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BigSkyBasser

Aluminum Boat Recommendations

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Going to be in the market for my first bass boat here soon. I will plan to fish regular tournaments on whichever rig I get, and I'll also need a small enough boat that my V6 Honda Pilot can pull it

 

I know I'm going with a 17-18' Aluminum bass boat, and I really like these boats from my research so far (in order, from favorite to least.)

 

Lowe Stinger 178

 

Triton TX17 

 

Lund 1775 Renegade SS

 

Ranger RT178 

 

Would probably be looking at used boats with lower hour engines to drop the price a little so I can put more money towards peripherals and accessories on it.

 

Thoughts/suggestions?

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5 minutes ago, BigSkyBasser said:

I really like these boats from my research so far (in order, from favorite to least.)

 

Do ya got prices & year models 😉

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2 minutes ago, Catt said:

 

Do ya got prices & year models 😉

 

2016 Lowe Stinger 178 $18,995

2016 Lowe Stinger 175 $13,995

2018 Triton TX17            $15,899

 

Haven't found any used Lunds or Rangers in the price point as of yet.

I'm also fond of both Xpress and Crestliner's bass series, but they seem spendy from what I've seen so far.

 

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The Lund only came out a few years ago and the Ranger only a few years before that, going to be tough to find used.  

 

Just my opinion, but if you’re not going Lund, Crestliner, Xpress or Ranger you’d might as well go Tracker.  Tons of used trackers to be had in that price point, and from what I could tell and have read they’re about the same quality and build/layout as Lowe, Triton, G3, etc.

 

I just got a 2019 Lund Renegade 1875 a few months ago.  I love it so far and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it or the 1775, but they’re going to be a fair deal more pricey than Tracker, Lowe, G3 etc.  There’s no Xpress dealers anywhere near me otherwise they would have been in the running.  I looked very closely at the Ranger RTs and determined that the Lund was a nicer boat in the 17’ and 18’ lengths.  Lund doesn’t offer a 1975 to compete against Ranger’s RT198 - the RT198 is a very nice aluminum rig when you put a 150 on the back, gets about 60mph which is very good for a 19’ aluminum hull.

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1 minute ago, Janderson45 said:

The Lund only came out a few years ago and the Ranger only a few years before that, going to be tough to find used.  

 

Just my opinion, but if you’re not going Lund, Crestliner, Xpress or Ranger you’d might as well go Tracker.  Tons of used trackers to be had in that price point, and from what I could tell and have read they’re about the same quality and build/layout as Lowe, Triton, G3, etc.

 

I just got a 2019 Lund Renegade 1875 a few months ago.  I love it so far and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it or the 1775, but they’re going to be a fair deal more pricey than Tracker, Lowe, G3 etc.  There’s no Xpress dealers anywhere near me otherwise they would have been in the running.  I looked very closely at the Ranger RTs and determined that the Lund was a nicer boat in the 17’ and 18’ lengths.  Lund doesn’t offer a 1975 to compete against Ranger’s RT198 - the RT198 is a very nice aluminum rig when you put a 150 on the back, gets about 60mph which is very good for a 19’ aluminum hull.

 

Would you/do you feel comfortable fishing tourney's in your Renegade?

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Lund is hard to beat, but nothing wrong at all with Tracker. They have improved them a lot over the years. Rangers are good boats- overpriced in my opinion. Lowe is good also. Most of these boats probably have very similar features. If the 2016 Lowe Stinger 175 is available that would be my choice

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@BigSkyBasserYes and yes.  I’ve fished two so far, I won my first ever tournament as a boater first try in the Renegade.  3 day event on Lake Winnipesaukee (45,000 acres) - I fished the “broads” for deep smallmouth in 15-25mph winds with some truly nasty white caps.  I’d take an occasional wave right over the bow, and the 45” trolling motor was coming out of the water frequently.  Ultrex held me right on the spot for hours though, not another bass boat in sight (people thought I was out of my mind to be honest). 

 

It is still a mod-v aluminum hull, if you’re running through good chop on plane you will feel it, no denying that.  You’ll also get wet.. both my partner and I being in our late 20’s and decked out in good rain gear was pretty key on that particular day..

