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Stingray23

Looking to buy a Bass boat in the Spring

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As the title says, I'm looking to buy a Bass boat in the early part of spring. There are so many different names out there and it is difficult to choose one. Do you guys recommend any over the others? are there any to avoid?This will be my first boat so I'm gonna need to learn how to use it so are there any other things I'm gonna need to know? Its gonna be a used boat in the $5k-$10K range.

Thanks

BTW, this is my first post! ;)

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Welcome to a great site!!!

What kind of waters to you plan on fishing? Large lakes, smaller lakes, or rivers..?

I bought my first boat this year, the one thing I found out is to go for the most stable you can.

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When I bought my first bass boat I just looked around until I found one I liked and was in my price range. That was 5 years ago and I'm now going to upgrade.

By the way, mine's for sale and right in your price range, $5500.

PM me if you want any info about it.

post-3451-130162913055_thumb.jpg

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You need a few months lead time to see what is out there in your price range.  

Start now.  You need a lot of time to get some good ideas in your head.  Go to dealerships and see what they have to offer.  Read the newspaper and go look at boats.  Check Craig's list for local boats.  Go to boat shows.

When you find something you need to really look it over because it is going to be several years old.  Get in it and look inside all of the boxes.  Check all of the switches and pumps.  Get under it and look for damage.  Check the transome for cracks.

Look the trailer over from front to back on both sides for signs of weakness or bad rust.  Check the insides of the wheels for grease indicating bad seals.  Look at the tires for uneven wear.

You will also need to take a test ride and have a qualified mechanic look over the boat and motor for you before you buy it.

Don't be in a hurry because we are in a buyer's market and seem to be that way for quite a while.

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With $5-10k to spend you're really going to be looking more for condition than brand.  

I think I'd also spend some time between now and then partnering up with somebody that already has a boat and get some instruction on usage by them.  Trying to explain to a newbie how to operate a boat over an internet forum is nearly impossible.  Your safety is at stake.  

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Thanks for writing back guys. I've been looking for a few months now to see where the prices are and what I can get for the money I'm looking to spend. I'm lucky that I have 2 marina 2 minutes from my house on the lake I intend on fishing. I can always have them inspect and maintain the boat. I'll even ask the tech there to help me out using it. I'll be using it probably exclusively on the lake by my house which i've fished for 16 yrs. It has largemouth and smallmouth that get in the 4.5-7lb range. Very good smallie fishing there.

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I would highly suggest you go to the boat ramp and watch people load and unload their boats to get an idea of how to do it.  Make some mental notes on how to and how not to load and unload a boat.  By myself i can load or unload my boat in 3 minutes or less.  On a busy morning at the ramp or at a tournament it helps to be fast.  I sat in line Sunday morning and watched a guy take 15 minutes to unload his boat.  He did lots of things wrong.  And even yelled at one person when they tried to help him out.  Anyway all I am saying is get a plan down and do it fast and do it proficiently.

Jerrod

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I would highly suggest you go to the boat ramp and watch people load and unload their boats to get an idea of how to do it. Make some mental notes on how to and how not to load and unload a boat. By myself i can load or unload my boat in 3 minutes or less. On a busy morning at the ramp or at a tournament it helps to be fast. I sat in line Sunday morning and watched a guy take 15 minutes to unload his boat. He did lots of things wrong. And even yelled at one person when they tried to help him out. Anyway all I am saying is get a plan down and do it fast and do it proficiently.

Jerrod

Agreed When I bought my first boat, my wife and I spent alot of time "practicing" Launching, loading, and backing down ramps.

I think it not only makes your trip less stressfull for you, but also to the other boaters that may be there. ;)

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Thanks for all the replies guys. I'm also considering financing a new boat. I like the Nitro Z7.

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I'd suggest buying a used boat over a new boat for your first boat.

Could you imagine buying a new z-7 and realizing it's not quite big enough and needing to sell it in a year or two?

You can find good deals... just got to be patient!

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Actually, I am pretty patient. I know I dont need something too small or too large. I prefer something in the 18-19 ft range. I also like the idea of having a new boat for peace of mind. Buying someone elses used boat can be more a headache then anything else. I'm not saying all used boats are the same, but chances are better that there could be something wrong with it, especially if its an older baot. I'm gonna explore both to see where my budget is. If I find a nice used boat, so be it,if I go new and get a too good a price to turn down, great.

As far as financing goes, is financing a boat any different then finacing a car? I've heard of people financing boats for a lot longer then cars. Is it true?

