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Old 05-22-2022, 09:36 AM   #1
tazhunter0
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Default G.S. advice on buying first boat

Wife and I are wanting to get a boat for fishing. We probably will be fishing lakes mainly. It will be a first boat for us and not wanting to rob a bank to pay for it. We would like to buy new so we would hopefully have some kind of warranty on it. Suggestion from her brother was something in the 19-21ft range.

Does the G.S. have any suggestions or opinions on what I need to look for or a place to go look at. We are in the Canton area.

Thanks
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Old 05-22-2022, 10:02 AM   #2
DUKFVR
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1st thing I would advise is do some playing on web to see what is all out there & what you defintely want or can do without. Bad time to be buying ,but it is what it is. ride in the different boats you are interested in. A ride can be a quick way to to see if you like how it handles etc.
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Old 05-22-2022, 10:05 AM   #3
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Iíve thought long and hard about buying one so Iíll add my pros and cons.

First off ďbreaking the bankĒ means a different number in the boat world than it used to, at least for me. They have gotten much more expensive.

Also, if there is an option to test before purchase, Iíd take full advantage of it. Like cars, I probably wouldnít buy one without testing it if itís new. Make sure you get exactly what you want with hull, design and motor. All that other stuff can be upgraded or changed. Not to say that you canít get a nice trolling motor or depth finder as well, but thatís ever evolving technology it seems so 10 years from now there will be bigger better. Make sure you have the exact storage you want. Think about itís primary usage. What all will you need to store in the boat. You may be able to get by with one live well if all you do is buy the occasional minnows and always catch and release. Itís nice having two though IMO. I think 19-21 is the perfect length in that situation based off what Iíve looked at as well. Iíd also get the biggest motor you can. Iíd rather be running the biggest engine and have basic trolling motors and depth finders than the other way around. Itís nice to get on plane and get where youíre going than give up 30 mph and take a football field to plane out. Itís also nice when the unexpected storm rolls in and you can get off the water fast. Getting struck by lightening doesnít feel good. Even if itís a charge off the lake surface. Ask me how I know.

If there is a chance youíd take it to the salt, get a motor built to withstand salt as well as trolling motor and be sure to wash it and run it in fresh water as soon as you get done as well as rinse it down and wash it. That salt can be very corrosive. It will destroy a regular trolling motor. Again, ask me how I know.

I live around houston so there are several boat places because of lake Conroe. I have no idea on any of them because Iíve never gotten that far into the buying process. Im sure you have plenty of options to go look in the dallas area due to all the lakes up around there as well.


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Old 05-22-2022, 10:11 AM   #4
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Oh, one more thing Iíll add. And no way is this an insult. Only buy if you can truly afford it. Ole economy isnít looking so good. But, if you can afford it, go for it. If my wife and I were passionate about fishing weíd probably own a boat. And weíd use it often. But that would be our annual ďsplurgeĒ so to speak. We wouldnít do hunting trips or vacations. At least if you can afford it and things do get crazy, you can get away from it all and go hang out with each other on the lake by yourself and enjoy some peace and quiet.


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Old 05-22-2022, 10:19 AM   #5
texasair
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Go to a big marina, walk around the docks and look at 100's of boats, pontoons, center consoles, deck boats, bass boats, skiffs, jon boats, run abouts, walk through with bow seating, lots of choices. See what appeals to you and your wife.

Some marinas secure their docks from casual observers, some don't.
Those that do, sometimes have the access open on the weekends.

Do you need room for a few other folks? Will you be doing some cruising and sight seeing?
Running jug lines and trotlines? Kids and grandkids in your future? How will the boat work on a day at the lake with them?
If it floats, you can fish from it.

My personal opinion is to insist on a galvanized or aluminum trailer, They will far outlast a painted steel trailer

Everyone has their opinion about motors. 99% of the time any motor brand will serve you well if maintained. Lean towards a brand that has good service in your local area

Storage is a issue also, Decide where you will be storing it and buy accordingly.

Last edited by texasair; 05-22-2022 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 05-22-2022, 10:37 AM   #6
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100% agree on the storage aspect….get a good enclosed storage preferably and at a bare minimum a covered storage with a boat cover.


