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WVFishDep

New Boat - Help in the right direction please!

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Hello all, currently in the market for my my first "real" bass boat (currently have a 12 ft jon w/ a 9.9) and have hit a brick wall. If you'll stick with me for a bit, I would greatly appreciate your all's expertise. 

 

Background: 24 year old, married with a good amount of household income in stable careers. I live in the Charleston area of West Virginia, and currently own a 12 foot Sun Dolphin Pro 120 with a 9.9, MK Power Drive, side scan and so forth. Bought that boat and trailer new when I was 18, and have rigged it to my exact needs for my area. I also have a Jackson Big Rig, which I fish the Mountain State Kayak Angler's tournament trail throughout the state with, and plan to fish select KBF events on the east coast this year. 

 

I've decided to purchase a bass boat, particularly because I feel I've outgrown the 12ft boat, finances are right, and I really want to be able to take my father in law and wife out when we want. 

 

Heres where the problems start. Every lake within an hour and a half of my house is a 9.9 restricted impoundment (four or five in total.) Then, we have the likes of Stonewall Jackson Lake, Sutton and so forth, none of which are over 3k acres. I, however do have the Kanawha and Ohio rivers within an hour for decent bass fishing. I have interest in fishing local boat tournaments, but am not sure where to go from here. I have searched, read comparisons, watched hours of video, and am still at a loss as to where to go from here. I have a budget of no more than 30k, preferably 26k though. Im torn between aluminum (ranger RT) and glass boats. I'm in no way trying to turn this into another comparison post, but would like to hear which type of boat you all think fits my wants best. I don't care at all to take the boat out on those 9.9 lakes sometimes, and plan on keeping my Jon Boat as well. The problem I'm seeing is I am already an indecisive person when it comes to purchases, and I change my mind weekly as to which route is the best. I'm naturally drawn to Skeeter's for whatever reason, and almost pulled the trigger on a 2015 TZX 190 recently, but did not due to the multiple report that other felt it looked/felt cheap and not up to the Skeeter standards. 

 

I'm currently on a Ranger RT198P kick, and would love one with an ETEC G2, especially given their 10 year warranty promo currently going on. The problem here for me is 1. I could get into a nice glass boat for this price ; 2. I'm worried I'll regret not going to glass, even though there's no big water in this state and the lakes have tons of underwater structure. At this point the only thing I'm sure of is I can't swing a new glass rig at this point unless there is some crazy deal at the upcoming boat show. I have instead been looking at used Skeeter ZX's (hard to find in my area) and Nitro's in the 18-19 ft range. I plan on starting a family within the next few years, and want a boat my child and I can fish on whenever. Something reliable, I have dealt with so many motor problems on my 12ft boat that all I want is a motor I don't have to worry about if it'll start when I'm at the ramp, and I don't want someone else's junk. Tow vehicle gas and so forth are not an issue. Any help, ***, suggestions, gripes, whatever is again, greatly appreciated. You all are the experts, and I'm in over my head. All I know is I want to be on the water by the pre spawn. Thanks again!

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Congrats to you being in the condition you are. You are starting from a good foundation financially and responsibly.

 

Now lets look at your waters specifically. By the way I have had 11 boats over 40+ years, including canoes, jons and both aluminum and glass bass boats. Each fit a definite set of waters best.

You said you are not interested in the 9.9 lakes.  If you do want to fish them some your yak will handle them anyway.

Looking at your river and lakes situation as well as your budget I would suggest you consider a well equipped aluminum rig. Forget the boats like my Lowe Stinger , Alumacrafts, G3s etc( they are good boats but not in the same world as a glass boat).  Since you are in WV you are not too far a ride into Tennessee. Call Bunch Marine ( located not too far from Knoxville TN) and go look seriously at the 2015 Xpress x19 the have for sale. That is a serious boat.  That is a good choice for your larger lakes and unless those rivers are full of rocks like our Susquehanna you should be fine. you can run this boat mosty anywhere a fiberglass rig can go and a few places a fiberglas rig should not go.

I watched a few videos of people fishing Kanawha river and it looked safe for glass to me bit I could be wrong.

