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I am looking to buy my first bass boat. Any recommendations on brands? I am looking at fiberglass boats. Thanks for the feedback.

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Is there a "best"? Seems all the major brands make pretty fantastic boats these days. I think you should narrow it down to what are my best options in XX,XXX-XX,XXX price range. 

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yea, we need price range and size of boat you are looking for or what kind of lakes you fish and how fast you want or expect to go

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Lake size will vary. I also will be fishing rivers. Not a tournament angler, but I may fish one here and there. My price range is probably around $30000 to $45000. Will probably have 1 to 2 people with me on most trips. Need decent storage too. I have a ton of tackle, rods, reels.

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ranger, skeeter, phenix, and basscat are top of the line. IDK what they cost because I could never afford one lol

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12 minutes ago, riverbasser said:

ranger, skeeter, phenix, and basscat are top of the line. IDK what they cost because I could never afford one lol

I'm with ya on that. 

I saw you could pick up a pretty loaded Ranger for around $75k! 

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As with anything else there is no "best", way to many variables and personal preference involved.

 

Need way more info on its use, budget, nearby dealer support......

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Let's look at this a bit more in depth.  Your budget will allow you to look at most 18 foot and some 19 foot boats.  Money wise, you would be fine if you look at one of the new Ranger Z185s and maybe a Z518. I am not sure you would get into the 519 money wise, if you put a bunch of good electronics power poles etc on it. 

 

If you look at a Triton, you will easily fit in a Triton 18 TRX and be getting tight in a 19 TRX,  depending on what you want in electronics and other accessories.  You will need to study what is included in each boat's package and how much extra your christmas list will add to the final cost.  I have been in both of these boats as well as a the 189 series (basically the same hull but with a lower max hp and so a smaller hp engine in the package ).  One thing I will say is these boats are designed as modern wide bodied hulls.  They feel like much bigger boats. They are much wider across at the cockpit area, and hold that width forward much farther than older models in the past. This gives you a big wide front deck and makes the whole boat feel like it is a bigger boat.  The newer Rangers have the same feel

 

I recommend you look at the Phoenix 618. I test drove one of these last April. Even more than the Triton, this boat felt like you were driving a 20 foot boat. The boat shares almost the same dimensions from the cockpit forward as the 19 footers do. I really liked the ride and storage layout on this boat. Be aware many of these boats are setup with two bucket seats,  so if you want to seat three you will need to order them that way. Pay attention to the standard and options on each model. Sometimes you can even order a 3rd seat post to be factory installed.  If that is something that fits your needs.  Also look around at dealers on the internet, some may have a deal on some left over 700 series boats.

 

Bass Cat makes some very nice rigs, however both the Sabre and the Pantera II are the older design, meaning not a wide bodied hull.  This really is noticeable if you are like me and prefer a dual console.  Otherwise they ride great and have good storage. A P2 has been one of Bass Cats best selling hulls for decades.

 

Skeeter boats was on your list and it should be. Look at a ZX 190. Depending on your list of goodies you should do pretty well with this boat also.

 

Be careful when shopping, make sure the dealer's package is not a "price special" and is an underpowered boat. Look for hull weight and engine hp.  Compare it to similar packed boats.  Decide on the front end what you want for electronics, battery chargers, trolling motors etc. If you are river running in heavy current than 24 volt 80 # thrust is a minimum. You may need a 36 volt 112 # trolling motor.  That means the hull needs room to fit another battery and you need to upgrade to a 3 or 4 bank on board charger.

 

The next thing to consider is if you need to go new.   Sometimes a nearly new boat, say 2015 or 2016 used boat may save you thousands. Often times the dealer will not budge on his price for the boat, but you can negotiate a good deal with the options you want. Remember he does want to sell that boat and his mark up on a depth finder, trolling motor etc gives him some wiggle room.  He does not pay retail for a depth finder like you would if you upgrade it later. 

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, mwh33 said:

Lake size will vary. I also will be fishing rivers. Not a tournament angler, but I may fish one here and there. My price range is probably around $30000 to $45000. Will probably have 1 to 2 people with me on most trips. Need decent storage too. I have a ton of tackle, rods, reels.

When you say rivers, fiberglass bass boats may not be a good option.

Several brands have been purchased by Johnny Morris owner BPS who make Nitro and Tracker boats, now owns Ranger, Champion and Stratos are no longer brands. Legend, Bullet, Bass Cat, Phenix, Ranger, Skeeter and Triton are all top name brands.

Rivers and lake use you should look at XPress bass boats.

Tom

 

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If you're in the market for a 'fiberglass bass boat', four top-rung brands in my opinion are:

Triton, Phoenix, Legend & Ranger, depending on your means.

 

Roger

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after 35 years of glass I went with a tin six years ago. I fish rivers often and I will take my tin to places I would never attempt with glass. I have a Crestliner PT18 coming and it's a perfect boat for me. a bit expensive for a tin, but far less than glass. only you can determine if a boat is right for you.

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mwh33, congratulations on a very nice problem to have.  IMO, the "best" boat is the one you can afford to put in your garage. As mentioned above, be diligent in your research of the brands and models you are considering. Dont underpower your boat (main motor or trolling motor) just to save a few bucks, and buy a travel cover that fits your boat at the time of purchase.

 

And speaking from personal experience, if you're able buying a "certificate boat" from a tournament winner can save you money and allows you to pick the color, options, and upgrades. The last time I looked, *** had two Ranger certificates posted for sale. 

