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Elkins45

Lund, Alumacraft, Lowe or Tracker?

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I'm looking to get a 17-18" Al fishing boat: mostly bass but occasionally other species. Funds are limited so it will be a lower end model for sure, or used. All else being equal, would you prefer a Lund, Alumacraft, Lowe or Tracker? Reasons?

 

Thanks.

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They all make decent boats.  Lund and Alumacraft have the best reputation for being well made.  Lowe and Tracker are less expensive and a notch down in quality but I would not hesitate to buy either if they fit my budget.  Tracker gets a bad rap by some but there are a lot of happy tracker owners out there.  When searching for a used boat the biggest question is the motor.  Get the motor checked out by your mechanic and if it gets good compression and leak down test numbers, get it if the boat fits your needs and budget.  And as a disclaimer- my father and I have owned a Lowe, Alumacraft, and Tracker so I don't have any brand loyalty.  Good luck boat shopping.  

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If I were buying a used boat, the LAST thing I'd be looking at is the brand name. What's important is the condition it's in now. The best made boat that has been abused and not taken care of isn't worth anything. A solid transom, solid floors, clean wiring, a good clean trailer and a good motor are what you are looking for. It also has to have a layout you like. All things being equal? Not likely you will find 4 boats of different brands that have the same features, same price, and same condition in your price range. 

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The lund is probably going to be more expensive than the others that you mentioned, all things being equal.

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All things are not equal. Determine your budget. Once this is figured out, next thing on the list and arguably the most important, is to base the type/style of boats you look a,t on the water you fish. Small, medium, large, or big water. Then look at the layout. Which one works best for your fishing style? Then separate out your must haves from your wants. Then determine the brand

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I like the Lowe Myself. The Lund is rivited. Don't like rivits in anything if I can help it. Airstream trailers are rivited. They are the most expensive trailers you can buy but they are a nigbtmare maintenance wise. A higher price does not always mean quality. The Tracker is of a noticeably cheaper quality while the Lowe looks and handles much better. The Lowe also comes with a better trailer and accessories. Lund is a good boat if you don't mind a rivited hull but I will take a welded hull over rivits anyday.

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In my opinion, selecting a boat based on 'brand' is driving down the road in reverse.

Give yourself due credit and create a proprietary list of all the features & parameters YOU want in your boat:  

Length, HP, fuel capacity, livewell capacity, aluminum/fiberglass, deep-V/tri-hull, hull thickness, warranty ~ ~

More than likely, you'll find that 'no one' offers a boat that fills the bill.

More than likely, you'll be forced to settle for the brand that comes the closest...That brand wins  ;) 

 

Roger

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don't forget to check out Crestliners. I agree that Lund's are probably the most expensive, but also the best built tin. I just ordered my second Crestliner. they have been building tins for many years and that's all they make. all the tins sold today are good boats. you need to decide what you need. do you fish small lakes or wide open water? do you want to troll? different makes have different layouts. no one can decide for you. take your time. the worse thing you can do is buy on impulse.

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14 hours ago, Craig Sellers said:

I like the Lowe Myself. The Lund is rivited. Don't like rivits in anything if I can help it. Airstream trailers are rivited. They are the most expensive trailers you can buy but they are a nigbtmare maintenance wise. A higher price does not always mean quality. The Tracker is of a noticeably cheaper quality while the Lowe looks and handles much better. The Lowe also comes with a better trailer and accessories. Lund is a good boat if you don't mind a rivited hull but I will take a welded hull over rivits anyday.

Airplanes are riveted as well and they are dropping out of the skies like rain from such poor engineering and workmanship...... 

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^^^^ :lol:

I "looked" at several boats before purchasing my Lowe (FM 1710 Walk Thru), including Lund, Alumacraft, Crestliner and Tracker.  Each had different offerings, some more expensive than others.  I ended up buying the Lowe because of price, layout and available engine (it was on the floor at a great price with all the options I wanted except trailer brakes).  The Lowe also had the biggest front deck than any of the others and came with the optional folding read deck (that some didn't offer).  I can fish two up front where the Lund and Tracker would have been very tight.