 

I run the only aluminum rig in my club, and was a bit intimidated at first... not anymore.  Sure their pretty 21’ Fiberglass boats will go faster, stay dryer, and be more comfortable, but that doesn’t at all mean that they’ll catch more fish.  I’ll fish and run on plane shallower than any of them, and apparently with the Ultrex and good electronics I can beat them all fishing deep too.

 

At WOT I can get 46-52mph depending on my load and prop.  Lots of lakes we fish have 45mph speed limits or are too small to matter.  The only places around here where I think I’m going to have a real disadvantage are Lake Champlain, or Oneida which is unfortunate but far from a deal breaker.

 

 I think the amount of days that you’re “safe” in a 19-21’ Fiberglass bass boat and “not safe” in a 19’ aluminum bass boat are few and far between. 

 

 

Here’s a quick video I made during the run back to weigh in on day 3 of that Winnipesaukee tournament.  I’ve got a review video long overdue. 

 

 

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I am in the same exact "boat" hahaha so to speak. I am boat shopping myself. Nothing but Trackers are plentiful around here. I have found 1 Triton TX17 and a few 18-19'. Either people hold on to their 17's or no one really sells them. I have pretty much landed on a Tracker pro 190. 

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You should look at Xpress before you buy.

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So let's say call what you are looking for is a cookie cutter tin. Most 17-19ft mod v aluminum boats will give you the same ride no matter what the brand. Xpress and Sea Ark will rise above. They will also cost more money. The Lund will be the only riveted option. It will be the only hull that won't warp or crack. The rest of the hulls are similar and only the interior layouts will differ. If you're not beating the crap out of it, any brand will do. If you are beating the crap out of it, go with the Xpress, Sea ark or Lund. 

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I have a Triton VT-17 with 50HP Merc and I absolutely love it. I fish local circut here in my home region and it does fine for me. Easy to pull, easy on gas, easy to run.. I can run 32 by myself on calm days no wind and around 28 two ppl loaded down. The only true negative is that aluminum boats get blown around pretty good in wind. My next goal is to get a power pole.

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9 hours ago, slonezp said:

So let's say call what you are looking for is a cookie cutter tin. Most 17-19ft mod v aluminum boats will give you the same ride no matter what the brand. Xpress and Sea Ark will rise above. They will also cost more money. The Lund will be the only riveted option. It will be the only hull that won't warp or crack. The rest of the hulls are similar and only the interior layouts will differ. If you're not beating the crap out of it, any brand will do. If you are beating the crap out of it, go with the Xpress, Sea ark or Lund. 

 

I highly suggest y'all look at Havoc & Excel boats!

 

Havoc has over taken Xpress as the fastest aluminum on the market. 

 

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I have an H18' Xpress and love it.  Rides great and keeps you dry most of the time.  Mine was 8 years old when I bought it(2016), but it was hardly used. The engine only had 34 hours on it.  They were asking $15,500, I ended up getting it for $14,500.

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6 hours ago, Catt said:

 

I highly suggest y'all look at Havoc & Excel boats!

 

Havoc has over taken Xpress as the fastest aluminum on the market. 

 

 

I like the design of the transom on those Excels. I'll have to look into those and Havoc, as this is the first I've heard of them.

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40 minutes ago, PolarKraft195Pro said:

Polar Kraft😎

 

Those rigs look Primo!

 

But out of my price range :( 

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One thing to consider... If you fish shallower lakes with stumps, logs, and such to get hung on you don't want a boat with ribs that run the length of the boat. You'll want a smooth bottom like a fiberglass boat hull. My G3 is smooth and I seldom hang on a stump. On the other hand, the Ranger boats and others have these ribs that run the length of the boat. While this could improve turning on throttle it is a nightmare if you're fishing shallow with lots of underwater structure. 

 

Now, if you're fishing deep waters with very little on the bottom to bother you the deeper V hulls will handle big water much better and will be a bit more stable on throttle. Tracker boats have HUGE keels that protrude way down. My best friend has a Tracker and I can easily fish 3 ft shallower than he can. He runs aground and I'm still fishing. 

 

Just a few things to consider in the style of boat you need all depending on the waters that you'll spend most of your time on. 

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Check our the Creatliner aluminum Bass Boat models too. Worth looking at. 

