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StrikePrince

Thoughts on this boat? First boat 14 foot aluma craft jon

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https://seattle.craigslist.org/oly/boa/d/14-ft-2007-crapple-jon/6528392452.html

 

Hi all. Will be checking out this boat in the next few days. Is this a good deal? What types of things should I make sure to check when inspecting? I'm a total boat newb and wanting to make sure I don't miss anything vital. Any advice is helpful; even the most basic advice will probably not be above my head. Thanks. 

 

I'm not sure whether to go with something used like that or go with a basic newer package like a tracker grizzly 16' jon. That would be more pricey but I do like the idea of a bigger more stable, standeable boat that would be nore roomy for multiple people. not having to worry about the potential headaches that a used purchase can bring is appealing too.

 

Any advice regarding new vs used? The price of the boat listed above isn't that amazing to make it an easy choice over new. Thanks all. 

 

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I've always bought used.  The good thing about these smaller simple setup aluminum boats is there is less to go wrong(if your worried about headaches of buying used), as opposed to larger fancier boats where you have to worry about all the electronics,wiring, pumps, hull damage/rot as well as mechanical. 

 

Take it for test drive, check for leaks, make sure engine starts/runs good, test the Trolling motor, pull the motor cover and make sure it looks decent under there(no corrosion, rust, etc), check the engine oil.  You an usually tell if the owner did proper maintenance.

 

As far as size, you can fish two out of that boat without any real issue.  Any more than that is going to start getting cramped.  The difference between that grizzly and this boat would be night in day, that extra 2' makes a big difference, and the Tracker you mentioned is going to be wider as well.

 

Can't hurt to check it out and take it for a test drive.  If you like it and it seems taken care of it could be a good purchase.  If you don't get it, at least you will have something to compare the the Tracker test drive to.  

 

On another note(this is my personal thought process on buying a boat) , if you do take it for a test ride and you like still on the fence.  I wouldn't buy you will know pretty quick if its the boat for you(at least that's how it works for me).  My last 2 boat purchases, I looked at boats for months, then one came up and it was like it spoke to me.  

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If you do buy the boat you will need to to check the wheel bearings on the trailer to make sure they are greased and in good condition.

I forgot to add to check the lights and wiring on the trailer.

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Lots of bass have been caught in a boat like that.  It is a good starter setup, or for some it is all they need.

To see if it is the right boat for you requires some information.  So help us by answering some simple questions.

What type of water will you be boating in? Is it small local ponds, slightly larger lakes or reservoirs, small slow moving rivers or real big lakes and faster moving rivers? 

How good are the ramps you can use? Sometimes a body of water has a really spiffy ramp you can launch a mega sized bass boat and sometimes you will find an unimproved ramp you need a smaller boat and trailer to launch.

What is your tow vehicle and how much can it handle?

What is your real budget?

Each of those answers can dictate your best choice or a compromise between 2. For instance I ran a similar boat to that Alumacraft, it was a 2 seater 15 1/2 foot long with a 48 inch bottom. It was a very stable boat when I fished on some reservoirs and one larger lake we liked. That lake had a lot of boat traffic but had a 20 hp limit, so no big waves. The reservoir was electric only.  The boat was fine on some MD Eastern Shore ponds and small rivers too. At the time I purchased a second bass boat. The other was a 17 1/2 foot long Lowe Stinger bass boat. I set it up with the 20 hp outboard and turned the 15 footer into an electric only rig.  The Lowe was used on the 20 hp lake but was perfectly safe in the big TN and KY lakes we travelled to. I now live next to the Chesapeake Bay and so I fish rough tidal water. I still use my Lowe but had to replace the engine with a 75 HP Merc in order to be safe.  The first boat I ever owned was a 12 foot long 30 or 36 inch aluminum jon and we fished 3 teenagers out of it, but we were only fishing in a reservoir and had little trouble with waves.  I hope these examples help.

 

Here is another option. It is a 16 foot Lowe with lots of goodies for $4500. It includes a a gps/fish finder, already has seats, a floor, wide open layout new batteries and even rod holders.

https://seattle.craigslist.org/see/boa/d/16-lowe-roughneck-welded/6527731448.html

 

00707_8ECjlZgQkG5_600x450.jpg

 

00404_ablLAp3JPF_600x450.jpg

 

01111_kbLV16wYH3L_1200x900.jpg

 

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2 hours ago, fishnkamp said:

Lots of bass have been caught in a boat like that.  It is a good starter setup, or for some it is all they need.

To see if it is the right boat for you requires some information.  So help us by answering some simple questions.

What type of water will you be boating in? Is it small local ponds, slightly larger lakes or reservoirs, small slow moving rivers or real big lakes and faster moving rivers? 

How good are the ramps you can use? Sometimes a body of water has a really spiffy ramp you can launch a mega sized bass boat and sometimes you will find an unimproved ramp you need a smaller boat and trailer to launch.

What is your tow vehicle and how much can it handle?

What is your real budget?

