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Hi,

    I am having a rough go trying to get my first boat for my dad and I.  We need something affordable and decided on getting one of the smaller bass boats.  I found a Sun Dolphin Pro 110 for sale with a trailer here in Illinois for 550.  I have a few reservations and hoping to get some input.  Here are some of my questions I have.

1. The tag states 2 persons total weight 301lbs and total 461lbs with gear, motor etc. All my friends and my dad are large men.  All of us are over 6'5" and weight about 240-250 each.  Would you opt for a different boat then, maybe a sun dolphin sportsman cause it can hold up to 550, or was the weight restriction on the older 110 just kept low for the coast guard tag?

2. Next question is he does not have a title for the boat or the trailer.  He said he can get me a bill of sale from original owner in Wisconsin, but I know Illinois is a pain to get things without a title.  Would you just pass on this?

3.  Other option is to pick up one of these without a trailer and strap it to the top of my 2015 Subaru Outback on the roof rack.  Not sure how well this would work, looking for feedback.

 

When i wasnt looking for these boats, I was finding them all day around 2-300 for the 10footers.  Now for the life of me I am having a hard time locating them.  If you know of any for sale in the northern illinois, southern wisconsin area, please let me know.  Thanks

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Do the lakes you want to fish allow gas engines, do they have horsepower restrictions or speed limits, or are they electric only lakes.  I would pass on those small boats if you can pull a small trailer. I think you would do much better with an aluminum jon boat or V bottom boat. Also forget putting  bass raider/sun dolphin on a roof.  I do not know you budget but I will list some more moderate packages I found in your state. At least maybe we can find something that would work for you.  Look here:  https://carbondale.craigslist.org/boa/5747053643.html      https://chicago.craigslist.org/nwi/boa/5741324805.html    https://springfieldil.craigslist.org/boa/5717821458.html    https://stlouis.craigslist.org/boa/5721152708.html    Thes are just a few. I apologize if some are not close enough to you. Spend some time on different craigslist pages that are near enough to you.  Forget the little boats, look for a 14 to 15 foot jon with some seats and an engine. You will find they tow really easily and fish much safer. With this you can use a small gas engine or an electric trolling motor. Add a few rod holders, a pair of deep cycle batteries and you are fishing. Most of the samples I gave match that give or take. If your budget can be increased a bit and you can tow this much boat something like this might be nice. https://chicago.craigslist.org/nwc/boa/5741230536.html  Good luck with your search  Make sure to let us know what you decide on. Oh and we love pictures.

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11 minutes ago, fishnkamp said:

Do the lakes you want to fish allow gas engines, do they have horsepower restrictions or speed limits, or are they electric only lakes.  I would pass on those small boats if you can pull a small trailer. I think you would do much better with an aluminum jon boat or V bottom boat. Also forget putting  bass raider/sun dolphin on a roof.  I do not know you budget but I will list some more moderate packages I found in your state. At least maybe we can find something that would work for you.  Look here:  https://carbondale.craigslist.org/boa/5747053643.html      https://chicago.craigslist.org/nwi/boa/5741324805.html    https://springfieldil.craigslist.org/boa/5717821458.html    https://stlouis.craigslist.org/boa/5721152708.html    Thes are just a few. I apologize if some are not close enough to you. Spend some time on different craigslist pages that are near enough to you.  Forget the little boats, look for a 14 to 15 foot jon with some seats and an engine. You will find they tow really easily and fish much safer. With this you can use a small gas engine or an electric trolling motor. Add a few rod holders, a pair of deep cycle batteries and you are fishing. Most of the samples I gave match that give or take. If your budget can be increased a bit and you can tow this much boat something like this might be nice. https://chicago.craigslist.org/nwc/boa/5741230536.html  Good luck with your search  Make sure to let us know what you decide on. Oh and we love pictures.

Thanks for the reply and especially for taking the time out to actually find some examples for sale.  I really appreciate it!  Most of my uses will be on smaller, no wake lakes that are local to me. .  I drive a Subaru Outback and I do have a hitch on the car so I am not opposed to getting a boat that can use a motor.    I will start looking at the jon boats. Unfortunately times are tough so I am trying to stay around the 500 or less price range which is why the little bass boats were hitting the spot.  Thanks for all the help.  I am in northern illinois and southern wisconsin area so I guess I will keep looking for a good deal.  