 

Look forward to hearing about your decision and seeing pictures of your new ride, JB 

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The tin option can be a good one. There are different levels of aluminum boats. There are the Tracker, Lowe, Alumacrafts, G3 and a few other boats that some call cookie cutter hulls. Then there are the real tin boats that are built as well as any fiberglass. They include boats like the Chrestliner PT series ( they are even showing up on the BASS and FLW series events) of course the new Lund bass boat and XPress boats make some really nice boats as well.  These are boats that can handle 200 hp or larger engines.

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I know I said I was looking at fiberglass, but I just saw a crestliner that looked pretty loaded. I know it's aluminum. I saw John Cox uses one in the FLW tour. Any thoughts on them? Specifically the PT 20

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On 3/29/2017 at 0:45 PM, 12poundbass said:

I'm with ya on that. 

I saw you could pick up a pretty loaded Ranger for around $75k! 

It's not impossible to get a Ranger over $100K...

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2 minutes ago, Further North said:

It's not impossible to get a Ranger over $100K...

I don't doubt it one bit.

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Just now, 12poundbass said:

I don't doubt it one bit.

I look at it this way: Somebody has to buy them for that kind of money so that us normal folk can buy them used down the road...

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What I don't understand is you can get a longer power boat for that price or a little more. What makes a bass boat almost as expensive sometimes more expensive than a longer boat with more bells and whistles?

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2 minutes ago, 12poundbass said:

What I don't understand is you can get a longer power boat for that price or a little more. What makes a bass boat almost as expensive sometimes more expensive than a longer boat with more bells and whistles?

Bass fishermen will pay the price... ;)

 

I'm only kidding a little there...some of the cost is electronics which tends to be way more expensive on a fishing boat than a ski/pleasure boat.

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14 minutes ago, Further North said:

I look at it this way: Somebody has to buy them for that kind of money so that us normal folk can buy them used down the road...

I couldn't even buy a used one unless it was 15-20 years old!

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1 minute ago, 12poundbass said:

I couldn't even buy a used one unless it was 15-20 years old!

Well...yeah...I didn't say it was a short road... ;)

 

My boat is 12 years old, was 8 years old when I bought it.  I am feeling no pressure to upgrade at all.

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24 minutes ago, Further North said:

Well...yeah...I didn't say it was a short road... ;)

 

My boat is 12 years old, was 8 years old when I bought it.  I am feeling no pressure to upgrade at all.

I'm to the point in my life now where I'm ready and able to upgrade. I've been able to but I would've  been majorly strapped. Looking at a tin boat. It all I need and all I want. There's nothing wrong with a glass boat I just don't need one for where I fish.

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1 hour ago, 12poundbass said:

I'm to the point in my life now where I'm ready and able to upgrade. I've been able to but I would've  been majorly strapped. Looking at a tin boat. It all I need and all I want. There's nothing wrong with a glass boat I just don't need one for where I fish.

I could upgrade...I just don't want to...the boat I have now fits how I fish very well and there are only a few others that would meet my wants/needs - I could get talked into a Lund Pro-V Bass if I tripped over a suitcase full of money, and maybe a couple others...but all that would really is new-ness and a little gloss.

 

I find myself in a place like this often - I spent years working my way to a couple shotguns that do exactly what I want them to do for prices I considered reasonable for what I got...and then I stopped the hunt.  Most people would think the place I stopped is a little nuts...but then I think a $100,000 boat is a little nuts...and my shotguns will increase in value...the boat...not so much.  I may add a 20 gauge SxS at some point, or maybe a 28...but...probably not.

 

I like glass boats too.  I could live with one, would even enjoy one...but I'd have to increase my towing capacity, spend more on gas...don't want to do that either.  My tin boat gets the job done really well for me, holds all my stuff, tows great behind an economical mid-sized SUV...and I don't worry about rocks and things as much as I would with glass.

 

Right now, I'd rather spend a portion of what it would cost to upgrade the boat (and truck) on better gear, technique specific gear, things like that, and tuck the rest away for retirement which is a hort 5 years away...at the outside.

 

Sorry for the ramble...someone must have pushed my "reflection" button. ;)

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1 hour ago, Further North said:

I could upgrade...I just don't want to...the boat I have now fits how I fish very well and there are only a few others that would meet my wants/needs - I could get talked into a Lund Pro-V Bass if I tripped over a suitcase full of money, and maybe a couple others...but all that would really is new-ness and a little gloss.

 

I find myself in a place like this often - I spent years working my way to a couple shotguns that do exactly what I want them to do for prices I considered reasonable for what I got...and then I stopped the hunt.  Most people would think the place I stopped is a little nuts...but then I think a $100,000 boat is a little nuts...and my shotguns will increase in value...the boat...not so much.  I may add a 20 gauge SxS at some point, or maybe a 28...but...probably not.

 

I like glass boats too.  I could live with one, would even enjoy one...but I'd have to increase my towing capacity, spend more on gas...don't want to do that either.  My tin boat gets the job done really well for me, holds all my stuff, tows great behind an economical mid-sized SUV...and I don't worry about rocks and things as much as I would with glass.

 

Right now, I'd rather spend a portion of what it would cost to upgrade the boat (and truck) on better gear, technique specific gear, things like that, and tuck the rest away for retirement which is a hort 5 years away...at the outside.

 

Sorry for the ramble...someone must have pushed my "reflection" button. ;)

Well my retirement is only 384 years away, give or take a few days, but there's definitely nothing wrong with a tin boat. The bass really don't care what kind of boat you're fishing out of... heck I just got a bass raider and I can hardly wait to get everything so I can get it out on the water!

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