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Looking for some input from Aluminum boat anglers.

 

I have been doing a lot of research on Aluminum Boats for my first purchase this winter (Year End Models :D).  I will be fishing tournaments single and with a non-boater.  I have decided I want at least an 18/19 footer. My biggest concern with aluminum is ride quality and hold up to wind.  A lot of the lakes here in the plains of Nebraska and Iowa tend to get a little windy.

 

I have mainly been looking at the beautiful new Vexus AVX1880. Also priced out the Alumacraft Pro185, Ranger RT198, and a Tracker 195 TXW. I have also just ran across a Crestliner Bass Hawk but I am not sure about the Deep-V hull.

 

What are you fishing out of?

What are some of the pro's/con's of your rig?

 

Thanks in advance and Tight Lines!!

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Lund 1875 Pro-V Bass ~ 

Pros - everything

Cons - none. 

Good Luck with your decision.

:smiley:

A-Jay

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While I have not personally drove the Vexus AVX1880 it comes highly recommended from guys that fish Toledo Bend & Rayburn.

 

I do have quite a bit of seat time behind the wheel of Xpress Hyperlift hulls. I can tell you Xpress can handle anything a glass boat can.

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22 minutes ago, A-Jay said:

Lund 1875 Pro-V Bass ~ 

Pros - everything

Cons - none. 

Good Luck with your decision.

:smiley:

A-Jay

 

Image may contain: car, outdoor and nature

I have looked at the Lund's. Super nice boats but a bit out my price range for a 1st Aluminum. Nice Rig!

14 minutes ago, Catt said:

While I have not personally drove the Vexus AVX1880 it comes highly recommended from guys that fish Toledo Bend & Rayburn.

 

I do have quite a bit of seat time behind the wheel of Xpress Hyperlift hulls. I can tell you Xpress can handle anything a glass boat can.

Good to hear the Vexus is getting some good feedback. With the folks behind the company I would hope they are awesome boats.

 

I have looked at the X18 Pro online, the website is difficult to get an idea of final pricing without being able to "build your own".

 

Which model do you run? I have seen them in action via YouTube video taking lake runs, looks smoothe and able to handle very well. How well does it hold up to windy conditions? I would think an 18/19 foot aluminum fully loaded would not be affected much, but then again I have never been in one under those circumstances.

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I've ran everything from the plain Jane H-18 to the XCLUSIVE Pro X21.

 

An 18' has a 67" bottom width, a 95" beam, & a weight of just under 1,200 lbs. Wind really don't blow em around like you hear. I had no issues running Toledo Bend in chop & was as dry as any glass boat.

 

I'm told the Vexus can complete with the Xpress but I aint witnessed it...yet!

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If your considering the Ranger RT then I can suggest the Lund Renegade 1875 pretty much the same price point as the RT and less than the Lund Pro V.  If you go to page 16 on the bass boat forum you can get some input from some of the owners.  I just purchased one and while I haven't had it out on any real windy days reading the others input puts me at some ease.  Of course reading weather reports ahead of time and letting discretion be the better part of valor is always a wise decision.  No fish or tournament is worth risking yours or any others life.  Know your boat, it's capabilities and prepare with your safety equipment.  Gd luck in whatever your decision is.

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I sold my Skeeter TZX200 last year and gave up fishing because of a bad back and difficulty launching it by myself. I decided to get back into it but I needed something easier to handle. I bought a Lowe 175 Stinger. Very light all aluminum, no wood. I can move it around my garage effortless. It rides great, over 40mph with a 75 hp 4 stroke.

 

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I fish out of a 19 ft. Tracker Pro Team w/ 90 H.P. Love it. I have no complaints. I’m in my own little world when I’m out. By myself 98% of the time. Some days I wish it were a hair longer and a bit wider for when I go “Ike” when I’m out. 

Wish I were as young as Ike. 

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2015 Ranger RT178 for this guy.  I would say that the single most forgiving item in my boat is the non-skid polymer vinyl coating on the floors.  At first I wasn't super excited about not having any carpet but after using this stuff for a few years, I'll never go back to carpet.  This surface cleans easier, doesn't fade, isn't slippery, doesn't get hot in the sun, etc.  Forget carpet.

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2 hours ago, je1946 said:

If your considering the Ranger RT then I can suggest the Lund Renegade 1875 pretty much the same price point as the RT and less than the Lund Pro V.  If you go to page 16 on the bass boat forum you can get some input from some of the owners.  I just purchased one and while I haven't had it out on any real windy days reading the others input puts me at some ease.  Of course reading weather reports ahead of time and letting discretion be the better part of valor is always a wise decision.  No fish or tournament is worth risking yours or any others life.  Know your boat, it's capabilities and prepare with your safety equipment.  Gd luck in whatever your decision is.

Just looked into this model...May make it on the list! Thank you!

38 minutes ago, gimruis said:

2015 Ranger RT178 for this guy.  I would say that the single most forgiving item in my boat is the non-skid polymer vinyl coating on the floors.  At first I wasn't super excited about not having any carpet but after using this stuff for a few years, I'll never go back to carpet.  This surface cleans easier, doesn't fade, isn't slippery, doesn't get hot in the sun, etc.  Forget carpet.

