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Daniel Rodriguez

Best Older 20+ Ft. Bass Boat?

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I am looking for an older late 80's -early 2000's fiberglass bass boat. I would like it to be a Ranger or Champion, as I have heard they are heavy duty and made very well. I want something that is safe for me and my wife and 2 young kids. What do you guys recommend for a brand or model. My budget is 6-$8,000. My tow vehicle is a Toyota Tundra, so it can be as heavy as it wants to be, my truck is rated to 6,500 lbs towing..Thanks guys

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I have a 92 Stratos 201 pro. Best investment I ever made. Stable even in the spring winds and 3 ft seas on Kissimmee.

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Stratos 295 or 201, Javeline, Ranger, Champion would easily fill your requirements.

I just have to warn, be sure they are checked out by a pro. It's very easy to find a whole lot of them that are not worth the time to look at them. Transome rot, floor rot, stringer rot, deck rot are all common problems with older boats. Especially if they are stored outside.

Several years ago I looked at buying a Sprint bass boat from a dealer that supposedly only needed a motor. This boat was only three years old, but the company went out of business so the dealer said the man traded it for Stratos 201 and kept his motor. Well, I wasn't born yesterday so I checked the boat and transome very closely. It was junk, there was almost nothing left of the transome.

I'm sure you are also aware that those old boats, also have old motors, and they use bunches of gas, it also takes bunches of gas to haul them up and down the highway. This has a tendency take a lot of the fun out of owning them with todays gas prices. It's not difficult for a day/weekend at the lake to cost $150 or more

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Thanks for the info Way2slow...i have 0 knowledge about boats...Maybe I'd be better scaling down the size to something that would fit in my garage...What's a basic-mid no frills level boat that would fit comfortably in an average size garage? I'm not really caught up on motor size, I use fishing to get me away from the hurry :D .

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18ft Express w/90hp Yamaha 4 stroke

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First gives some serious though's on exactly what you want it for. If it's 95% fishing, and don't have far to haul it to the lake and you're not going to be running all over the place. Then the 20 footers are great. Even getting in 18 footers seems cramped to me now after years of using 20's.

I just give a little more thought to where and how I'm going to fish and don't make those 60 mile runs like I used to do without giving it a thought. I also haven't put one of my gas guzzling, 300+ hp motors on in quite a while not. My 225 DFI motors does just fine and I don't have to run wide a** open every where I go now, using about a 1/3 as much gas. Also remember most bass boat's are for built TWO people so you might want to look at something like a Fish and Ski.

Now, if you want it for a fishing boat, ski boat, family go to the lake and have fun boat, then you really need to do your homework. Old, 20 footers are going to have old 200/225's and at about 2.5 mpg, if you're luck, you don't do a whole lot of riding (not and enjoy it).

You need to look at how many people you plan to have in the boat and what size boat is needed to safely handle them. I would strongly recommend staying with the max rated horse power and DO NOT go smaller than 10% - 15% of the max rated horse power, you will only regret it if you start putting any weight in the boat. The bigger motor is not for speed, it's a must for getting a boat up and on plane when there's much weight at all in it.

Now for the bad part, all old motors are gas guzzlers, some more so than others. If anyway at all to swing it, the newer four strokes and DFI two strokes burn way less gas than the old EFI and carburated motors.

The older DFI motors had their growing pains so they are not a real wise choice either. It doesn't take but one breakdown in one of those the ruin you're year.

New motors have warrenties, old motors have some poor basterd crying. I can fix my own, so I don't have to cry as hard.

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Hey if you are looking at a mid 90s champion there's something you need to know. Very fast and light but thats its downfall. Dad had a 98 and the hull started falling apart in the first couple of years and since it was still under warranty he got a 2001 201 champion. The hull is alot tougher and the one he got in 2001 has gone through alot and is still holding up. I say if you find one, get a champion they are great boats I would just go for a early 90s or early 2000s

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"You sound like you need a 16 ft. metal semi-v jon boat with a 9.9 engine..." You are probably right sir, and I am here to learn so I get the right boat. Right now I have a 10 ft. Bass Raider 10E which is great because it has taught me the basics of how to maneuver a boat using a trolling motor and various other things that have gotten me more and better bass as well as crappies and bluegill. I have even taken it on a tidal river and caught some yellow perch and catfish.

...I live fairly close to the Potomac and Patuxent rivers here in Maryland. From the amount of long, glittery bass boats I see flying by me on the highway headed to these rivers every weekend, I would imagine it's a VERY good place to bass fish. The current in these rivers are very strong, and I am very nervous about the amount of large boats and the inability of me to get out of the way in an emergency situation. I live near a Bass Pro Shops, but I have read some posts that say to stay away from Tracker and Triton...Does anyone on this forum have the same opinion? I am looking at the Tracker Pro Angler 16 or the Panfish 16 maybe, or I can go larger...i'm still not sure...What is a good "starter" bass boats from the Tracker or Nitro lines if I were to get only one from these two lines for now?

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Ok, you are going to be fishing ideal waters to really appreciate a large fiberglass boat. The minimum tin can I would look at is at 17.5' for where you plan to use it, also the fact you plan to have your wife and two kids along. With something like a four stroke 90 or e-tec 90. Again though, find a demo ride. Tin cans are definetly not for everybody, me for one. They can beat the crap out of you if the water just has a little chop on it, where a nice size glass boat will just glide across it, leaving a nice smile on your face.

Like I said, do lots of homework and research, and try to arrange some rides. It's hard to get it right for your first boat, but it's a lot better to spend the effort than tring to get rid of the first one and finding a second.

Just don't fall into BPS's and a lot of dealers trap to get you into a boat. BPS is the worlds worst about putting waayyyy to small of a motor on the boat package just so they can display a cheap price. I mean, a 40/50 on a 17.5' boat is rediculus.

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