for 2013-2015 do not like the color
Third link: nice but too far. I’m in the east coast.

Appreciate the time and helping out on some boats to show me!


While looking for you a boat I ran across a scam. Check out my post on that

Mark-C
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:59 pm
Location: Sacramento

Re: Need advice on bass boat options 30-35k

Postby Mark-C » Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:27 pm

We have a good amount of wind in the Delta and at our local lakes and it frequently gets rough. My current boat is a 20 footer and my next one will be 21 feet. I believe you will be happier with a larger boat that not only handles better in those conditions but is better suited to adding things like shallow water anchors that put weight on the stern. Lot of great boat brands to choose from.
good luck!

Datbasstho
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:02 am

Re: Need advice on bass boat options 30-35k

Postby Datbasstho » Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:39 pm

monte300 wrote:
Datbasstho wrote:


I have, still looking, leaning towards Ranger unless the right deal comes.

First link: looking for minimum 19’
Second link: looking for 2013-2015 do not like the color
Third link: nice but too far. I’m in the east coast.

Appreciate the time and helping out on some boats to show me!


While looking for you a boat I ran across a scam. Check out my post on that


Where’s the post?
And I came across one too, the email came from an “lady” who’s husband just passed and she is moving away etc lol

Datbasstho
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:02 am

Re: Need advice on bass boat options 30-35k

Postby Datbasstho » Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:39 pm

Mark-C wrote:We have a good amount of wind in the Delta and at our local lakes and it frequently gets rough. My current boat is a 20 footer and my next one will be 21 feet. I believe you will be happier with a larger boat that not only handles better in those conditions but is better suited to adding things like shallow water anchors that put weight on the stern. Lot of great boat brands to choose from.
good luck!


Appreciate your advice!!


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