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Fall is coming and you know guys will be dropping their prices. I totally understand the money issues today. I have another idea. Look for a 16 foot used squareback canoe. Like this http://chicago.craigslist.org/nwi/boa/5746518048.html  Then go buy a 30 pound thrust electric trolling motor and a deep cycle battery. The trolling motor could be a Bass Pro Prowler brand new ( one of the least expensive available) or a used trolling motor. I fished out of a boat like this. If you do this then next year you could start saving towards something else but these are pretty nice and stable.

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48 minutes ago, fishnkamp said:

Fall is coming and you know guys will be dropping their prices. I totally understand the money issues today. I have another idea. Look for a 16 foot used squareback canoe. Like this http://chicago.craigslist.org/nwi/boa/5746518048.html  Then go buy a 30 pound thrust electric trolling motor and a deep cycle battery. The trolling motor could be a Bass Pro Prowler brand new ( one of the least expensive available) or a used trolling motor. I fished out of a boat like this. If you do this then next year you could start saving towards something else but these are pretty nice and stable.

My dad bought a brand new 40lbs thrust Minn Kota in 1997, its still in box lol.  So I dont need a trolling motor, just boat right now.  Quick question is 12ft too small? https://racine.craigslist.org/boa/5699851644.html

what do you think about this https://chicago.craigslist.org/nwc/boa/5736261003.html  or this one if I offer less https://racine.craigslist.org/boa/5726923911.html or https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/boa/5715433389.html or https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/boa/5742298121.html or https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/boa/5738739423.html

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It is funny, I  fished out of a 12 foot jon for 5 years. It was my first boat, we even fished 3 people in that boat often. However I was 18 years old and so were my girlfriend/now wife and my best buddy. We fished out of it on a very calm drinking reservoir and only with an electric trolling motor. I never felt scared about us in it at all. Now, I would never do that at my age (over 50) nor would I recommend anyone else using that small of a boat for full size adults. Not unless it was 2 adults to fish a tiny pond.  Consider most 12 footers have a width of 32 to 36 inches at the rear. Most 14 footers are 36 to 48 inches wide at the rear.  That additional width directly equals stability.. Now on a V boat they usually are wider than a jon boat in the back and have the deeper V up front. They automatically have better stability built into a smaller package. With the purpose of fishing with your dad, I would suggest selecting a boat that he will feel more comfy and secure in.  A 14 foot jon will be a good compromise and we should be able to find one close to your budget.  It sure helps that dad has a trolling motor as you may find a nicer boat & trailer with no motor in your budget. I think several of the boats you showed me look good. My personal choice would be this one https://racine.craigslist.org/boa/5726923911.html. It is the one pictured below. I know that is a little above what you want to spend, but from a complete and ready to go package and safety/ stability standpoint i think I would put that in my yard immediately.  The seats are going to be comfy allowing dad to stretch his legs without being on high pedestals. Many of the boats I looked at had installed tall pedestals which are fine on big bass boats or 18 foot wide jon, but they make it "feel" unstable due to the higher center of gravity. If you decide to fish electric only waters you simply remove the gas engine that day and add your dad's trolling motor on the rear as well as a second battery. 

 

1

 

 My last reservoir rig was a 15 foot aluminum Mod V bass boat. I pulled my gas engine off and added 4 more batteries and two transom mount trolling motors. That boat was terrific to fish out of on big drinking reservoirs here in MD..  I will post a couple of pics so you can get some ideas. Notice I have added some rod holders which allowed us to troll for big white perch. I also added some marker buoys to use when I found fish schooled up on deep structure or shallower humps surrounded by deeper water. I lie the Anchor Mate anchor winch mounted up front nest to the trolling motor  Lastly I have a mount sticking up ( the black arm on the right ) for a depth/fish finder.  We fished for bass, crappie, perch, cats, walleye,and other panfish on this boat. In this picture you can also just see the black boxes that contained two deep cycle batteries. There were two more behind in the stern area and one more under the front seat in the metal box.  With a few add ons the 14 foot V boat above would function the same. It will have a nice V up front to cut the water and a wider flat bottom in the rear. Thus providing a stable platform.

HPIM0447_zpsunnpejba.jpg

HPIM0454_zps2049b21e.jpg

HPIM0466_zps8kwvpc6o.jpgg

By the way I later removed that 25 hp Merc, off the black bass boat, and sold the Polar Kraft with it reinstalled as it originally was. I then purchased a used 75 hp  Merc and installed it on the Lowe bass boat.  I did this because we moved to the Chesapeake Bay about 2 years after these pics were taken and would no longer be able to keep two boats or fish those lakes.  Here is a pic of the Lowe bass boat as it is now.