Each of those answers can dictate your best choice or a compromise between 2. For instance I ran a similar boat to that Alumacraft, it was a 2 seater 15 1/2 foot long with a 48 inch bottom. It was a very stable boat when I fished on some reservoirs and one larger lake we liked. That lake had a lot of boat traffic but had a 20 hp limit, so no big waves. The reservoir was electric only.  The boat was fine on some MD Eastern Shore ponds and small rivers too. At the time I purchased a second bass boat. The other was a 17 1/2 foot long Lowe Stinger bass boat. I set it up with the 20 hp outboard and turned the 15 footer into an electric only rig.  The Lowe was used on the 20 hp lake but was perfectly safe in the big TN and KY lakes we travelled to. I now live next to the Chesapeake Bay and so I fish rough tidal water. I still use my Lowe but had to replace the engine with a 75 HP Merc in order to be safe.  The first boat I ever owned was a 12 foot long 30 or 36 inch aluminum jon and we fished 3 teenagers out of it, but we were only fishing in a reservoir and had little trouble with waves.  I hope these examples help.

 

Here is another option. It is a 16 foot Lowe with lots of goodies for $4500. It includes a a gps/fish finder, already has seats, a floor, wide open layout new batteries and even rod holders.

https://seattle.craigslist.org/see/boa/d/16-lowe-roughneck-welded/6527731448.html

 

00707_8ECjlZgQkG5_600x450.jpg

 

00404_ablLAp3JPF_600x450.jpg

 

01111_kbLV16wYH3L_1200x900.jpg

 

Thank you all for your help, very insightful.

 

"What type of water will you be boating in?"

 

Small-medium size residential lakes that are pretty common here in PNW.  100-600 acres usually.  Not planning on big water or rivers.  It's never gotten crazy windy to the point that I felt in danger in my SOT Kayak- maybe once.  I don't think wind/waves would be  a reason to go bigger.

 

 

"How good are the ramps you can use? Sometimes a body of water has a really spiffy ramp you can launch a mega sized bass boat and sometimes you will find an unimproved ramp you need a smaller boat and trailer to launch."

 

Launches are mostly in good shape.   I can't think of one that would cause significant problems.  One might be too small for the 16', but I can alway spull out the kayak for tha tone.

 

"What is your tow vehicle and how much can it handle?"

 

MPG: 21 city / 26 highway
Horsepower: 143 hp @ 5,250 rpm
Towing capacity: 2,460 lbs
Engine: 2.3 L 4-cylinder
 
Thank you again for all responses.  As I think this through, I think I'm leaning toward something smaller like the 14; alumacraft for the type of fishing that we do.  Thank you all for your insight.
 
Another newb question-  how do hitches work?  Is there like a universal hitch that will work with all trailers?  Or do I need to know the model of trailer before I get a hitch installed on my truck?  Thanks again.

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ball hitches are easily interchangeable with a Reese style hitch if you already have a hitch receiver on your truck ( square tube steel opening under the bumper ). the boat trailer hitch should have the size stamped on top of it, probably 1 7/8” or 2”. the ball itself has a threaded tail piece w/nut and lock washer.

 

some trucks only have a ball hitch mount (hole) in the center of the bumper. 

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You will need to do several things. Adjust his trailer so that it is level ( I usually measure the distance between the frame and the ground, near the tongue, and that same measurement between the frame and the rear of the frame. If you do this on level ground you will be pretty close. You can even help by using a small 5 or 6 inch bubble level. Mount it somewhere around the winch stand. Now that we have the trailer basically level do two things. One is measure from the center of the ball socket on the trailer coupler to the ground. Next look at the top of the coupler. As lo n slo said it will list a 1 7/8 inch or a 2 inch ball required.

If your truck has a receiver style hitch then you want a draw bar that fits your hitch, but also provides the same distance from the ground to the center of the ball. We are trying to pull the trailer almost perfectly level for safety reasons. Now I will tell you I had one boat that made launching impossible without the nose of the trailer being elevated 1 1/2 high. It was safe no big deal.  Once you decide if you need a draw bar that is level, adds a certain amount of inches of raise, or your setup will need so many inches of drop, you install the correct size ball. It is really easier than it may appear.  Watch this video it will help show how to do it better than I explained it maybe.

 

 

Both of those boats would be very lightweight, so you would not need a 2x2 class 5 type hitch. If your truck has a hitch great, if it does not, all you would need to tow a boat like that would be a class 1 or 2 frame hitch. Draw Tight makes several class one and class 2 frame hitches and they use a 1 1/4 x 1 1/4 draw bar. Others like Reese make similar ones as well. Even U Haul sells some and they do installs too.  This would save you money, as well as provide all you would need for safety.  Sometimes a ball on the bumper will work okay, if the trailer is level enough. My first two boats I towed I used one of the Draw Tight class 1 hitches and I pulled it with a Mazda pickup truck with a 4 cylinder engine. It worked great.  Make sure what the trailer has on it to connect the lights. It should be a flat 4 pin connector but often guys choose a round connector and so you need to be able to match your truck up with whatever it has on it. 

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On 3/13/2018 at 4:48 PM, lo n slo said:

ball hitches are easily interchangeable with a Reese style hitch if you already have a hitch receiver on your truck ( square tube steel opening under the bumper ). the boat trailer hitch should have the size stamped on top of it, probably 1 7/8” or 2”. the ball itself has a threaded tail piece w/nut and lock washer.

 

some trucks only have a ball hitch mount (hole) in the center of the bumper. 

If you own several trailers it is usually easy to change the coupler on the trailer so that all trailers use the same size ball and new couplers for smaller trailers without brakes run about 20.00 at many locations.

 

I had an older jon boat trailer that was set up for 1 7/8" ball and all of my other trailers were for a 2" ball. It was cheaper and simpler to switch the coupler on the trailer to a 2" than have to change balls everytime I towed a different trailer.

 

Just another option.

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