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Hello All

Spring of 2017 I plan to purchase a new / slightly used bass boat. I need some help from everyone. Any insight would be very helpful on what you have owned along with any regrets you may have in your purchases. Currently I have a 2000 pro team 175. I 100% will not buy another aluminum boat. I am sick of getting blown all over on a breezy (not windy) day and lack of storage (especially rods) frustrates the hell out of me. This was my first boat and I have learned a lot from it about what I would like to have in a new boat. The biggest lakes I may fish once or twice a year would be Table Rock Lake or Lake of the Ozarks. Budget is between 30K- 40K. Any input on new vs. used,  brand, size, engine mfg. and size, storage, electronics, accessories, features, and so on. I would prefer to stay 5 years or less on a used boat if possible. I do also fish several smaller lakes around my area that have an electric only motor requirement or idle only. I have fished a few tournaments over the last couple of years but would like to do more once I have something that can carry more gear and so on. I know this is fairly vague but I am curious to hear what everyone has to say about possible boats on the market today.

 

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Going to be a Ford vs Chevy thread.  I'd look very hard at a Phenix 721 myself.  The ride is pretty special.

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webertime you are right the Phoenix 721 is awesome and but even if he can find one slightly used it probably will be outside his budget,  if so a new 618 is going for $35 000 so it would leave him some room for upgrades. Either way I am amazed how well they make their boats. You can tell that true competitive anglers are behind the designs. Things that are important are where they should be and extras are added as well.

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If I could have found a Phoenix 618 closer than 10hrs away I would have bought one but ended up with a 2016 Triton 18TRX and so far its been a nice boat and blows way the Nitro Z18 I was debating on

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I totally agree with  you the Tritons are my second choice. I ran 14 hours west, back in April, to spend 10 days on Dale Hollow Lake. I stopped at 2 Triton dealers, 1 Phoenix dealer and a Bass Cat dealer. I liked the 18 trx as well. I just never got to drive one out there..

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BassCat or Phoenix in the 19-20' range. I have a 20' Puma with a Pro XS on it. It is very fast but from the simplicity and mechanical aspect of it if I could do it over again I would go four stroke. I bought mine used with 40 hours on it for just over 30. Wether you pick new or used find something with a warranty. These outboard repairs are much more than what your tracker had. I came from a Pro 165 tracker and got the cat for the same reasons . Be aware, having a big glass boat is WAY different. Even besides the obvious things like speed and stability, there are other things like fuel cost, oil and additive costs. Also, glass is a lot less forgiving. if you bump a dock you can do some damage that's expensive to repair. 

 

If you are fishing electric only lakes, the 36 Volt trolling motor may be a good idea. My boat does on with the 82# 24V. As far as electronics, play around with them and see which interface you like better, then make your choice on screen size. Theyre like TVs, you will not regret getting a larger graph, only smaller. 

The biggest thing that I can stress is that EVERYTHING to do with owning a glass boat is expensive. 

Towing- They're a lot heavier thus costing more fuel to tow, also dual axle trailers cost more for tolls.

Insurance- Much higher. Make sure you get an AGREED HULL VALUE policy. Check out Progressive with the propulsion plus rider.

2 Stroke Oil. Mercury DFI oil is $40 a gallon and it goes fast along with the fuel. A short day for me may be 10 gallons of fuel alone.

I don't mean to deter you from this. Just trying to pass what I have learned in the past year of going from tin to glass. Honestly, I am considering selling mine due to cost of operation and that I am more afraid to damage something than fish and enjoy the boat. 

Whatever you do, make sure you research, and ride in each boat, but again be aware these things are a lot more money to own. 

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11 hours ago, DelcoSol said:

BassCat or Phoenix in the 19-20' range. I have a 20' Puma with a Pro XS on it. It is very fast but from the simplicity and mechanical aspect of it if I could do it over again I would go four stroke. I bought mine used with 40 hours on it for just over 30. Wether you pick new or used find something with a warranty. These outboard repairs are much more than what your tracker had. I came from a Pro 165 tracker and got the cat for the same reasons . Be aware, having a big glass boat is WAY different. Even besides the obvious things like speed and stability, there are other things like fuel cost, oil and additive costs. Also, glass is a lot less forgiving. if you bump a dock you can do some damage that's expensive to repair. 

 

If you are fishing electric only lakes, the 36 Volt trolling motor may be a good idea. My boat does on with the 82# 24V. As far as electronics, play around with them and see which interface you like better, then make your choice on screen size. Theyre like TVs, you will not regret getting a larger graph, only smaller. 

The biggest thing that I can stress is that EVERYTHING to do with owning a glass boat is expensive. 

