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Boat Question 2:  Size & HP?


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I was looking at some of the BASS/FLW pro's boat stats, and I noticed that there are quite a few that are running 19 foot boats with 200 HP motors.  Most are running 20 footers with 225s, and a small number are running 21s with 250s.

I'd love to hear all your thoughts on what size boat to get, and the pros and cons of bigger versus smaller.    I'll be using it on Lake Mead quite a bit, so I have decided that anything under 19 is crazy.  It will also be used quite a bit for tournaments.

Also, what would be the tradeoffs going from 200 to 225 to 250HP?  Is there a reason that BASS and FLW are still running 225s when they could run 250s?  Will the range of a 21ft boat with a 250 be so much shorter than a 19 with a 200 that that could make a difference on a lake like Mead?  What would be the top end speed differences between the 19/200 and the 21/250?

Thanks again.

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Much shorter than 19 and it's not going to be rated for a 200, you're getting down to the 150 - 175's

Most 19 footers are only rated for a 200

Don't know of any 20's rated for a 250, many will run an HO or Optimax where rules will let them

You pretty much have to go 21 or better to run 250's.

Tourny rules do not allow boats that exceed max hull rated hp and they do not allow any modifications to the motor.

You've also got to remember, most of those guys (higher ranked) run what their sponsor's furnish. Many of Those at the bottom of the rankings don't have the financing to use those bigger boats.

When you almost live in a boat like those guys do, you want the biggest, most comfortable boat with the most storage room you can get.

As for speed, the 19's are usually going to be the slowest by several mph. The 20's and 21's are going to be similar, depending on load and setup with the 21/250 rig usually being a couple mph faster. However, there are some of the 20's w/225's that will outrun them.

As for what's best, that's totally individual preference, what you can afford and how much you want each trip to cost you. The bigger the floater, the more it cost to own, tow and operate it. Then you have to figure, do you want speed or comfort and fishability. For outright speed, the Allison or Bullet or Stoker is the way to go, but you give up a lot of room/comfort. The next step down is the Gambler, they give a little more room/comfort and still have above average speed. The step down speed wise would probably be the Triton.

If speed is not you driving force, the Ranger's, Stratos's and Champion's are hard to beat. They are fast, just normally not quit as fast those built for more speed, but they offer the most comfort.

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Thanks.  I understand exactly what you are saying.  I guess my question is what other reasons besides "dollars and cents" would I choose a 20 with a 225 over the same company's 21 with a 250?

Thanks again.

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Hey Texasbass1,

where are you in Texas?  I'll more than likely be making my boat purchase somewhere around Dallas (my mom is north of Dallas about 1 1/2 hours).  

Thanks for the help.  I understand the cost issues.  I was just wondering if there was any other reason not to buy the bigger boat with the bigger engine.

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It's all about how much room and storage you want, how comfortable you want to be and what kind of ride you want.  Bigger is better all the way around when it comes to a fishing platform.   You've just got to factor in how big you want the cost.  I use a 18.5' Stratos 285 Pro and it gets mighty dang small with two people in it.  You still have to work around the guy in the back seat if you're casting anywhere toward the front of the boat with a 7' rod.  I'm giving serious consideration of stepping up to a 201.  

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