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humbleangler

First Basic Fishing Boat

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In the next 12 months or so, I'm planning on buying my first boat. I'm looking for a no frills, 14-16' V hull utility fishing boat or Mod V Jon. I grew up fishing from my Grandpa's well worn 14' deep V Alumacraft and see no reason for anything pricier for the fishing I do. Plus, a lot of the waters I fish have a 10HP limit, so I wouldn't want anything more than a 9.9. I'm just tired of being relegated to the shore or spending $100 a day on a rental and having to deal with getting back to dock at a certain time, filling out paper work, etc. I have MANY questions as I've never personally owned a boat, but for now, I'll leave it with the below:

 

1. I've gone to many boat makers websites (Lowe, Lund, Tracker, Alumacraft, etc.) and can usually find what I'm looking for in the $3-7K range, Boat, Motor, and Trailer. However, when you link to a dealer's website, they have nothing this cheap in their inventory unless it's a 30 yr old used trade in. Can you build the boat through the manufacturer and have it shipped to the dealer? I understand the dealers want to show off the fancy $20K+ bass boats, but there has to be a way to order a brand new basic V hull, right? How much extra does it cost to have a customer job sent to the dealer?

 

2. I'd like to take it up and down some of the rivers here in Northern Illinois...will a 9.9HP handle work in current? I'm not talking white water rapids, but when the water is high, the Kankakee, Fox, Illinois, DesPlaines can all get moving pretty quick. 

 

3. In addition to the rivers, I'd like to take it to a few cooling lakes in the area that can have quite a bit of chop...Heidecke, LaSalle, etc. I figure a Mod V Jon would be better for the rivers, but imagine it would be painful at least, dangerous at most on choppy waters in bad weather. Any experience? Suggestions?

 

Thanks for the help...since joining this site, I can't tell you how often I refer back to many of the forum postings here. This is a really great community with a lot of folks with a wealth of experience and solid advice. 

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Boat length and motor size are going to be your most limiting factors.  You don’t see a lot of dealer inventory with that setup because it is prey unique to most bodies of water.  Most who run that type of setup are on restricted lakes and never meant to be out on bigger water.  I do know that you could go into a bass pro shops and order the hull you want and they normally display a few motors they have available in the store.  Your hull comes in and they will rig it for you.  Unless you want brand new, your best bet is to buy one already rigged used.  The 9.9 is going to be sketchy in any bigger river with current after you add the weight of fuel, batteries for a trolling motor and gear.  

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You can go to Cabelas in Hoffman or BPS in Bollingbrook and get a new 14ft jon, a 9.9 Tohatsu, and a trailer for about $4k-4500. If you want something with a deck and storage, you're going to have to go used to stay in your price range. It is what it is.

 

I have a 14ft Lund I've been contemplating parting with. I bought it to fish the Fox, but it has been garaged in Wisconsin since I bought it. The motor in the pic has already bee sold, but I do have a 15hp Evinrude (No badges). I also have new transom and bow mounted trolling motors and a Helix 5 that I bought and they are sitting in my garage in IL. If this suits you, let me know when you're ready to pull the trigger. I might be willing to part with them.  

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14 ft Tracker Grizzly 1448 MVX mod-V hull with matching trailer. Got mine in 2017 (w/factory matched trailer) for 3,500 (MSRP 4,100). That was a leftover on the lot, so you might pay closer to MSRP if it's ordered, but they should be able to order it. Build it up from there. With used 15 hp 2-stroke, used cable/drum steering system, used seating, new trolling motor, new bimini top, came to under $8K plus sweat equity. It's a slug with the 15 hp (couldn't get more than 8 mph on the lake) so 9.9 might be a challenge in the river. Max hp on the boat is 25 hp. It sits low in the water so it's not great in chop. But conditions permitting, you could get on the water with just the boat, trailer and tiller steer motor for short money, and add things on as you go. It's a nice step up from a "shell" of a jon boat in terms of quality yet still small enough to feel nimble and manageable.

 

 

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