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clemsondds

Boat Selection Help Needed!

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Hello! Would love to get everyone's input! I am looking to purchase a boat and could use a little advice. We will be using this boat for 75% lake/bass fishing and 25% (couple times a year) ICW cruising and fishing. I have three kids (8, 6, and 2) and I plan to have the family along a lot of the time. I plan to do about 75% fishing and 25% family cruising. So I would like something that I can get a pedestal seat in with a trolling motor, but also can seat at least 5 somewhat comfortably. We rented a Carolina Skiff 238 DLV this past year for two days down in Southport and cruised the ICW and enjoyed it. I was disappointed though with how rough it was with pretty minimal chop. We had to slow quite a bit just when boats went by. And if we didn't, we would get sprayed pretty good. But on the plus side, it was very roomy. I was looking at the CS 19 Ultra Elite...I heard they did a redesign on the hull to give it a little better ride. But then I started looking at Key West and Robalo and wow what beautiful boats! Looks like the fit and finish is better but you trade some space for it. So my top three boats right now are the CS 19 ultra elite, the Key West 189FS and the Robalo R180. If I could find a used Key West 203FS or a Robalo 206 Cayman, that would be in the running as well. I'm worried about the KW and the Robalo, that they will look out of place and be too big on some of the smaller lakes around me (Oak Hollow Lake, Lake James...). Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated! Any other boats you can recommend that would be good for lake bass fishing and the occasional intercostal fishing trip?  Thanks! 

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You haven't mentioned your preference ie glass or aluminum?  Look at some of the Lunds easy to trailer, wide, deep, safe and comfy.  I had a 17' Explorer with a 115hp that I trailer'd, it was fast enough for family fun and it had an 80# digital tour electric up front along with a pedestal seat for bass fishing if I wanted to. I had that boat out in some nasty weather conditions and never felt unsafe. They make aluminum boats all the way up to 21'.  go to a dealership and look at them very wide and stable, & they also hold their trade value. 

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Robalo would be my choice based on reputation. Have you looked into Grady White? You'll bet a better ride from a GW

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Hello and Welcome to Bass Resource ~ 

While not familiar with the waters you fish, I am somewhat familiar with the boats you've listed. 

I think you know you're going to have to give up some fishability to ensure you families' safety.

IMO to disregard that might be a mistake. 

A typical 'flats skiff' while a nice choice in the calm shallow waters it's designed for, may not offer you & your family what you're looking for & need.  The larger rigs you've mentioned will offer much more room, comfort & most importantly, safety for 5 people: especially younger children.  However, launching, fishing & recovering them solo, may be more than you're looking for.  

Lastly, whatever rig you choose, ensure your tow vehicle can safely handle it.  Boat motor & trailer weights, including boat gear & fuel, for 23-24 ft rigs (especially glass) start adding up fast.

Good Luck with your decision

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

2 minutes ago, slonezp said:

Robalo would be my choice based on reputation. Have you looked into Grady White? You'll bet a better ride from a GW

X2 ~  Mako Boats as well.

A-Jay

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Thanks everyone!  Anyone know any bass fishing boats that could be taken in the intercostal?  Another words, the boats that I mentioned are mostly used in icw but could be used for lakes; I'm wondering if there are bass boats, that would be ok in light chop?  Make sense?  Anyone ever try Stingray (206cc) or Tahoe (1950cc) deck/fishing boats? 

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From what you described, my suggestion would be a center console.  You need to make sure that the boat you pick is designed and built for the salt environment.  There are a lot of differences between freshwater boats and salt water boats.  You also need more room than the average bass boat layout will give.  

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Ok so I think I have narrowed it down to a carolina skiff ultra 19, tidewater baymax 1910, and a ranger rb190.  Anyone have any experience with these boats?  Thanks again! 

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5 hours ago, clemsondds said:

Anyone bass fish with a carolina skiff? Thoughts?

I have known some that do.  No different than a center console.  You will just need to net your fish because the freeboard is usually higher.  I think they draft a little more water than a bass boat as well.  

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