Find out your primary usage; bass fishing, cat fishing, crappie, etc. and pick a budget. You can spend $30k on a boat or you can spend $100k so really need to decide on a budget and work within those parameters.

Also take all factors into consideration:

First boat I bought I messed up and got a good boat that had a very limited range of use. It was not comfortable in any kind of chop, would get you soaked, and wasn’t very versatile. For the same money I could have gotten a middle of the road center console that would have been a much better fit for me but I wanted to be unique so I went with a custom rig that ended up not being a good fit.

Just bought my second boat and we had to take ALL the factors into consideration including leisure activities like ski’ing, Tubing as well as just anchored up hanging out so we ended up getting a Tahoe deck boat from bass pro, and I will say I do like it.

Tracker marine has a good selection and I would look at their Nitro line of bass boats if that’s your thing, the Makos are a good CC option.

I’m a big engine guy so I tend to equip boats with the biggest engine they can handle and that’s where a lot of the cost comes in, but a 19-20’ bass boat can run fine with a 150 hp engine.


Boats are a ton of fun and if you use it they are definitely an investment into your life
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Old 05-22-2022, 10:45 AM   #7
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In before the break out another thousand boobs.

Budget is going to decide what you buy now days. Buy what makes you happy as long as it's not a fish n ski or something with a walk through windshield. Note says I wanted a boat but my wife told me she needs more seats like a fish n ski

No one boat is perfect for everything. Probably why there are 3 at my place nowadays. Center consoles are nice for room, kids etc, but they can be a pain to get in and out of without a proper platform on the rear. Deck boats catch wind, jon boats catch waves

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Old 05-22-2022, 10:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quackerbox View Post
In before the break out another thousand boobs.


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That and the ď happiest day of a boat owners life isÖĒ


Boats are very low maintenance these days and very reliable. I just got back from Choke Canyon and was fishing out of my uncles 92í champion boat. He uses it 1-3 times a year now and it fires right up every time. Other than simple maintenance and replacing batteries itís been a pretty problem free rig.
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Old 05-22-2022, 05:40 PM   #9
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I want know more about the 1000 boobs.....
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Old 05-22-2022, 05:48 PM   #10
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If a bass boat and new, get the largest engine that it is rated for.
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Old 05-22-2022, 07:26 PM   #11
Jerry Worley
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Did this about two years ago. Went with a 2000 classic 20ft bluewave with a 140 Suzuki. Love the boat. I chase cats and whites. Make sure you do the right electronics and trolling motor.
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Old 05-22-2022, 07:26 PM   #12
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I want know more about the 1000 boobs.....
Lmfao
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Old 05-22-2022, 07:59 PM   #13
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I want know more about the 1000 boobs.....
Frogies next weekend. They will come

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Old 05-22-2022, 08:13 PM   #14
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Frogies next weekend. They will come

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A 1000 boobs couldnít get me back to froggies.


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Old 05-22-2022, 08:27 PM   #15
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Wasn’t there a 4000$ boat posted yesterday? Clean as a whistle
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Old 05-22-2022, 08:53 PM   #16
HOOKNBULLET2
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I love boats…..Almost as much as I love fishing.

I’ve bought and sold 5 different boats in the last 8 years and looked at another hundred that I didn’t’ t buy. In addition, I’ve fished off of dozens more.

The first rule is all boats are a compromise. No boat is perfect.

My advise to you is to fish with as many guides as you can. Preferably on the lakes or bays you intend to fish. Tell them that are thinking about buying your first boat and let them tell you about theirs. Guides generally love to talk about their boats and how they ended up with it and what they love and or dislike about it. You should get an idea after a few trips what you want.

I highly recommend buying used. Boats like most toys loose a lot of value when you drive it off the lot. Lots of people sell 1 year old boats with less than 20 hours of use for huge discounts. Guides do this too. Many buy new boats every year.

Warranty’s on boat motors are mostly transferable and extendable usually up to 6 years. I bought a boat a couple years ago that was less than a year old and was only used for one weekend. It had 6 hours on it and I paid $20k less than original owner. I took it to the local Yamaha dealer and extended the warranty to 6 years and now have no worries about motor issues.

Other than the motor, the stuff that quits working on a boat is cheap to replace. Things like bilge pumps, aerators, and lights are maybe a hundred dollars to replace.

