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RetiredNavy02

First Boat; Which One To Go With?

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Okay guys and girls, I am looking to finally buy myself a bass boat. Last boat I owned was a 1976 Sears Ted Williams Jon Boat. Being retired Navy hard to believe I have gone without a boat for fishing so long.

In our area we have the typical array of low/mid-priced boats (Lowe's, G3, Tracker, Stratos). I'm trying to keep the price for a new boat in the mid to upper teens and my assorted which I have narrowed it down to are:

2009 Stratos 176XT with 60HP motor. This is a new boat (never touched the water nor registered) that the dealership has. He's asking $17,500 for the boat which currently doesn't have a motor (cannibilized for another boat). They are offering to put a 2011/2012 60HP on it for that price.

2010 Tracker Pro Team 175 TXW $15,370 w/60HP Motor

2010 Lowe Stinger HP 18 w/115 HP motor $22,500 - This one is more then I had planned on spending but still a consideration since I qualify for an addition military discount which will bring it down a little closer to $20K

2010 G3 Eagle 165 - small 25HP motor.

I've read the various posts on aluminum versus glass. Most of the waters I fish are smaller lakes here in Connecticut with 8mph limits (except during the summer for three months for water skiing. I know that general consensus is glass is better but even then it looks like a Ford Vs. Chevy Debate (which we all know Ford is better right) :-)

Anyways, I appreciate your feedback (good, bad, indifferent). There are several used boats around the area. Looking at a 2003 Stratos 170 with 5 hours on the motor and asking price of $6,500

R/Tom

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That Stinger is a nice looking/setup boat. Just looked at one the other day. Since your checking out tin boats, don't forget to look at Xpress. They offer a little more performance wise than the others you've mentioned.

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Xpress x2.

I have an 18' Xpress Hyperlift with a Merc 115 and love it. 50 mph and a tank of gas lasts me a month's worth of weekends.

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I've heard good things about the Xpress brand boats but looking over their website, there are no dealers in the Southern New England area.

The dealership with the G3 also carries Rangere and Skeeters but they are a little out of my price range new. They do have some used ones (2004, 2006) in the mid-teens, just not sure if I should opt for that or stick to new.

Thanks!

R/

Tom

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My first bass boat was a used Hydrosport with a 115 Merc. I fished it for 6 or 7 years and sold it for $500 less than I paid, I wouldn't automatically rule out used.

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Of the ones you listed I'd go for the Lowe though you didn't mention what motor is has except 115.

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Jig Man, the Stinger has a Mercury 115 ELPT Optimax.

The used boats that are available are:

2003 Stratos 170 with 90HP Mercury (not sure which one) - $6500

2004 185VS with an Evinrude 150HO with 73 hours on Motor. - $15,500

2008 Skeeter SX 180 with a Yamaha F115 LTR Four Stroke Motor. - $16,000

2004 Skeeter ZX225 with a Yamaha VZ225 HPDI 2-STROKE. - $18,000

Thanks!

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what are you looking for? your first post listed tin boats. the last had glass and the last Skeeter is a far different boat. I had glass boats for 35 years. my new boat is a 19' Crestliner aluminum with a 115 Optimax. I gave up the speed and rough water handling, and not a lot of the bling, but I'm more than happy. glass boats have advantages over tins, but tins also have some. I can pull my boat with my Ford Edge as this boat is half the weight of my last two Stratos's. I'll fish backwater areas that I would never dare with my "pretty" fiberglass. less maintenence costs.

as for the tins, Express and G3 are probably two of the best tin boats out there, but they are much more expensive. I upgraded the tm, charger, engine, and electronics and it was still 5000.00 less than an Express without any upgrades. I also recieved a military discount on my purchase. Crestliner and Triton aluminum bassboats are the same. Trackers are good boats and will be a bit cheaper. the Stinger should be a great boat also.

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I am running an Opti and when I keep the throttle back it gets really good mileage. Mine has 500 hours and only regular maintainence.

I ran a Lowe for a lot of years and they hold up really well. If you are not going to be on big water it will do you a good job and should run in the lower 50s wot.