That boat already has a 24 volt trolling motor and good electronics on it and it is only a couple of years old.  They want $24,995 for it and a new one equally set up is closer to $38,00 or more. Don't misunderstand me I am not insulting the Ranger or my Lowe, they are not in the same class of boat,and that is just fact. Lund, Xpress, Chrestliner, and Gatortrax are just the top of the line rigs.

 

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9 hours ago, WVFishDep said:

Hello all, currently in the market for my my first "real" bass boat (currently have a 12 ft jon w/ a 9.9) and have hit a brick wall. If you'll stick with me for a bit, I would greatly appreciate your all's expertise. 

 

Background: 24 year old, married with a good amount of household income in stable careers. I live in the Charleston area of West Virginia, and currently own a 12 foot Sun Dolphin Pro 120 with a 9.9, MK Power Drive, side scan and so forth. Bought that boat and trailer new when I was 18, and have rigged it to my exact needs for my area. I also have a Jackson Big Rig, which I fish the Mountain State Kayak Angler's tournament trail throughout the state with, and plan to fish select KBF events on the east coast this year. 

 

I've decided to purchase a bass boat, particularly because I feel I've outgrown the 12ft boat, finances are right, and I really want to be able to take my father in law and wife out when we want. 

 

Heres where the problems start. Every lake within an hour and a half of my house is a 9.9 restricted impoundment (four or five in total.) Then, we have the likes of Stonewall Jackson Lake, Sutton and so forth, none of which are over 3k acres. I, however do have the Kanawha and Ohio rivers within an hour for decent bass fishing. I have interest in fishing local boat tournaments, but am not sure where to go from here. I have searched, read comparisons, watched hours of video, and am still at a loss as to where to go from here. I have a budget of no more than 30k, preferably 26k though. Im torn between aluminum (ranger RT) and glass boats. I'm in no way trying to turn this into another comparison post, but would like to hear which type of boat you all think fits my wants best. I don't care at all to take the boat out on those 9.9 lakes sometimes, and plan on keeping my Jon Boat as well. The problem I'm seeing is I am already an indecisive person when it comes to purchases, and I change my mind weekly as to which route is the best. I'm naturally drawn to Skeeter's for whatever reason, and almost pulled the trigger on a 2015 TZX 190 recently, but did not due to the multiple report that other felt it looked/felt cheap and not up to the Skeeter standards. 

 

I'm currently on a Ranger RT198P kick, and would love one with an ETEC G2, especially given their 10 year warranty promo currently going on. The problem here for me is 1. I could get into a nice glass boat for this price ; 2. I'm worried I'll regret not going to glass, even though there's no big water in this state and the lakes have tons of underwater structure. At this point the only thing I'm sure of is I can't swing a new glass rig at this point unless there is some crazy deal at the upcoming boat show. I have instead been looking at used Skeeter ZX's (hard to find in my area) and Nitro's in the 18-19 ft range. I plan on starting a family within the next few years, and want a boat my child and I can fish on whenever. Something reliable, I have dealt with so many motor problems on my 12ft boat that all I want is a motor I don't have to worry about if it'll start when I'm at the ramp, and I don't want someone else's junk. Tow vehicle gas and so forth are not an issue. Any help, ***, suggestions, gripes, whatever is again, greatly appreciated. You all are the experts, and I'm in over my head. All I know is I want to be on the water by the pre spawn. Thanks again!

There's a virtually new fully rigged 2017 RT198P for sale on another site for under $30k. Guy had some health issues pop up and he needs to unload it. If you're interested, PM me and I'll send you the details.

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42 minutes ago, slonezp said:

There's a virtually new fully rigged 2017 RT198P for sale on another site for under $30k. Guy had some health issues pop up and he needs to unload it. If you're interested, PM me and I'll send you the details.

That's one nice rig. If I had the budget I'd be all over it. That guy has over $40k into the boat. 

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I would be looking hard at the boat @slonezp is talking about. It's one heck of a deal and an awesome boat. 