DSCN0034_zpsdlay0rar.jpg

Good Luck and let me know how it goes

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Having fished out of small v-hulls, john boats, and sundolphin 110 (back when they were bass hounds), the sun dolphin gives you a lot more along the lines of stability. They have a 54" beam and their side go pretty close to straight down which gives you almost the same measurement for the bottom. The one down side to the smaller boat is there is less room to store stuff. That's ultimately what lead me to upgrade as I had just outgrown it, but without a gas outboard you'll gain a spot to put things where the tank would be, and you can always keep the plug in the livewell and use that as a small storage as well. As far as fishing two larger men in them, I'm 6'6" and my dad is 6'5" it was a little cramped, and the boat wouldn't plane out with my 8 horse, but the boat didn't seem overloaded. Since the design of the boat hasn't changed since the mid 90's when it came out, I don't see why any of them would be any different. 

As far as the issues with the boat you are looking at, it doesn't seem like enough to walk away from yet. I'm not sure what Illi titling procedure is, or which state you live in. I do however know how WI registration works, and boats under 16 feet do not get a title. The registration card acts as a title, and as long as it's been signed by whoever's name is on the card that's the release. I would ask the seller if he has the registration card, or for him to get the title transferred to his name and then you can buy it from him. Wisconsin also doesn't title their trailers, either way if you need it done you'd have to take the same steps. 

Don't think you're going to put this boat on the roof...they aren't the lightest and to flip it and put it on the roof all the time would be an absolute pain. 

No matter which route you go, getting a boat and getting on the water is a great thing. I wish you the best and hope you find what you're looking for!

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2 hours ago, fishnkamp said:

It is funny, I  fished out of a 12 foot jon for 5 years. It was my first boat, we even fished 3 people in that boat often. However I was 18 years old and so were my girlfriend/now wife and my best buddy. We fished out of it on a very calm drinking reservoir and only with an electric trolling motor. I never felt scared about us in it at all. Now, I would never do that at my age (over 50) nor would I recommend anyone else using that small of a boat for full size adults. Not unless it was 2 adults to fish a tiny pond.....  

It is funny for me reading this fishnkamp. When I was a kid we had a 14 foot bay skiff that we made ourselves, very nice boat. My Dad, brother and me would take that boat out into the bays and even in the Atlantic ocean from time to time. Would never do that now.

 

OP Pete, I would highly recommend that you save up and get something that is going to be stable with two grown men and is comfortable. I know that you don't want to hear this but I waited many years and even so, my 16.5 foot tin is as small as I would ever wan on anything but the smallest of ponds. Don't underestimate the impact on comfort having enough room to store your stuff.  Keep looking, as winter approaches you might find a good deal.

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Thank you to everyone who has responded and provided me with great advice. I have some potentially good news that i found a boat and I am working on striking up a deal.  I have an offer out there for quite a bit less than asking and they are contemplating the offer.  It is a 15ft aluminum boat, has a floor, some seats, a 5hp 4stroke coleman motor and has an older 70's trailer that works with an angle winch.  I am hoping to get this deal done so I can surprise my father with a boat!  Thank you so much and i will update the thread if I pull off the deal.  

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 Cool  Fishing memories with your dad will be priceless for sure. I think you are on the right path.

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So I got the deal,  I think it's a great deal but I will let you guys decide how I did tomorrow.  I will post some pictures and prices up in the morning.  Any idea how much a 15ft boat with trailer weighs,  it does have a wood floor? I have a 4 pin connector hitch so I am running in the morning to grab a 4 pin to 7 pin adapter for a temporary fix. I don't think I need trailer brakes,  but this is my first ever boat.  This will be the first time I ever towed anything so wish me luck.  

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You will not need brakes. That boat should be pretty light. Neither of the boats in my pictures have brakes. I tow with a Chevy S-10 and a V 6 motor.  The only time I notice it is even back there is when I run from MD to Tennessee and Kentucky through the big mountains near Roanoke VA and the BIG MONSTER mountain around Knoxville. Of coarse the traffic is doing 75 and that takes a little pushing in that area to keep up.

