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SMLWinds

Best Bass Boat (for me)

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I have grown up bass fishing in farm ponds but want to get my first bass boat. I am well acquainted with boating as I own numerous boats. For me, I will not be fishing tournaments, I do not care how fast the boat goes, any size live well is fine with me, and I will be using it exclusively on a large lake. For me, ease of use (deck space, comfort, etc) and quality of the boat are most important. Whenever I buy something, I like to buy quality that will last. As humbly as I can say so, I can afford any boat out there but there is no need in blowing money unnecessarily and I know I don’t need the biggest engine, largest livewell, etc. I have other boats for “sport” that go fast—I just want a boat to get me to a fishing hole, move me around easily with a trolling motor, and be comfortable while fishing. Again, I do want quality construction. I am thinking the best boat for me will be a high quality name brand boat with comfort and functionality but a basic engine. Thoughts on what I should consider? Any opinions are appreciated!

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If you're looking for quality, I and quite a few others will agree ranger is the quality bass boat to go with. They're not the fastest boat out there but as you said you don't care how fast it will go as long as it gets you there, in my experience a ranger has kept me the most dry and has beat me up less than any other boat I have rode in. As for a motor, you cant go wrong with a Yamaha or Evinrude, Merc makes a mean motor too, but i'm a Yamaha guy and its hard to beat a yammy, especially the newer four-strokes, they run smooth as a top and are quiet as can be. Honestly there is no one boat that we can recommend to you without knowing your personal tastes, i gave you a brand but not a specific boat because until you step foot in a boat you wont know if you like it or not. I personally would see if any friends of yours own a bass boat and would be willing to take you out so you could get a feel for the boat. Good luck 👍

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Do you know if you have a preference between an aluminum or fiberglass boat? For overall value it's hard to beat the Classic package that Tracker (Bass Pro) is offering right now.

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Man, if you want a brand new bass boat, I think they are all going to be good. There are some amazing boats being built these days. As far as the engine goes, they all will offer pretty much the same sized engines for the same sized boat. I think they all offer several engines for a particular model boat.

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Thanks for the responses! Good info to have. What are the practical differences in aluminum vs fiberglass? Why would you select one over another? I am pretty well versed in boat engines...for better or worse I own quite a few of them! 

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The weight difference is the big thing. Aluminum is lighter so it is easier to pull on a trailer and doesn’t need as much HP to bring up to speed. It also has less draft so you can take it into shallower water. The downside is that Al isn’t as stable in the wind and tends to get blown around more on a windy day. Fiberglass, being heavier, tends to give a smoother ride and is more stable in the wind. The more expensive and fancier boats are almost always fiberglass. Generally speaking a fiberglass boat will accept more powerful motors and will give a better ride in rough water, although hull shape makes a big difference there as well. You’re not going to find many budget-minded boats in fiberglass.

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Perhaps check out the Lund Pro-V Bass line.

Nice Rigs.

And yes, I am Wicked Bias.

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

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Only you will know what's best for you. In general, a longer boat will give you a better ride, and a 'glass boat will give you a better ride. There are exceptions, as @A-Jay mentioned above. I'm biased as well. Lund is arguably the "Cadillac" of aluminum boats. There hull design excels in both performance and safety. Their storage/layout uses every bit of available space and are extremely well thought out. The boats can be ordered with Mercury, Honda, or without a motor, just in case you want a Yammie or ERude. Lund's are not speed demons but will perform well as far as holeshot and almost instant getting on plane. There is very little rocking when people move around inside the boat. Lund demands premium prices both new and used and will depreciate much slower than other brands.

 

Anyway, good luck with your search.

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I’ve been eyeballing the Vexus aluminum boats

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You might want to consider the location of the closest dealer and/repair shop of each brand too. It’s not real practical to buy a boat from a dealer that’s hours away especially if you need to bring it in for service.

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If metal, Lund Pro V with Honda or Yammy

If glass Ranger with the same motor options.

For my lake, I would go Lund.

For larger lakes in my area, Ranger......purely for the the difference in ride.

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1 hour ago, gimruis said:

You might want to consider the location of the closest dealer and/repair shop of each brand too. It’s not real practical to buy a boat from a dealer that’s hours away especially if you need to bring it in for service.

Valid Point.

And one reason I made the choice I did.

A-Jay

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You might want to look at Nitro boats for the dollar they give you maybe the best bang for your buck as far as bass boats.   A lot depends on how much you want to spend. Also you said large lakes so remember a 21' boat will handle big water much better than a 18 footer. If i was looking it would be between Nitro, Skeeter, Falcon and Charger. That leaves out some nice boats like Ranger, Basscat and several others but there are things i personally dont like about them .. Just buy  nitro Z19 Pro  or Z20 Pro and you would be plenty happy though .

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On 4/8/2019 at 1:09 AM, SMLWinds said:

Again, I do want quality construction. I am thinking the best boat for me will be a high quality name brand boat with comfort and functionality but a basic engine. Thoughts on what I should consider? Any opinions are appreciated!

Consider Lund Rebel and Fury. Quality and simplicity.

 

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I currently am looking at switching to fiber glass. I think I’ve got my tracker 190 sold and now I’m freaking out a little because I have no idea what to buy next. I do know I want a fiberglass boat but that’s it at this point. I had a friend price his ranger and it was well below what I thought he was going to say but it’s a 14 model. I honestly want to buy new. 

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On 4/8/2019 at 6:20 PM, A-Jay said:

Perhaps check out the Lund Pro-V Bass line.

Nice Rigs.

And yes, I am Wicked Bias.

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

Short of a Bass Cat Jaguar (which is about as obtainable for me as a Ferrari), the Pro-V bass is my dream boat. But I've opted to look for a used Ranger RT188, Lund Renegade or maybe an older fiberglass boat.

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When you are looking at aluminum boats check out Lund, Xpress and Vexus. These are some of the top dogs. These are all boats that are big, wide, well built, and handle higher horsepower motors like 150 to 200 HP.  They are well laid out and ride well. A 19 or 20 footer will meet your needs on larger water.  In fiberglass take a serious look at a Phoenix, Ranger, Triton, Charger, and even Nitro.  You will find some are built more for value, like the Nitros. They afford lots of anglers a chance to get out and catch fish. They are just packaged up with smaller electronics, lower powered trolling motors etc. All of these can be upgraded at the time of purchase, but now they are not less expensive compared to some of the other brands. 

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