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Minnow,

Truthfully, just looking for a good boat that will take me fishing and occasionally take the family out for a ride on the lakes. Doesn't matter if it is glass or aluminum. Just trying to avoid purchasing something that will give me problems over the coming years. I know that's a chance even with the best boats but if I can gather insight to those who actually use them and weight that into my decision on what to purchase it "may" save me the frustration down the pipeline.

No Crestliner dealers that I can find. I did find out that Lowe's is offering $3,000 off a Stinger 170 and will offer military discount on top of that (not sure how much of a discount).

I guess when it comes down to it, the waters here in Connecticut are not very large. It sounds like from what I'm seeing that either boat (glass or aluminium) will fare well under those conditions. Guess it all boils down to a matter or whether I like the boat or not and what price it is.

Thanks!

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Used boats are awesome, just like used cars though you have to inspect what you're getting. That ranger with 73 hrs on the motor sounds awesome. The skeeter 225, there's a reason that boat is only 18k, I would shy away from that. I also don't like skeeters so there may be some bias there. Also, don't limit yourself to a dealer. There are lots of quality boats out there from private dudes. Don't be afraid to travel either, as long as you get the motor checked out first by a mechanic. Compression check, hull inspection, TRANSOM inspection, etc... bought my bass cat from a guy in Vermont and met him at thee Delaware welcome center on the 95. Point being don't be afraid to travel for a good deal. Hope this helps.

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If I had an 18k budget for a boat, here's what I would do.

03 Stratos 6500

Hummingbird Side Imaging Sonar $2500

Upgrade to a 101 36volt TM $800

Invest in nice inflatable PFD's $400

and give $8000 to bait monkey

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$8000 to the Bait Monkey?

Dude, You have issues :rolleyes::D

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Thanks guys!

Already, most of the boats I had already mentioned were sold before I even got a chance to take a look at them. That leaves me currently the 2009 Stratos 176XT left. There are several old Trackers (1999-2003) being sold in the local area but they have seen better days (carpet needs replacing, seats, possibly engine). I do need to take a ride over to East Hartford Cabelas since they have a 2011 Lowe Stinger 170 in their inventory.

Here's a question for all you knowledgeable ones, since the 2009 Stratos is considered a new boat, how much percentage off should I see being it is a 2009; if any? He wants $17,800 out the door for everything. Hoping to have him throw in a keel guard and bow mounted finder (transducer hooks up to the trolling motor) as part of our possible negotiations.

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just my opinion, but I would'nt buy the Stratos. I had a 1999 Stratos 295 Pro Elite and a 2004 295 Pro xl and loved them. Stratos has gone with the way Tracker sells boats. the 176 is rated for 70hp. under powered imo. for that amount you can get much more boat and motor. keep looking. I would take the Stinger over the Stratos. it may be new, but it's still a 2009. you'll be taking a big hit on resale as soon as you leave the dealer.

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$8000 to the Bait Monkey?

Dude, You have issues :rolleyes::D

You have nooooooo idea. :D

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If you are primarily fishing small lakes with speed limits IMO a tin boat will do just fine, you can get a heck of a tin boat for the price ranges you mentioned. I have a open fisherman, a bass boat, a jon boat and full access to a 17 duck boat, and by far I fish more out of the tin boats and catch more too!

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South FLA, thanks! I'm still looking and researching the issue. I don't want to jump on what I believed was a bargain and regret it before looking at all options. I'm going to look at a 2004 Nitro NX 750 DC which the dealer just got on the lot. It has a 115HP Evinrude on it. It's used, it's fished, and it has minor scratches but overall a nice boat and the dealer gave it a clean bill of health on both the structure, motor, wiring, and electronics. Asking price is $7500

A friend of mine told me about an older 1989 Winner Tournment Legend Boat for sale that he says is in excellent condition. Boat has a 150HP Merc XP Motor. The local marina just put in a new VRO pump, rear bearings, fuel line, Impeller and lower end lube. price is $2000. The boat is a lot older then I would look at but I'm going to take a look anyways. I know several tournment fisherman who are familiar with the boat and says it is a nice boat and runs strong.

I'm on the fence as to whether buy something new and have the full warranty behind it (and payments to go with it) or buy something in good shape used and pay cash. I've been re-doing some hardwood floors in the bedrooms of our house so fishing and boat looking has taken a back seat for now till I can get some items off my Honey-Do list.

Regards,

Tom

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