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Well I didn't get the boat.  They were asking 1k in June,  dropped to 700 last week,  i offered 400 and they accepted.  I came and the boat was rough.  All the wood was rotting,  seats wobbled leaning back and were broke.  Mushrooms growing all over carpet,  trailer tires bald.  Just an overall bad feeling so I passed. Still on the hunt

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Did you contact this person. This is one you sent me and I think its condition is terrific. It appears to be ready to go. He might be flexible for say $550-$600.https://racine.craigslist.org/boa/5726923911.html

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I have emailed twice without response unfortunately.  I will keep trying.  Thanks

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How far are you willing to go to get a boat? Is 3 1/2 to 4 hours away too much?  Check this one out in Montezuma Iowa http://desmoines.craigslist.org/boa/5750052341.html.  I will keep looking but for the price you want to pay I keep finding junk.

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What do you think of this one.  Motor is a 1968 mercury.  He said the trailer leans slightly and may need a repair weld.  Also the gear selector on the motor cracked and you have to change gears by lifting the cover or buying a new one. Also the trailer lights do not work. Let me know what you think  

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B09sI4WAjoaybVk0OGdGWUlQZzQ/view?usp=drivesdk

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B09sI4WAjoayRkYwY2w5OUZENXc/view?usp=drivesdk

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B09sI4WAjoayWWRVT21HckR4Mlk/view?usp=drivesdk

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B09sI4WAjoaydXdCQm13dTh4QWc/view?usp=drivesdk

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B09sI4WAjoaydXpBSE55YzlPNjQ/view?usp=drivesdk

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I like the boat. I would give the trailer a good look at it most likely is a spring mount that needs to be rewelded or a bracket for the wood bunk boards.  Sounds like nothing you or a welder can"t fix up.  As for the motor I am not sure parts are going to be easily found, but I would not worry about that. I would remove it for this season, add Dad's trolling motor and  another battery and use the boat that way for the rest of the season. Over the next 6 months   ( by next fishing season) you could easily save up and purchase another small motor.  

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Thanks Fish, I am working on pricing right now.  Looks like I can trade a few things I have and get this at 500.  I asked him if he can get the trailer lights working for me, I will go tomorrow to look at it.  Regarding the trailer, he says he thinks it was a homemade trailer by a prior owner and it just leans. I am guessing there has to be a way to fix it.

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Pete. Obviously the boat has been modified to be bass friendly. Nothing wrong with that. When the boat was new it probably had bench seats that ran side to side. These were most likely removed to install the floor. One thing, most boats like this use the bench seats to brace the sides of the boat, add strength and keep the shape. As long as the frame that supports the floor is such that it keeps the sides rigid then no problems.

Just something to think about.

for parts on mercury outboards, one place to look is boats.net  If you have the s/n of the motor all you need to do is put it in and all the available parts will come up.

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Thanks Thomas, appreciate the advice and information.  I will ensure I take a look at the boat to ensure its rigid. The floor looked high enough where I thought he put the floor over the benches, that was my initial thought, I will know better tomorrow.  

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Thomas15 good thought. I zoomed in as close as possible. I think they left the rear bench and built onto it. The old bench up front may also be there and the new deck built over it.  If he only uses say a 6 hp engine he should be fine, I definitely would not be afraid of it if I was using in in lakes and with trolling motors. 

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I want to add I am highly appreciate of all the help I am receiving.  I cannot wait for the look on my dads face when I eventually will pull up and tell him to get in and grab his fishing gear.  Once I get a boat, you will be seeing me in the forums trying to get tips on fishing the local waters here. Really liking it here. Thanks Guys!

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Ok, the guy just texted to confirm for tomorrow.

1.  He removed the bench seats when he did the floor, should I still look at this boat?

2.  He got the running lights on the trailer working, but no brake lights, nervous about driving it home, any tips

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2 hours ago, thomas15 said:

Pete. Obviously the boat has been modified to be bass friendly. Nothing wrong with that. When the boat was new it probably had bench seats that ran side to side. These were most likely removed to install the floor. One thing, most boats like this use the bench seats to brace the sides of the boat, add strength and keep the shape. As long as the frame that supports the floor is such that it keeps the sides rigid then no problems.

Just something to think about.

for parts on mercury outboards, one place to look is boats.net  If you have the s/n of the motor all you need to do is put it in and all the available parts will come up.

How do I ensure the fame supports the boat?

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