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I have a Crestliner PT18, and I'll put it up there with any tin 18 footer. not a boat for speed freaks. but it's built like a tank. a bit on the expensive side. the Lunds are great but even more expensive as are Xpress.

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On 11/12/2018 at 6:15 PM, Janderson45 said:

Just my opinion, but if you’re not going Lund, Crestliner, Xpress or Ranger you’d might as well go Tracker.  Tons of used trackers to be had in that price point, and from what I could tell and have read they’re about the same quality and build/layout as Lowe, Triton, G3, etc.

The reason I wasn't going to look at a Tracker is the rod locker won't git even a 7' rod on many of the models that I've seen, and the Pro Team 175 and 190 only fits a 7' rod max. Other than that, they're cheap enough and plenty of people had good use from their Trackers.

 

I was going to look at the Lund Renegade, but the prices on aluminum boats is rising so fast I'm considering looking at fiberglass boats instead if I can ever get my finances in order.

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On 11/29/2018 at 8:53 AM, Boomstick said:

The reason I wasn't going to look at a Tracker is the rod locker won't git even a 7' rod on many of the models that I've seen, and the Pro Team 175 and 190 only fits a 7' rod max. Other than that, they're cheap enough and plenty of people had good use from their Trackers.

 

I was going to look at the Lund Renegade, but the prices on aluminum boats is rising so fast I'm considering looking at fiberglass boats instead if I can ever get my finances in order.

 

I've also been told by friends/associates that they have wood decks, which has contributed to lots of quality issues. If they've moved away from that, I wouldn't have a problem with a tracker as a good starter boat for the price. Hopefully they've solved the rod locker length conundrum as well. 

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27 minutes ago, BigSkyBasser said:

 

I've also been told by friends/associates that they have wood decks, which has contributed to lots of quality issues. If they've moved away from that, I wouldn't have a problem with a tracker as a good starter boat for the price. Hopefully they've solved the rod locker length conundrum as well. 

A of last year, they did not.

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On 11/29/2018 at 9:53 AM, Boomstick said:

The reason I wasn't going to look at a Tracker is the rod locker won't git even a 7' rod on many of the models that I've seen, and the Pro Team 175 and 190 only fits a 7' rod max. Other than that, they're cheap enough and plenty of people had good use from their Trackers.

 

I was going to look at the Lund Renegade, but the prices on aluminum boats is rising so fast I'm considering looking at fiberglass boats instead if I can ever get my finances in order.

My 2018 PT190 will take 6 1/2' rods in six tubes, 7 1/2' rods in two tubes, and 8 1/2' rods in the open center section (room for probably 6-8 rods).

 

As far as the wood?  Yep, wood on the front deck and cockpit floor.  If you neglect your boat and leave it exposed to the elements outside it will eventually rot.  My last tracker was a 1987 TX17.  Stored outside under a cover or open carport.  The wood front deck lasted 27 years and even then only the front 6-8 inches was bad.  The floor in the cockpit was still solid.

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On 11/29/2018 at 9:53 AM, Boomstick said:

I was going to look at the Lund Renegade, but the prices on aluminum boats is rising so fast I'm considering looking at fiberglass boats instead if I can ever get my finances in order.

I have had a 2016 Ranger RT188 with a Merc 115 for two years now and I have not a single regret.  I was able to try out Tracker, Crestliner, and Lund before hand.  The only one that compared (in my mind) is Lund but at the time the Lunds that were available were not nearly as well equipped for what I paid for the RT188 (that may not always be the case).  I have also had a Lund owner on my boat and he exclaimed repeatedly about how solid the RT188 is in the water.  He felt the front deck was more stable on my boat than his 17ft Lund but I'm guessing my RT188 has more beam.  I would not hesitate to buy a Lund or a Ranger aluminum.  There are only two things I would change about my boat; I wish it had more storage (but there is never enough) and when it's windy I desperately want a heavy fiberglass boat.  But I take my Ranger aluminum into places that I would never take a Ranger fiberglass so it's a fair trade IMO.  If I had it all to do over again I would buy the same boat.  If I fished in lakes that I was never going to drag or bump my boat over rocks and stumps I would buy fiberglass.  Oh, and my RT188 has the center rod storage which holds 8ft rods. Happy shopping! 

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