 

Prioritize what you want in a boat and what is nice but not necessary.  Look at how you fish and what waters you run.  I chose the deep v with full windshield because of how rough our lakes get with wind, skiers and PW users.  I also fish well into the winter and early spring.  Was tired of getting wet and cold (so was my wife).  I fish mostly for Muskies now but still bass fish frequently.  I wish the Lowe had more storage but I'm working around that and converting the front live well into storage. 

 

As for the riveted vs welded argument, I personally don't think there is much difference between the two.  You'll hear more about the ones that have problems than the ones that fish day after day, year after year without any issues. 

 

Good luck with your search.

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Alumacraft has a mega mega sale going on right now. Until March 31st. For certain boats. My dealer about choked when seeing the price of the Classic CS I built. They can't buy them for that cheap. Not sure if they have what you're looking for, but it's worth a look.

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For me I would buy a used Lund over any other.  What brand do you see on most Canadian fishing shows?  Fish camps, whose boats are more poorly treated than any of us would treat our boats, very often use Lunds. They find the price justified by durability.    My first boat was a 14 foot LUnd that was so good structurally I often said it fished like a wooden boat.  No panel flutter, buzzing, bending, vibrations, solid as a rock.

 

Having decided on a Lund I would then find one in good shape for the money asked, and it would have to have an engine that I liked.  For me it would be a Honda, Suzuki, or Merc 4 stroke that was in bullet-proof shape.

 

And I would not buy it unless I could try it out on the water to verify good starting, good handling, good tracking especially looking for low speed directional wander, good throttle response, good acceleration and top speed for what the engine should provide, no funny noises.  If professional service records were not available, I would have to be very impressed with the owner who did his own service.

 

I don't own a Lund, couldn't afford it (according to my wife) in deep V configuration.  

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You have had some good advice about selection.  If you bass fish very much it would be worth your time to look at Xpress.  It is the closest you can come in an aluminum boat to the performance of a fiberglass boat.  If you are wanting a semi V then the Lund is far and away the best on your list.

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I have little Lund Fury and absolutely love it.  Riveted vs welded ... six of one half a dozen of the other.  Rivets leak and welds break.  

 

Any of the manufacturers you are looking at will be fine.   All else being equal I would take the Lund because of reputation and because I own one and love it.  But you wouldn't have to twist my arm very hard to go with the other guys you mentioned if the boat is in good shape. 

 

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I have a Triton Aluminum VT 17 Tournament Sport and I absolutely love it. Fantastic boat for what I need. 

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On Sunday, February 26, 2017 at 9:53 AM, slonezp said:

Airplanes are riveted as well and they are dropping out of the skies like rain from such poor engineering and workmanship...... 

What are you flying ? Airplanes haven't been rivited for decades. Even the smaller plane that still use rivits require regular maintenance. The only planes I still see with rivits are in airshows.

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30 minutes ago, Craig Sellers said:

What are you flying ? Airplanes haven't been rivited for decades. Even the smaller plane that still use rivits require regular maintenance. The only planes I still see with rivits are in airshows.

Airplanes haven't been riveted for decades? The aluminum panels on airplanes are still riveted to this day. Even carbon fiber wings still use aluminum flaps which are riveted. If you believe welded hulls are better technology, so be it and if the Lund engineers believed welded hulls are better technology, they would weld the hulls.  

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I have a nice set up. 19' Bass Tracker. Love it. Feels like I'm fishing out of my living room. Handles good, 55# Minn Kota. All I need. Plenty of storage. I mostly fish alone. Can't get anyone to go other than my grandkids and my daughters every so often. 

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I had a Tracker for a few years.  My only complaint was the lack of dry storage....like zero.  I drove a PolarKraft for 10 years and absolutely loved it...strong boat.

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Very nice, that should serve you well.  Tight lines!

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All of those boat companies are top notch.  I am a fan of buying used boats.  A person can save a bundle buying used and good deals are plentiful.  

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Looks real clean. Good luck and have a fun season.

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