I was going to ask about this. I have only been in carpeted boats but was curious about the other options. Seadeck from Xpress looks amazing and padded? Thanks!

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11 hours ago, BigBankBassin said:

I have looked at the Lund's. Super nice boats but a bit out my price range for a 1st Aluminum. Nice Rig!

Good to hear the Vexus is getting some good feedback. With the folks behind the company I would hope they are awesome boats.

 

I have looked at the X18 Pro online, the website is difficult to get an idea of final pricing without being able to "build your own".

 

Which model do you run? I have seen them in action via YouTube video taking lake runs, looks smoothe and able to handle very well. How well does it hold up to windy conditions? I would think an 18/19 foot aluminum fully loaded would not be affected much, but then again I have never been in one under those circumstances.

By the time you price out tournament rigged 19ft Vexus you might as well get the Lund. Nothing against Vexus but the hull design is new versus the proven design of the Lund hull, not to mention the excessive amount of storage. 

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1 hour ago, slonezp said:

By the time you price out tournament rigged 19ft Vexus you might as well get the Lund. Nothing against Vexus but the hull design is new versus the proven design of the Lund hull, not to mention the excessive amount of storage. 

I am heavily considering the 1875 Renegade now that I have "built one" on the site. Are the storage boxes 100% waterproof? It is hard to tell if they have raised lips or compression locks. That is one of my top priorities for storage.

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100% waterproof? Unlikely. Same goes for most mod V bass boats. Maybe the Vexus would be dryest, but 100%, probably not if you're fishing in heavy rain.

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I'm running an Xpress 18' with the hyperlift hull.  I don't have any complaints about the ride or handling.  I've never fished out of a glass boat, so I really can't compare.  Compared to the alumacraft and g3 that I owned in the past, the difference in night and day.  

 

I like the 18', but I think the next Xpress I get will be the 19', so I can drop a 200 on the back.  

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5 minutes ago, Troy85 said:

I'm running an Xpress 18' with the hyperlift hull.  I don't have any complaints about the ride or handling.  I've never fished out of a glass boat, so I really can't compare.  Compared to the alumacraft and g3 that I owned in the past, the difference in night and day.  

 

I like the 18', but I think the next Xpress I get will be the 19', so I can drop a 200 on the back.  

Which motor are your Running? I see a lot of the 2018/2019 have the Yamaha 150 SHO. Haven't ever been in front of one of those. I have been trying to do some research on the different motors now but there are too many biased reviews :).

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I'm running a Yamaha 115, not the SHO.  The 115 pushes that boat pretty good, and it has good hole shot.  I never have trouble when I do go pleasure boating, such as pulling people around in a tube or water skis. As far as performance, solo I can get about 48ish top speed.  If I'm bringing someone else along with all their gear, it will run about 45mph. 

 

The great thing about that 115 is it sips gas, if your looking for fuel economy.    

 

But, If I had been buying my boat brand new, I would probably upgrade to the 150, but then again I just like going as fast as possible. 

 

I've only ever had Yamahas, so I can't really say much about other brands.  I will say that I don't plan on switching to another brand anytime soon.

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5 minutes ago, Troy85 said:

I'm running a Yamaha 115, not the SHO.  The 115 pushes that boat pretty good, and it has good hole shot.  I never have trouble when I do go pleasure boating, such as pulling people around in a tube or water skis. As far as performance, solo I can get about 48ish top speed.  If I'm bringing someone else along with all their gear, it will run about 45mph. 

 

The great thing about that 115 is it sips gas, if your looking for fuel economy.    

 

But, If I had been buying my boat brand new, I would probably upgrade to the 150, but then again I just like going as fast as possible. 

Nice, I was going to get a 150 as I was not sure a 115 would be able to pull a tube. This just saved me some Money. I don't fish a lot of big lake tourney's so speed isn't critical for me...yet. :D

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4 minutes ago, BigBankBassin said:

Nice, I was going to get a 150 as I was not sure a 115 would be able to pull a tube. This just saved me some Money. I don't fish a lot of big lake tourney's so speed isn't critical for me...yet. :D

A few weeks back. I was pulling my wife and her cousin on the tube and in the boat was me, my sister in law, her Boyfriend and my son.  I had zero trouble getting up on plane and pulling them around.  

 

 

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2004 18' Xpress, with 115 on the back. Will hit 55 mph on a good day. Couldn't ask for a better boat, love the way the Xpress rides. I don't like the compartment setup but couldn't beat the price I paid for it so I can't complain. 

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I’ve got a tracker 190 with a 115 on the back. I’ve fished several tournaments out of it no problem but honestly I’m ready to trade it in and get a glass boat. I’ve already out grown it. I’ve got it stuffed full of rods and tackle and I’m also wanting a little more speed and hate getting blown around in the wind. If you’re dead set on aluminum I wouldn’t over look the trackers. They don’t have the best reputation but mine has been solid and I’m not easy on it. I’d just stay away from bass pro or cabelas and find a local dealer. 

