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Wazzu01

Which boat for fist time owner?

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Looking for some advice from those who have more boat experience on the following boats for my son and myself: 

 

1. 2002 TR-165 -w/ 75HP Mercury (2 stroke)  Boat is in really good shape and owner used it very little.  Was at the dealer when it was traded in by the owner today.  Dealer is asking $7,900.00. NADA shows it is worth 5k to 6k.  Fish Finders are original and will need to be upgraded. Trolling motor was upgraded within the last year or two with a Minn Kota 12/24V.  Dealer did compression test and checked lower unit. All good, however they are going to have to clean out carburetor due to lack of use the last couple of years. Said it started fine, just was running rough. 

 

2. 2003 Nitro 700 LX w/75HP Tracker (2 Stroke) Boat is good shape and has been used little as well. Private seller asking $6500.00.  NADA is 5k to 6k. Original Motor Guide trolling motor.  Basic fish finder that will need to be upgraded. Boat would also come with a boat cover. No fish finder up front. Do not have compression numbers on engine, owner is willing to have tested. 

 

3.  2000 Champion 181 w/150 Mercury XR6 - Boat appears to be in good shape some minor spider cracking at front cleats and grab handle. Dealer asking $12,900.00.  NADA shows value around 6k to 7k.   Motor has good compression. New Carpet has been installed, Helix 5 at dash and old Lowrance at bow. Has a boat cover and hot foot as well. Looked at boat today and has a great front deck space, however area around helm is very tight/small and very little storage in back. Dealer would have to get more realistic on price.  Trolling motor was replaced 3 or 4 years ago. 

 

Thoughts on which would be better and why?  Also, would it make more sense to look at 18 to 19 foot boats instead?

 

Thanks for any thoughts or advice. 

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Welcome to Bassresource!

 

I am a big fan of aluminum boats. I recommend that you look into some of those as well. I know that Champion boats are no longer being made, but the boats they did make are really high quality. If you can't the price down to under 9k, that might be a great deal.

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All three good boats...

  1. I'd buy condition over "brand name" every time. 
  2. NADA is generally worthless for used boats, taking a good look at what boats are going for in your area is better barometer.  NADA is almost always low...and the only use it really seems to have is for buyers to try to use to get sellers to drop their price, for deallers to undervalue your trade (but funnything...the boats they sell won't be priced with NADA) or for insurance companies to under-pay on a loss claim...do your own digging, you'll find out pretty quickly where the market is.
  3. For a first boat, a dealer is not the worst idea you could have.  You're more likely to get solid help and support if something goes TU shortly after purchase.  They will stand behind those carburetor issues if they pop back up.
  4. Newer is generally better than older, everything else being sorta equal...but engine hours and visible wear and tear can quickly void that line of thinking.

That Tracker motor is a Merc, BTW, if you haven't already discovered that.

 

As far as boat size...that's up to you.  I've settled in 18' - 19' as where I want to be, for a lot of reasons: The water I fish, towability with the vehicles I have, I like how they fish...other folks will vary on that.  The thing here is with your first boat, what you don't know about what you like dwarfs what you do know...and what you think you know.

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Looking back to the late 80s, my first boat was a Princecraft 16' Aluminum Pro series with a 50hp Evinrude. It was bullet proof, and allowed a newbie Bass boater to make a few nautical mistakes without breaking the Bank.

My second boat was a 1993 Javelin 18' with a 150 Fast Strike, and taking into consideration some of the mishaps during the learning curve with the 16' Aluminum, I transitioned into a high performance rig.

 

 

 

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I'm not a brand specific guy and have been exposed to many different manufacturers over the years.  It was pretty well known that NITRO had some quality issues in that year time frame.  I owned a 2000 929 NITRO with a 225 efi and it was a fine boat but the smaller models were tough to get the setup and prop dialed in.  You also didn't state what size bodies of water you are going to fish and if you wanted to use the boat for anything other than fishing (tubing, skiing, etc.).  If it were me, I would negotiate hard on the ChampioN.  Both of the others with the 75hp would be limited in water size and options.  Keeping in mind that the XR6 is a thirsty motor but has a stellar reputation.  Any ideas on the hours on any of the motors?  All should have a compression test and leakdown performed.  

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I’d be careful with the Champion. The early ones had some wood in them and there are horror stories out there of rotted transoms and stringers.

I like the 18-19 foot range too. 

Not sure how big the water is you’ll be fishing but the 75-horsepower would scare me off if it was big water. 

I like 150 hp and up but I think you could get by with a 90 or 115 in a quality aluminum boat. 

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On 7/7/2018 at 10:57 PM, Further North said:

All three good boats...

  1. I'd buy condition over "brand name" every time. 
  2. NADA is generally worthless for used boats, taking a good look at what boats are going for in your area is better barometer.  NADA is almost always low...and the only use it really seems to have is for buyers to try to use to get sellers to drop their price, for deallers to undervalue your trade (but funnything...the boats they sell won't be priced with NADA) or for insurance companies to under-pay on a loss claim...do your own digging, you'll find out pretty quickly where the market is.
  3. For a first boat, a dealer is not the worst idea you could have.  You're more likely to get solid help and support if something goes TU shortly after purchase.  They will stand behind those carburetor issues if they pop back up.
  4. Newer is generally better than older, everything else being sorta equal...but engine hours and visible wear and tear can quickly void that line of thinking.

That Tracker motor is a Merc, BTW, if you haven't already discovered that.

 

As far as boat size...that's up to you.  I've settled in 18' - 19' as where I want to be, for a lot of reasons: The water I fish, towability with the vehicles I have, I like how they fish...other folks will vary on that.  The thing here is with your first boat, what you don't know about what you like dwarfs what you do know...and what you think you know.

I have generally found that the only thing NADA is good for is how much you can get for a loan. This is especially true up here in the northeast where used cars are more than in other parts of the country that use less salt for some reason, and used boats are far and few between as well.

 

But this is all good advice. I'd be all over that Champion myself from the sounds of it.

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