Towing- They're a lot heavier thus costing more fuel to tow, also dual axle trailers cost more for tolls.

Insurance- Much higher. Make sure you get an AGREED HULL VALUE policy. Check out Progressive with the propulsion plus rider.

2 Stroke Oil. Mercury DFI oil is $40 a gallon and it goes fast along with the fuel. A short day for me may be 10 gallons of fuel alone.

I don't mean to deter you from this. Just trying to pass what I have learned in the past year of going from tin to glass. Honestly, I am considering selling mine due to cost of operation and that I am more afraid to damage something than fish and enjoy the boat. 

Whatever you do, make sure you research, and ride in each boat, but again be aware these things are a lot more money to own. 

Thanks for the response. I have been looking for a four stroke but there are not that many out on the used market around here. With the large two stroke outboards, do you feel like there is a ton of maintenance or is in the shop quite often? Does anyone have any comments on engine manufacturers within the last 7-8 years? Mercury? Evinrude? Yamaha?

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27 minutes ago, Frisbie385 said:

Thanks for the response. I have been looking for a four stroke but there are not that many out on the used market around here. With the large two stroke outboards, do you feel like there is a ton of maintenance or is in the shop quite often? Does anyone have any comments on engine manufacturers within the last 7-8 years? Mercury? Evinrude? Yamaha?

My Evinrude ETEC (2-stroke) went into the shop last week for it's scheduled 3yr/300hr maintenance...First and only time it's been in.  It's efficient on both gas and oil consumption and I've been very happy with it.  I'll be in the market for a new rig in about 2 years when my warranty is up and my first choice for outboards is going to be the new Evinrude G2 which has a 7 year warranty and no scheduled service for 5 years.  Might not end up with one depending on the deals out there at the time, but if it comes down to a choice, that's the direction I'm looking.  Mercury, Evinrude, and Yamaha all make great motors these days and with your budget you should be able to get something with all or most of it's warranty left.  I've got friends with newer model Merc ProXS and Yamaha SHO motors and they have mostly been trouble free as well.  

Best advice I can give you is that when presented with a choice...Always go bigger over smaller (assuming you don't have storage issues) and more HP over less.  I've never met anyone that regretted getting the bigger boat or more powerful motor, but I know several that regret going the other way.  

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No need to buy $40 Mercury two stroke oil !!!   I have been running Mercury Pro XS motors since 2011 on Pennzoil XLF oil from Wally World for $17 a gallon.  Put over 420 hours on my 2011 175 Pro XS then traded it off for my current 2014 225 Pro XS and I have 250+ hours on it now in two and half seasons.  Neither motor has ever been to the dealer for work, other than a small piece of a wooden twig that got lodged in my 225 thermostat causing the horn to beep due to uneven head temperature at extended idle speed.  I used 15 gallons last year and this year so far I am on my 10th gallon and still have four months of fishing to go.  So if you do the math 15 gallons of oil per year at $40 is $600.  I spend $255 per year for Pennzoil XLF.

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ranger.bass cat ,phoenix,skeeter. you can find some really good deals on boat trader etc. again it's apples and oranges. until you find the right one you can drive yourself crazy.   have fun !!!!

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21 hours ago, stfreed said:

No need to buy $40 Mercury two stroke oil !!!   I have been running Mercury Pro XS motors since 2011 on Pennzoil XLF oil from Wally World for $17 a gallon.  Put over 420 hours on my 2011 175 Pro XS then traded it off for my current 2014 225 Pro XS and I have 250+ hours on it now in two and half seasons.  Neither motor has ever been to the dealer for work, other than a small piece of a wooden twig that got lodged in my 225 thermostat causing the horn to beep due to uneven head temperature at extended idle speed.  I used 15 gallons last year and this year so far I am on my 10th gallon and still have four months of fishing to go.  So if you do the math 15 gallons of oil per year at $40 is $600.  I spend $255 per year for Pennzoil XLF.

While you may have been lucky, the $13 saved per gallon isn't worth the potential of the damage that may occur. I agree that it MAY not hurt it, but for that money I don't think I could take the chance for something that important. I work in the automotive field and see way too many things that are "just as good as OEM" fail and cause trouble. With something as critical as engine lubrication, I would rather be safe than sorry and trust the manufacturer. 

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I second that thought. On these new engines they run so close to the ragged edge and a cooked cylinder is just asking for the manufacturer to refuse warranty, if i get past warranty I know I don't want a $4000 repair bill. A new engine cost WAY WAY more than I even want to think about.  To save a dollar or two per gallon is too big a gamble. Go read the operations manual and break in procedure for the new motors, it is crazy!!!  I am pretty serious about getting a new boat, I called a few dealers that were even 8 hours away from me, they were happy to have me drive that far but were reluctant to demo a boat because the engine was not broke in. I told them no thanks I would look elsewhere. My problem is we have only one bass boat dealer in the whole state of MD.