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Hey Stingray23,

Yes they will finance a new boat for a longer period of time than a new car.

I bought a new Bass Tracker in July and they would have financed it for 12 years with no money down.

The boat was only $13,500 with everything so I guess they really want to sell.

Brute

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Personally, I would go with a new boat; unless I knew the previous owner of a used boat. Like you said, there can sometime be hidden problems in a used boat that could be a major headache.

I just purchased a '07 Skeeter ZX225 last December and the company I financed it through would go all the way to 15 years!!! Look at Skeeter, Rangers, Tritons, Nitros, Bass Cat, etc. Just remember when buying a new boat, to go with a dealer you can trust. Cause sooner or later no matter what brand, you're going to have to have something done to it.

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cool! very incouraging responses. I'm gonna look at a new boat. How are the finance rates? Are they generally higher or lower then an auto finance? And for 15 years I can get a real nice boat too!

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I have a 15 year mortgage on my home and I feel like I've been paying on it forever. I can't imagine 15 years ON A BOAT.

Buy that boat today and you won't own it 'til 2023.

That's 180 monthly payments.

That's $75 in stamps just to mail your monthly payments.

That boat will be old enough to drive itself in 15 years.

Please think long and hard before you sign on that dotted line.

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Just to clear it up, I wasn't encouraging you/him to go 15 years on a boat loan, just saying they will do it.

Can't remember exactly but I got somewhere around a 6.5% rate on mine. They told me at the time, the normal rate was 7.5-8%. Most of all, make sure you find a boat "YOU" are happy with, a dealer "YOU" are happy with and a financing plan/payment "YOU" are happy with. I think its fine to ask people for opinions on certain things, but in the long run only my opinion really matters, when its my money being spent.

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I bought my first boat this year and I am very glad that I got a used boat.  New boats depreciate VERY fast and oftentimes warranty repairs can take longer than you have the patience for.  Get a 3-year old boat that someone is selling to get out of a forclosure or other debt and laugh all the way to the bank.  Used boat prices will never be better than they are right now, ESPECIALLY with the colder weather.  Test drive as many as you can to determine what you want and then find it used in great shape.

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Thanks for the advice. I like being thorough before making a final decision. Thats why I'm asking a lot of questions. I will explore all my options before buying the boat. There happens to be a Tracker/Nitro dealer about 55 miles from me(its the closest one). When the time comes, I will stop by and ask questions, but in the mean time I'll be asking you guys for advice. Thanks again ;)

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Yes, most finance co.'s will go 15 years on a new boat if it's over $25000. Personally, I would never buy a brand new boat and finance it for that long. If something was to happen within the first few years and you absolutely HAD to sell it, you would take a beating on a pile of money.

In my opinion, its a good idea to buy a boat that is only a couple years old and still has some motor warranty left. Buying a boat that is a few years old cuts down on your cost BIG TIME because the original owner has taken the brunt of the early depreciation.

As someone mentioned earlier, this is a buyers market at the moment. There are some smokin' deals to be had right now, just look around. The good buys will only increase because of winter and Christmas coming on. Once we get closer to spring, the prices generally start to rise. If you find a good deal on a boat you like before spring gets here, I'd get it and save yourself some money.

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Do you guys know of any good sites to find new and used boats. I've tried a few but feel like I'm missing out on some.

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Hey bassnelo that is a really nice boat for someone who is looking to buy their first... I bought a brand new tracker 175 txw and I must say that if I had to do it all over again I wouldnt buy a boat with an aluminum hull.  When the wind starts it is very hard to stay in one place.  Dont get me wrong I love the fact that I actually own a boat, I just would have done my homework a little more thoroughly before my purchase.  Good Luck :-?

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Besides the weight issue, how do you like your tracker? in a couple years I will be in th emarklet for a new one and I was looking for aluminum hull, possibly tracker. I needed soemthing 16-18 ft that I would fit in my driveway, tow easily, and easily take care of. I love the aluminum hulls.

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I would never buy a boat with a long term loan on it for 10-15 years.  Boats depreciate...FAST.  If something happens within the first 5 years that would make you need to sell it, you're going to wind up owing money after you've sold it.  A lot of money.  If you wind up not liking it and want to change, the same thing.

Due to the economy right now, there are plenty of used boats out there that are going for bargain basement prices.  Many are relatively newer models the owner can't afford the payment on anymore and need to get rid of it.  

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