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Hi folks!  First post, but this board has been a great source of information for years.  I finally have a direct question for you pros though.  I'm tired of being stuck on shore, so I've decided this is the season to get my first fishing boat.  Priority for now is cheap and simple.  I was 90% sure I was going to go with a 14'-ish jon boat, though I'm finding a couple possibilities in some basic center consoles too (assuming I'm keeping my boat terminology straight).  

 

How much of a difference is there in terms of maintenance, cost, and other hassle?  Here in the northeast I'll be doing primarily lake fishing (some electric-only, so mobility via trolling motor is a must) and river.  Some of that river is a big slow-moving impoundment reservoir, if I can handle it I'd like to get out into the main Connecticut river.  On occasion I'd also like to get out into the bay and salt marshes, but that'll be much less often and I have done that safely on jon boats before.  I'd also say 90% of the time I'll be solo, but the ability to carry friends is always a plus. 

 

I can't link directly as they're Facebook ads, but below are a few examples of the kinds of things I'm finding.  Any thoughts?  Thanks in advance!

 

 

 

Option 1 - $650

"Starcraft 14’ Aluminum Bass Boat, comes with a 9.9 Evinrude that needs carb work and a working trolling motor. "

- I assume those seats are included; I'd need to get some other gear but the price seems good.  Have to find out about paperwork.

 

 

Option 2 - $1350

"I have a 92 17’ Starcraft with a 27HP Johnson engine. Minn Kota trolling motor, live well, and fish finder. Have all the original paperwork and manuals for boat and trailer. Boat does need the rest of the carpet layed down and seats added. Very MOTIVATED to sell. "

- A bigger piece of machinery to haul around, but also seems more versatile.  Also needs some work, but that's not a big deal.  This is about as much as I'd want to spend, but very-motivated guy makes me think he'd go cheaper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Option 1.jpg

Option 2.jpg

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I'd prefer option two.  Bigger platform, and console steer.  That could be a negative for you, if you're sticking to smaller waters.

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The boats in the photos attached are run about or V fishing type boats, not flat bottom Jon boats. 

Option 1, the trailer is not road safe.

Option 2, looks OK, Johnson doesn't make a 27 hp outboard, it may be a series 27, 8 hp or 40 hp, it's been painted black for hunting and can't determine what it is.

Tom

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1 hour ago, WRB said:

Option 2, looks OK, Johnson doesn't make a 27 hp outboard, it may be a series 27, 8 hp or 40 hp, it's been painted black for hunting and can't determine what it is.

Johnson made a 28hp for years, the owner may have misspoke.

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Thanks for the responses so far.  I do realize those aren't jon boats, just giving examples of what I'm looking at.  Maybe a better question is between tiller vs. console.  I feel like I'd really rather have a tiller so there's less that can go wrong, to save interior space, better maneuverability, and so I can do everything from one spot. 

 

Right now I'm also seeing less availability in tillers, there are a handful of jon boats but all a bit too small (<12').  So I've started seriously considering some consoles since there are more "all included" packages around.  Another example below.  You guys know the pros and cons for these applications far better than me though, I might just be getting carried away.

 

 

 

Option 3 - $1800

1988 Water Ready
Mercury 25hp
15-16ft
25 hp Engine
Fish Finder, Trolling Motor, Live Well, Fishing Pole Holders, etc.
Everything works on trailer
Both Currently Registered

Option 3a.jpg

Option 3b.jpg

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2 hours ago, donmac said:

Johnson made a 28hp for years, the owner may have misspoke.

Your are right, 1962-1988 I believe.

 

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I used to fish out of a 14' aluminium V hull with an 18 horse motor. One problem with tiller steering is you are sitting further back and that makes it harder to see any limbs or other debris in the water that could damage the boat or motor. If you have someone with you they will probably be sitting in the front seat. They will have to watch for hazards for since you won't be able to see around them. Make sure the boat you get has a fire extinguisher and any other required safety equipment with it.

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