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Bass boats to seek and avoid?

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by Dennis in MA, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. Dennis in MA

    Dennis in MA Get off my lawn

    Aug 16, 2001
    Taunton, MA
    I'm assuming that all boats are not created equal. I've realized that welded aluminum is better than riveted.

    But what brands/styles/etc. have you found are good and bad.

    For background, I'm hoping to go used. But in the Northeast, we are salt-water heaven. Freshwater - while plentiful in my locale, is not the norm. So the # of small freshwater boats with the right specs is hard.

    I'm looking 14-17' in length. Aluminum for lightness. This is not a hard-use boat. A calm lake is all we will be on. Heck, we've got a 9.9hp restriction, so we wont' be tooling at 40mph anywhere, unless it's falling off the trailer on the way from the seller.

    I see ads on Craigslist for 1990's vintage and sometimes 1980's vintage boats for what I think is serious money. Riveted Trackers and such. Are these reliable? Am I buying a pig in a poke? Should I just bite the bullet and buy new.

    I did notice that Lowe boats tend to go for more money than Trackers on the used market. Not sure what the diff. is brand-new.

    My goal is 2 guys fishing 90% of the time. 10% of the time is a family of 4.5 going for a dink-around pleasure cruise on the lake.

    Any advice on what to look for and what to avoid would be great.

  2. Big Bird

    Big Bird NRA Life Member

    Aug 7, 2003
    Louisville KY
    You want a welded body--not riveted. The rivets leak--eventually. Also, bigger is better. Especially if two people are involved. A smaller boat is more maneuverable. But a bigger boat is a lot more stable when two guys are standing up fishing on the front and rear deck. I have a Triton 19' and its OK for 2 guys but I wish I had a 21'

    Bass Pro markets a very nice 17.5 aluminum boat with a 90 HP Evinrude that I think you can catch on sale for $15K from time to time (or end of year close out). Its a good boat and you won't find a used one much cheaper....or at least one you'll want to own.

    The big issue for me when I was looking at used boats was the motor. You simply cannot tell how the previous owner used/abused the motor. They are real easy to ruin by someone who doesn't know what they are doing. If you go out and buy a used boat with a crummy motor and have to go buy a new motor or spend big $ o get it fixed you are almost better off buying new.

    Having said that I bought my boat used but had it checked out by a marine mechanic and also most importantly--test drove it for a half an hour in some water! If the seller isn't willing to let you drive it--no deal.

  3. Dennis in MA

    Dennis in MA Get off my lawn

    Aug 16, 2001
    Taunton, MA
    Thanks, BB. Good advice. I went welded. Post on GNG about it.