I could go on for hours, so PM me if you want to discuss.
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Old 05-22-2022, 09:05 PM   #17
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1. How many boats have you been on? Ever spend a lot of time on a boat?
2. What will you be fishing for?
3. You looking to peter around or blast across the lake?
4. Any chance you will tow a wake board or skier?
5. Big lake or small?

There are huge differences in 1-2 hour morning bass fishing trips versus all night catfishing trips versus just boating and swimming.
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Old 05-23-2022, 07:02 AM   #18
FVR JR
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Make sure you get the biggest, fanciest, fastest boat that you can't really afford. You need at least 300 hp, 2 power poles, more lights than a casino, and the loudest stereo you can find. Then make sure you NEVER practice backing the trailer in. Don't worry about loading it or cranking it before you're on the ramp either. The closer and faster you can burn the shoreline the better.

Seriously, figure out your needs, wants, and don't wants. No one boat will do anything, you'll have to compromise somewhere. For instance: My jon boat was cheap and will run shallower than most any bay boat, but is slow, small, and beats the heck out of you in any chop. Go used if possible and budget well. Keeping things simple and taking care of stuff will prevent lots of headaches. A test drive will tell you more than anyone on the internet. Show us what you get
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Old 05-23-2022, 07:16 AM   #19
Lynn21
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Acronym for Boat- bust out another thousand…. Been there.
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Old 05-23-2022, 08:03 AM   #20
Jason Fry
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In 2004 I bought a 1993 and fished it for 7 years. Paid 4K, sold for 2200.
In 2011 I bought a 2004 and fished it for 7 years. Paid 8500, sold for 6000.

The way I look at it, I basically paid 4500 to fish for 14 years.

That's the way I'll keep doing it when I move back to fishing country from this barren wasteland. Buy a solid used boat, fish the heck out of it, sell it, repeat.
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Old 05-23-2022, 08:16 AM   #21
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Bass boats took a steep jump in price in the last few years. Can buy a loaded truck cheaper than a loaded 250HP Skeeter....
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Old 05-23-2022, 08:23 AM   #22
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And there it is. Ironic, not so much
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Old 05-23-2022, 08:33 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quackerbox View Post
And there it is. Ironic, not so much
Lmao, I was thinking the same thing. Took 19 post though. I was expecting it sooner than that👍
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Old 05-23-2022, 08:39 AM   #24
tps7742
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Hire a guide.
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Old 05-23-2022, 08:46 AM   #25
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Best advice: Don't buy one!
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Old 05-23-2022, 09:54 AM   #26
DaveC
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I've had 4.

My favorite looking back was the 16' bass boat wanna be aluminum that had a 50 on the back. My others were larger, but also more costly to own.

When the boat is so ugly it will only impress other catfishers, you don't have to sweat keeping the looks up so much.
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Old 05-23-2022, 10:40 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gingib View Post
Best advice: Don't buy one!

I agree! Get a couple so you have all your bases covered!


Quote:
Originally Posted by tps7742 View Post
Hire a guide.
Also sound advice! I could do a couple trips for just what I spend in tires alone annually!
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Old 05-23-2022, 11:08 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gingib View Post
Best advice: Don't buy one!
Boats are like swimming pools. Way cooler when when itís your friends.
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Old 05-23-2022, 11:31 AM   #29
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Look really hard at what you want to do with it. Buy the boat you need for what you do 90% of the time and make do the rest. Be very honest with yourself about what those uses will be.

In general you need a boat that is small enough to handle easily, trailers well and fits in the garage but big enough to take lots of people with you to the sand bar. Shallow enough to access shallow areas but not so shallow that it rides too rough in big water. A big enough motor to run fast but not so big you can't afford to feed it. You need tons of storage to carry all the gear you never really use and seating for 10 but at the same time a nice open floorplan with lots of fishing space. Its gotta have all the bells and whistles but kept at a very reasonable price. You need one that will get up in a foot of water on the shallow bay flats but also low profile and fishable on the bass lake yet maneuverable enough to chase down jug lines while also able to take on 4-6'ers offshore in the gulf. If you can find all of that you've found the perfect boat. None of us have found one like it yet. So you just have to figure out which of those things you'll do the most and are most important to you and go with it.
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Old 05-23-2022, 11:45 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tps7742 View Post
Hire a guide.
THIS!!
From some one who grew up on the coast and owned "a few" boats and who know more boat owners than I can count, I SAY HIRE A GUIDE...
Most only use a boat 6-8 times a year and then they set the rest of the time and that ain't good on boats. I currently own 2 now, both used, one runs great(18foot flat bottom tunnel with a 90hp Yamaha) and the other was a project when I bought it 4 years ago(21 Ft Explorer with a 150hp Ocean Pro)for a VERY good price.. I'm considering selling both.. Coastal fishing ain't what used to be.. Not even close!!! I don't care what any young buck says.. They never saw the days of good fishing..