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If y'all aint fished out of a Legend ya need to!

 

In my little pea brain the hull is a cross between a Hydra-Sport & Champion...a fast dry ride in chop!

BassCat would be my #2 pick!

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On ‎8‎/‎10‎/‎2016 at 7:15 AM, DelcoSol said:

While you may have been lucky, the $13 saved per gallon isn't worth the potential of the damage that may occur. I agree that it MAY not hurt it, but for that money I don't think I could take the chance for something that important. I work in the automotive field and see way too many things that are "just as good as OEM" fail and cause trouble. With something as critical as engine lubrication, I would rather be safe than sorry and trust the manufacturer. 

Maybe it is luck maybe the name brand oil is hype.  :-)  I know lots of Etec guys in my area that have had blown engines while running the Evinrude brand oil.   650 hours is proof to me that Pennzoil makes a good product.  In fact there are only so many oil producers and they re-brand the bottles and sell them under several brand names.  In the end each person can spend their money however they want.  I love the guys that spend $40 for oil then go to speedway and fill the tank with ethanol laden gasoline to save a few pennies on gas.

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I pulled the trigger early. I went ahead and bought a boat.

2013 Nitro Z7 DC with a Mercury 150 four stroke with only 48 hrs. Ill post some pictures later on

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Congrats I am sure you will love it.  I have heard that motor run and it is quiet.  Good Luck can not wait to see pics of course.

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On August 8, 2016 at 8:16 PM, DelcoSol said:

BassCat or Phoenix in the 19-20' range. I have a 20' Puma with a Pro XS on it. It is very fast but from the simplicity and mechanical aspect of it if I could do it over again I would go four stroke. I bought mine used with 40 hours on it for just over 30. Wether you pick new or used find something with a warranty. These outboard repairs are much more than what your tracker had. I came from a Pro 165 tracker and got the cat for the same reasons . Be aware, having a big glass boat is WAY different. Even besides the obvious things like speed and stability, there are other things like fuel cost, oil and additive costs. Also, glass is a lot less forgiving. if you bump a dock you can do some damage that's expensive to repair. 

 

If you are fishing electric only lakes, the 36 Volt trolling motor may be a good idea. My boat does on with the 82# 24V. As far as electronics, play around with them and see which interface you like better, then make your choice on screen size. Theyre like TVs, you will not regret getting a larger graph, only smaller. 

The biggest thing that I can stress is that EVERYTHING to do with owning a glass boat is expensive. 

Towing- They're a lot heavier thus costing more fuel to tow, also dual axle trailers cost more for tolls.

Insurance- Much higher. Make sure you get an AGREED HULL VALUE policy. Check out Progressive with the propulsion plus rider.

2 Stroke Oil. Mercury DFI oil is $40 a gallon and it goes fast along with the fuel. A short day for me may be 10 gallons of fuel alone.

I don't mean to deter you from this. Just trying to pass what I have learned in the past year of going from tin to glass. Honestly, I am considering selling mine due to cost of operation and that I am more afraid to damage something than fish and enjoy the boat. 

Whatever you do, make sure you research, and ride in each boat, but again be aware these things are a lot more money to own. 

 

Good points to know!

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On August 9, 2016 at 8:10 AM, Logan S said:

My Evinrude ETEC (2-stroke) went into the shop last week for it's scheduled 3yr/300hr maintenance...First and only time it's been in.  It's efficient on both gas and oil consumption and I've been very happy with it.  I'll be in the market for a new rig in about 2 years when my warranty is up and my first choice for outboards is going to be the new Evinrude G2 which has a 7 year warranty and no scheduled service for 5 years.  Might not end up with one depending on the deals out there at the time, but if it comes down to a choice, that's the direction I'm looking.  Mercury, Evinrude, and Yamaha all make great motors these days and with your budget you should be able to get something with all or most of it's warranty left.  I've got friends with newer model Merc ProXS and Yamaha SHO motors and they have mostly been trouble free as well.  

Best advice I can give you is that when presented with a choice...Always go bigger over smaller (assuming you don't have storage issues) and more HP over less.  I've never met anyone that regretted getting the bigger boat or more powerful motor, but I know several that regret going the other way.  

What boat do you want to get in a few years?

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1 hour ago, tcbass said:

What boat do you want to get in a few years?

Phoenix 920 and Legend V20 are two that I've been looking at more than others...But realistically, any 20 footer with a 250.  I'm looking for a deal on a well equipped boat first, then specific brands second.  

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Very Pretty Congrats.

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