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iceintheveins

Useable Bass Boat for 5000? Can it be done?

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I've got about 5000 saved up in my bass boat fund. I'm looking for a minimum 18' and minimum 150 hp motor. Can you find anything decent in this price range? I did recently pass up on an '86 ranger that was 18'8" with a 150 that was 5500 bucks. Or would I be better off saving up a couple more thousand, getting a 4000 or so loan, and buying something in the 10,000 to 14,000 range?

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Yeah you can find some good deals out there.  I used to have 1991 Ranger 482 /w a 1991 Johnson 175 FastStrike. Awesome boat and motor.  Got it for 5500. Zero problems with it. Sold it to upgrade to new. New owner is still running it strong.  

Finding a really solid glass boat for 5k is going to be ridiculously hard. I got pretty lucky. Your options will be a lot better if you have 10k. I would personally just keep saving if I were you. You're going to have to do some work on any bass boat that's 5k anyway. 

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Well can't get the PIC to upload right now but I just bought a 97 Procraft 180 in august for $5500. 150hp mariner and only thing it needed was a seat recovered. Ran it hard the last few months. Best and most expensive boat I've owned thus far.  Now is a good time to buy one too.

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1 hour ago, iabass8 said:

Yeah you can find some good deals out there.  I used to have 1991 Ranger 482 /w a 1991 Johnson 175 FastStrike. Awesome boat and motor.  Got it for 5500. Zero problems with it. Sold it to upgrade to new. New owner is still running it strong.  

Finding a really solid glass boat for 5k is going to be ridiculously hard. I got pretty lucky. Your options will be a lot better if you have 10k. I would personally just keep saving if I were you. You're going to have to do some work on any bass boat that's 5k anyway. 

Is your ranger 482 a fiberglass? That's pretty much a must for me due to smoother ride, more storage area, and bigger outboard.

Brand new a fully tricked out Ranger 22' 250 hp can cost you $85,000. Bare bones it's still close to $65,000. Same size Nitro fully tricked is $52,000 and an 18' Nitro under $30,000, and while Rangers are definitely better boats the newer Nitros are almost always very good boats from what people tell me.

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Just now, iceintheveins said:

Is your ranger 482 a fiberglass? That's pretty much a must for me due to smoother ride, more storage area, and bigger outboard.

I don't have it anymore. Upgraded to a 2016 Nitro. Yes, it is a glass boat.  Ride on that hull was great. Storage was okay. 

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Yeah to spend what I have now it would have to be an incredible local deal, similar to yours. The 86' ranger I passed up looked a little beat up and needed some electrical work. I offered 4500 for it but he would only take 5500.

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Just now, iceintheveins said:

Yeah to spend what I have now it would have to be an incredible local deal, similar to yours. The 86' ranger I passed up looked a little beat up and needed some electrical work. I offered 4500 for it but he would only take 5500.

You're really looking for a boat that has no stress cracks on the transom, hull or keel. has to have zero leaks and a trailer in good condition. Carpet can be redone relatively cheap for under 400$. Lots of the price tag will be in the motor and it is almost imperative you get a mechanic to check it out completely if you aren't familiar /w older 2 strokes. 

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Correct I was going to have a compression check and also a top to bottom examination of the motor and electric system. Any other things to be a stickler on?

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9 hours ago, iceintheveins said:

Correct I was going to have a compression check and also a top to bottom examination of the motor and electric system. Any other things to be a stickler on?

The boat issues I mentioned to look for would, for me, be a deal breaker. Especially any transom cracks. As far as the motor, pay the 1-200$ for a certified mechanic to look at it. that will pay for itself in the long run and will help in negotiating if anything minor were wrong. Compression , leak down, Lower unit oil check for water/large shavings are big but any half brain mechanic will know to do that. Just take it to somebody that has a good rep and if it checks out, take it out for a spin. Listen for anything odd and address it, check if the livewells are working, pumps, etc. If everything's good after that, go for it if you like it. Bassboat seats aren't cheap, either. If you have to replace one, you're going to most likely replace them all at once. It will run 300-500$ for a set of seats. That's something you can negotiate on. Carpet is something I wasn't considered about as long as the deck/entire boat has ZERO soft spots. (if it does, just pass on it. you have no idea how long water or that whole has been there/in the boat) Carpeting a boat is cheap and it will make a boat look fantastic when it's done. Look for small stuff like broken latch's (SS ones can run 30$ each), gauges that aren't working/accurate. All that little stuff will add up. 