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Old 05-23-2022, 12:02 PM   #31
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If you are wanting one for fishing mainly, don't buy a ski boat. Fishing out of a ski boat is a pain in the ***. Ask my brother, he let his wife talk him into a ski boat.

You can ski out of a fishing boat good enough to learn that you'll never be a professional skier.
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Old 05-23-2022, 12:09 PM   #32
bowhuntermac
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I can tell you from just going through the same process, I wound up going with a triton patriot TRX bass boat. I figured I would buy once and be done for a very long time. Here is the problem with getting a new boat… The turnaround times are ridiculous. I started talking to the dealership in January. Figured out what I wanted and wrote the check early in the first week of February to order it. I am now over three 1/2 months waiting on that boat, and was told I should have it within six weeks. All of the manufacturers are swamped, and running short on components and labor. My original date for delivery was March 20. We are now at May 23. I leave for Africa this Saturday for two weeks. I have already told the dealership that if my boat is not here by the time I get back I want my money back. While I know it is not their fault, colorado has a very short fishing season, and I’m not going to buy a brand new boat to use it for a month and then put it away to get ready for archery season. At this point I have completely missed the spawn, and by the time the boat gets here post spawn activity will be over too. I would have gone the used route, but there was just nothing within a reasonable driving distance of me. I looked at all the surrounding states. Given you are in Texas, you probably have a lot more to pick from on the used market, and I would go that route instead of ordering new and waiting for God knows how long at this point.
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Old 05-24-2022, 08:44 AM   #33
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Chris i just want to add that i hadn't owned a boat in 15 years and in my mind i had it made out to be a hassle I didn't want to deal with. Keeping registration current on boat and trailer, lights working, blah blah. I bought a small aluminum boat last year for hunting which led to me getting more into fishing and just taking the kids out to swim. The downside is holy crap have I dumped some money into it on electronics, nice seats, etc. The big upside is I have something to look forward to on the weekends when I have time. January-August used to be kind of my off season. Now I at least have something to get me out of the house. I'm no help on what kind of boat to get, but get one!
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Old 05-24-2022, 08:54 AM   #34
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Rent one when needed, cheaper unless use often.


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Old 05-24-2022, 10:12 AM   #35
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I have never understood the boat hate. Any hobby costs money. I spend more on hunting every year than owning, maintaining and running the boat. I spend less time hunting and get less out of it. Being on the water is therapeutic for sure.


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Old 05-24-2022, 10:25 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasBob View Post
I have never understood the boat hate. Any hobby costs money. I spend more on hunting every year than owning, maintaining and running the boat. I spend less time hunting and get less out of it. Being on the water is therapeutic for sure.


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IMO those opinions are mostly folks who bought a boat to collect dust or bought junk from the jump.

Like you said, I spent more money filling feeders last year than maintenance on my boat since Ive owned it. Water pumps, oil changes etc aint squat unless youre paying 160 an hour mechanic to do it.

My family has had boats since I was born and had as many as 3 at a time. One of those we threw money at after having the motor bored chasing a high temp alarm. Havent owned a merc since. The rest have been great rigs
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Old 05-24-2022, 10:44 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lights Out View Post
Boats are like swimming pools. Way cooler when when itís your friends.
FACTS!!!

And like swimming pools, the newness wears off quick
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Old 05-24-2022, 10:46 AM   #38
gingib
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Quote:
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I have never understood the boat hate. Any hobby costs money. I spend more on hunting every year than owning, maintaining and running the boat. I spend less time hunting and get less out of it. Being on the water is therapeutic for sure.


