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BigSkyBasser

Aluminum Boat Recommendations

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3 hours ago, BigAngus752 said:

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! 

The RT188 is my second choice for an aluminum boat. The Lund Renegade 1875 I believe would be my #1, as the 1775 has more storage and deck space despite being a foot shorter (which may have something to do with why the 18' Ranger is more stable), although the Ranger is a little cheaper and I might have some hope of finding one used as well.


The reason I'm still considering aluminum boats, is while they have gone up in price something insane each year for the past few years is like you said I'd be a little less worried about running it in shallow water as what puts a scratch in an aluminum hull can sink a fiberglass boat, and there are a few lakes I'd use it on that do have some rocks and stumps that I'd like to use it on, and I do like fishing shallow.

 

I'm probably at least a year away at this point anyway. I have to worry about surviving next year's medical bills first.

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I'm boat shopping as well. I decided that I am getting an Aluminum for sure however I am with you on brand. My issue is there are not any Trackers locally. I went to my local dealership and was told they hadn't had a used Tracker on the lot for 3 years. Facebook and Craigslist returns one for sale within 200 miles its a 2008 that they want $7500 with no electronics and seats in unusable condition (Oh and price non negotiable). I will have to check Lund and Lowe, I have tried Ranger and Alumacraft with no luck as well. I chalk it up to not many people using Aluminum boats on Erie. GL in your shopping, I hope you get what your looking for.

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