You're entering prime buying season. You're bound to find a deal if you're patient. The biggest thing your going to sacrifice with older glass boats is storage/lack of use on empty space. There's usually plenty of tackle storage for tackle but rod lockers were usually only 7'.Lots of the 18' now have 7'5-8' lockers.   Not a huge deal if you have short rods or are okay laying them all on the deck . 

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a year and a half ago i got my 1994 Javelin with a 150HP Johnson for about $4200.... it was tournament ready, everything worked as it should, including brakes on the trailer.... so yes, i would say, even though there are hard to find, those deals appear once in a while if you are patient... of course you will have to deal with things like faded paint and maybe upholster seats and such (mine had the carpet newly done BTW), but as long as you are OK with comsetical flaws, i would say getting a decent bassbat for under $5k is doable...

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 3 years ago I bought my 97 ranger r-80 back from the guy I sold it to for 2 grand. 18 ft., fastrike 150, 82 lb. great white trolling motor. and it's still running as strong as when I bought it new. long story why I had to sell it. but yeah deals are out there. be careful. be patient. 

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Last fall I got a 2000 Javelin Renegade 19 with a Johnson 175 for $6000. Keep on looking, now is the time to find a steal.

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It is certainly possible. i bought mine for $1,000 and after all the repairs and stuff I needed it cost about $3,500 in total. After I added everything I wanted it cost about $5,000. It is possible. I have even seen some for around $4,000 perfect condition and ready to fish. 

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As others have said it is doable. I haven't moved my way up to an 18 footer yet, but I've bought two smaller Rangers, (current is a 17 footer with a 130) for well under 5k. Deals are out there, but they are pretty rare. You have to act fast when you find one, but I encourage you to keep looking and saving while you do. 

1986 Ranger 320V W/1996 Johnson 88SPL 320.jpg

1997 Ranger Sport R70 W/ 1997 Evinrude 130

R70.jpg

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I got my 2008 Triton Aluminum VT 17 Tournament Sport with a 50 HP with less than 15 hours running time for $5,235.00. All that needed to be done to it was service it and give it a good wash and cleaning. Looks and runs like new. Makes me the perfect fishing boat. 

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It can be done especially if u find a project boat. I just bought a 1987 winner zz880 mach II 18ft With an evinrude 235 on it for $700. I know this may not be the best bass boat out there and probably pretty far down on the list but for $700 I couldn't pass it up. I know the lower unit is bad and needs alot of tlc and cosmetics done but if u can do the work yourself and don't care for a project this may be your best bet since u can modify some things to fit what you're looking for.

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Take a look at the Tracker Grizzley line of john boats. Those things are basically bass boats and you can probably get one new with trailer for $5K

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It can certainly be done. I fish out of a 1984 17' ranger. I paid 3k for it in running condition. I have spent another 3,000 on electronics, trolling motor, power pole, and rebuilding the trailer. I figure when the hull starts falling apart I can move all my electronics and trolling motor and accessories to whatever I buy next. 

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

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9 hours ago, Cmiller said:

It can certainly be done. I fish out of a 1984 17' ranger. I paid 3k for it in running condition. I have spent another 3,000 on electronics, trolling motor, power pole, and rebuilding the trailer. I figure when the hull starts falling apart I can move all my electronics and trolling motor and accessories to whatever I buy next. 

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

That looks pretty sharp for an '84. Nice job. I liked how my old Ranger rode. Those older hulls were not the most spacious driver/storage wise but they sure rode amazing. 

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