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Sorry I hunt weekly, and I do not spend as much money as he would on a monthly payment on a depreciating toy and on top of that the high interest payments. Not to mention repairs, maintenance, and storage
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Old 05-24-2022, 11:04 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gingib View Post
Sorry I hunt weekly, and I do not spend as much money as he would on a monthly payment on a depreciating toy and on top of that the high interest payments. Not to mention repairs, maintenance, and storage
Boats like everything else have gone through the roof. Fortunately both current boats are selling for more than I paid for either.

Example....this boat is a year older than mine, used and not remotely as clean. Its listed for enough over what I paid. I could sell, have/wait for a new boat and be out less than I originally paid.

https://www.boattrader.com/boat/2015...4-xts-8318568/
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Old 05-24-2022, 11:20 AM   #40
hogslayer78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gingib View Post
FACTS!!!

And like swimming pools, the newness wears off quick
Im 4 1/2 years into mine and the new hasn't worn off yet? Never been in the shop for anything and all oil changes and maintenance I have done. My lease and hunting costs me WAY more yearly than my boat.....

Maybe alot of the hate is from people who thought they could fish and couldn't so they get aggravated going out and not catching anything....

Also there are alot of great comments on here and some not so much. Op if you want a good fishing rig, you will need decent electronics and trolling motor. Bigger motor is good but I dont have to be the first person across the lake but I do want to find fish and catch some.
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Old 05-24-2022, 11:24 AM   #41
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just like my grandma always says: "if it floats, flys, or ....., RENT IT!"
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Old 05-24-2022, 11:26 AM   #42
txtrophy85
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Location: Boerne
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Originally Posted by JTRichardson View Post
just like my grandma always says: "if it floats, flys, or ....., RENT IT!"
How many planes and boats did granny own?
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Old 05-24-2022, 11:27 AM   #43
Jason Fry
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Originally Posted by JTRichardson View Post
just like my grandma always says: "if it floats, flys, or ....., RENT IT!"
I thought it was "If it floats, flies, or fornicates, it's cheaper to rent"
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Old 05-24-2022, 11:34 AM   #44
Mayhem
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Location: porter, tx
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I would be a very sad dude if I had to get rid of my boat. To hell with hoping a guide has an opening when you wan to go fishing or waiting to be invited. When I decide to go fishing it goes in the water.


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Old 05-24-2022, 11:36 AM   #45
Mr. Public
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Don't buy it until you drive it and it makes y'all smile from ear to ear.
Test EVERYTHING!
Take your time, if its a pushy seller, tell them to shove it or ignore and continue inspecting and testing out everything.
Compression test on each cylinder if buying used motor, very simple to do.
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Old 05-24-2022, 12:26 PM   #46
JTRichardson
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I thought it was "If it floats, flies, or fornicates, it's cheaper to rent"
that's what it was! I couldn't remember the "f" word you used
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Old 05-24-2022, 12:27 PM   #47
JTRichardson
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Originally Posted by txtrophy85 View Post
How many planes and boats did granny own?
Those were simpler times and a question I am far to afraid to ask her...
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Old 05-24-2022, 12:37 PM   #48
Hoggslayer
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Location: Manvel, TX mostly in the Doghouse
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Im 4 1/2 years into mine and the new hasn't worn off yet? Never been in the shop for anything and all oil changes and maintenance I have done. My lease and hunting costs me WAY more yearly than my boat.....

Maybe alot of the hate is from people who thought they could fish and couldn't so they get aggravated going out and not catching anything....

Also there are alot of great comments on here and some not so much. Op if you want a good fishing rig, you will need decent electronics and trolling motor. Bigger motor is good but I dont have to be the first person across the lake but I do want to find fish and catch some.
That's what I was thinking.

As far as accessories for my boat, the I-pilot trolling motor was a game changer for me. I'll never own another boat without it. Power pole is next thing on my list.
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Old 05-24-2022, 12:50 PM   #49
DamonJ
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That's what I was thinking.

As far as accessories for my boat, the I-pilot trolling motor was a game changer for me. I'll never own another boat without it. Power pole is next thing on my list.
Agree 100% about the trolling motor statement.

When you got to get your Power pole, make it Poles... I went with one originally and just got done adding the 2nd.....
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Old 05-24-2022, 12:59 PM   #50
Snowflake Killa
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I would recommend that you don't buy one there is enough on the water already

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