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DrMarlboro92

Opinions on tracker 195

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About two weeks ago my father and I were out on smith mountain lake having a wonderful time fishing. As the sun set we went to turn on the beacon on our 77 ranger and it didn't work, despite having worked earlier that day on the ramp prior to launching. We messed with it for about half an hour on the water but ended up calling it a night. After ending our trip early, we traced the short in a Walmart parking lot and were able to get the beacon working again. The next morning on the water this prompted a discussion about how the boat leaked, was too small, had electrical issues as well as many other grievances and finally my dad looked at me and said "it's time for a new boat." 

So needless to say, this has had us all over the place looking at boats. We've looked at lund, g3, nitro, skeeter, tracker, and a few other brands. We talked about what we wanted, and came up with a list of must haves: it must be aluminum, have a large amount of deck space, be capable of having a 24 volt trolling motor, be at least 18 feet, and be under 30,000. This constantly brought us back to the tracker 195 (although 24 volt trolling motor wiring costs an extra 200, that's chump change at this point). 

My question comes down to this. Is it a good boat? Are trackers good in general? Our fear is we will buy this thing and end up with a bunch of wasted money, so I was hoping thar maybe there would be a few owners here who could give me an honest answer, since most reviews seem to either be paid for, or are quite plainly fake, with a few irate customers over warranty not covering them running into a pole thrown in. Any help is appreciated, we will likely take plenty of time before purchasing, just trying to get all the info I can.

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I don't own one nor do I know anyone that does. That being said I think I have read a few posts here that mentioned the 195 cracking transoms. I could be dead wrong It may have been a discussion on adding power poles to them I don't remember. But you might search for these issues and see if there is a pattern of them cracking. 

Oh here is the thread I remember

 

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There is definitely an issue with them cracking on the transom. I know this has shown up as a concern on several boards and it is real.  Let me ask why does it definitely have to be aluminum?  Take a look at a Phoenix 618 before you make that decision. I have driven one and it is a fantastic boat and they can be purchased right around $30,000 with a lot of your wish list checked off. They are super comfortable and built with exactly the same components as their larger much more expensive models.  I priced one this last April from the Sportsman Center in Tennessee and with 2 Hds 8s and a few other extras it ran around $33,000

Now if it really does have to be aluminum then look seriously at these boats the Express X18 or X19 ( their top of the line series). You have a bunch of Xpress dealers in TX but check this deal out in LA. http://bayououtdoor.com/Details.aspx?ID=b3f51260-3a76-40eb-a66a-00659fa83df2        Now that is a super deal. They have the same boat in a bright red look here  http://bayououtdoor.com/Details.aspx?ID=a35728d1-4359-43a4-9c82-690548d56f69.            These are really about $34,000 boats but at $28,000 they are really nice boats.

 I would also look at the G3 19 Talon DLX Check this one out this is a great deal also    http://www.blackbeardmarine.net/pre_owned_detail.asp?veh=4739103&nv=y  

Another really good boat to look at is Crestliner VT series  and Triton 18tx these all get good reviews. I personally run a Lowe and I do not recommend them. The dry storage is not dry and their trailers do not fit their boats well. I have spent a good amount of time reengineering them to launch and recover and still have to get my feet wet. No fun up here in the cold north. 

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You can get a Ranger RT188 with some add on features for under 30 grand.  The Ranger aluminum line of bass boats is selling like hot cakes.

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Cracked transoms has been a reality on the 195's. It has been addressed by adding extra support where the motor bolts on but I have to believe there is more to the issue.

Take a look at the Lund Renegade which is new for 2017 and just added to the Lund website this week.

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17 hours ago, fishnkamp said:

Snip

The being aluminum thing is my fathers request as I think it makes him feel more comfortable on some of the places we fish since they have a lot of hidden trees and stumps just under the waters surface. I've tried to convince him otherwise but it just won't happen, so yes, aluminum is required. 

We looked at Lowe and were quite unimpressed to be honest, not to diss your boat but for us none of their offerings were even contenders. 

We looked at a g3 and I can't remember what it was we didn't like about it but it kind of turned both of us off. We will look into them again though. 

Ive personally never heard of express, but thanks for the recommendation, I'll definitely see if there is a dealer around VA and take a look. 

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If i were in your position, I'd be looking at the Ranger RT series as well as the new Lund Renegade. Rangers 198 RT with a 150 is priced at just under 29k and I don't know what the Lund will come in at, but it'd be worth checking out. 

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The Ranger 198 looks like a monster of a boat and is very decently priced. The only problem I have is it is in its first year and is made with the same gauge aluminum that the Tracker 195 is made from. I haven't seen a lot of people post about them so don't know how well they are selling yet.

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Just read up on the transom issue over @ ***.  Seems like a very real issue.

I've been looking at new boats and those Xpress boats sure seem nice... Thicker aluminum than other manufacturers and supposedly a fantastic hull design.  Large beam as well.  Never ridden in one but would love to see one up close in person.

Saw a 2016 X19 for 28k somewhere with some upgrades.  Seemed like a great deal.

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Consider a model lower on the Tracker boats. The Tracker 190TX has been in production for years, it is the same length and nearly the same boat but with a slightly narrower beam.  No transom issues on the 190TX. I got one in June, it has been fantastic so far. Plenty of room and storage, stable, fast and a dry ride.  Trackers have a great warranty as well.

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So we've still been looking, and we went to MD to check out the closest xpress dealer. I have to say, these boats are fantastic. A hair narrower than the 195, but overall they sunk most of the nails on the coffin. We also looked at the triton x18, and laughed at the nickel and dime options that put the boat well out of our range just to get all the bells we want with one or two wistles. 

That aside, I found a used nitro z7, and a used tr21 that my dad fell in love with, so we may not go aluminum after all. We will have to wait and see. 

Thanks all for the input, I'm glad we didn't jump on that 195 just yet. I know they say they have reinforced that transom on the 17s, but I think it will be a year or two before that boat will be in consideration again. 

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I also have the tracker 190tx. I'd recommend it to anyone wanting aluminum. I went back and forth between the tracker 190 and ranger 188 and couldn't justify the price difference. Also the customer service i received at my local tracker dealer was 10x better than the ranger dealer. I couldn't even get the salesman at the ranger dealer to return a phone call. 

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Which dealer did you go look at?

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13 hours ago, clark9312 said:

 I went back and forth between the tracker 190 and ranger 188 and couldn't justify the price difference. Also the customer service i received at my local tracker dealer was 10x better than the ranger dealer. I couldn't even get the salesman at the ranger dealer to return a phone call. 

This was exactly my experience too. I called multiple dealerships, not one returned my call (except the local carolina skiff dealer). Emails too.  Tracker was responsive both email and with calls...  Its funny, I was looking for my boat from March to late June, bought my Tracker last week of June. I just got my first email response from a ranger dealer end of Sept... Crazy.

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Also I'd like to add, just from my experience if you go the tracker/nitro route don't buy from BPS. After talking and looking at 2 BPS stores I'd never buy a boat from them. The sales team wasn't very knowledgeable and the boats seemed to have kids playing all over them. The guys I bought my boat from were extremely knowledgeable and I didn't feel rushed when asking questions. When I went and picked my boat up they had a mechanic go through every little detail of the boat from fuel treatments to when and how to grease the wheel bearings on the trailer. Being a new boat owner a lot of the info was helpful.

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