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2 hours ago, slonezp said:

There's a virtually new fully rigged 2017 RT198P for sale on another site for under $30k. Guy had some health issues pop up and he needs to unload it. If you're interested, PM me and I'll send you the details.

PM sent

2 hours ago, fishnkamp said:

Congrats to you being in the condition you are. You are starting from a good foundation financially and responsibly.

 

Now lets look at your waters specifically. By the way I have had 11 boats over 40+ years, including canoes, jons and both aluminum and glass bass boats. Each fit a definite set of waters best.

You said you are not interested in the 9.9 lakes.  If you do want to fish them some your yak will handle them anyway.

Looking at your river and lakes situation as well as your budget I would suggest you consider a well equipped aluminum rig. Forget the boats like my Lowe Stinger , Alumacrafts, G3s etc( they are good boats but not in the same world as a glass boat).  Since you are in WV you are not too far a ride into Tennessee. Call Bunch Marine ( located not too far from Knoxville TN) and go look seriously at the 2015 Xpress x19 the have for sale. That is a serious boat.  That is a good choice for your larger lakes and unless those rivers are full of rocks like our Susquehanna you should be fine. you can run this boat mosty anywhere a fiberglass rig can go and a few places a fiberglas rig should not go.

I watched a few videos of people fishing Kanawha river and it looked safe for glass to me bit I could be wrong.

That boat already has a 24 volt trolling motor and good electronics on it and it is only a couple of years old.  They want $24,995 for it and a new one equally set up is closer to $38,00 or more. Don't misunderstand me I am not insulting the Ranger or my Lowe, they are not in the same class of boat,and that is just fact. Lund, Xpress, Chrestliner, and Gatortrax are just the top of the line rigs.

 

Thank you so much. For whatever reason I get hung up on glass boats, even though I know aluminum probably fits my situation better. 

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2 hours ago, iabass8 said:

I would be looking hard at the boat @slonezp is talking about. It's one heck of a deal and an awesome boat. 

We have a 2016 Ranger RT188C and we love it.  But if I didn't already have my boat I would be on this deal like a ninja spider monkey.  

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6 hours ago, iabass8 said:

I would be looking hard at the boat @slonezp is talking about. It's one heck of a deal and an awesome boat. 

Just posted over there. He sold it this morning

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4 minutes ago, slonezp said:

Just posted over there. He sold it this morning

He just now texted me and said he had it 🤔 oh well, TX is a little too far haha

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Well since you're back to looking...

 

I don't have the 198 but I did get a new 188 last year /w the 115 ETEC and an Ultrex. I've used glass boats forever and wanted to give tin a shot. Glad I did. Love the 188. Super stable fishing platform, massive front deck and more than enough storage.  Handles rough water fine. I don't fish KY lake rollers but I do fish the Mississippi and deal with barge traffic. I don't have any problems.

 

Unless you find a deal like the one we posted, you probably won't find a 198 for 30k after you add on electronics, TM, prep, taxes etc. 

 

This is boat show/expo season, too. Go travel to some expos and jump in all the boats you can to get a feel for them. There's sometimes show deals to be had. 

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13 minutes ago, iabass8 said:

Well since you're back to looking...

 

I don't have the 198 but I did get a new 188 last year /w the 115 ETEC and an Ultrex. I've used glass boats forever and wanted to give tin a shot. Glad I did. Love the 188. Super stable fishing platform, massive front deck and more than enough storage.  Handles rough water fine. I don't fish KY lake rollers but I do fish the Mississippi and deal with barge traffic. I don't have any problems.

 

Unless you find a deal like the one we posted, you probably won't find a 198 for 30k after you add on electronics, TM, prep, taxes etc. 

 

This is boat show/expo season, too. Go travel to some expos and jump in all the boats you can to get a feel for them. There's sometimes show deals to be had. 

Do you miss anything about glass boats? I’ve thought long and hard about a new Skeeter ZX190 as well. 

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Just now, WVFishDep said:

Do you miss anything about glass boats? I’ve thought long and hard about a new Skeeter ZX190 as well. 