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crestliner..... cracked transom, cracked 3' across bow, cracked 6' down center of hull. I suppose can happen to any aluminum but I would be hesitant to get anything made in the same factory my boat came from or anything Brunswick for that matter. Have had so many issues with my boat. Have attorney involved now. 100 days or so in shop and have only had boat for 8 months. It is totaled from all of the cracking. It's more a matter of poor customer service and the 10 or so other people that have told me their pt20 has cracked in the same way.

IMG_1547[41417].PNG

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2 hours ago, clark9312 said:

I’ve got a tracker 190 with a 115 on the back. I’ve fished several tournaments out of it no problem but honestly I’m ready to trade it in and get a glass boat. I’ve already out grown it. I’ve got it stuffed full of rods and tackle and I’m also wanting a little more speed and hate getting blown around in the wind. If you’re dead set on aluminum I wouldn’t over look the trackers. They don’t have the best reputation but mine has been solid and I’m not easy on it. I’d just stay away from bass pro or cabelas and find a local dealer. 

When I first started looking I was heading towards a tracker just because of price. After a bit more research it is not on the list anymore. I think there are better quality boats for not much more that I have priced out.

1 hour ago, zeth said:

crestliner..... cracked transom, cracked 3' across bow, cracked 6' down center of hull. I suppose can happen to any aluminum but I would be hesitant to get anything made in the same factory my boat came from or anything Brunswick for that matter. Have had so many issues with my boat. Have attorney involved now. 100 days or so in shop and have only had boat for 8 months. It is totaled from all of the cracking. It's more a matter of poor customer service and the 10 or so other people that have told me their pt20 has cracked in the same way.

IMG_1547[41417].PNG

Good to know Thanks!! I have a checked out a few Crestliners. Not looking good for them.

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I have a 1998 Smoker Craft aluminum deep-V 172 Salmon with a 2015 Mercury 115 EFI 4 stroke. The boat is solid as a rock, rivited hull, no leaks. The 115 is awesome! Smooth, powerful, guiet. At idle can barely hear it. Instant throttle response, hole shots. Easy DIY maintenance. Instant start, no choke needed, no smelly exhaust/blue smoke. I will never go back to a two stroke motor. Wind  hasn't been a problem, but use a 60 lb thrust bow mounted trolling motor. I fish mainly Iowa lakes, but also SD, MN, Canada. Have never gotten wet from white cap waves in it. Easy to manuever, great multi species fishing boat. 

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9 hours ago, zeth said:

crestliner..... cracked transom, cracked 3' across bow, cracked 6' down center of hull. I suppose can happen to any aluminum but I would be hesitant to get anything made in the same factory my boat came from or anything Brunswick for that matter. Have had so many issues with my boat. Have attorney involved now. 100 days or so in shop and have only had boat for 8 months. It is totaled from all of the cracking. It's more a matter of poor customer service and the 10 or so other people that have told me their pt20 has cracked in the same way.

IMG_1547[41417].PNG

That looks like some serious abuse. I have a Lowe 175 stinger (built by Brunswick) and the build quality is very good and has a lifetime warranty on the hull. It's fast and rides very good.

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E41FF595-AED5-4EAF-9E9E-E75E1CFDBCDE.thumb.jpeg.bc2eea2a9ccab35af1bf89ef5ca3b618.jpeg

 

I fish out of a 2007 Triton Aluminum with a 50HP. I can run 30mph with two people, full tank of gas, and all of our gear. It's great for just a pleasure day out fishing. I started tournament fishing with a local group doing evening tournaments on a small lake. The boat fit me perfect for that. I had some success and decided to up my game and fish a state tournament trail. Me and another guy out of 120 boats are the only two fishing out of Aluminum and under 150HP. Draw number is now irrelevant. I also get beat to death pretty good during blast off as the bigger glass boats just beat the water to death. My best advice to you is to really look at the situation your in and what you want your boat for in the future. There are two sides to my story - 

 

1) I bought my boat, barely used and garage kept, outright for $5200 so I OWN it with no payments. 

    It's easy to store and easy to tow.

    Two people can fish out of it comfortably.

    I know my boat, I can handle it, and can fish it pretty much anywhere that I want.

    I can take my boat in 5 feet of water or less with the trolling motor raised up. 

    Overall, it is relatively inexpensive to run and maintain. 

 

2) I get blown around in the wind.

    I get beat to death while running in large tournaments

    It gets cramped with three people fishing out of it

    It takes me a long time to make big runs at only 30mph.

    It gets too dangerous on big water in rough conditions. 

 

You really gotta just decide what you want in your boat and what you want to use it for and pick what fits your needs best. To me, I see more pros than cons out of my boat and I will probably keep it for a long, long time. For me and my family, it fits my needs. I can fish occasional tournaments with no issues. If I were to pursue tournament fishing any harder, I would probably trade it in for something bigger. To me, it doesn't make any sense to go into debt over a newer, bigger boat when I don't really need to. 

 

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