Not really, no. I'm pretty OCD about cleaning and keeping my boats looking new. Tin is so easier to clean. Not to mention I don't have to worry about fiberglass dings when I bump into stumps. I don't ever need to make 50+ mile runs and race to spots. I'm fine doing 50mph /w a 115 and my 188. Longest run I usually make is 40 miles round trip. Usually 10-15. The rig barely uses gas and oil too, which is great. I was pretty used to gassing up every trip or every other trip and oil was something I put in each trip. The only drawback is those heavy 15-20 winds in open water. Glass boats are generally heavier and don't get pushed around as easy but the 188 isn't a very light boat to begin with so it isn't that noticeable. Having an Ultrex helps ten fold. I can sit in 25mph winds in the main channel and fish a wingdam and my boat won't move. A simple fiberglass dent can cost 1500 to repair. I fish around a lot of shallow stumps, rocks, trees, etc. No brainer for me to switch to the 188. It would be hard for me to justify making the switch back to glass. 

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19 minutes ago, iabass8 said:

Not really, no. I'm pretty OCD about cleaning and keeping my boats looking new. Tin is so easier to clean. Not to mention I don't have to worry about fiberglass dings when I bump into stumps. I don't ever need to make 50+ mile runs and race to spots. I'm fine doing 50mph /w a 115 and my 188. Longest run I usually make is 40 miles round trip. Usually 10-15. The rig barely uses gas and oil too, which is great. I was pretty used to gassing up every trip or every other trip and oil was something I put in each trip. The only drawback is those heavy 15-20 winds in open water. Glass boats are generally heavier and don't get pushed around as easy but the 188 isn't a very light boat to begin with so it isn't that noticeable. Having an Ultrex helps ten fold. I can sit in 25mph winds in the main channel and fish a wingdam and my boat won't move. A simple fiberglass dent can cost 1500 to repair. I fish around a lot of shallow stumps, rocks, trees, etc. No brainer for me to switch to the 188. It would be hard for me to justify making the switch back to glass. 

Man you have no idea how much this helps. I can relate to all that, and it makes my decision so much easier. I think I buy into the marketing and such of glass boats and it convolutes my choices. 

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I checked you are about 5 1/2 hours from Harriman TN depending on the way you go.  It might be worth a call to Bunch marine to see about the Xpress X19.  They are located  several minutes from Watts Bar lake. They could demo the boat for you if you call ahead and arrange it. I know a few guys in sales there. They are a top notch dealership.  It is a fair distance, but it could make a nice two or three day weekend trip. Go run the boat and if you like it stay and fish Watts Bar for a few hours.  Just a thought.  They also carry Tracker, Triton and Ranger boats.  They could dema any of them depending on what you liked.  Probably your best opportunity to check out some new Rangers, Tritons, and the used Xpress.

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25 minutes ago, fishnkamp said:

I checked you are about 5 1/2 hours from Harriman TN depending on the way you go.  It might be worth a call to Bunch marine to see about the Xpress X19.  They are located  several minutes from Watts Bar lake. They could demo the boat for you if you call ahead and arrange it. I know a few guys in sales there. They are a top notch dealership.  It is a fair distance, but it could make a nice two or three day weekend trip. Go run the boat and if you like it stay and fish Watts Bar for a few hours.  Just a thought.  They also carry Tracker, Triton and Ranger boats.  They could dema any of them depending on what you liked.  Probably your best opportunity to check out some new Rangers, Tritons, and the used Xpress.

I looked at that X19, I’m not sure why but I just don’t like the look of it. Looks almost like it was kept outside or something, and the console looks bare bones. I do like that Triton 189 though

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Well if you check their website for new rigs they have a half dozen Ranger 198Ps,RT188s and RT175s, as well as some Triton 17 and 18 TXs. There must be about that many Trackers in stock too.

 

Yea you got that fiberglass addiction.

Check out the 2017 Triton 189 with the Merc 150 4 stroke for $31,995 or the 2013 Ranger Z118 with the Evinrude Etec 150 HO for$28,995.

 

They also have a 2007 Triton VT19 with an Evinrude Etec 90 for $13,995

Well at least that is some eye candy

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